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Saratoga Montalvo Arts Center's Endowment Campaign Goal is $50M

Local philanthropists Sally and Don Lucas have pledged $10 million already, the single largest gift to a South Bay arts organization, other $5 million donation begins campaign with $15 total.

Editor's Note: This information came from a press release sent to Saratoga Patch by Montalvo Arts Center. It may have been edited for clarity and brevity.

As Montalvo Arts Center's centennial year comes to a close, two Bay Area women are stepping forward to safeguard the future of this vibrant Saratoga cultural institution and historic estate.  

Executive Director Angela McConnell, who assumed leadership of Montalvo three years ago, has announced that 2013 will mark the launch of a $50 million campaign to secure Montalvo's long-term sustainability.

This will ensure that the historic Villa, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the 175-acre grounds and gardens are maintained and preserved for future generations.

The augmented endowment will also guarantee support of the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency Program and provide a bedrock for the institution's mission to engage and inspire the community through performance, education, visual, and literary arts. 

"Over the past century, Villa Montalvo has been shaken by catastrophes, ranging from the Great Depression to numerous treacherous earthquakes," said McConnell. "There have been times when Montalvo's future seemed anything but certain. The funds raised by this campaign will help ensure that the Villa and the organization continue to thrive for another hundred years." 

This major campaign will be led by Montalvo's two Life Trustees, Sally Lucas and Charmaine Warmenhoven. Sally and Don Lucas have pledged a stunning $10 million earmarked in support of Montalvo's distinguished international residency program, named for them in 2004. 

Historically, this $10 million donation signifies the single largest gift given to a South Bay arts organization. The Lucas' donation to the endowment is magnified by an additional $5 million pledged by Charmaine and Dan Warmenhoven in support of the preservation of Montalvo's historic Villa and the grounds.

Sally Lucas and Charmaine Warmenhoven are both committed to legacy giving, whereby their gifts to Montalvo are designed to inspire other donors to come forward and commit to supporting this major Silicon Valley cultural institution, a regional and national treasure. Both co-chairs recognize the important role that the creative arts play in the success of the South Bay's global center of technology and innovation.

In addition to the $15 million lead gifts, the campaign is supported by a $500,000 grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to fund operating expenses of the campaign.

Both Sally Lucas and Charmaine Warmenhoven have been longtime and passionate supporters of the Montalvo Arts Center, as well as other cultural and educational causes in the Bay Area. Both women have served as President of the Montalvo Board of Trustees.    

The Case for Montalvo

Since its founder, three-time mayor of San Francisco and the first popularly-elected Senator James Duval Phelan, bequeathed it to the public in 1930, the Montalvo Arts Center has served the community as a unique and invaluable cultural resource.

Open to visitors 364 days a year, its formal gardens and pristine grounds, miles of public hiking trails, century-old historic Villa, and innovative outdoor sculpture installations offer visitors inspiration and contemplative calm in the midst of bustling Silicon Valley.

Montalvo has operated as an arts center for the past 82 years and it has become a gateway to a balanced quality of life for the surrounding communities and beyond.    

Its programs are remarkable not only for their breadth of focus, but also their world-class quality. Every year, the institution mounts a dense schedule of musical, theatrical, and dance performances that draw inspiration from the diversity of the Santa Clara Valley. The organization's commitment to furthering arts education for students of all ages is absolute.  To ensure that children, regardless of their economic background, have access to these educational resources--which include performing arts series, classroom outreach programs, and its innovative summer arts camps--Montalvo grants thousands of dollars in scholarships every year. The Lucas Artists Residency Program, the third-oldest in the country and the oldest west of the Mississippi, has served 300 artists from 33 countries, and has gained international acclaim for its innovative emphasis on community engagement. Montalvo has managed to accomplish this with the support of the initial endowment fund and the generous support of its members and donors.  

"Montalvo provides a wealth of opportunities for all ages-whether that's families with children, art lovers, hikers, nature enthusiasts, advocates of sustainable living-to be inspired by and participate in the creative process." said McConnell. "With this bold fundraising initiative, we are making an appeal to the people of the community we have served for decades and continue to serve to join with us in preserving Montalvo and sustaining its mission."

The priorities of Montalvo's Fund for the Future are to:

  • Restore and enhance Montalvo's historic Villa and create an endowment to steward this community and national treasure.
  • Restore and revitalize Montalvo's lush, historic gardens and Arboretum and provide a stable source of funding to support their care.
  • Engage a large cross-section of Silicon Valley residents through exciting, inclusive programs and performances that awaken a sense of wonder 
  • Establish Montalvo as a notable Sculpture Park -- a destination for Valley residents and visitors from around the world.
  • Establish an Education Center for K-12 teachers -- sustaining the positive influence of the arts in our schools and on our future workforce.
  • Raise the global profile of Montalvo and its Lucas Artists Residency Program, which nurtures talented, visionary performing, visual, literary and culinary artists drawn from an international pool and contributes to the arts that will shape the contemporary art scene, in Silicon Valley and throughout the world.

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