Arts Access

Our Strategic Goal

Like our founders, we believe that arts and culture are essential to a vibrant and healthy community. Our goal is that Contra Costa County, with the Lesher Center for the Arts as the hub, will be a premier arts and culture center providing access to the arts for all in the East Bay region.

Our Grantmaking

We are committed to supporting arts and culture organizations, arts projects, and arts education for children and youth that is dynamic, relevant, accessible, and high quality. We hope to help others experience and become inspired to believe, as we do, that arts play an essential role in a thriving Contra Costa County.


Arts Access for Youth

In order to instill a life-long love of the arts, the Lesher Foundation supports access to culturally relevant arts for underserved Contra Costa County youth. Our aim is to provide and increase equitable opportunities for all children and youth to see, study, and create art. This work focuses on increasing access to the arts for low-income children and children of color in our community that may have less opportunity and face more barriers to arts participation.




Lesher Center for the Arts


Since an early seed grant made by Dean and Margaret Lesher in the 1980s, the Lesher Foundation has supported the Lesher Center for the Arts as a vibrant, creative, relevant cultural hub, pursuing and presenting high levels of excellence and quality in the arts to enrich the lives of the full community.

The Lesher Foundation invests in a core set of professional, high quality arts organizations that perform regularly at the Lesher Center for the Arts. We maintain a strong relationship with the City of Walnut Creek, which is critical to the success and strength of the Center, as well as supporting and partnering with the Diablo Regional Arts Association (DRAA), the nonprofit arm of the Lesher Center for the Arts.



Ken Jennings speaking on Newsmakers stageNewsmakers: Lesher Speaker Series

Since 2004, the Lesher Foundation has produced the NEWSMAKERS speaker series to increase civic-minded public discourse on important matters of the day and powerful ideas that impact our community and country.

NEWSMAKERS features outstanding speakers in politics, international affairs, journalism, sports, and entertainment. In addition to promoting public discourse, NEWSMAKERS raises awareness about Contra Costa County’s nonprofit community, connecting the audience with leaders and organizations working locally every day to improve lives in the community.

Learn more at Lesher Speaker Series.

Click below to learn more about our other Strategic Program goals.