Each and every year DRAA is center stage in ensuring the quality of productions at the Lesher Center. Since 2005 DRAA has invested more than $2,500,000 in arts organizations that perform at the Center including Center REPertory, Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Bedford Gallery, California Symphony, Smuin Ballet, and Festival Opera because we know that high-quality productions will keep our Center at the cultural forefront in the East Bay. DRAA is proud to be one of the partners in bringing the highly acclaimed Lesher Newsmakers Series to the Center and the presenter of the highly popular Chevron Family Theatre Fesival and Jazz at the Lesher Center Series.

We’re determined to further our commitment to Artistic Excellence by lighting up the marquee with the best names in music, drama, and comedy for the next 25 years and beyond. We thank Chevron, our valued and long-time partner in the arts, for awarding a special grant of $500,000 to support Artistic Excellence.


A $500,000 lead gift from The Lesher Foundation will help us bring new energy and excitement to the exhibition and performances at the Center. We believe that investing in the technological enhancement of the Lesher Center is paramount to maintaining the Center's viability. From advancing the creative potential of set design to being more app-friendly, updating the technology at the Lesher Center will help to establish it as the cultural destination of the East Bay for generations to come.

Goals include:

  • Transforming our Center with new state of the art marquees on Civic and Locust
  • Improving overall digital ticketing process
  • Installing a ticketing kiosk to showcase the high quality offerings at the Center
  • Funding new projection technology to enhance the scenic elements of our productions

From marquee to theater, we want to bring a new energy and excitement to the theater experience.


In the past 25 years significant cuts have led to a decreased emphasis on the integration of music and the visual and performing arts in our schools. Our Arts Access School Time Program was created in 2007 to bring the magic of the arts to low-income families, at-risk youth, isolated seniors, and many others. More than 36,000 have received free tickets and transportation through Arts Access, and we want to do more.

Last year Arts Access had to turn away 5,000 students due to lack of programming and funds. Our goal is to never turn away one student; one teacher. We want to expand by offering professional development for educators, pre- and post- performace discussions, and a docent program. It is our hope that the art we present will foster creativity and confidence in the generations to come.

DRAA was honored to receive a $500,000 gift to support Education Outreach from Sharon Simpson.