The mission of the Arts and Recreation (Arts + Rec) Department is to create a better community through services that strengthen heart, mind and body. Our sustainable, universally acclaimed programs make Walnut Creek a great place to live, work and play.
The Arts + Rec department, directed by Kevin Safine, oversees Aquatics, the Bedford Gallery, the Boundary Oak Golf Course, Center for Community Arts, the Lesher Center for the Arts, the Public Art Program, Recreation Services, and Social Services for seniors and physically and developmentally disabled youth and adults. Together our programs contribute to making Walnut Creek a regional destination, promote arts appreciation, community engagement and volunteerism, fitness and wellness, and personal enrichment, and contribute to the City's overall economic vitality.
The Aquatics program operates and maintains the Clarke and Larkey Aquatics Centers, which host hundreds of thousands of visitors annually for programs including recreational swimming, lap swimming, swim lessons, water exercise and lifeguard training.
Bedford Gallery, located in the Lesher Center for the Arts (1601 Civic Drive), exhibits the work of historic, modern and contemporary artists. The Gallery is dedicated to providing the public with opportunities to learn about visual arts through public programs that are varied, accessible, challenging and educational. Among many programs offered at the Gallery, youth tours welcome over 2000 children each year from school groups (grades K-12), scout troops, camps, clubs and other youth groups.
Boundary Oak Golf Course boasts an 18-hole championship golf course, a driving range and practice area with putting and chipping greens, and is the perfect venue for Golf Tournaments, weddings, banquets, golf lessons, clinics and camps.
For over 50 years the City of Walnut Creek's Center for Community Arts (formerly Civic Arts Education) program has been the regional center of arts learning -- promoting new visions, supporting exploration, stimulating creative thought and encouraging self-expression. The division brings high-quality visual and performing arts instruction and educational experiences to participants of all ages. Courses are offered at two locations, the Shadelands Art Center at 111 N. Wiget and downtown at Civic Park at 1313 Civic Drive.
Center REPertory Company is the resident, professional theatre company of the Lesher Center for the Arts. This multiple award-winning company produces 6-8 productions each year from September through June – a variety of musicals, dramas and comedies, both classic and contemporary. In addition, Center REP runs the Young REP Theatre Workshop, an intensive 6-week training program for youth taught by professional theatre practitioners. Center REP is recognized as one the finest mid-sized professional theatres in the Bay Area.
For 25 years, the Lesher Center for the Arts (1601 Civic Drive) has engaged the community through over 700 annual presentations of drama, dance, theater, music, newsmakers and comedy. The Center includes the 800-seat Hofmann Theatre, the 300-seat Margaret Lesher Theatre, the 130-seat Vukasin Theatre and is home to the City’s own professional Center Repertory Company and many other local performance groups.
Walnut Creek officially adopted its Public Art Program in 2000. Since the Program’s inception, artwork has been installed at Olympia Plaza, Ygnacio Center, the Corners, City Hall Plaza, the new Downtown Library and more. Bedford Gallery docents offer guided walking tours of Walnut Creek's prime public art works located around downtown. Tours start at 11 a.m. on the third Saturday of the month.
Recreation Services provides a variety of recreation programs and classes for pre-school ages to active adults, including personal enrichment, dance and movement, science and nature, sports, fashion and beauty, and food and cooking. The division also enriches the lives of seniors and physically and developmentally disabled youth and adults by providing relevant and stimulating programs and services.