Our organization is the culmination of years of work by a dedicated group of volunteer
community members. The Gilroy Arts Alliance (GAA) is a merger of two arts organizations in Gilroy. The original organization, TheaterAngels Art League, was one of the oldest nonprofit organizations in our community, founded in the early 1970s, originally in support of the local drama organization that grew into South Valley Civic Theater. It eventually broadened its mission to support the entire arts community of Gilroy. Gilroy Arts Alliance was originally launched under the nonprofit umbrella of Theater Angels to help foster a broad-based coalition of artists and arts patrons to benefit the arts community and to the future Gilroy Center for the Arts. The members of the two groups decided to unify and operate as one organization. In 2012, to more specifically identify ourselves, we respectfully retired the name Theater Angels Art League, and became one unified organization, Gilroy Arts Alliance.
We advocate on behalf of the arts in Gilroy and the surrounding areas and support the artistic and cultural activities of the creative talent in our community. Besides providing human and material support to numerous artistic organizations, the Gilroy Arts Alliance continues to organize and present a free summer outdoor music series (5th Street Live), in collaboration
Our mission is to build a collaborative arts community, promoting and supporting multicultural arts in and around Gilroy.
with Gilroy Downtown Business Association (GDBA). We've hosted an annual fundraiser called Diva/Divos Concert showcasing local vocalists. We also collaborate (again with GDBA) on the annual Gilroy Art and Wine Stroll and Beer Crawl.
GAA also publicizes local arts events and builds awareness of arts-related policies and issues with email newsletters to a database of local arts supporters. We actively raise funds to provide financial support to a variety of visual and performing arts groups, artists’ scholarships, and arts education in the schools. A particularly exciting and huge leap forward for our organization occurred in 2010, when the Gilroy Arts Alliance leased the property that the City of Gilroy purchased for the future Gilroy Center for the Arts. The 2.5 acre property in downtown Gilroy will someday be the site of a planned 35,000 square foot multi-use performance and visual arts center. Budget concerns, the recession, and consequent lack of building impact fees have put the actual construction on hold for the foreseeable future. In order to “lay claim” to the property so that its use was not re-directed away from the arts AND to build and strengthen the audience and arts organizations, the Gilroy Arts Alliance took on the major step of using the site and an existing 5,000 square foot building as an Interim Center for the Arts. The exhausting re-do of a run-down second hand store building, entailing countless volunteer hours and donated materials, began in 2010 and has resulted in a useable space for art exhibits, small sized performances, and workshops. Volunteer docents have made it possible for us to keep the Center open to the public. In the spring of 2010 , we offered a portion of the bare land we lease to a group of community farmers: a thriving community garden, the Gilroy Demonstration Garden, was built, planted and brought to harvest every summer since. Artists have gathered there frequently for plein air painting.
Our first exhibit of local artists’ works was held in September 2010 and we haven't stopped yet. In January 2011, we partnered with a brand new Limelight Actors Theater, and created our first Resident Theater Company. That same year, we were given a generous donation by the Christopher Family, resulting in a much needed renovation of the Center. With new floors, lights, storage, parking lot, lighted marquee and new ADA compliant restroom, we began planning even more exhibits, programs, classes, workshops and meetings at the Center. In 2013 we contracted our first Operation Manager for the Center and we have continued to grow. Today, the Center is a busy place, bursting with creative activities and quickly gaining community interest and support. It is a focal point for a broader community interest in the arts and serves as a foundation upon which we will build a cohesive, involved arts community in Gilroy.