The Diablo Regional Arts Association is proud to partner with the following East Bay producing organizations that share our vision of making the Lesher Center for the Arts the cultural and entertainment center of the East Bay. DRAA annually provides several hundred thousand dollars in grants to these companies to promote quality programs at the Lesher Center. We bestow grants on a competitive basis to organizations that showcase professional-level theater, music, dance, and family performances that will be well-received by local audiences. We view our relationships with these producers as a partnership, with DRAA’s Board and staff working with them to maintain their level of excellence and professionalism.
Since 2004 DRAA has provided over $800,000 to the following stellar arts organizations:
The Bedford Gallery
Every season, the gallery curates exhibitions with a variety of themes and with works by historic and contemporary artists, from both the East Bay and from around the world. The shows reflect and appeal to the diversity of audiences in our community and are always inspiring, challenging, and accessible.
The California Symphony has grown into one of the West Coast’s most exciting and distinctive professional orchestras. With its home at the Lesher Center, the California Symphony performs a full range of classical music, with a particular emphasis on works by American composers. The symphony also showcases world-famous soloists, rising young stars, and innovative, multi-dimensional ways of presenting music.
Center REPertory Company
This is the award-winning resident professional theatre company of the Lesher Center for the Arts. For four decades, Center REP has produced emotionally engaging, intellectually involving, and visually astonishing live theater. The company now presents eight shows a year, including lively musicals, cutting-edge contemporary dramas, and beloved comedies.
Chamber Music San Francisco
This concert series brings some of the most outstanding artists in the Bay Area and the world to Walnut Creek to perform great works of classical and contemporary chamber music.
Company C Contemporary Ballet
Founded in 2002 by Charles Anderson, a former member of the New York City Ballet, this 13-member ensemble of classically trained dancers performs a diverse repertoire of moving, sensual, provocative, and entertaining dance works.
Contra Costa Musical Theatre
Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Inc. (CCMT) was founded in 1961 to produce Broadway musicals and to foster appreciation for this art form. With the opening of the Lesher Center in 1990, this non-profit regional company found a permanent home in Walnut Creek where it mounts full-scale musical theater productions in the 800-seat Hofmann Theatre.
Diablo Theatre Company (formerly known as the Diablo Light Opera Company)
Originally founded in 1959 by a group of UC Berkeley song-and-dance alums, this regional company produces three full-scale productions of classic and contemporary Broadway shows in the Lesher Center’s Hofmann Theatre each season.
Every summer, this regional opera company brings some of the great works of opera, as well as innovative new works, to Walnut Creek. The critically praised company is committed to making opera accessible to diverse populations and to helping talented young singers, directors, designers, and musicians advance in this art form.
Founded in 1994 by the late choreographer Michael Smuin, Smuin Ballet quickly established itself as one of the country’s most entertaining, original dance troupes. The company continues Smuin’s vision of creating dance works that gracefully merge the vocabularies of classical ballet and contemporary dance.