About the Foundation
Bringing the Clark Center to Life
The Clark Center Foundation was born during a musical program held at the Arroyo Grande High School gymnasium over thirty years ago. While Cliff and Mary-Lee Clark endured an uncomfortably warm performance in that stagnant gym, an idea began to take shape: an idea for a state-of-the-art, professional facility available to children, local artists, service groups and the community at large.
The South County Performing Arts Building Foundation, comprised of community leaders, arts patrons and parents, was established in 1986. Partnering with the Lucia Mar Unified School District, a fund was created along with a 99-year agreement by the school district to supervise construction and maintain the facility to be built on the campus of Arroyo Grande High School. The facility was to be made available to the community at large but with the students receiving priority access.
Thanks to a 15-year capital campaign including $9,000,000 in donations from private citizens and grants from state, county and local governments, construction on the Clark Center for the Performing Arts began in 1999 and was completed in time for the Grand Opening on May 10th, 2002.
The Clark Center Foundation remains committed to funding the maintenance, repair and replacement of elements of the Clark Center and all of the operating equipment so it will forever remain a state-of-the-art facility. The Foundation regularly provides funding for updates to the lighting and sound system components, backstage storage facilities, backstage furnishings, and the heating and air conditioning system. In 2009, the Foundation funded a $2,000,000 Annex that provided new dressing rooms, a green room for performer use, storage areas and office space.
For more information about the Clark Center’s vision, mission and values, click here.