In 1964, when Fremont was a bucolic suburb, the area was a magnet for educated couples who wanted to raise their children with open space, and also wanted to provide the benefits and opportunities for arts and culture in the community. A civic group formed, focused on providing quality arts events and in supporting local arts, and from this, the Fremont Recreation Commission established the Federation of Community, Organization for Leisure, which then evolved into the Cultural Arts Federation. In 1972 the Fremont Cultural Arts Council formed as an independent 501(c)3 non-profit, and in1978 the Fremont City Council passed Resolution No. 2448 establishing the FCAC as the spokesman organization for the cultural arts in Fremont. The FCAC is an all-volunteer organization, which continues to enjoy a strong, positive 50+ year relationship with the city, while being independently supported by our generous membership and community donors.
Per our By-laws the Council exists to “coordinate and promote cultural arts activities in the City of Fremont; to serve as a collective voice in matters of public policy affecting the cultural arts; to research grants available for the arts and to disseminate this information to the community; to promote the public image of Fremont as a balanced community, and to otherwise support the cultural arts.”
The FCAC leases a building from the city at 3375 Country Drive, which we manage for the benefit of non-profit member organizations who would not otherwise be able to afford space. As of 2014, we had 3 main tenants, and provide meeting space for many others at a nominal fee to cover utilities and basic maintenance. Our volunteers keep the office open from11AM to 2PM weekdays, except for holidays, and are glad to provide visitors with an assortment of brochures and fliers about upcoming activities and local groups meetings and contacts.
There are a number of outstanding, worthwhile and enjoyable efforts that were sponsored by the FCAC in the past that have either been discontinued or are on hiatus, looking for a passionate volunteer to revive them. Since the FCAC was founded, there have been both demographic and technical changes. People work long and possibly erratic hours, often commute long distances, and are unable to spend the time to volunteer or even to enjoy some types of events. Our mission hasn’t changed, only the way we address the needs of the community has, in some instances, and we are putting more emphasis on our role as incubator and umbrella for the local arts.
We have shut down the film darkroom we were maintaining for the use of local photographic societies and school classes, and are continuing to partner with the Fremont Photographic Society and the City of Fremont in supporting and producing the Annual Juried Photo Exhibit held each fall.
Events requiring several weeks or months of preparation for a single presentation were discontinued as not being a thoughtful use of our volunteer time — Notable among these casualties were the Young Artist’s Showcase and the Mayor’s Gala, at one time memorable and well attended events.
Other worthwhile programs have been placed on hiatus, waiting for an eager volunteer to revive them. Most notable in this category is our CATS – Cultural Arts to the Schools — a wonderful program of assemblies made available to the schools, but one which requires someone with energy and enthusiasm to develop and then ‘sell’ the program to PTA’s, PTO’s, school administrators and teachers, then schedule and administer it. Past committee heads have been young parents themselves, with a strong interest in making sure their children’s education is culturally and artistically enriched. The FCAC continues to subsidize some after school art programs put on by the City of Fremont.
If you feel passionately about any arts related program you feel should be made reality, please contact the FCAC…we would love to hear your ideas… even better if you are willing to volunteer to make your vision a reality!