Mission / History

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The San Benito County Arts Council’s mission is to:

  • Promote diversity, quality and involvement in the arts for all residents in San Benito County
  • Encourage cultural and artistic growth and create opportunities for the production of art
  • Provide access to the arts through programs in the visual, performing and media arts
  • Establish a favorable climate for artists to live and work and for the arts to thrive


The San Benito County Arts Council was incorporated on January 2, 2006 through a consensus of individual artists and art supporters who revived the Arts Council in San Benito County after a multi-year hiatus.  Since its incorporation in 2006, the Arts Council has been guided by a board of directors and an executive director.

Current programs include Arts in Education, the Open Studios Art Tour, Emerging Artist Exhibition, Regranting in the Arts and Summer Concert Series.  In addition, the Arts Council is very active in arts advocacy, campaigning at the local, state and federal level for greater funding and support of the arts.  Members of our board also serve as prominent leaders in other community organizations and associations, including the San Benito Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation for San Benito County, Gavilan College Board of Trustees, Aromas Hills Artisans and others.

Preceding the Arts Council, the first umbrella arts organization in San Benito County was established in 1980 as the San Benito County Arts Commission.  It served as an art advocate, resource for artists and planning body within San Benito County and the City of Hollister.

In 1988 the Artists in the Schools Program was established, as well as the Arts in the Park Multicultural Festival and the Auction for the Arts fundraiser.  The Arts Commission also formed important partnerships with El Teatro Campesino, the Hollister Downtown Association, Tri-County Arts and the Tourism Council.