Arts & Culture

Local Artists and Performers Create Vibrant Cultural Life

With its spectacular coastal scenery, romantic beach town ambiance, and casual lifestyle, Dana Point is a natural draw for residents who are artists, writers, educators, and professionals with an appreciation for arts and culture. Music, art, and theater are woven into the fabric of the community and a part of everyday life.

Many festivals and special events celebrate the arts, whether it’s the art exhibits and musical performances during the Festival of Whales and Tall Ships Festival, or a symphony orchestra accompanying the Fourth of July fireworks display in the Harbor. Some of Dana Point’s largest festivals are based entirely on celebrating the arts: the annual Doheny Blues Festival and the Doheny Days Music & International Food Festival.

Between events, a number of local groups actively foster community interest in and appreciation for the arts and cultural activities. They provide venues for performances and exhibits, workshops and networking opportunities for artist to enhance their skills, and they encourage arts education in the local schools. These groups include Dana Point Coastal Arts, Dana Point Fine Arts, Dana Point Theater Company, and the Dana Point Historical Society.

The South Orange County School of the Arts (SOCSA) is an award-winning performing and visual arts academy within Dana Hills High School. It provides an in-depth educational opportunity to talented young artists.

More than 400 talented high schools students attend SOCSA and they put on an incredible 100 performances per year, from plays and musicals to jazz and opera, dance, video, art and photo exhibitions. Their performances and plays at the state-of-the-art 273-seat Porthole Theatre at Dana Hills High School campus are a highlight of the community’s cultural life.

The Capistrano Valley Symphony, based in Dana Point, performs exciting musical programs at a variety of venues, both indoors and out, from public park facilities to local playhouses and hotel ballrooms. The performances vary from their “Riviera Pops” series to chamber music and includes special event programs on the 4th of July and during the winter holiday season.

Each year the Dana Point Theater Company produces “Shakespeare: Dana Point,” an outdoor production at Heritage park where local actors give a unique interpretation to one of Shakespeare’s classics.

Several community groups meet at the Community House in Dana Point, home of the Woman’s Club since 1953. The Community House has theatre seating for up to 120 and is often used for performances and exhibitions. It is home to “Lord of the Strings Solo Guitar Concert Series” which brings world renowned artists to Dana Point. One of the tenants of The Community House is the Dana Point Historical Society, which sponsors many of the art exhibits and cultural actives of the community.

With lots of local talent, numerous venues, frequent opportunities to perform, and active community support, residents and visitors alike enjoy a rich experience in the arts and culture year-round at Dana Point.