Mountain communities must draw creative talent: Big Bear is host to three art galleries, a local arts council, a community arts theatre society, and a state-of-the-art performing theatre. The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley promotes art and music through service programs such as the “Magic of Music” and events, including Art on the Lake and the Big Bear Lake Film Festival.
The Community Arts Theatre Association (C.A.T.S) was established in 1994 as a non-profit theatrical organization designed for community participation in bringing inspirational theater to Big Bear. From stage production and costume design to the performance itself, members of the Big Bear community have an opportunity to be a part of the theater magic.
The Big Bear Performing Arts Center (PAC) is a 398-seat, state-of-the-art theater, where the stage is set to promote and encourage a wide variety of arts, cultural performances, community events and programs designed to take advantage of the full range and flexibility of the Center. It also develops community outreach and provides opportunities for individual performers and community theater presentations.
Literature is also rich on the mountain. A village bookstore/coffeehouse often promotes literature through book readings and signings and the Big Bear Library gives the community access to all San Bernardino books and materials through the County’s networking system. The Library provides services to children, adults, and seniors and is committed to being a resource upon which the public, business, industry, and government can rely for accurate and timely information, recreational needs, and cultural enrichment. Through the Library’s Literacy, Information, Technology and Education center (LITE), programs and resources are offered that assist today’s young children, parents and caregivers in developing skills to meet tomorrow’s challenges. The workshops, hands-on projects, and all-around fun, offered to children up to five and their parent or guardian, expose them to educational opportunities and growing experiences that benefit both child and adult. The program also provides free, confidential adult basic literacy assistance, free children’s books for qualified families, English improvement and GED instruction.