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Arts Orange County

 17620 Fitch Avenue, Suite 255
 Irvine, CA 92614
[P] (714) 556-5160 x 17
[F] (714) 556-5099
[email protected]
Richard Stein
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA ArtsOC
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 33-0668009 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

Arts Orange County is the leader in building appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County, California.

Mission Statement

Arts Orange County is the leader in building appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County, California.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2020
Projected Expenses $607,000.00
Projected Revenue $611,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Orange County Imagination Celebration
  • Dia del Nino/Day of the Child
  • Creative Edge Lecture
  • VOICES: Veterans Storytelling Project

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Arts Orange County is the leader in building appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County, California.

Background Statement

Arts Orange County was formally established in 1995 by Founding Executive Director Bonnie Brittain Hall and a board comprised of community leaders, arts leaders and arts educators.  It was designed to fill a gap created when a prior countywide arts services organization, the Orange County Arts Alliance, disbanded in 1987.  Arts Orange County was greatly assisted in its development and maintains a very close partnership with the Orange County Community Foundation, which also provided initial office space to the organization. 
While 20% of the local arts agencies nationwide are governmental departments, the rest are independent nonprofit organizations, and Arts Orange County falls in the latter category.  Designated, but not funded, by the County of Orange as its official local arts agency, Arts Orange County works hard to contribute to the growth and success of the creative community here.
In planning new programs and assessing existing ones, Arts Orange County references John Kreidler's model of a healthy arts ecology, striving to address three primary areas:  cultural literacy, cultural participation, and the professional arts sector.

Impact Statement

Dia del Nino/Day of the Child - Presented eighth annual two-day festival of arts for families and children.  The 2019 event was held at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, and was attended by more than 9,000.  Dia del Nino is designed to honor the role of the child in society and to provide highly-engaging arts experiences for families in the community.  Funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Pacific Life Foundation, Wells Fargo Bank and the California Arts Council.

Creative Edge Lecture - Tenth annual lecture in March 2019 featured Vijay Gupta, a 2019 MacArthur Fellow and world-renowned violinist who founded Street Symphony, a nonprofit organization providing music experiences for the homeless in Los Angeles. The lecture brings the arts, education and business community together to learn about how creativity is integral to all human endeavors.  Major funder:  The Boeing Company

Cultural Arts Master Plan for the City of Costa Mesa - In 2018, ArtsOC was contracted by the City of Costa Mesa to conduct a six month community-wide process and prepare a cultural arts master plan. The plan was completed in 2019.

Needs Statement

Dia del Nino/Day of the Child 2020 - This program was initiated through a one time only $50,000 two-year grant from The James Irvine Foundation, which expired in 2013.  Approved funding for 2020: National Endowment for the Arts ($25,000), California Arts Council ($16,200). The cost of producing the festival is $60,000. - ArtsOC's countywide arts calendar attracts 35,000 visitors monthly and has 10,000 e-mail subscribers.  We wish to grow those numbers to 50,000 and 15,000, respectively, in 2019 through a marketing campaign that would focus primarily on social media.  $5,000 would fund a one-month campaign.
Board Membership - ArtsOC currently has a Board of Directors comprised of 22 members, and is seeking to identify and meet with individuals who have an interest in the mission of our organization and a desire to serve.
Endowment - ArtsOC presently has two very small endowment funds housed at the Orange County Community Foundation.  One is for general purposes and the other is to support the annual Imagination Celebration.  Contributions to these funds of $5,000 or more will help ArtsOC to continue its effort to build them and their impact.
Creative Edge Lecture - ArtsOC seeks sponsors for its 2020 lecture.  Past speakers have included noted authorities on creativity and innovation in business and education:  Juan Felipe Herrera, Daniel H. Pink, Sir Ken Robinson, Randy Nelson, and Tom Kelley.  We are in the process of selecting our 2020 speaker.  Support opportunities for the lecture begin at $2,500.

