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May 11, 2010 > Celebrating 40 years of service

Celebrating 40 years of service

By Arathi Satish

The Fremont Cultural Arts Council (FCAC) invites members to celebrate its 40th anniversary in the Japanese Garden area of the Shinn House in Fremont on Sunday, May 16th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This member-only event is not a fundraiser, but a celebration of the volunteers and members who have made so much possible in the arts, locally, over the years. Not a member yet? Read on....

At the event, silent films provided by the Niles Essanay Film Museum as well as "The Wonderful Knitting Machine" produced by the FCAC and the Fremont Film Forum will be showing continuously in the Shinn House Archive Room.

Admission to the grounds is free to the public, while tours of the historic Shinn House and some light refreshments will be offered for a small charge. This annual event is an outstanding example of FCAC collaboration with many organizations in order to support local artists and make art freely available to the public.

Through its members and volunteers, FCAC has supported the practice and enjoyment of fine arts in the Fremont community over the last four decades. The council is an umbrella organization for the arts, serving as a collective voice in matters of public policy affecting the cultural arts as well as sponsoring arts activities throughout the community and in the schools.

The FCAC publishes the Fremont Focus three times a year, a calendar of cultural arts events throughout the Tri-cities area including listings of local civic and arts organizations. It is distributed free of charge through libraries, schools and local merchants. Bookmarks featuring the work of local high school artists as well as a beautifully illustrated brochure of Art in Public Places in Fremont, thanks to the research done by board member Margaret Talt, are published by FCAC.

Funding for arts education is a challenge in our community schools. Through the Cultural Arts to School (CATS) program, FCAC offers local schools and PTA's/PTO's an opportunity to contract for quality arts assemblies at a subsidized rate. During the last three years, with outstanding feedback from teachers, students and parents, FCAC has sponsored a series of interactive assemblies in the schools. FCAC also partners with the City of Fremont, providing partial scholarships for arts-related Fremont Parks and Recreation Classes.

Recreation Services of the City of Fremont and local photography clubs, Photogenesis and the Fremont Photo Club, join with the FCAC every fall to hold the Annual Juried Photography Exhibit at the Fremont main library. During the winter holiday season, Las Posadas, a ceremonial celebration of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, is co-sponsored by FCAC and the Committee for the Restoration of the Mission San Jose. This wonderful family-friendly preparation for the great feast of Christmas has been an Old Mission San Jose tradition since 1982.

Wherever the need, if resources are available, the all-volunteer non-profit Fremont Cultural Arts Council steps in; in 2009 the FCAC held a unique Cross-Cultural Arts Exhibit, showcasing the traditional techniques and artistic talent of the local multi-cultural community. All artwork represented the same subject, the Fremontia, a native California shrub whose blossom is the emblem flower of the City of Fremont. This event helped artists from different traditions to connect, share their cultural techniques, help in using traditional techniques in new ways, heighten awareness of artists within their own cultural community, educate the public about the history of Fremont and inform the public about the many artistic traditions and wealth of talent in the community.

As Margaret Thornberry, President of FCAC, points out, the term "cultural art" no longer refers only to the "fine arts" of western European tradition, but now is commonly understood to include art originating in other cultures.

At the public "Art in the Park" event on the Shinn House front lawn on Sunday, May 16, FCAC memberships will be available at the gate of the Japanese Garden ($15 annual membership for individuals, $25 for family or organizations).

For more details, visit Fremont Cultural Arts Council, 3375 Country Drive, Fremont, CA 94536, or call (510) 794-7166, or email or visit the FCAC website at

FCAC 40 Anniversary celebration
Sunday, May 16
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The Shinn House
1251 Peralta, Fremont
(510) 794-7166

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