Bill Morris, DMF Communications
Perhaps not as well-known as other Foundation committees such as Grants, Summer Twilight Concerts, Young Del Mar or DMF Talks, the Cultural Arts committee is arguably the crown jewel of the Del Mar Foundation. Cultural Arts is a very robust and productive group who have a razor focus on their two amazing programs: the wildly popular “First Thursdays” subscription series and the “Bluegrass and Beyond” concert series.
In the First Thursdays series, the Cultural Arts group, now in its 18th season, has somehow managed to bring ten renowned mostly local acts to the Powerhouse on the First Thursday of each of the months of September through June. Each season’s acts consist of musical performances, with an occasional play (or staged reading) mixed in for variety. Every seat is available only as a 10-month subscription for the low price of $175, and the number of seats is limited by the small size of the series’ main venue, The Del Mar Powerhouse. It goes without saying then that First Thursdays subscriptions sell out quickly every year after tickets go on sale in late April or early May. Announcements of the availability of the next season’s tickets are mailed to both current ticket holders and members of a waiting list that was accumulated over the year. This “fair by design” process means that all who want a First Thursdays ticket have the same chance of purchasing one, whether they are existing ticket holders or not. The current chair of the Cultural Arts committee, Donna Shaw, brings considerable expertise and energy to the committee’s functions.
I’ve highlighted the history of Bluegrass and Beyond in a previous column, marveling at the ability to bring multiple world class Bluegrass artists each year to an intimate venue like the Del Mar Powerhouse. The Cultural Arts committee holds their monthly meetings at the Powerhouse starting at 8:30 am on the first Wednesday following that month’s First Thursdays performance. Cultural Arts welcomes new committee members, and invites them to come by a committee meeting to learn more. For any other information about the Cultural Arts committee, the First Thursdays program or to be added to the waiting list for the 2018-2019 season ticket sales, send an email to email@example.com and be sure to include your postal address.