Victoria Gardens Cultural Center / Lewis Family Playhouse
The Rancho Cucamonga Community & Arts Foundation has been a large contributor toward the support of arts programs and performances at the Lewis Family Playhouse located at the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center. The Foundation, in collaboration with the City of Rancho Cucamonga Library Foundation, raised nearly 6 million dollars as part of the PAL (Promoting Arts & Literacy) Campaign that ran from 2003 until 2011, which spanned a seven-year effort with great ongoing support, well after the opening of the Cultural Center. Many, many local and regional businesses as well as families and individuals contributed to that community-wide effort and their names are proudly displayed on the Donor Wall in the main lobby at the Cultural Center, as well as on our website which you can see here. Clearly, the desire and appreciation for a performing arts venue in our community was evident and well supported.
Currently, the Foundation raises money annually through various fundraising events to provide ongoing sponsorship of productions and guest artists that perform at the Playhouse. The Foundation works closely with City Staff at the Playhouse to seek grant funds that provide free access to low-income school children and families to attend live theatre. In 2019, over 2,500 school children in Title 1 Schools attended a live performance, with another 530 tickets distributed to low-income families, veteran & military families, senior, and LGBTQ groups. Many who would never have had the opportunity to experience professional live theatre otherwise.
The Foundation has been a strong advocate and avid supporter of MainStreet Theatre Company, Broadway at the Gardens, and Rancho Cucamonga Community Theatre programs that provide high quality theatre productions for our community to enjoy and participate in. The Foundation has been the primary sponsor of the annual World Music Concert Series, presenting free concerts that present musical groups from diverse cultures. The Foundation is committed to continue support for Playhouse programs that provide such rich, diverse, and affordable arts and entertainment for all ages in our community.
Sadly, in March 2020, as with all live theatre across the country, all programs and productions at the City’s Lewis Family Playhouse were immediately halted due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Programs will remain suspended until local regulations and guidelines for safe reopening are in place. Our Foundation members, like all theatre lovers, are heartbroken over the shutdown of theatres and performance venues around the world, but we have great faith in their eventual return, and we look forward to supporting the Lewis Family Playhouse’s safe and enthusiastic reopening in the future.
For more information about the Lewis Family Playhouse in the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, visit www.lewisfamilyplayhouse.com
Associated Artists of the Inland Empire
Associated Artists of the Inland Empire (AAIE) was established in 1964 and held the first Membership art show in the spring of that year. In the years since its beginning, the purpose of AAIE has been to promote the creative talent of its members, to provide an exchange of ideas between area artists, and to generate public interest in fine arts. To support their efforts and bring greater awareness to local artists’ work, the Rancho Cucamonga Community & Arts Foundation proudly sponsors the AAIE’s annual Juried Art Show, held at the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center each Fall.
Unfortunately, but as expected, the Fall Art Show has been canceled for 2020, with an expected return in Fall 2021. Please continue to support our talented local artists whenever you have the opportunity.
For more information about AAIE, visit www.associatedartistsinlandempire.org
Future Arts Endeavors
The Foundation is committed to provide greater funding within our community in the months ahead to encourage new groups, programs, events, efforts and artists to realize their ideas and share them with our community. We would like nothing more than to enrich our community with supporting and promoting a wide variety of arts groups, projects, experiences and activities available to all who wish to participate. A Community Arts Grant Program is being developed to assist groups and individuals to further imagine, create and develop more arts experiences for and with our community. If you have an idea or project in mind, please contact us at RCArtsIdeas@rccaaf.org.