History & Mission

MAFA History: Our group came into existence in the 1950’s when Ms. Mildred Lapson, a longtime Monrovian and renowned artist, produced art exhibits and guest art lectures in the 1950's and organized the first Monrovia art festival in 1964. Her vision was to enrich our lives by bringing fine arts to the community. This led to an effort by other community leaders including Harvey Brubaker and Katherine and Ed Ainsworth resulting in the incorporation of the Monrovia Arts Festival Association in 1965. This vision has continued through the efforts of many since that humble beginning. In 2012 the name of the organization was changed to Monrovia Association of Fine Arts to better brand the organization as a fine arts group

Today’s MAFA is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization whose key goals are to promote local artists and provide mentoring that encourages our young people to experience art. MAFA has had a renaissance in the last 10 years as more artists have come to the area, which has become an artist location. Membership is open to artists and non-artists alike. We need non-artists with organizational skills to help us continue our growth.


  • MAFA has established and delivered the MAFA Professional Development for Artist Series of workshops on a variety of topics from highlihgting various mediums and skills to organizing and marketing an art business and handling taxes. This monthly series is open to the public and is now delivered via Zoom.
  • MAFA fosters professional development for students at Monrovia High School and California School for the Arts--San Gabriel Valley.
  • MAFA artists bring art to hundreds of underprivileged children with kids art workshops at the Foothill Unity Center's "Back to School" event and Thanksgiving and December Distribution each year.
  • The annual Monrovia Art Festival fine arts show in the park has expanded to include a ChalkFest.
  • MAFA provides opportunities for member artists by liaising with the City’s Art in Public Places Committee.
  • In 2020 we brought art to the community by organizing and delivering two at-home virtual chalk festivals for families, students, kids and professional artists.
  • In the past, our members developed an after school art curriculum for use by the MUSD Village After School Program.
  • Since 2004, MAFA has contributed more than $50,000 for art education for the students of Monrovia.
  • MAFA has earned grant funding from the Tournament of Roses Foundation and 3M Unitek Corporation.
  • We provided art classes for the Santa Anita YMCA and Boys & Girls Club, and funded an in-school art teacher at Wildrose Elementary.
  • The Santa Family YMCA in partnership with other community groups provided Friday Teen Nights in Library Park during the summer. MAFA artist instructors led the art workshops that were popular with the teens and supported with grant funding from the Tournament of Roses Foundation.

Explore our list of talented MAFA artists and their work here.

Featured member

Our Mission

Enhance the lives of those within our community through interaction with the arts. Increase the opportunities of our children through art education.

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