About Us

Our History

Incorporated in 1979 with the purpose: “To promote appreciation of the arts, provide facilities for arts activities, and create an environment where residents can pursue and enjoy a wide range of cultural opportunities.” PCAC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

A partial list of PCAC’s accomplishments and contributions to the community:

1976—lobbied to establish the Pleasanton Community Concert Band

1975-77—raised money and promoted in-kind donations to build the Pleasanton Cultural Center on Black Ave. Also, to raise funds, PCAC (Carol Busch) donated a race horse to the Chamber of Commerce for auction, ensuring PCAC permanent membership in the Chamber. The Black Ave. facilities are still being used.

1978-1980—raised $800,000 to renovate the Amador Theater. Fundraisers included the “Labor of Love” auction and dance, and the Black Tie “Holiday Reflection” dance and dinner at Stoneridge Mall (1500 attendees), a Valentines Party at Signature Properties, and the CHAIRioteers sale of seats in the Theater. Funds raised included hundreds of individual donations, a $60,000 in-kind donation by developer Joe Callahan, a $100,000 Cowell Foundation Grant.

1981-89—worked with the City and schools to plan and execute the Amador Theater renovation—from a redesigned porch, new roof, and air conditioning to new lighting and a new sound system, plus the refurbishing of the interior.

1981-1990—supported the Pleasanton Playhouse in the renewed Amador Theater. Renee and Bob Lewis, both avid theater enthusiasts, directed such works as Auntie Mame, Showboat, Music Man and many other musical and stage productions. The renewed theater also provided a venue for the Pleasanton Community Concert Band, the Children’s Theater workshop, the Livermore-Amador Symphony, and Valley Choral Society.

1983-the Present—established the Arts in the Schools Program through an Alameda County Grant.  Its first program was to present the Amador-Livermore Symphony to the students. The program continues today.

1989-90—established the Art in Public Places Committee and dedicated Albus by Diana Pumpelly Bates at the Senior Ccnter and also the Bill Ware piece at the Bengtson Aquatic Center. Later that committee became the Civic Arts Commission, under the Parks and Recreation Department, representing the City of Pleasanton for the arts. It soon afterwards established the City Grants for the Arts Program.

1992—established the first Mark Anderson fundraiser to purchase a piano for the Amador Theater, then later—with Tamriko Siprshvilli —raised funds for many years for the ongoing Arts in the Schools Program.

1996-98– contributed significant input to the Cultural Plan and Marketing Plan, and Facilities Plan for the City

2002—raised funds for the Bill Granizo Bi-Centenial Mosaic on Main Street and helped install that work.

1999-2002—advocated for the arts facilities on the Bernal Property and began getting pledges for the Old Firehouse renovation—to create a studio theater, art gallery, art rooms and more.

2000-2002– contracted with the City of Pleasanton for $25,000 to do eight “Focus Events” Programs.  PCAC hosted and supported such events as the Cantabella Chorus, the Pleasanton Community Concert Band, and Valley Concert Choral– through cross marketing, advertising, and ticket sales (with group-ticket pricing.)

1999-2001—re-created with others the Strings-in-the-Schools Program for the 4th and 5th grades of all primary schools in Pleasanton. PCAC donated needed instruments and negotiated with the Superintendent of Schools, along with PPIE, to get a district paid instructor to lead the program which had expired forover 20 years prior to that time.  Now both high schools have full orchestras.

1998—after awarding grants to deserving students for a number of years, PCAC established the YEA! Awards, or “Youth Excellence in Arts” Awards. These awards in writing, visual arts, music, and performing arts of $500 each were given to superior, aspiring students in the arts—from ages 14-20—for 7 years. The program was supported by individually donated endowment monies.

1997-2015, PCAC has given the “Art Supporter of the Year” Award.

2003—PCAC presented the musical program for the Mayor’s Dinner and received the Mayor’s Award that year.

2003-08—launched and supported the premier of the Pleasanton Chamber Players led by Dominique Piana , who presented chamber music to our community and who led those performances for 5 years.

2002-2011—established, in cooperation with the City of Pleasanton and CarrAmerica Corporation the annual Poetry, Prose, and Arts Festival, which provided two days of writing workshops, keynote speakers, contests, award-ceremony dinners, and prizes for adults and youths alike. Later, the event moved to the Senior Center and then to the Firehouse Arts Center The program lasted 10 years and included a dramatic production entitled Emily Dickinson and an “In a word” presentation of an American Indian legend of the S.F. 1906 earthquake, as well as such speakers and workshop presenters as Billy Collins, Poet Laureate of the U.S., Michael Chabon, novelist, Al Young, Poet Laureate of California, and Dana Gioia, Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. Also, PCAC won a $10,000 N.E.A. grant in 2004.

2004-2010—spearheaded the planning for the Firehouse Arts Center for 3 years, then served with the Task Force for an additional 3 years to plan the facilities with the City Planning Architects. Also, PCAC gave the seed money for the formation of the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Foundation, our sister organization, which raised over a million dollars in support of the Firehouse Arts Center.

2013-2015— Created, staged, and managed the “Big Draw” Chalk and Art Festival, with the idea that this multicultural event would grow into a signature event for the City of Pleasanton. The day’s festivities included performance arts outside the Firehouse Arts Center at other locations as well as on the painted pianos around town, professional and amateur chalk art, crafts and arts vendors, a pairing of bouquets of flowers with art pieces in Harrington Gallery.

2015-16 Classical performances by the duo piano team on Steinways—Tamriko Siprashvili and Temirzhan Yershanov at the Amador Theater.

Over the years, PCAC has supported the arts community with its Umbrella Events (supporting all the local arts groups), with PR & Strategic Planning Seminars for arts groups, with the PCAC quarterly Newsletter “Arts in Season,” which was published for 9 years and included an arts calendar, and with a number of additional events:  Some examples include piano concerts by Rueibin Chen, international pianist, Dance/ singing performances by April Verch, a“Young Impressions” review, a seamless show of YEA! Award winners directed by Don Lewis, and the “Walk on Bernal Property,” with such invited performers as Shakespeare’s Associates.

PCAC has also produced a number of collaborative events with the City of Pleasanton and with groups such as PAL (Pleasanton Art League), the Museum on Main, the Library, and Valley Concert Chorale, Pleasanton Community Concert Band, Las Positas College, and youth groups. For years, PCAC has maintained a website at www.PleasantonArts.org to announce arts programs/events and to recognize artists and arts supporters.