The abundance of arts opportunities in the Tri-Valley attests to the value people pay to having their lives enriched in a variety of ways. Music, drama, dance, opera, and comedy are all part of a vibrant regional scene that features performances on a regular basis, and even opportunities to participate in the arts yourself. Here is our directory of local arts venues and groups.
NOTE from Hacienda: Before we go further, we wanted to note that the response to the Covid-19 pandemic has meant many changes to arts venues and programs. Please be sure to contact the venues and organizations listed to receive information on current attendance practices and requirements. Please be sure to note under each description below the status of the venue or program as it is known as of the date of this publication.
The Tri-Valley region is fortunate to be the home of a number of programs and venues. Each allows patrons the ability to experience the arts in a variety of quality settings.
Pleasanton's Firehouse Arts Center and Amador Theater The Firehouse Arts Center in the heart of Downtown Pleasanton lives up to its slogan, "Setting the Arts on Fire" by inspiring passion through creative expression. The facility began life in 1929 as Pleasanton's main fire station. Built of locally manufactured bricks, plans for its rebirth began almost a decade ago, and the results are a stunning 17,000-square-foot showcase consisting of a 227-seat studio theater, the 2,000 square feet Harrington Gallery, two large art classrooms, and a spacious lobby for receptions and events. The venue is used for performances in theater, music, comedy, film, and more. Resident theater companies Tri Valley Repertory Theater and Pleasanton Youth Theater Company perform throughout the season. The Firehouse is home to a host of youth and adult programs from traditional art classes and events to music and theatrical camps. On the arts education side, the two Firehouse classrooms provide for a variety of activities. Upcoming programs are offered for adults, teens, and youth, including a variety of art appreciation and painting classes throughout the fall and winter season. The Amador Theater opened in the 1930s and served as Pleasanton's principal performing arts facility until the Firehouse Arts Center came onto the scene. Its 400-seat capacity means that it is still used for a number of events every year. For example, Information on these events and others is also available at www.firehousearts.org.
Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center With two venues, the Bankhead Theater and the Bothwell Art Center, Livermore Arts is an independent non-profit arts organization that provides a wealth of opportunities to explore, experience, and enjoy the arts. More than 250 performances and events are offered throughout the year including music of all genres, dance, theater, comedy and other performing arts - from world-renowned artists and rising stars, to decades old resident companies and young student performers. Livemore Arts fosters the creative vision of local artists, showcasing their work at exhibits and events and offering affordable classroom, studio and rehearsal space. Cultural traditions are honored throughout the year with celebrations that include music, dance, food, displays, arts and crafts for Native American Day, Cheza Nami - Taste of Africa, Filipino Barrio Fiesta, Diwali, Lunar New Year and more. The joy of art is shared with students of all ages through ticket discounts, hands-on art classes, master classes and workshops, as well as major community events such as ArtWalk. The Bankhead Theater is located at 2400 First Street, the Bothwell Arts Center is at 2466 Eighth Street. Regular Box office hours are Thursday to Saturday, 12 noon to 6pm and 2 hours before curtain, or call 925-373-6800. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit livermorearts.org.
San Ramon Performing Arts The Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center is the primary home of San Ramon Performing Arts, the City of San Ramon's cultural arts program. The 600-seat theater has a variety of performances scheduled for its 2021 - 2022 season, including music, comedy, kids shows, and more. For a complete schedule as well as to purchase tickets, access www.SanRamonPerformingArts.com or call (925) 973-3343.
The Concerts at Wente Vineyards For more than 30 years, The Concerts at Wente Vineyards have showcased world-renowned entertainers in the winery's picturesque natural amphitheater. Guests enjoy pre-concert sunset dinners outdoors or in The Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge. Past artists include James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Harry Connick, Jr., John Fogerty, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, Train, Colbie Caillat, Third Eye Blind, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Matt Nathanson and many more. Northern California's most unique concert experiences are The Concerts at Wente Vineyards. The Concerts offer the ultimate entertainment experience, by combining stellar performances by top name headliners with the stunning ambiance of a spectacular vineyard setting.Together with superb dining and the Wente Vineyards commitment to service and hospitality, you'll find each and every performance presents a memorable evening of entertainment.
Tri-Valley arts excel at not only quality but breadth. A wide variety of visual and performing arts and related artistic interests are covered in the local scene meaning there is a little something to suit the tastes of just about anyone.
