DMF: First Thursdays, 25 Years Strong!

In January 2000, shortly after the December 1999 Grand Opening of the newly renovated Powerhouse Community Center, I had the great pleasure of convening the first-ever meeting of DMF’s Cultural Arts Committee at the Powerhouse. Our goal: to organize a diverse series of cultural events at the Powerhouse –music, lectures, theater, and more. We launched the First Thursdays series  that very year.


We quickly learned that with its convivial wine and cheese reception followed by an inspiring cultural program, First Thursdays was a great hit with our community—and a great way to build community. By bringing great cultural events to Del Mar, we were also furthering DMF’s mission to “promote civic pride and cohesiveness.” With its enduring and growing popularity, in time, the Powerhouse could no longer accommodate all who wanted to attend.


The vision of a larger venue for community events is what led DMF to ask the City to approve a larger Town Hall than originally planned. The architects creatively designed a glass wall that folds away to turn Town Hall and the Breezeway into a single space with a 200-seat capacity space, instead of 100 as originally planned. First Thursdays thrives in this acoustically-excellent space. So do the lectures that are now presented separately as DMF Talks – inspiring and informing us across a wide range of topics: science, environment, technology, art. Best of all, these community events actually do build civic pride and cohesiveness, making Del Mar a better place for us all.

Photo by David Cupp