The Spanish Courtyard
Photo by Ron Leckie.
Young visitors enjoy a sunny day in the Italianate Garden.
Photo: Dmitry Vosky
The Historic Villa at Montalvo Arts Center
Photo by Ron Leckie
Kids enjoy a day on Montalvo's grounds
Photo by Bahara Emami
The hiking trails.
Photo by Nathan Zanon
"Broken Wing" (2004) by David Middlebrook, in the Phelan Cactus Garden
Photo by Donna Guldimann
The Solarium inside the Historic Villa
Adrian Paci's Per Speculum


Montalvo Arts Center’s mission is to engage the public in the creative process, acting as a catalyst for exploring the arts, unleashing creativity, and advancing different cultural and cross-cultural perspectives. We achieve our mission by creating and presenting arts of all types, nurturing artists, and using our historic property in innovative ways.

Located in Silicon Valley's Saratoga Hills, the Montalvo grounds include a 1912 Mediterranean-style Villa, its formal gardens, and two-acre Great Lawn; the historic Claire Loftus Carriage House Theatre and the Lilian Fontaine Garden Theatre; and 175 acres of trails through redwood trees. Below the Villa and across the creek are hidden ten free-standing live/work studios and the Commons of the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency Program (LAP), which hosts over 100 artists each year from diverse backgrounds across the nation and the world. The LAP is the third-oldest artist residency program in the United States.

Three special assets–our extraordinary physical environment and grounds, a rich diversity of multigenerational visitors, and artistically excellent programs–combine to make Montalvo a unique multidisciplinary arts organization that has become a place for people of all ages and all walks of life to engage in meaningful, accessible, and inspiring arts experiences.

We Believe...

  • Creativity and the arts elevate the human spirit, unite people of diverse backgrounds, enhance our lives, and enrich our community.
  • Life-changing experiences through the arts are important to our society not only because they produce an inspired, engaged and imaginative citizenry, but also because they articulate and preserve cultural heritages. Through art, we can come to common understanding among and between cultures.
  • The arts are essential to developing creativity, which is core to Silicon Valley’s world leadership in innovation. Creative thinking - which includes curiosity, critical engagement, empathy,  and the ability to generate innovative solutions - is key to Silicon Valley’s success and the ability of its citizenry to thrive in the 21st century.
  • Creativity encompasses a broad range of creative behaviors, ranging from what has traditionally been termed ‘high art’ to more vernacular and popular art forms. It can be collaborative, and involve improvisation and social interaction, as well as private reflection and contemplation.
  • The arts should have a firm footing in education, workplace and lifestyle priorities. Engagement with and participation in the arts is essential to developing our creative abilities.
  • Through multi-disciplinary arts and education programming, Montalvo Arts Center provides unique opportunities for artists and diverse Silicon Valley communities to explore, develop, and enhance their creative capacities.
  • Being creative is one of the most positive, life affirming experiences we can have as humans. It helps enhance overall well being and happiness, enables better problem solvers, provides educators with the tools to teach more effectively, and helps build stronger leadership across all sectors.

We Value...

  • Community – We view our audiences, artists, patrons, neighbors and collaborators as essential community stakeholders and consistently seek to expand the role of the arts as an essential community resource.
  • Diversity –  We are deeply committed to cultivating a multiplicity of perspectives and to ensuring that all our constituents feel welcome when engaging with our organization.
  • Stewardship – We are conscientious stewards of Senator Phelan’s 1912 Villa (which is on the National Historic Registry) and his legacy, diligently preserving this unique setting and perpetuating its artistic, historic, and natural resources. 
  • Engagement – We strive to be a catalyst for discourse, cultural understanding, and learning by offering innovative arts programs to the broadest possible audience.
  • Education – We believe the arts are an essential component of childhood and youth education and life-long growth for adults.
  • Excellence – We work to ensure that our efforts result in the highest quality art experience for all participants.