History

History

Mount Dora Center for the Arts brings art to lives through their annual Art Festival and events,  classes and workshops,  gallery exhibits, children’s outreach programs, and through partnerships with local art studios.

  • In 1975 a group consisting of art-loving citizens organized the first Mount Dora Arts Festival. The event successfully brought in artists with beautiful artwork to the streets of downtown Mount Dora, FL.  Following this success, the citizen group committed to making the Mount Dora Arts Festival an annual event.
  • In 1984 many of the same citizens formed the Mount Dora Cultural Council. The Council’s stated goal was to celebrate the arts in Mount Dora and to promote and improve the quality of the Arts Festival. These endeavors were staffed by community volunteers and funded through membership dues and private contributions. 
  • In 1985, the Mount Dora Cultural Council decided to expand their programming to providing art education to local children and adults, in addition to hosting the Arts Festival. They secured a lease in a two story building located at 138 East 5th
  • In 1986 the Mount Dora Cultural Council Board of Trustees resolved to seek not for profit status as Mount Dora Center for the Arts (MDCA).
  • In 1995, MDCA purchased the two-story brick building at 138 East 5th Avenue where they offer art classes, gallery exhibitions and maintain administration offices.
  • In 2022, MDCA sold their outdated building. Proceeds from the sale are invested in the growth of the center and to help build a one story facility that will support a modern gallery space and educational workshop area with ADA compliance. Construction is set to begin in 2023 on Royellou Lane.
  • Today, MDCA continues to host the now nationally ranked Mount Dora Arts Festival on the 1st weekend in February. Gallery exhibitions and Art classes are still offered at the current location until construction is complete. Art outreach is also offered at satellite locations to expand and increase its reach into the community.