Diablo Regional Arts Association (DRAA) Arts Access School Time Program offers underserved students and children in Contra Costa County the opportunity to experience high-quality live performances and visual arts exhibits. By providing funding for low-income schools, the acclaimed Arts Access program makes the arts accessible to as many young people as possible, engaging them in the artistic process and cultivating an appreciation for the arts by combining education and entertainment - which together help make the arts a vital part of schools and communities. Arts Access helps more than 6,000 students, teachers, and chaperones per year from underserved schools enjoy live performances and visual arts exhibitions.
“As a former elementary school teacher,” says Lesher, “I’ve seen firsthand the joy on the faces of kids experiencing live theater for the first time, and it’s a privilege to help more children have that experience through Arts Access, which helps integrate the arts into young people's lives.”
A life-long vintage enthusiast--and a mother, school volunteer, and active member of the nonprofit community--Lesher knows the time is right to launch her store, offering the opportunity to feed her passion, while opening doors for giving back. For the vintage crowd, “It’s all about the treasure hunt,” says Lesher. “At the Spotted Cow, we love the thrill of the hunt and giving new life to old pieces. We visit scores of antique fairs and estate sales and suppliers and bring back very special items that have style and story and the need for a new home.” This is music to the ears of collectors and do-it-yourselfers.
According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, a leading voice for home improvement and do-it-yourself (DIY) industries, home improvement sales reached $293 billion in 2013. With a recovering economy and a trend toward restoring, reusing, and repurposing (one part nostalgia / one part eco-conscious)
The Spotted Cow is an authorized retailer for American Paint Company, an all natural, zero VOC (volatile organic compounds), eco-friendly, and solvent-free paint for furniture and décor. The organic and easy-to-use paints and finishing products are designed for first timers and seasoned veterans.
While vintage and antique furniture and home décor are featured at The Spotted Cow, Lesher also carries vintage jewelry, housewares, garden items, and collectibles such as cameras, manual typewriters, and American memorabilia. Locally designed arts and crafts are sold by artisans who create homemade cards, hats, wall art, pottery, jewelry, toys, mini succulent gardens, and chalk boards made from re-purposed doors. Lesher expects to generate a steady stream of new inventory thanks to the many artists already inquiring about opportunities to showcase their work. “This is not your grandma’s antique store,” says Lesher.
Setting The Spotted Cow apart from its competition is the vibrant schedule of classes and workshops it offers to DIYers, including classes in furniture refinishing and painting, succulent gardens, and seasonal home décor projects.
Staying true to its creative theme, Lesher uses reclaimed cabinets, shelves, and shutters, both as aesthetic additions to the store and as fixtures to display handmade crafts in a vintage setting.
The Spotted Cow, 2631 N. Main Street, Walnut Creek, is regularly open Thursday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 11am to 5pm.Visit online at www.spottedcowvintage.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/
Contact: Mackenzie Lesher, spottedcowvintage@
Diablo Regional Arts Association
The DRAA enriches lives of thousand of East Bay residents every year by supporting programs at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts. Through well-established business and community partnerships, fundraising, and marketing experience, DRAA helps arts organization present professional-
Arts Access School Time Program
Over the years, the Arts Access School Time Program has offered underserved students and children in the community the opportunity to experience high-quality live performances and visual arts exhibits. This program engages students in the artistic process, cultivating an appreciation for the arts by combining education and entertainment which together help to make the arts a vital part of our schools and community. Arts Access offers funding for low-income schools, making the arts programs accessible to as many students as possible. The program helps more than 6,000 students, teachers, and chaperones per year from underserved schools in Contra Costa County attend professional, high-quality performances and exhibits at the Lesher Center. In many cases, this is the first time these students have been able to see a live performance or a visual arts exhibition. DRAA also provides customized study guides to teachers that allow them to tie their students’ experiences at the Lesher Center with what they are learning in school. The guides meet the California Department of Education’s Contents Standards and offer suggestions for in-class discussions and projects that can take place before and after visits to the Lesher Center.