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$1.5 million donation supports Cuesta fine arts, performing arts programs 

–The Cuesta College Foundation received a $1.5 million major gift from the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust to support the college’s Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery and the Cultural and Performing Arts Center (CPAC). The donation is the largest gift ever to support the fine and performing arts at Cuesta College, and the second largest donation in the college’s 55-year history.

“Cuesta College is honored to receive this incredible gift,” said Cuesta College Superintendent/President Dr. Gil Stork. “Cuesta’s cultural offerings are outstanding; be it the vibrant art gallery exhibitions, award-winning theatrical productions, or top-notch musical concerts. This donation will allow the college to continue providing our students and the community with some of the very finest performing and fine arts experiences you could find anywhere.”

The CPAC will officially be named the Harold J. Miossi Cultural and Performing Arts Center and the donation will support the college’s goal to provide extraordinary programming for the visual and performing arts at Cuesta College.

“Cuesta College’s fine and performing arts allow community members, students, and faculty the ability to share culturally diverse ideas and new experiences – values supported by the late Harold Miossi,” said Howard Carroll, trustee of the Miossi Trust. “Throughout his life, Harold developed various passions, one of which was education. Cuesta College is leaving a legacy of excellence in the arts on the Central Coast, and it is fulfilling to know that this donation will sustain that legacy for years to come.”

A lifelong San Luis Obispo resident, Harold Miossi attended San Luis Obispo public schools, graduated from San Luis Obispo Junior College, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from University of California, Berkeley with a degree in economics. He spent 35 years serving as the California Probate Referee for SLO County and served on the Cuesta College Foundation Board from 1989-1996, five years as president.

The Miossi Trust has been a longtime supporter of Cuesta College. In 2014, the Foundation received a $250,000 grant from the Miossi Trust to enhance the role of the college’s art gallery for both the students and the community, resulting in the naming of the Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery, structural improvements, and more robust exhibition lineups. And in 2017, the Trust donated $1M toward the Cuesta College Foundation’s fundraising effort to extend the Cuesta College Promise Scholarship to include a second year of fee-free education.

“One of the focuses of the Miossi Trust is to help younger people – grammar school, high school and college students,” said Carroll. “The intent is to provide students with opportunities that may not be available if it weren’t for the Miossi Trust.”

The Harold J. Miossi CPAC features a 450-seat main stage theater, a 100-seat experimental theater, and teaching facilities. The state-of-the-art facility hosts dozens of performances each year by Cuesta College musical groups, theatrical productions, and community-hosted events.

The Harold J. Miossi CPAC also hosts large events for various areas of the college, including the annual Edúcate – Sí Se Puede conference, Book of the Year program, and Community Program events.

The Performing Arts Division at Cuesta College consists of both the Music Department and Drama Department and offers various academics degrees and certificates, including Associate of Arts Degrees for Transfer in Music Arts and Theatre Arts, and an Associate of Arts Degree in Jazz Studies. Recently, the division received national recognitions for a theatrical production and small jazz combo group.

The Fine Arts Division also offers a variety of degrees and certifications, including Associate of Arts Degrees for transfer in Art History and Studio Arts, and a Certificate of Achievement in Graphics.

The Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery is located in building 7100, room 7170, on Cuesta College’s San Luis Obispo Campus. For information on hours of operation, exhibition schedule, and contact information visit the gallery’s website.

The Harold J. Miossi Cultural and Performing Arts Center is located in building 7300 on For more information on the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust, visit www.miossicharitabletrust.org.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.