Giving Back to the Community
Support and Sustainability - For the Community and the Arts
With the needs of the community as a priority, the Center develops significant and sustainable community partnerships with a particular focus on local performing arts groups, diverse, high quality programming, and arts education for all ages. A state of the art facility that is responsive to the needs of our audience and performers, form supportive community partnerships, nurture our partnership with the City of Carmel for the benefit of the entire community; and, foster economic vitality and local development.
In addition to its state-of-the-art theater, now equipped for multi-media performances, the Sunset Center complex also houses meeting rooms, classrooms, an art gallery, rehearsal studio, intimate performance areas, and other public spaces. Sunset Cultural Center is proud to serve the community by providing gathering spaces for community and civic affairs; county elections, classrooms for art workshops, music, dance, and more; and a variety of venues for citizens to experience the performing arts, photography, art of all genres, music, dance, and other cultural events.
The discounts that Sunset Center grants to our many users, community, non-profit organizations, residents and assistance to outside presenters is substantial - $232,646 annually. We want to continue to support these groups but cannot do so without assistance. Community engagement applies to “the process by which community benefit organizations and individuals build ongoing, permanent relationships for the purpose of applying a collective vision for the benefit of a community. “ As our mission states – to serve as a multi-purpose gathering place that enriches, educates, inspires and entertains Monterey County residents and visitors by presenting performances, visual arts, educational programs and hosting public and private events. Our operating principles also follow this dictum:
By offering the assistance that our community needs in order to achieve our goals and bring art into the daily lives of those around is not only altruistic, it is necessary.
Sunset Center Tenants
Sunset Center serves as a home for complementary organizations such as the Bach Festival, Center for Photographic Art, Arts Council for Monterey County, Forest Theater Guild, Dance Kids of Monterey County, Friends of the Harrison Memorial Library, Yoga Center of Carmel and Carmel Adult School. As a community center, Sunset Center provides this tenant space at dramatically reduced rental rates. Our total annual rental income for all spaces is $ 77,848.00 which equates to an average per sq. ft. cost of less than $1.00. The tenant rent that we charge is 50% less, over $70,000, than the regular office space rent just two blocks away.
City of Carmel
The Carmel City departments and City support groups use the meeting rooms at Sunset Center at no cost. This includes free use for the Police and Fire Departments, City departmental meetings, Carmel Public Library Foundation Literary lectures and Board meetings, the Friends of Sunset Foundation, the Carmel Garden Club, Forest and Beach Commission, and the Friends of the Forest monthly board meetings. In calendar year 2011, City and City support groups used the Sunset Center meeting rooms for 47 various meetings. If Sunset Center charged its normal, however low, rental rates for these rooms, this would have generated $21,300 in revenue.
Non-profit Organizations and Residents
Sunset Center also offers meeting room rentals to other non-profit organizations and all Carmel residents at a significantly reduced rate – one half of the normal rental fee. Major users include the Center for Photographic Art, Monterey County Arts Council, California Native Plant Society, Carmel Residents Association, Central Coast Writers Group, Cypress Inn Artist Retreat and Workshops, Central Coast Art Association, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Shabbat Shalom Hebraic Studies, Sustainable Carmel, AAUW, and the US Post Office. In 2011, these non-profit organizations and Carmel residents used the meeting rooms 165 times for either half day or full day meetings. By offering community residents and non-profit businesses the lower half price rate, Sunset Center did not realize half of the revenue it would have made – and additional $21,550.
The Sunset Center Marjorie Evans Gallery supports local, regional, and national artists. The gallery is over 800 sq. ft. and can display up to 60-70 pieces of art. Artists submit proposals to Sunset Center and the Gallery curator also seeks out artists, photographers and sculptures for exhibits. Artists exhibit their work on a monthly basis at no cost to the artist. Conversely, other non-profit or member galleries charge at minimum $800 for a single artist to use their exhibit space for a month. The Sunset Center prepares and sends out press releases, develops take-away programs for gallery visitors, curates and hangs the exhibit and provides one open gallery reception – again, at no cost to the artist. Additionally, Sunset Center does not ask for any commission on work sold during the exhibit and the gallery is open daily to the public at no charge. On an annual basis, this value is over $9,000 in gallery rent alone. However, our goal for the gallery is to bring a variety of art to the community, to make it easier for people to have access to and to enhance people’s knowledge and appreciation for a wide range of art mediums.
Two local festivals are now held at Sunset Center each year and use all areas of the facility at highly discounted rates.
The Carmel Art and Film Festival is held in October of each year and is a week long event occupying all areas of Sunset Center including the art gallery. The festival brings in actors, directors, artists and writers from around the world. The Carmel Art and Film Festival screens more than 75 films in a half dozen venues in Carmel including the Sunset Center and under the stars on Carmel Beach. The Clint Eastwood Filmmakers Award is presented at Sunset Center.
The Authors and Ideas Festival is also a major annual event that is held in September of each year. Now in its fifth year, this 5 day event presents more than 35 award winning authors and speakers, including authors of New York Times best-sellers, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winners, as well as winners of virtually every prestigious literary award and much more. The festival has presented Condaleeza Rice, Sandra Day O’Connor, David Brooks and Barry Scheck to name but a few. This event draws audiences from around the world and affords attendees the opportunity to meet and speak to the authors.