Amador Valley Quilters Amador Valley Quilters (AVQ) is a creative group of people who like to explore all aspects of the quilting world. There's something for everyone in this guild, from traditional to art quilting, handwork or machine, and every combination you can imagine. Amador Valley Quilters was founded in 1981 and has over 400 members throughout the Tri-Valley and beyond. The guild works to preserve and continue the traditions, culture, and history of quilting, including educating members on quilting techniques. The group also has a significant charitable arm, donating around 800 quilts annually to various agencies in the Bay Area through their "Community Quilts" project and are also proud to support Quilts of Valor since 2013. For more information, access www.amadorvalleyquilters.org or email email@example.com.
Cantabella Children's Chorus "Beautiful singing nurturing beautiful children," is the slogan of the Cantabella Children's Chorus, a non-profit that offers music education in Pleasanton, Livermore, and Dublin for children from kindergarten through high school. This group was started in 1992 and is now in it's 29th season. Wait list applications and audition applications are now being taken. The Cantabella Children's Chorus is guided by Artistic Director Eileen Chang. Cantabella performs in annual holiday and spring concerts, at local corporate and civic functions, and in collaboration with other musical organizations. For more information, visit www.cantabella.org or call (925) 292-2663.
Del Valle Fine Arts Del Valle Fine Arts presents world class chamber music concerts at the beautiful Bankhead Theater in downtown Livermore, California. The performers are professional musicians of national and international reputation. The organization originally was formed as a vehicle for raising funds to buy a piano that would be available for use in the community. Over the years, the focus shifted to bringing world class chamber music to the Tri-Valley area and introducing school children to classical music. Del Valle Fine Arts presents five regular season concerts per year along with occasional special concerts. Every season includes a piano recital to recognize the roots of the organization. A string quartet is also regularly included in the season offering. Del Valle Fine Arts 2020-21 season was cancelled due to the pandemic, but their 43rd season of five chamber music concerts is scheduled to begin in October 2021. The organization is managed by volunteers and is supported by ticket sales and generous contributions of patrons. Revenues and grants also support free tickets for students through high school and outreach programs in the local schools.
Diablo Regional Arts Association The Diablo Regional Arts Association is the 501(c)3 non-profit partner of the Lesher Center for the Arts. Their mission is to achieve artistic excellence within the Lesher Center by providing exceptional arts programming through the quality of live theatre, visual arts, and youth education, while providing avenues of accessibility for everyone in the East Bay to enjoy the arts, especially local students through their Arts Access School Time Program. The Lesher Center has been brimming with live performances and beautiful visual art installations at the Bedford Gallery for 30 years. The Lesher Center is renowned for providing exceptional arts programming through the mediums of live theater, visual arts, and youth education, while providing avenues of accessibility for everyone to enjoy the arts. In addition to investing in professional groups like Center Repertory Company, Smuin Ballet, California Symphony, Contra Costa Musical Theatre, and the Bedford Gallery, DRAA presents their own productions this year. On October 2nd, the On Broadway Gala will be held to raise funds for supporting arts education and artistic excellence initiatives at the Lesher Center. DRAA is helping to ensure this remains possible, and accessible, well into the future. Learn more and support our mission at www.draa.org.
Free Shakespeare in the Park In 2021, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival celebrates 38 years as the Bay Area's acclaimed provider of free and accessible Shakespeare performances and education programs. The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to arts education, using its programs to foster a life-long appreciation of learning and the arts. Each year, the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival schedules performances of one of Shakespeare's plays in different locations throughout the Bay Area including the Tri-Valley. For more information, access www.sfshakes.org.
Harmony Fusion Chorus Harmony Fusion Chorus is proud to be a chapter of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performances. Sweet Adelines International boasts an international membership of nearly 27,000 women, including more than 1,200 registered quartets and 600 choruses. The organization's motto is "Harmonize the world." The chorus, under the direction of Barbara Vander Putten, meets both online and in person including locations in Livermore. Visitors are welcome to listen or join in the singing. For information on the group or to catch their next performance, visit www.harmonyfusion.org or call (925) 373-0210.
Las Positas College Performing Arts Las Positas College offers performances including music, theater, speech, and dance in its main stage and black box theaters, all designed to provide knowledge, training, and practical experience to its participants. All performances are held in the Barbara F. Mertes Center for the Arts on campus. Information on music, speech, and dance events is available at www.laspositascollege.edu.
Livermore-Amador Symphony The 2021-2022 season of the Livermore-Amador Symphony, now entering its 57th year, begins with a free family concert at 3:00 pm, just before Livermore's Holiday Parade. The group's formal concert calendar kicks off with a full-length program consisting of Winter Dreams, Angels and Demons, Firebird and Frederic Chiu and Brilliance and Beethoven. All performances take place at Livermore's Bankhead Theater. For further information, access livermoreamadorsymphony.org.
