About the Moonlight Cultural Foundation


Founded in 1974 as The Vista Foundation, The Moonlight Cultural Foundation was a non-profit organization under the leadership of Frank Tiesen with the mission of working together with citizens in the community to assure a pleasant and rewarding future for the community. It’s first official role was as custodian of funds for the construction of an amphitheatre in Brengle Terrace Park in 1975, as a bicentennial gift to the city. It was dedicated on July 4, 1976.

The Foundation has continued to assist with the development of the Moonlight Amphitheatre through fundraising campaigns and events, such as “Broadway at the Moonlight,” which have allowed capital improvements to be made as well as increasing the production values of the shows from one year to the next. Gifts and donations are continually solicited by The Vista Foundation to help cultivate the arts, enhance the natural environment, and preserve Vista’s rich past, thus assisting many of the City of Vista’s community services programs.

In 1992, The Vista Foundation welcomed the Moonlight Angels Auxiliary as an affiliated group. The Auxiliary’s purpose is to aide, sponsor, promote and assist the Foundation and Moonlight Amphitheatre in any and all fundraising activities, as well as to provide a volunteer workforce for both organizations.

In 1993, Encore Youth Theatre became an affiliated group of the Foundation. Encore provides education in theatre arts, encourages teamwork and the development of leadership skills through fully staged productions at the Avo Playhouse. Now known as Moonlight Youth Theatre, the program serves over 400 youth from Temecula to Chula Vista.

In Moonlight Stage Productions’ 30th Anniversary year, the Foundation created its first Signature Gala on the Amphitheatre stage which has become the highlight event of the summer. The same year, the Foundation held its first golf tournament. Both events served as fundraising vehicles in support of the Moonlight. Through the years, the Foundation has raised funds to supply stage lighting, the feasibility study for the new stage house, plans for the entryway, the north box office structure, lawn chairs and much more. Our largest campaign to date raised $675,000 to pay for the state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment used in the Amphitheatre.

In addition to all of these special campaigns, the Foundation has raised funds to support actor and orchestra salaries, as well as to provide marketing. Between the Foundation and the support of the City of Vista, the Moonlight Amphitheatre has become the region’s premiere outdoor venue attracting audiences locally, regionally and from across the country. Thank you to everyone who has been a support of the Foundation to make the Moonlight the number one destination for musical theatre produced outdoors. We are proud to support Broadway’s Best Under the Stars!