Both the Carmel Art and Film Festival and the Authors and Ideas Festival are held at Sunset Center at dramatically reduced rates. Free and student literary days are offered to local students as well. The Carmel Art and Film Festival is discounted by $9,800; the Authors and Ideas Festival is discounted by $9,250. Because of the value these types of festivals bring into our community and the high degree of art and literacy enthusiasm it instills in both the youth and adults of the community, the Sunset Center offers its space and staff at the reduced rates.
The California Presenters, the Annual Western Area Doctors Conference, San Francisco Paramedics Association and Rotary Clubs, are also held at the Sunset Center from time to time. As non-profit organizations, all of these groups pay the half price non profit room rental fees. Additionally, the week long Doctors conference, which also uses the theater, is discounted at $7,682.
The historic and beautifully landscaped outdoor areas are used for exhibit space and receptions related to Sunset Center events and may be reserved by the public for weddings, community and city events, and other special occasions. These spaces are provided at no cost for the City Annual Birthday Party, the Run in the Name of Love Annual Race, Homecrafter’s Marketplace and Annual City Community Meeting. The full day rate for this exterior meeting and event space is $1200 per use; however, it too is offered to the above groups at no cost – a value of $4,800.
Historic Presenting Partners
Four arts companies – the Monterey County Symphony, Carmel Bach Festival, Carmel Music Society, and Chamber Music Monterey Bay – are our Historic Presenting Partners. All present their season performances regularly at the Sunset Center. In addition to using the theater for their performances, additional space is used for rehearsals, audience events, receptions and lectures. As a Historic Presenting Partner, all use the facility at considerably reduced rates and have booking priority over other full cost events.
The Monterey County Symphony performing since 1947, produces and presents musical programs, educational activities and community events possible to engage people of the Central Coast and the Salinas Valley in the discovery of symphonic music. Each season, the Symphony presents 12 two-day performances in the Sunset Center Theater. They are offered the theater, rehearsal studios, load in time, box office use, etc. at the non profit rate. The regular theater rental is $2,000 per use; the non profit rate is $900. This equates to a discount of $13,200.
The Carmel Bach Festival has full use of the entire facility for a one month period. The Bach Festival, now in its 75th year in Carmel, celebrates the works, inspiration, and ongoing influence of J.S. Bach worldwide by offering a festival experience integrating music, education, and ideas. The Festival is a 15-day world class celebration of music and ideas inspired by the historical and ongoing influence of Johann Sebastian Bach. It offers rich musical experiences featuring national and international artists in a variety of settings enjoyed by 22,000 attendees each year coming from local, regional, national, and international locales. The Bach Festival occupies all areas of the Sunset Center for the month of July each year. In addition to the actual 15 day festival, the remainder of time is used for rehearsals, free school events and festival set up. This annual event is discounted by $44,184.
The Carmel Music Society has presented concerts by renowned classical artists from around the world since 1927. Now in their 85th year, the Carmel Music Society continues their tradition of bringing great classical music to the Monterey Bay Region. This group presents nine performances at the Sunset Center Theater including one student instrumental and one vocals competition as well as a winner’s concert – offered at no cost to the public. Since the Carmel Music Society is a non profit, they also receive the reduced theater rental rate of $900. This represents a discount of $9,900.
Chamber Music Monterey Bay also performs at Sunset Center. Their charter is to enrich the cultural life of the community by promoting high quality chamber music through world class concert series and community events – a mission that Sunset Center truly supports. The Chamber presents five performances each season as well as pre concert lectures, artist outreach programs and children attending a performance with an adult, receive free admission. Also a non-profit, Chamber Music Monterey Bay is charged the lower $900 theater rental charge. Their five performances are discounted by $5,500.
Based in San Francisco, CA, Smuin Ballet is a collaborative effort. They used to have 3 shows (3 performances each for a total of nine performances) at Sunset Center but due to their budget restrictions and waning sales figures, they will now do 2 shows (4 performances) at Sunset Center. Both donors and Sunset Center have assisted Smuin Ballet so that they can continue bringing their new dance works, ballets by modern masters and the uniquely entertaining works of Michael Smuin – all danced by top artists from across the country – to Carmel. The company’s discount this season amounts to $3,780.
Carmel Union School District
The property that Sunset Center occupies was once owned by the Carmel Union School District. As part of the agreement after the City of Carmel purchased the facility, the school district receives a certain amount of free days of theater use per year – 10. These days are used for a variety of school performances including those by their dance and theater departments, holiday performances, etc. These events always command a full house and are enjoyed by the family members of students. The School district’s discount is calculated at $2,700 per year.
Carmel Music Society "Clarissa Lyons, soprano. Winner of the 2012 CMS Vocal Competition"
Friday, May 31 at 8:00 pm Carmel Music Society "2013 Piano Competition Finals and Winners Concert"
Saturday, June 1 at 10:00 am Smuin Ballet Spring Program
Friday, June 7 at 8:00 pm CAPA Spring Recital
Friday, June 14 at 6:00 pm CAPA Spring Recital
Saturday, June 15 at 6:00 pm CAPA Spring Recital
Sunday, June 16 at 6:00 pm Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew
Friday, August 16 at 8:00 pm Los Lonely Boys
Wednesday, September 4 at 8:00 pm Vince Gill
Sunday, October 27 at 7:30 pm