Our History

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    1974

     The Carpinteria Valley Art League (CVAL) is established.

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    1995

    CVAL members Karen Browdy and Eddi Hastings recognize there is no local venue for Carpinteria artists to show their work. They are immediately joined by ten other artists who agree that the problem should be remedied.

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    1996

    Several members of the CVAL sign a lease on a store at 657 Linden Avenue in order to establish a nonprofit co-op gallery. One month later, "Step One: A Gallery" opens during the California Avocado Festival. The gallery is called "Step One" because step two eventually will be an arts center!

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    1999

    "Step One: A Gallery" leases 855 Linden Ave. at the invitation of co-owner and artist Patti Sim, gaining a larger and more visible space. Moving uptown!

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    2001

    With the financial assistance of "Step One: A Gallery", the nonprofit Carpinteria Valley Arts Council (CVAC) is established.

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    2003

    Artist Patti Sim and her sister Delme McIntyre offer to sell 855 Linden Avenue to CVAC for a very reasonable $450,000. Fundraising begins!

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    2004

    At the urging of local artist Jack Baker, the Hal Wallis Foundation donates $150,000 to purchase the site of the future arts center.

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    2005

    CVAC purchases 855 Linden Avenue outright and debt-free.

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    2006

    "Step One: A Gallery" closes on the site, and the Carpinteria Valley Arts Council takes over.

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    2015

    Next door, the Cajun Kitchen restaurant at 865 Linden Avenue closes. Immediately, CAC leaders begin a fundraising drive for $3.1 million to purchase it, remodel it and provide arts center endowment.

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    2018

    CVAC changes its name to the Carpinteria Arts Center (CAC). Ultimately, 3.5 million is raised! The remodel of the former Cajun Kitchen begins. Numerous Carpinteria contractors donate their time and material for an additional $401,050 being donated in-kind. The CAC is renamed the Lynda Fairly Carpinteria Arts Center, acknowledging her generosity and leadership.

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    2019

    The newly remodeled and re-landscaped Lynda Fairly Carpinteria Arts Center opens!

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