In 1978, the Goldman Fund was left to the City of Merced in memory of Morris and Amelia Goldman. Held in trust for creation of a multi-functional arts and cultural community center, the Goldman Fund came into play as an element of the City’s 1991 Downtown Strategy to revitalize the historic core of the community.
In 1994, the City of Merced’s Redevelopment Agency and the Merced County Arts Council joined in partnership to renovate the once grand 28,000 square foot Montgomery Wards department store at 645 W. Main Street.
Since its completion in 1996 as a downtown redevelopment anchor, the Merced Multicultural Arts Center has been honored with an American Institute of Architecture award. The Merced County Arts Council’s re-energized programming, launched from their new home, received the League of California Cities’ 2001 “Helen Putnam Award for Excellence” Grand Prize for Arts and Quality of Life. This progressive relationship between the City of Merced and the Merced County Arts Council also led to Merced being chosen as one of only four California cities featured in the televised documentary “2001:Year of the Arts”, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the California Arts Council.
The Merced Multicultural Arts Center is a modern, open three story facility providing space and support for arts education, training, world-class performances, tours, and five galleries showcasing arts and cultural exhibits of local, regional and national importance. Included is the Arbor Gallery; a retail cooperative of over 30 regional artists.