The Castro Valley Arts Foundation (CVAF), was incorporated in 2005 as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. The all volunteer board shares a vision to create opportunities for rich and diverse cultural experiences through the arts.. for our children, our community and our region.
In 1998, a small group of community members met with CVUSD Superintendent Bob Fisher to discuss the possibility of building a performing arts center. Everyone agreed that Castro Valley had a history of outstanding students in the arts and our young up and coming performers deserved a venue to shine. Erma Smith and Terry Liebowitz led a small group of community members, and with the old fashioned spirit of a small town, the people of Castro Valley whole-heartedly passed Measure C and have since continued to demonstrate their support with amazing generosity.
"Through their dedication and hard work, the CVAF provides on-going financial resources and an extraordinary volunteer workforce that has enabled the District to sustain and operate the Center for the Arts as a true community / regional arts venue." -- Jerry Macy, CVUSD Superintendent (retired)
The January 2006 opening of the Castro Valley Center for the Arts represented the culmination of almost eight years of planning, designing, community input, fundraising, and innovative thinking. In 2002, the people of Castro Valley assured the construction of the Center by passing school bond Measure C, providing $7.1 million in funding for design and construction, later augmented by $2 million from the Castro Valley Unified School District, which owns and operates the Center on behalf of our students and the community. The Castro Valley Arts Foundation was at the forefront of the project from the beginning, raising funds and soliciting donations to landscape and equip the Center. Renowned artists, like Frederica von Stade, Oakland East Bay Symphony maestro Michael Morgan and Castro Valley native Val Diamond, diva of Beach Blanket Babylon, performed at a series of "Light the Lights" benefit concerts. The tradition of "Light the Lights" continues as a semi-annual concert combining orchestra, band and choral groups from the middle and high schools with professional entertainers such as Tom Rigney and FLAMBEAU, Oakland Gospel Choir and New York Broadway star Alice Lynn.
The CVAF also took a lead role in preparing a detailed business plan that provides for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the Center, creating a collaboration between the School District and the Foundation. CVUSD maintains utilities, custodial and building maintenance while donations and ticket revenues raised by the CVAF, along with rental fees, support programming, staffing, equipment replacement and facility enhancement.
The construction of the Castro Valley Center for the Arts represented public and private cooperation at an exceptional level. The Castro Valley Arts Foundation continues to work with professional artists, students, teachers and the community to secure an outstanding future for the Center.