In 1976, a long time Atherton resident, Rita Corbett Evans, passed away and bequeathed her home to the Town of Atherton for the purpose of developing a “Creative Design Program.” Following a labyrinthine tale including the sale of the property by the estate to a private individual, the discovery of a handwritten will and lengthy lawsuits, the property was eventually acquired by the town of Atherton. It was subsequently sold and the proceeds were used to create the Rita Corbett Evans Trust that was dedicated to carrying out the provisions of the Evans will.
In 1996, the Town created the Atherton Arts Committee, funded by the trust to support the goals outlined in the will. The Committee was given a meeting place in the town facilities, and in 1999, it acquired an 1100 sq.ft. site in Atherton’s Holbrook-Palmer Park for activities such as art classes and small exhibits.
The Atherton Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 Public Benefit corporation which was organized in 2009 to support the activities of the Committee when it became clear that the Evans trust fund would soon become exhausted. The Arts Committee was eventually disbanded and in 2013, its activities were taken over by the Foundation.
The Atherton Arts Foundation is dedicated to fulfilling Ms. Evans' dream of creating a diverse community of and for artists. This is done by developing education, outreach, and art club meetings. AAF also hosts art exhibitions and special events.
Past accomplishments and events have included:
Illustrating Holbrook-Palmer Park's Tree Walk guide
"Whole Earth" Day botanical art exhibition and demonstrations
Obtaining artist works for display at the Atherton Town Center