Letter from the Executive Director

Mount Dora Center for the Arts was founded formally as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 1986.

Formally known as the Mount Dora Cultural Council , the original purpose of the group was to host the annual Mount Dora Arts Festival that was started in 1975.

Today, as a well established community organization working on behalf of the art sector, Mount Dora Center for the Arts (MDCA) understands that our artists, diverse cultural organizations, and growing history of creative expression are a crucial part of our town’s identity, vitality, and economic growth.

Regardless of race, color, ability, age, gender, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, political belief, marital status, veteran status, immigration status, and religion:

MDCA provides visual art education through virtual, on site, and remote classroom settings to support personal creative growth and careers in art.  

MDCA creates opportunities for artists to reach our underserved communities because we believe in the power of art. Art relives stress, helps to fight depression, and can raise a person’s self-esteem.  Art creates conversation and gives voice to those without words.

MDCA believes in strength through partnerships. MDCA believes in supporting the growth of all organizations and their audiences that celebrate inclusion and equity to lift up and empower all artists.

MDCA supports organizations that raise funds to offer opportunities to children who will shape our future through careers in art and public groups promoting artistic expression.

Today and moving forward, we will continually strive to become a beacon of access to connect, collaborate, and contribute to the artistic growth of all. 

Together we can amplify the voices of all artists and art supporters in our community.

Thank you for being a pART of it!


Janet Gamache, Executive Director

Mount Dora Center for the Arts


Janet Gamache, Executive Director



Mount Dora Center for the Arts has been bringing 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 for more than five decades.

-In 1975, a small group of art-loving citizens organized a small street Art fair and called it the 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 officially 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.
Over the next ten years, the organization grew and expanded its programming to include art education. Thier aim was to enrich the community by offering opportunities for both children and adults to engage with the arts in meaningful ways besides the annual Arts Festival.
-In 1985, the Mount Dora Cultural Council secured a lease in a two-story building located at 138 East 5th. in downtown Mount Dora, Fl.
-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 a two-story brick building at 138 East 5th Avenue where they offered art classes, gallery exhibitions and maintain administration offices for 25 years.
The building, built in 1923 had no elevator or handicap bathrooms. MDCA recognized the importance of having a facility more inclusive and accessible to all members of the community. Consequently, the board developed a strategic plan to address these challenges.
-In 2022, MDCA sold the building.
-In Feb 2024, proceeds from the sale were used to purchase an old gas station with high visibility and ample parking at 847 E. 5th Ave on the corner of 5th Ave and Highland St.
Currently being renovated to include accessible bathrooms, a modern gallery space and a flexible area suitable for meetings and visual and performing art workshops, this new, one-story building will create a new home for MDCA where art will be accessible to all. The scheduled opening date for the new facility is Winter 2024. MDCA will continue to enrich lives and provide art opportunities for the community in multiple ways and locations well into the future.

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