Our Mission

The Santa Cruz Foundation for the Performing Arts, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to presenting high quality performances of live classical chamber music. For the past 10 years, we have held performances in area homes and historic sites. With the completion of our performing arts venue, the Benderly – Kendall Opera House we are now able to host larger performances and offer more affordable pricing. We hope to see you soon!

How Extraordinary Performing Arts Came to the Santa Cruz River Valley.

In 2005, Christina Wilhelm, pianist and founder-director of the Santa Cruz Singers and Tapestry Chamber Ensemble, envisioned the Santa Cruz Foundation for the Performing Arts, SCFPA, to promote the performing arts on behalf of the Santa Cruz County, Arizona community. SCFPA is incorporated as a non profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Virginia Benderly, beloved Santa Cruz County friend, philanthropist and patron of the arts graciously supported SCFPA including providing initial seed money toward the creation of a performing arts venue. SCFPA honors Virginia Benderly’s generosity and memory by naming its innovative salon experience the Benderly Concert Series and by giving her name to the concert hall.

SCFPA Board of Directors:

Christina Wilhelm, President & Executive Director
Mike Massee, Vice President
Frederick Wilhelm Jr., Chief Financial Officer
Evan Kory, Secretary
Charles Fears
Cynthia Colbert
Gerry Isaac
Pat Watrous
Renate Kloppinger


Martha Paz y Puente

Claudia Proto


In Memorium:

Virginia Benderly, Founding Member and Principal Benefactor
Jody Walker