Preserving history and rebuilding hope: Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens moves into Phase II

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Preserving history and rebuilding hope: Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens moves into Phase II
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens Moves into Phase II of Support Campaign Focused on Recovery and Rebuilding. Photo Courtesy of Casa Romantica.

SAN CLEMENTE, CA.- Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, is thrilled to welcome back visitors after its partial closure in late spring, thanks to the generous donations from across California, the San Clemente Rotary Club, and several anonymous donors. In hopes of continuing the restoration of the cultural gem, the non-profit is launching phase II of its rebuilding campaign, seeking the sustained involvement and encouragement of the community.

“The support we have received thus far has been remarkable and truly demonstrates the strength and unity of our community. We are extremely grateful,” shared Jacqui Groseth, Executive Director, Resource Development and Administration. “The continued support from our community is immensely valuable and plays a crucial role in ensuring our sustainability, both in the short and long term.”

Casa Romantica has received generous donations over the last few weeks, allowing the return of several events and programs. Having partnered with Casa Romantica previously to host beach cleanups, the San Clemente Rotary Club, an organization made up of business, professional and civic leaders with a passion to perform community service, has joined the community rallying around Casa Romantica. The Rotary Club donated 25 sets of puzzles featuring the artwork of Rick J. Delanty, an award-winning California coastal and landscape artist currently on view in the Art Gallery. The puzzles are available for purchase in the Gift Shop and 100% of the profits will go to Casa Romantica’s rebuilding efforts. The San Clemente Rotary Club is also developing a volunteering component for club members to assist in Casa Romantica’s gardens.

“Members of the San Clemente Rotary Club are so happy to support the Casa Romantica Historical Center and Gardens with a donation from our Club Foundation, as well as through a grant from The Rotary Foundation fund, totaling two thousand dollars,” shared Tyler Boden of the Rotary Club. “In addition, we are honored to have partnered with local artist Rick Delanty who donated one of his own paintings of San Clemente, which is printed on the puzzles for sale in the gift shop.”

Over the last few weeks, many individuals have made generous contributions to Casa Romantica’s rebuilding efforts. One donor was extremely moved when she saw the devastation of Casa Romantica on the news and the impact the landslide had on the arts community in Southern California.

Local restaurants have also partnered with Casa Romantica for special “Dine in Days”. California Pizza Kitchen in Laguna Niguel, Inka Mama's in San Clemente, Chipotle in San Clemente, and Sundried Tomato Bistro in San Juan Capistrano will donate 10% to 20% of their proceeds, allowing locals and visitors alike to support the arts on select dates. Patrons who mention Casa Romantica when ordering for dine-in, take-out, or online orders can help rebuild the historic house while enjoying a meal out. Other upcoming and past partnerships include Los Molinos Beer in San Clemente, Jimmy John’s in San Clemente, and Rocco’s Restaurant in San Clemente.

Valero Gas Station off Avenida de la Estrella is also supporting Casa Romantica by donating 1 cent for every gallon sold during the entire month of August (504 Avenida de la Estrella). Their contribution will allow several programs, including Casa Romantica’s newly announced free College Dance Program to continue impacting the community.

In addition, Strut Cares, a non-profit organization through Sonance, has announced it will be underwriting and hosting a poker tournament benefiting Casa Romantica on August 24th. All proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated to Casa Romantica’s rebuilding efforts. More event details wil be released soon.

As part of the fundraising efforts, Casa Romantica has announced the upcoming 21st Annual Toast to The Casa gala, scheduled for September 30th, 2023 at The Casino in San Clemente. This is the first time the gala will be held at an offsite venue. Themed to “The Golden Age of Hollywood”, this year's gala is sure to be an unforgettable evening. The annual event serves as an opportunity to gather together, celebrate Casa Romantica's legacy, and raise critical funds for its restoration efforts. Headlining the evening’s entertainment is jazz band Lizzy and the Triggermen. The event promises an enchanting evening of entertainment, delectable cuisine, and a chance to reconnect with the community in support of a beloved cultural landmark.

Donations will be utilized to restore four out of the ten major gardens at Casa Romantica. Within these areas, over 250 plants in the signature gardens and an estimated 500 plants throughout the gardens and bluff were lost due to the land movement. This includes unique varieties and historically rare plants that have been an integral part of the property since its establishment in 1927.

The funds will also assist in rebuilding three of Casa Romantica’s major performance spaces, which play a vital role in hosting a diverse range of arts and cultural programming. The restoration of these spaces will greatly impact Casa Romantica's ability to provide enriching experiences to the community.

“We wholeheartedly appreciate the continued support and understanding of our community. Your contributions, whether big or small, make a significant impact and enable us to safeguard this historical gem for future generations,” stated Kylie Travis, Executive Director, Operations and Programming. “Together, we will overcome these obstacles and emerge stronger than ever. We remain committed to our mission of providing exceptional cultural experiences and fostering a sense of community through the arts.

“Thank you for standing with Casa Romantica during this critical time,” Groseth added. “We are humbled by your unwavering support and remain dedicated to restoring our beloved institution to its full glory."

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and is the historic home of the founder of the City of San Clemente. Casa Romantica provides programs for all ages in arts, music, history, and horticulture and is a premier Southern California cultural center. The arts and cultural destination maintains a robust series of year-round programs in arts, music, history, horticulture, and literature for all ages. Casa Romantica hosts a variety of free arts education programs for children year-round. This includes various art, literature, and horticulture events to grades K-12, and welcomes over 6,000 children from the Capistrano Unified School District each year for STEAM-based field trips that examine the history of San Clemente and the coastal environment.

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