MISSION: To foster cultural understanding through the enrichment and development of youth-related performing arts programs in the performing arts throughout Monterey County, California. 

S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County (Support The Arts Regionally) was founded in 2009 to support youth-related theatrical arts throughout Monterey County. In the fall of 2013 it changed focus to include all youth-related performing arts.  Studies show that participation in, and expression through, the arts helps to develop a young person’s thinking skills and and social interactions. As the student’s awareness of his own identity and his environment are explored, his understanding of the world around him deepens. It is S.T.A.R. Foundation’s hope to better society by providing the stage whereby personal discovery can occur. Educational programs can be a vital vehicle for this growth. But, often times, the financial support for the continuity of these programs is either insufficient or not forthcoming. S.T.A.R. Foundation provides needed funding for the enrichment of theater programs currently existing in our schools and community theaters, and assists in developing new youth programs where there are none. It is the belief of the Board of Directors of S.T.A.R. Foundation that the power of self-discovery and identity is the key to cooperative societal interaction. Participation through positive multi-cultural performing arts programs is an important aspect in understanding all people and all ethnicities.


S.T.A.R. Foundation Grants


The S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County supports youth-related performing arts activities in Monterey County. We provide support for programs operating under the umbrella of a non-profit organization. Our grants are designed to supplement existing programs by providing funding for capital technical expense (e.g., lighting, sound and musical equipment), augment instruction by providing guest artists/docents in acting, make-up, scenic, sound and lighting design, maintenance of musical instruments, and more. Please note that the foundation does not fund salaries, operating costs or office/publicity materials. We also will fund reimbursement of discounted tickets for students and their families for local productions.   The Board of Directors will entertain ideas and approve funding on a quarterly basis. There are no deadlines to apply. Board meetings take place normally  in August, November, February and May.


Interested organizations should send to Susanne Mentzer, Administrator: susanne@starfoundationmc.org:

  • a letter and attachment (via email is fine) explaining the program and needs
  • any budgetary information, including sources of other funding, estimates of equipment costs
  • information as to whom the program serves
  • and a Profit/Loss statement if available
  • proof of 501 (c) 3 status



New Facebook Page for Youth Only

S.T.A.R. has set up a new page on Facebook:
“STAR For Youth Only”
so that anyone under 25 can post updates, pics, videos, etc. related to their activities/experiences with the performing arts. Please pass the word.

Press Release March 2015


The S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County (Support The Arts Regionally) Scholarship program exists to help graduating high school seniors pursue their interest in the performing arts. Scholarship awards are available for students, once enrolled in college, who have an interest in acting, musical theater, vocal and/or instrumental music, related technical skills, playwriting, or performing arts management in a college or in an extracurricular program. Depending on available funds, students attending a two-year college will receive $500.00 each year. Students attending a four-year college will receive $1000.00 per year. The awards will be announced at the end of the 2014-15 academic year and are renewable for each year of school.


Since its inception in 2009 the Foundation has distributed grants amounting to over $700,000.

The following groups have been awarded grants in March 2015.

Arts Council for Monterey: $1800.00 for Poetry Out Loud program

Bayview Academy, Monterey: $5000.00 for the Performing Arts Program

Walter Colton Middle School, Monterey: $2500.00 for sound equipment

Monterey County Dance Foundation, King City: $5000.00 for production of “Peter Pan”

Monterey Peninsula Unified School District: $35,000.00 for the orchestra programs at:

Colton Middle School, Los Arboles Middle School, Marina High School, Monterey High School, 

Seaside Middle School, Seaside High School

Palma High School, Salinas: $4400.00 for their band program

Sacred Heart School, Salinas: $3400.00 for risers for choral program

Sol Treasures, King City: up to $5000.00 to help subsidize student ticket costs

The National Steinbeck Center, Salinas: $5000.00 to present Tandy Beal Dance Company performances for youth

Washington Middle School, Salinas: $2000.00 toward purchase of theatrical lighting equipment

YOSAL (Youth Orchestra Salinas): $5000.00 for musical instrument supplies and maintenance

For a second year the foundation will continue to cover the expense to bring hearing impaired children of Monterey County to All Saints’ School and Santa Catalina School performances.

For more information contact susanne@starfoundationmc.org


Next Grant review and scholarship review on May 26, 2015

If you have applied for a scholarship or a grant, the Board will meet on May 26 to review and discuss. You will hear from us sometime after that. Thank you.