The 2021 San Diego Festival of the Arts will celebrate its 35th show by relocating to the San Diego Surf Club Sports Park in North San Diego, formerly the Del Mar polo fields, on Saturday and Sunday, September 11 and 12. The new location is ideally situated with easy freeway access and with plenty of available parking.
This prestigious juried festival will showcase stunning works of painting, sculpture, photography, glass, jewelry, ceramics, wood, fiber, and mixed media from nearly 175 world-renowned artists. Ticket sales (starting at $12), a silent auction, and a wine and beer garden all benefit adults and children with disabilities. The San Diego Festival of the Arts Foundation, Inc., through this primary fundraiser, has raised more than $2.6 million for this cause since 1987.
Beyond the incredible selection of art on display available for purchase, guests will once again enjoy world-class live music and entertainment both days, a selection of outdoor lawn games, and a variety of cuisine options for every palate, from gourmet wood-fired pizza to BBQ and more.
Get behind-the-scenes experience at this year’s festival by signing up as a volunteer—soak up the sun, work with creative people, and help support San Diego Festival of the Arts Foundation, Inc.’s community service initiatives. Volunteer options include:
Thank you for your interest in the 35th San Diego Festival of Arts™.
The San Diego Festival of Arts™ is scheduled for September 11-12, 2021. The Festival is relocating from the downtown San Diego Waterfront Park to San Diego Surf Sports Park near Del Mar (formerly the San Diego Polo Fields).
Please ensure that your Zapplication account is up-to-date, as it is required to register for the 2021 Festival.
As you prepare for the Festival, please use this page as a guide and refer to it for any questions you may have.
The origin of the San Diego Festival of Arts™ doesn’t have much to do with art at all. It all started with an idea … and a pelican.
After Sue Erhardt, who had lost her leg in a water skiing accident, had a reawakening learning to snow ski on the slopes of the San Juan Mountains, she wanted other people with disabilities to have access to the same life-changing experience. She enlisted the help of her husband, Ross, a member of the Torrey Pines Kiwanis, to convince his fellow club members to contribute to this worthwhile cause.
For the first few years, the Kiwanis group sold candy to raise money to send people for adaptive ski lessons on the powdery peaks of Durango, Colorado. Then a new member, noted photographer Dallas Clites, suggested a charitable art show. Clites had previously used his work to illustrate the dangers of pesticide DDT on wildlife, specifically the brown pelican, and snapped his now iconic photo of a revitalized pelican soaring like a phoenix from the ashes for the Festival’s inaugural poster.
The first iteration of the San Diego Festival of the Arts™ in 1987, then called the Golden Triangle Festival of the Arts, was little more than a small exhibition and taco bar. It grew into the successful La Jolla Festival of the Arts and has expanded its reach even more as the San Diego Festival of the Arts™.
Proceeds from the Festival have sent more than 500 differently abled San Diegans to Durango with all travel expenses paid. The Festival has also benefitted dozens of nonprofit organizations including San Diego City Schools Adaptive Physical Education, St. Madeline Sophie’s Center, Challenged Sailors, and the Wheelchair Dance Organization Program. Since its founding, the Festival has raised more than $2.5 million and impacted about 40,000 people.
On behalf of San Diego Festival of the Arts Foundation, Inc., your company is invited to be a part of the 35th annual Diego Festival of the Arts™ on September 11-12, 2021. In addition to supporting adaptive sports and recreational programs for disabled San Diegans, your organization will have the opportunity to market to sophisticated buyers, fine art patrons, and influential business and community leaders, while also treating customers, friends, and family to fine art, food, and entertainment.
The San Diego Festival of Arts Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization, which is 100 percent volunteer and distributes funds to organizations that provide sports and recreation programs to San Diegans with disabilities. We’ve been doing it for more than 30 years! The San Diego Festival of Arts™ is the sole fundraiser for the Foundation. Whether it’s getting a wounded warrior back on a surfboard, a quadriplegic at the tiller of a sailboat, helping a blind person snow ski, or donating adaptive sports equipment to local schools, we’re here to help.
If our mission sounds like it fits with your charitable goals, we hope you will consider a contribution to the Foundation.
The following programs will receive funding in 2021 from San Diego Festival of the Arts Foundation, Inc.