The Muckenthaler Cultural Center is home to exhibitions and performances that stimulate the imagination and creativity in Orange County, California.
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The Muckenthaler was built on 8.5 acres of land in 1924 as the family home of Walter and Adella Muckenthaler on top of a hill in Fullerton overlooking the town. The 18-room mansion was donated to the city by Harold Muckenthaler in 1965 who wished to turn the exquisite home into a cultural center. The home was soon turned into a museum gallery for art, a stage for live performance, classrooms, and a lobby.
The Muckenthaler was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999 and currently produces over 60 gallery exhibits, performances, events, festivals, concerts, dances, and other performing arts annually. The cultural center has won numerous awards since 2009 including the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce Quality of Life Award, Arts Program of the Year Award, a 2016 Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education for STEAM Programs, and many awards in various area magazines and newspaper publications.
The Muckenthaler currently includes an outdoor Italian garden for smaller, intimate events that can accommodate up to 150 guests, an expansive Adella Lawn that has room for over 400 where outdoor concerts and festivals are held, and the cultural center itself.
The Gallery at The Muckenthaler is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12pm-4pm and features different artists throughout the year and many artists simultaneously. The exhibits change frequently and are preplanned according to a seasonal gallery schedule. The 2017 schedule features exhibit such as Portraits and Figures: A National Watercolor Exhibition, A ceramics exchange exhibition that will happen in August outside of the gallery and The 2017 Florence Arnold Young Artist Exhibition that will be held in the winter and is sponsored by BLICK Art Materials.
Patrons of the arts can also purchase pieces from the Muckenthaler Gallery collection. Purchases may be made in person at the Cultural Center or online.
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center has performances in the auditorium, concerts on the lawn, festivals, conferences, and many other special events throughout the year. Many of these events change frequently and will be different from year to year and week to week. Most events are preplanned up to a year in advance and more information can be found in the season brochure or online through the Muchenthaler website or box office.
The Muckenthaler can also be rented for private events such as weddings and can accommodate up to 120 guests. Ceremonies are held in the Italian Garden with a sit-down reception that can be held indoors or outdoors on the Adella Lawn that is suitable for over 400 guests. Catering is provided by the Cultural Center and they have a wide array of packages to choose from with seemingly endless food choices.
Not all events at the Cultural Center are appropriate for children and families. Some events are adult only. Make sure to check program guides or the season brochure for more information regarding special event details.
Some notable annual events that the community can look forward to are:
The Muckenthaler Annual Speakeasy- Enjoy live jazz music and dancing, adult beverages, an “accident” that will befall a crime boss, and possibly even a police raid at an annual fundraiser for the cultural center.
Spring Family Arts Night- Art teachers from the Muckenthaler Arts Program work with families on this free night to explore many different art mediums that are offered in classes at “The Muck”.
Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival- For over 20 years’ hotrods have lined up on the lawn at The Muck amidst live jazz and blues music for this annual custom car show.
Summer Solstice Festival- Every summer live music, craft beer, tons of food and free entertainment bring art and the community together for an afternoon of crafts fair, and award winning community acts.
Annual Gala: Rum Runner Cruise- Held on the SS Muckenthaler, this annual Gala is to raise funds for the educational programming at the Muck and takes place on a ship where costumed passengers act out scenes from prohibition and dance the night away.
Fall Arts Student Showcase- The second half of the spring family arts night, this annual showcase is used to bring attention to the various art mediums taught at The Muckenthaler.
Day of the Dead Festival- This festival celebrates the Mexican holiday through an afternoon of arts and crafts, altar making, workshops, food and music, as well as history lessons combines with regional dance performances and other festivities.
Holiday Festival- Every December, the Muckenthaler features a variety of live stage performances and craft fairs meant to gets people into the holiday spirit including food vendors, visits with Santa Clause, and craft beer selections.
Muckenthaler Jazz Festival- This live music festival is held every summer on Thursdays. Tickets can be purchased for individual events or for the entire series.
Annual Multi-Arts Summer Camp- Every summer The Muck offers weekly camps for kids from May-August that focus on the arts from painting to photography and music. Children age 5-13 may attend camps.
Annual Farm Dinner- A five-course farm to table dinner meal with wine and a gallery tour for members only.
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center accepts proposals every year for experienced producers from the community to produce events at The Muck. Producers could host their very own event if their proposal is accepted in the gallery, on stage, or on the lawn that includes art exhibits, music or a festival. Fundraising events can also be produced as long as the producers has a non-profit status or works for a not for profit.
Not all proposals for productions are chosen. Selection for events and production is based on merit, need, quality, scheduling, and how the productions fits the mission of The Muckenthaler Cultural Center. Those chosen will have all marketing done by The Muckenthaler, receive 50% of all ticket proceeds, and have all event staff, box office ticketings, and set up, lights, sound, and technical assistance, including crew, provided by The Muckenthaler. The producer must guarantee the artists, props, costumes, sets and framing.
Most successful proposal will highlight Local North Orange County artists, underrepresented cultures in the local area, folk or jazz music, ethnic artists, or Orange County history.
One of the core missions of The Muckenthaler Cultural Center is arts education and that are many public arts experiences offered at The Muck and sponsored by The Muck that offer diverse training in many different arts programs from visual to performing classes. Children from five years old through adults from every experience level are welcome to participate in the arts programs. There are as many as 40 weekly classes offered that serve 800 students in Orange County.
Adult Education Classes:
· Various levels of painting and drawing
· Everyday ceramics with Buncheong Korean techniques
· Native American style ceramics
· Book making
Child and Teen Classes:
· Painting and drawing
· Vocal music
· Theatre and performing arts
· Fabric arts
Older Adults Programs- The LIfeskills Education Advancement Program is part of the local community college district and offers drama and quilting classes for older adult learners in the community. These classes are free of charge for those who qualify.
The Muck has also been a vital asset to the public-school system arts programs as budget cuts have prevented many school from having arts curriculums. Over 4,000 elementary school students from 40 different schools have visited The Muckenthaler to satisfy their Social Studies education requirements.
Artists at The Muck have received training in the Visual and Performing Arts curriculum to be able to combine their knowledge of the Arts with the common core standards for education to provide broad based learning for students. The Muckenthaler Cultural Center has partnered with the Fullerton School District to bring the Arts to provide 12 STEAM education programs to 19 different locations in the district which will give over 1,000 students access to arts education through the ACT grant for Anaheim.
The Muckenthaler also provides 15 hours per week of art classes to 4 different Crittenton Foster Care campuses. There is also a Arts-in-Corrections program that provides art classes to those in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Adella’s Fine Art & Gifts is named after the original owner of the mansion, Adella Muckenthaler and features many one-of-a-kind works of art that are available for purchased by local and national artists. Many of the works have been on special exhibit in the museum before. There are also seasonal items, home décor, merchandise related to a theme or special exhibit, and other gifts related to Orange County.
The gift shop is staffed by volunteers and is open during gallery hours, Wednesday through Sunday from 12pm through 4pm (Updated 4/11/2017).
Back to: Fullerton, CA
1201 W. Malvern Ave, Fullerton, CA 92833, Phone: 714-738-6595