Livermore Art Association The Livermore Art Association (LAA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1957 to promote public interest and appreciation in the fine arts and in the fine crafts, as well as to encourage the artistic progress and the development of its membership. We invite you to become a member of LAA. The membership is open to anyone interested in the fields of arts and crafts. The LAA supports the Livermore Art Association Gallery at 2155 3rd Street, Livermore, a co-op sales opportunity for qualified member artists to display their work for sale and/or rental. The public is invited to visit and shop at the Gallery.
Livermore Valley Opera The award-winning Livermore Valley Opera is a professional opera company founded in 1992, and presents two fully-staged and fully orchestrated operas. These operas take place at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore in the spring and fall. This gem of a theater features excellent sight lines and acoustics, helping the Livermore Valley Opera to attract internationally acclaimed singers and stage directors for their performances. All opera productions have English supertitles (opera's version of subtitles) so that the audience will always understand the story as it unfolds.
Pacific Chamber Orchestra The Pacific Chamber Orchestra is a 40 piece symphony orchestra composed of professional musicians from throughout the Bay Area. It was founded over 20 years ago by its talented conductor and musical director, Lawrence Kohl. The orchestra combines the precision of a small ensemble with surprising dynamic range and power. Pacific Chamber Orchestra is notable for innovative and insightful interpretations of music of all eras. Performances take place at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore. For more information or to purchase tickets, access www.pacificchamberorchestra.org/ or call (800) 630-7836.
Pleasanton Art League Founded in 1969, the Pleasanton Art League is a group of local artists and patrons who are dedicated to making the visual arts an integral part of the fabric of life in the Tri-Valley Area. A PAL Members Show takes place from September to October at the Firehouse Arts Center. PAL also sponsors a variety of classes and workshops at both the Firehouse and the Bothwell. Access www.pal-art.com for details.
Pleasanton Chamber Players The Pleasanton Chamber Players, founded in 2003, are a loosely-knit group of professional musicians who perform and teach in the Bay Area. Under the leadership of classical harpist Dominique Piana, the group has become the ensemble-in-residence at Pleasanton's Firehouse Arts Center. Piana is also available for solo harp performances. For more information, visit www.DominiquePiana.com or call (925) 455-5333.
Pleasanton Community Concert Band Pleasanton Community Concert Band, founded in 1975 and conducted by Bob Williams since 1989, provides an opportunity for local residents to develop their talents and participate in musical performances. The band sponsors three free concerts each year and performs at a variety of other events. Upcoming appearances include a September 25th show at the Pleasanton Farmers' Market, a Family Concert on November 7th, and a Holiday Concert on November 24th. For more information, visit pleasantonband.org or call (925) 846-5897.
Shakespeare's Associates Producers of the annual Livermore Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare's Associates currently performs two plays each year at Wente Vineyards Estate Winery along with a number of other inventive presentations and activities. Go to livermoreshakes.org or call (925) 443-BARD (2273) for additional information.
Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre This popular non-profit volunteer organization is currently on hiatus but hopes to return the Bankhead Theater soon. Call (925) 462-2121 or access trivalleyrep.com for details.
Valley Concert Chorale Valley Concert Chorale is the Tri-Valley's premier adult chorus. Under the direction of John Emory Bush, the Chorale seeks to offer a variety of choral performances to serve the diverse tastes of the Tri-Valley communities. Valley Concert Chorale's mission is to engage audiences in the transforming power of music by sharing our passion and joy in live performance. Its members are dedicated to excellence in singing choral music of all genres, nurturing the next generation of singers, and supporting musical endeavors in the Tri-Valley. The Chorale's educational outreach program, Music In the Schools, presented original musical performances in Tri-Valley elementary schools for 22 years to celebrate and demonstrate the joy of music and singing. The Chorale collaborates with local high schools and colleges, and with Cantabella Children's Chorus, in concert presentations. For information and tickets, go to www.valleyconcertchorale.org or call 925.866.4003.
Valley Dance Theatre Valley Dance Theatre has been providing professionally staged dance performances featuring talented local dancers since 1980. Now the resident ballet company of Livermore's Bankhead Theater, Valley Dance Theater will bring its full-length production of The Nutcracker to the Bankhead stage for a series of performances in December. The company also presents a mid-year showcase of local talent and choreography and runs an affiliated school offering classical dance training in studio classes for ages 2.5 to adult. For tickets, information, and more, visit valleydancetheatre.com or call (925) 243-0925.