LAM’s 42nd Annual California Cool Art Auction supports Creative Foundations Program

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) will host the California Cool Art Auction + Benefit + Bash on Saturday, March 2. The art auction will feature works of more than 120 prominent California artists, during an evening dedicated to celebrating the vibrant spirit of California while raising funds to support the museum’s Creative Foundations Program. This program has enabled LAM to provide underprivileged K-12 Title 1 students from Orange County with access to educational art programs, fostering creativity and cultural engagement.

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Courtesy of LAM

Students from Orange County schools engaging with artworks during an educational session led by Laguna Art Museum staff

In July 2023, LAM was awarded a prestigious grant of $178,288 from the Specified General Fund for the Museum Grant Program under the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE). This grant, with a maximum allocation to serve 5,000 students by June 2026, allowed LAM to educate more than 1,150 Title 1 students through its Creative Foundations Program between October and December 2023. Through the Creative Foundations Program, these students have experienced the richness of California art, engaged in curriculum-aligned learning and created unique artworks under the guidance of dedicated volunteer docents and education staff. One teacher shared, “I can’t express how wonderful this was for my kids. Our student population does not get the opportunity to enjoy fine art.”

By the end of the grant’s first year in June 2024, the museum is positioned to have served 3,500 Title 1 students from 14 Orange County school districts. Despite the grant’s initial expectations of serving 5,000 students by June 2026, LAM’s Creative Foundations Program has surpassed projections, serving students at a rate that exceeds the grant’s original expectations. Due to the significant number of students being served, funding from the CCHE grant is expected to be fully utilized within the next year.

LAM seeks support from donors to ensure the continuation of this vital program. The museum recognizes its responsibility to connect as many students as possible with art during their formative years, enriching their lives for years to come. Funds raised during the paddle raise event during the California Cool Art Auction + Benefit + Bash on March 2 will contribute to the museum’s larger goal to raise $180,000, directly supporting the Creative Foundations Program at LAM.

The California Cool Art Auction and Benefit serves as a platform to raise awareness about the Creative Foundations Program and rally support from the community. Attendees can bid on artworks and contribute to a cause that directly impacts the lives of underprivileged students, empowering them through art and education.

“We are committed to ensuring that every child, regardless of their background, has access to the transformative power of art,” said Julie Lee Perlin, executive director of Laguna Art Museum. “The support of our community is crucial in sustaining this initiative.”

Registration for the online auction opened on February 16 via Artsy. For more information, registration and to purchase tickets to the exclusive event on March 2, click here. Presale tickets to the event on March 2 are available for $215 through March 1. Pending availability, tickets for the event will be available at the door on March 2 for $225. To participate in the online auction via Artsy, register at

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

For more information about the 42nd Annual California Cool Art Auction, Laguna Art Museum and its Title 1 students’ program, visit

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