CEO Statement

Arts Orange County draws upon its core competencies in order to maximize the impact of the services it provides to the community.  In addition to the free services it offers, ArtsOC provides low-cost, customized, in-depth consulting and project management outsourcing for local arts organizations that need special attention or lack the in-house expertise or resources to implement their projects.
Donors who wish to assist other organizations they support through services such as these are invited to contact Arts Orange County for more information.  We welcome contributions designed to help your favorite organizations by funding a capacity-building consultancy for them conducted by ArtsOC.

Board Chair Statement


Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer


Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Central Orange County
West Orange County
South Orange County
North Orange County
Orange County, California

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Arts & Humanities Councils & Agencies
  2. -
  3. -



Orange County Imagination Celebration

A month-long festival of free and low-cost arts experiences for children and families in Orange County, California, celebrating its 34th Anniversary in 2019.
Budget  $90,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other General Arts Presenting
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
First-time arts experiences for children and youth.
Program Long-Term Success 
Expanded cultural literacy and arts participation by the public.
Program Success Monitored By 
Attendance reports and surveys from participating organizations.
Examples of Program Success 
ArtsOC often receives comments from individual adults that their first exposure to the arts in our community was through the Imagination Celebration, when they were children.  The number of arts organizations participating is now at 50 or more each year.

Dia del Nino/Day of the Child

In 2012, through a grant from The James Irvine Foundation, Arts Orange County initiated this one day festival of arts for underserved children and families.  More than 30 distinct arts experiences are offered, including performances by children, community members and professional artists, along with hands-on workshops and other creative opportunities in the visual arts, literary arts, spoken word and theatre.  The festival currently attracts more than 6,000 attendees annually and is held at OC Fair & Event Center.
Budget  $40,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Cultural Festivals
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Hispanic, Latino Heritage Asian, Pacific Islander Heritage
Program Short-Term Success 
Participants are encouraged to tap into their own creativity through collaboration with highly-skilled practitioners engaging in diverse arts activities representing all disciplines and many different cultural traditions, culminating in meaningful and inspiring arts experiences. A second outcome of livability is addressed due to both the communal nature of this project and the anticipated long-lasting relationships fostered between participants and arts organizations during these events.
Program Long-Term Success 

Día del Niño and its affiliated pre- and post-festival events are primarily aimed to constitute a true celebration of audience engagement.

Program Success Monitored By 

We will consider these outcomes to have been achieved if the following indicators are recorded during an evaluation process based upon face-to-face exit participant exit surveys in English and in Spanish:

 - participant identifies her/his artistic experiences to have been hands-on, rather than passive

 - participant understands what is involved in the creative process and wants to experience more of the same

 - participant sees her/himself as creative and capable of meaningful participation regardless of skill level

 - participant experiences a sense of self-satisfaction and can articulate what aspects appealed to her/him (i.e. working with others, trying something new, etc.)

 - participant wants to know where to go to learn the skills of creating her/his own art

 - participant feels that her/his experience successfullycaptured the tradition of the Día del Niño in a meaningful and important way.


Examples of Program Success 
Response by the public (through the survey mechanism) and media to the 2012 Dia del Nino validated the premise that such an event was a much-needed addition.

Orange County's comprehensive arts & cultural events resource includes hundreds of events listings at more than 600 venues and producing/presenting organizations.
Budget  $60,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  Spark-e!, a dedicated e-mail blast offered several times weekly to an opt-in subscriber list of 10,000, is offered at low-cost to local arts organizations to promote specific opportunities open to the public. It has proven to be an effective audience development tool, and remains in high demand.
Program Long-Term Success  Since its November 2008 launch, it has attracted more than 1.5 million visitors. A widget feed carries SparkOC on the Orange County Register's website Arts page. OC ARTS, a weekly e-newsletter to two thousand opt-in subscribers, offers highlights of Orange County's available arts experiences plus access to free and discounted tickets. It is published and distributed for ArtsOC by the Orange County Register.
Program Success Monitored By  Website analytics and participation by local organizations are the primary metrics by which the success of this program is monitored.
Examples of Program Success  SparkOC is followed by more than 12,000 on Twitter. Demand is strong for Spark-e! email blasts. Orange County Register has renewed its partnership for 2015-16.

