Benicia has many worthy nonprofit organizations whose staff and volunteers are working hard to improve and enhance our community. Below are just a few that are directly involved with enriching the lives of residents through the arts, education, the environment and history. To donate this season to any of these worthy causes (and keep your non-taxable donations local), call or visit them online, they make it very easy.
Working with hundreds of artists, Arts Benicia’s mission is to stimulate, educate and nurture cultural life through exhibitions, educational programs and classes. The highly regarded organization holds several major exhibitions each year at the Arts Benicia gallery, as well as classes and programs including Family Art Day, the three-day Artist Open Studios event and the annual Gala Auction.
991 Tyler street #114
Benicia Old Town Theatre Group
BOTTG has been delighting audiences with local theatre for 50 years with a variety of plays from many genres. The group has garnered the prestigious Solano County ARTY award numerous times, most recently, four awards for Same Time Next Year, including Best Comedy of the Year.
VOENA, an acronym that stands for Voices of Eve ‘N Angels, is a world-renowned children’s choir serving 150 Students ages 5-18. It’s renowned because passion and talent shine through at each and every performance, one of which was held at the White House. Students learn ethnically diverse music, singing in many countries in the native language, and learn to appreciate different languages and cultures.
Classes commenced at the Benicia Ballet School in 1986, providing classical ballet training for children and adults. Located in the Historic Benicia Arsenal, the theatre component offers performances of classical ballets, including The Nutcracker each year at Solano Community College.
938 Tyler Street
Benicia Library Foundation
This nonprofit’s mission is to raise money to assist the Library with capitol improvements. These include recent upgrades such as an additional self-check machine and a new people counter that gathers data on the number of library patrons and what time of day is busiest, event attendance and more.
Benicia Education Foundation
Revitalized in 2005, the Benicia Education Foundation provides community-based support for Benicia public schools. The volunteers produce the annual Benicia Run For Education, a popular 5K and 10K race that lures over 1,000 runners. Working in concert with parent-teacher groups at each school site and BUSD, they help get funds to where they are needed.
Benicia Parent Teacher Groups
The busy volunteers at Benicia’s parent-teacher groups are on the front line, helping to raise funds and influence decisions where it matters most to children: in the classroom.
Weblinks for each school site is on BUSD’s website at sites.google.com/a/beniciaunified.org/us/.
Benicia Community Action Council
The Benicia CAC provides professional guidance, resources and referrals to those striving for self-sufficiency by delivering hot meals to home-bound seniors and helping low income youth with on-the-job training, among other pressing community needs.
The new kid on the block, Benicia Makerspace is a unique place where people gather to share and test new ideas, make things, invent, learn new skills and collaborate with each other using state of the art, shared equipment.
Benicia Tree Foundation
This foundation’s vision is to offer an engaging range of environmental programs focused on building community and a vibrant urban forest. They promote health and sustainability through tree planting and preservation, reducing CO2. Well on their way to their goal of planting 1,000 trees in Benicia, the current count is 418 new trees.
Benicia Community Gardens
Benicians are charmed by the sight of the two downtown community gardens: Swenson Garden and Avant Garden, farmed by local citizens to produce fresh food. By helping locals establish sustainable gardens throughout the city, the group is able to support local food security and increase awareness and access to sustainable, regional resources.
Benicia Historical Museum
Benicia’s rich history, dating back to the Civil War, comes to life at the Camel Barns. In addition to the ongoing exhibits, special exhibits and events are offered throughout the year. Through December 24, there’s also a Christmas tree lot with several fresh varieties available.
Benicia Historical Society
Preserving our heritage, the society performs many vital functions, including preserving buildings, monuments and historic markers, and disseminating historical information. Its volunteers bring together people interested in Benicia’s history, and sponsor the annual Benicia Historic Home Tour.
Benicia State Parks Association
Benicia residents are fortunate to have two State Parks within our boundaries: The Benicia State Recreation Area and the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park, which includes the oldest surviving State Capitol in California and the historic Fischer-Hanlon House and gardens. Association volunteers work diligently to advocate, fundraise and preserve the properties for residents and visitors.
Benicia Main Street
Benicia became a California Main Street City in 1987, chosen as one of the original 15 demonstration cities to participate in the program. The organization produces many small and major downtown events including the three Wine Walks, Torchlight Parade and fireworks, Waterfront Festival, and the Holiday Open House and Tree Lighting.