ABOUT

The Occidental Center for the Arts (a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization) provides diverse, high-quality arts and cultural events to western Sonoma County and the communities beyond. Housed in a newly remodeled performing venue with superb acoustics and an adjacent exhibition gallery, the OCA works to enrich the lives of local residents through diverse cultural performances, exhibitions, events and arts education that inspire, teach, and entertain.

OCA Facade

Mission

The Occidental Center for the Arts exists to provide a welcoming and accessible venue for the performing and visual arts in Occidental, California. Our mission is to enrich our community by providing diverse cultural experiences that inspire, educate, and entertain.

Vision

In the 10 mile radius of Occidental, we have some of the most talented musicians, artists, and actors in Sonoma County.  Our wish to bring world class talent to our small town was also developed with the idea to create a space for local artists to perform, develop, and display their work.

Audience

Our feasibility study conducted by AMS Planning and Research showed that Occidental and Bodega Bay are affluent, educated communities that provide an ideal location for an intimate performing arts facility. The full time population of over 3,000 people has twice the national average of college-educated individuals, and median household incomes a third higher than the national average. Part time residents and tourists significantly increase the potential audience on summer weekends.

Over the last three years, our neighbors have pitched in on work days, come to planning meetings, donated money, and attended an eclectic series of monthly concerts, plays, readings, movies, parties and other events at the OCA, proving beyond a doubt that there is an enthusiastic audience for an art center in Occidental.

History

Doris Murphy and Kit NeustadterIn 1998, Occidental activist Doris Murphy and Redwood Arts Council founder Kit Neustadter founded the Occidental Center for the Performing and Visual Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a home venue for the Occidental Choir, the RAC concert series, and other artists in Occidental. Their vision was confirmed by a feasibility study completed by AMS Planning and Research that showed community support by individuals polled, as well as a demographic match in income and education in the area that would enjoy such a space.

In 2003, Orrin and Terri Theissen agreed to create Harmony Village on the site of the closed Harmony School, and to donate a classroom and the multi-purpose room to the OCA. An architect and an acoustician were hired who created plans for turning our multipurpose room into a world class performance space.

In 2008 the final map for Harmony Village was approved and our way was clear to launch a capital fund raising campaign to finance the completion of our plans and the construction of our dream art center. In the midst of an economic downturn, we transformed our fundraising focus toward “human capital,” for Phase II of our construction. From then until our grand opening in 2010, we completed $175,000 of construction work with $80,000 and over 7000 logged hours of volunteer help. The result is an acoustically sound auditorium, a professional stage, light and sound board, great sight lines, and an art gallery. The Redwood Arts Council and Occidental Community Choir, long-term community presenting organizations, have moved their home to the OCA. We have performances, literary events and visual art exhibits year round.

WHO WE ARE

Tina Marchetti, Executive Director

Andrea Van Dyke Andrea Van Dyke, Events Coordinator

Board of Directors

Steve Fowler
*Steve Fowler, Board President

 

 

 

 

*Patrick Fanning, Vice President

*David Benefiel, Treasurer

Lenore Mesches, Secretary

Diane Masura

Judith Reimuller

Chris Riebli

 *Executive Committee

 Advisory Committee

  • Chester Aaron
  • Bill Batchelor
  • Conrad Bishop
  • Efren Carrillo
  • Daniel Celidore
  • Don Dixon
  • Marylu Downing
  • Elizabeth Fuller
  • Laura Goldman
  • Roland Jacopetti
  • Jim Maresca
  • Julia Melody
  • Chris Paige
  • Jack  Stuppin
  • Mary Szecsey
  • Rick Theis
  • Adam Wolpert