Creative Edge Lecture

The Creative Edge Lecture features prominent thought-leaders on the subject of creativity in all human endeavor.  Past speakers have included U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, Daniel H. Pink, Sir Ken Robinson, Randy Nelson, Tom Kelley, John Maeda, Sarah Lewis and Charles Limb.  It is presented in collaboration with the Orange County Department of Education, 4th District PTA and Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
Budget  $35,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other General Arts Education
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success  Depending upon the speaker, there are takeaways that provide immediate benefit in the realm of classroom instruction, curricular development and leadership development.
Program Long-Term Success  This program was originated to educate community leaders and members of the arts, education and business community about the importance of creativity in all human endeavor and the role that arts education plays in workforce development.  Each year, it brings new perspectives on the subject, and contributes to increased dialogue among the constituencies.
Program Success Monitored By  Attendance and surveys.
Examples of Program Success  Used as a motivational tool for advocacy of the state-mandated arts curriculum in public schools, it has been effective at promoting continued development of such programs in school districts throughout Orange County.

VOICES: Veterans Storytelling Project

Begun in 2015 through a pilot grant from the California Arts Council (CAC), this project is a collaboration between Arts Orange County and Heroes Hall Veterans Museum at OC Fair & Event Center.  Veterans are recruited through visits to group homes and through communications issued by a variety of local veterans service organizations.  Participants attend six weekly workshops in which they are encouraged to share their stories. These are organized & crafted into an evening of theatre in which most of the participants appear on stage to tell their stories. The program is supported in part through a grant from Orange County Community Foundation.
Budget  $20,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater
Population Served Military/Veterans Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  There is an important educational aspect to this project in that it enlightens community members about the experiences of members of our military--during combat and when they return and try to resume normal life.
Program Long-Term Success  Studies have shown that there are long-term therapeutic benefits to sharing stories, and this certainly applies to veterans--particularly those who have served in combat.
Program Success Monitored By  Attendance at the performance and the consistent participation by the veterans at the weekly workshops and performance were important ways to measure success.
Examples of Program Success  The willingness of the participating veterans to gather for an additional performance indicated that there the project had a strong and positive impact upon their lives.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Richard Stein
CEO Term Start Aug 2008
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Richard Stein - A forty year veteran theatre artist and arts administrator, Rick was on the earliest committee formed to inaugurate an arts council for Orange County, in 1989. Prior to his appointment at Arts Orange County in August, 2008, Rick transformed the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach into a major resident professional theatre over the course of 17 years as its Executive Director, growing it from an annual budget of $700,000 to $7 million, and producing more than 100 plays, including two national touring productions. There he also directed many notable productions, including several premieres. Rick came to Orange County in 1987 to serve as Managing Director of the Grove Shakespeare Festival in Garden Grove following a five year stint as Director of Lincoln Theater at the University of Hartford (Connecticut). He holds degrees from Columbia and Syracuse Universities and returned to Columbia for post-graduate study on a National Endowment for the Humanities summer fellowship. Rick was sent to Korea on a cultural exchange by the International Theatre Institute-US, has served on the executive committee of the League of Resident Theatres, and has been a contributing writer to AMERICAN THEATRE magazine. He’s a past Chair of the John Wayne Airport Arts Commission, past President of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals-Orange County Chapter, and past co-Chair (twice) of National Philanthropy Day-Orange County. He is Immediate Past President of California Arts Advocates and Californians for the Arts, statewide organizations promoting the interests of the arts community. He has been a guest lecturer at University of California, Irvine, California State University, Fullerton, and California State University, Long Beach, and was a commencement keynote speaker at the Laguna College of Art and Design. He has served as a panelist or site visitor for the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, California Arts Council, Western States Arts Federation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Riverside Arts Council, Fund for the Arts of  Louisville, Kentucky, and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, for which he also produced its State Arts Awards. Although his career has largely been in the theatre, Rick’s first post after finishing graduate school was as Executive Director of a local arts agency, Oswego County Council on the Arts, located in Fulton, New York.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Bonnie Brittain Hall Mar 1995 Sept 2008

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Arts Orange County is officially designated as the local arts agency for the County of Orange.  The designation is renewed annually by a resolution of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.  Based upon this designation, Arts Orange County is also the official state-local partner of the California Arts Council, the state arts agency.
ArtsOC has ongoing programmatic collaborations with many organizations.

