Chino Cultural Foundation founded in 1976

The Chino Cultural Foundation began as a Blue Ribbon Committee in 1976. It was jointly established by the Chino School District and the City of Chino to generate recommendations for a community cultural arts center. In May 1977, a joint powers agreement was established and the Chino Cultural Commission was created.

With the passage of Proposition 13, neither the city nor school district were able to continue funding the commission. Members, under the leadership of art teacher Agnes Stewart, applied for non-profit status which was granted by the state in August 1980 under the name of the Chino Community Center Corporation (now also referred to as the 4C’s).

The ability of the corporation to raise enough money to bring a cultural/community center auditorium building to fruition was far outweighed by the actual cost of such a center, so the corporation turned its attention to the cultural programs existing in the area. It became the parent for many of the city’s cultural activities, such as the Fine Arts Festival, the Chino Valley Community Chorus, the Chino Community Theatre, the Chino Community Children’s Theatre, the Chino Youth Museum, and cultural and recreational scholarships.

When the city acquired the old empty telephone building on 7th Street as a part of downtown redevelopment, the corporation joined in helping raise the money to convert it into the 7th Street Theatre.

The Chino Cultural Foundation helped get the Chino Youth Museum off the ground, and reorganized itself in 2004 as a community foundation. Its chief objective was to get the long sought Chino Cultural Arts Center built. This effort made it to the drawing boards, but the demise of the city’s redevelopment agency later under state mandate sidetracked the effort.