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 75
Number of Contract Staff 7
Staff Retention Rate % 100%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 2
Male: 7
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments

Arts Orange County maintains business licenses with the Cities of Costa Mesa, Irvine and Santa Ana.

Foundation Comments



Board Chair Rick Smetanka
Board Chair Company Affiliation Partner-in-Charge, Audit & Business Advisory Services Group, Haskell & White LLP, Irvine
Board Chair Term Jan 2013 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mechelle Lawrence Adams Executive Director, Mission San Juan Capistrano Voting
Matt Bailey UCI Applied Innovation Voting
Dr. Stephen Barker Interim Dean, University of California, Irvine-Claire Trevor School of the Arts Voting
Ellen Breitman Retired Education Curator, Newport Harbor Art Museum (now Orange County Museum of Art) Voting
William Cusato Operations Center Director, Commercial Aviation Services, The Boeing Company Voting
Dr. Thuy Vo Dang Southeast Asian Archivist, University of California, Irvine Libraries Voting
John Evans Senior Vice President & Regional Manager (Retired), Wells Fargo Bank, Newport Beach Voting
John Forsyte President, Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, Santa Ana Voting
Sara Guerrero Founder & Artistic Director, Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble Voting
Susan K. Hori Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, Costa Mesa Voting
Robert J. Klein First Vice President-Investments, Wells Fargo Advisors, Newport Beach Voting
Kathy Kramer OC Fair & Event Center Voting
Mary Lyons Community Volunteer Voting
Ernesto Maldonado Vice President/Fiduciary, Pacific Premier Bank Voting
Dr. Jerry Mandel President, Irvine Barclay Theatre Voting
Dr. Al Mijares Orange County Superintendent of Schools Voting
Kay Mortenson Artist & Professor Emeritus of Art, Golden West College, Newport Beach --
Tim Shaw -- Voting
Rick Smetanka Partner-in-Charge, Audit & Business Advisory Services Group, Haskell & White LLP, Irvine Voting
Todd DeShields Smith Orange County Museum of Art Voting
Paula Tomei Managing Director, South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa --
Debora Wondercheck Arts & Learning Conservatory Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
David Emmes Founding Artistic Director (Retired), South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa NonVoting
Carl Neisser President, The Neisser Company NonVoting
John R. Stahr John R. Stahr Retired Partner, Latham and Watkins, Costa Mesa NonVoting
David R. White II Retired Partner, Haskell & White LLP, Irvine NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 15
Hispanic/Latino: 4
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 10
Male: 12
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 11%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments

Like most nonprofit organizations today, Arts Orange County finds it a challenge to identify and recruit new volunteers willing to serve on its Board of Directors.

Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Audit
  • Executive


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2019 to June 30, 2020
Projected Revenue $611,000.00
Projected Expenses $607,000.00
Form 990s

2018 ArtsOC Form 990 2017 (FYE 2018)

2017 ArtsOC Form 990 2016 (FYE 2017)

2016 ArtsOC Form 990 2015 (FYE 2016)

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $510,556 $510,556 $579,609
Total Expenses $459,248 $459,248 $555,649

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$186,799 $186,799 $205,789
Government Contributions $81,505 $81,505 $194,314
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $81,505 $81,505 $194,314
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- $0
Earned Revenue $148,054 $148,054 $92,408
Investment Income, Net of Losses $226 $226 $1,637
Membership Dues $24,400 $24,400 $0
Special Events $69,572 $69,572 $85,461
Revenue In-Kind -- -- $0
Other -- -- $31,274

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $364,510 $364,510 $386,791
Administration Expense $37,504 $37,504 $116,547
Fundraising Expense $57,234 $57,234 $52,311
Payments to Affiliates -- -- $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.11 1.11 1.04
Program Expense/Total Expenses 79% 79% 70%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 17% 17% 11%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $616,536 $616,536 $568,608
Current Assets $415,882 $415,882 $367,914
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- $0
Current Liabilities $19,450 $19,450 $24,269
Total Net Assets $597,086 $597,086 $544,339

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 21.38 21.38 15.16

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value $236,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.