Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo announce the fifth annual BLUES FOR THE ZOO benefit concert celebrating this unique Alpine animal rescue facility.  BLUES FOR THE ZOO is set for Saturday, September 27, 2014 at Big Bear Lake’s Swim Beach Outdoor Amphitheater, with a line-up of world class blues including a rare west coast appearance by critically acclaimed “trance-blues” artist Otis Taylor.

The Last Hurrah! Our Farewell Season!

The Palm Springs Follies' 23rd edition, The Last Hurrah!, will be our greatest hits show with the best dance production numbers from past years, three iconic headliners and--for the first time--three remarkable variety acts packed into one spectacular Follies season. It will be a fitting and exciting last hurrah!

Exhibition: December 21, 2013 - March 30, 2014 (Extended through April 17)

Reception: February 6, 2014, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The Riverside Legacy: California Plein Air Paintings Past and Present exhibit is comprised of a select grouping of Plein Air paintings and drawings from the Riverside Art Museum’s permanent collection. Featuring works completed by artists as early as the 1930s, this exhibition refers back to the history of Riverside and its local environs as this outdoor movement spread throughout the state of California in the late nineteenth century. A choice selection of contemporary Plein Air artwork by RAM's Plein Air Artists of Riverside (PAAR) group will also be included, proving the steadfast popularity of California Impressionism even today. As we look to both past and present works of the Riverside area, this exhibition celebrates the modern development of Plein Air artists over time, revealing the growth and impact of the Riverside community as a whole.

For more information on PAAR and how you can join them, click here.

Guest curated by Devi Noor.

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“Work with what you’ve got,” he said. “My medium of choice is really just working with whatever I have.” Gabe Gonzalez wasn’t intending to be particularly profound. I could tell by his body language and how he seemed genuinely excited to find a way to concisely explain his method.

He has this willingness for experimentation. It’s self-evident in his work. He builds. He contorts. He illustrates. He creates. In a day and age where identifying yourself as an artist can be slightly taboo, Gabe Gonzalez has done just that—acted as an artist—a master of his own eclectic style and the ruler of his own varied methods.

Announcing the Dotphotozine Award For Excellence in Photography

Dotphotozine has established the Dotphotozine Award for Excellence in Photography. One photographer will receive a $1,000 cash award and a four-page spread in the analog and digital editions of Dotphotozine, to be released in September 2014.

We are seeking a coherent body of work by an ambitious photographer. Work derived from all photographic processes, in any style, digital or analog, including mixed media work that is photo based will be accepted. We are not accepting video, or work with multimedia components. Please do not submit vacation photos, personal snapshots or unrelated individual images. The award is open to all U.S. citizens 21 and over.

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“Is he Dead?” which opened at Redlands Footlighters Theatre March 6, is a play by American writer Mark Twain that was discovered in 2002. It is a farce about friendship, love, and financial struggles of an artist, a story influenced by Twain’s own personal experiences. I met with director Carol Damgen for a chat about the unique play, her ambitions as a director and playwright, and theatre in the San Bernardino area. 

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Passion for art and nature led to the collaboration and creation of a unique organic house nestled between massive rock formations at the edgeof the Joshua Tree National Park. It was home to a creative and artistic couple.

Bev and Jay Doolittle, drawn to Joshua Tree in 1978, instantly fell in love with the area. They bought a little stucco house in the Panorama heights and settled in. At the time, Jay and Bev, both artists, were selling their art in malls and art fairs. They had little money, but they imagined a house built inside the rocks that would give them the feeling of living outside, inside. They had no idea that the house of their dreams would eventually be built. 

Arts Connection Executive Director, Andy Woods, was in the studio yesterday for a conversation with David Fleming of KVCR to be aired on KVC-Arts - 8pm this Friday, March 7th and 7pm Saturday, March 8th on 91.9 FM if you're local or

Select radio, then listen LIVE.

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The San Bernardino County Museum Association has been accented with a new addition. The only introduction Deborah Okogba—the newly inducted Executive Director— needs, is possibly just a secondary affirmation of her qualifications and a precursory notice of her fascinating accomplishments and travels. Without further ado, read on to access her first person accounts that lead up to her coveted position.

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Among the features that promise to attract outsiders to San Bernardino County, as well as keep insiders intrigued, is its growing arts community. For instance, the City of Ontario, which since 2006 has boasted of its airport becoming international, and shown other new signs of becoming a noteworthy destination, is strongly committed to supporting arts projects, practitioners, and the overall artistic milieu.

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Drawing over 6 million visitors a year, Big Bear Lake is Southern California’s favorite alpine and winter sport resort. It has the largest recreational lake in Southern California and yet with the year round tourism, few people know about Big Bear Lake’s unique local arts community and passionate Arts Council.

The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley has evolved during its 26-year history. When it was first organized in 1988 as Friends of the Performing Arts Center its purpose was to raise funds for the newly completed Performing Arts Center, an impressive venue with great productions to offer the small town of roughly 5,000 residents.

In order to expand their mission to include support for all of the arts, in 1998 The Friends of the Performing Arts Center became the Arts Council of Big Bear Valley (ACBBV for short). Since then they have been the centerforce for advancing the local arts community in Big Bear Valley, donating over $20,000 to the PAC for equipment upgrades, $10,000 in musical instruments to local high schools, establishing art education programs for schools, promoting local youth and talent, and producing relevant events to keep art a strong presence in the alpine town.

I had the pleasure of meeting with the Arts Council Executive Director Gail McCarthy, President Tim Breunig, and Big Bear City Manager Jeff Mathieus, who spoke with me about The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley, the Performing Arts Center, and more.

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Special thanks to our conference host, Copper Mountain College!




Drs. Ernest & Dorothy Garcia


Arts Sustainers

Randy Polumbo

KOA Corporation Planning & Engineering

San Bernardino Art Association

The Ranch Projects Publishing

Joshua Tree Music Festival


Arts Advocates

Paulson Orthodontics

Mojave Desert Land Trust

Cultural Planning Group

Gruen Associates

The Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art

The Ontario Museum of History and Art

The Community Foundation

The Noah Purifoy Foundation

Harrison House Music, Arts & Ecology

Pappy & Harriets

Bobby Furst 

The Joshua Tree Inn


Arts Friends

Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency (JTHAR)

Chaffey College, School of Visual & Performing Arts

High Desert Test Sites

Elwood & Associates

Inlandia Institute


Special thanks to Copper Mountain College for our hosting the conference this year!









The Garcia Center for the Arts
536 W. 11th Street
San Bernardino, CA 92410

Tel: 909.381.1900

mailing address:

5500 University Parkway
Visual Arts Building, Rm. 308
San Bernardino, CA 92407

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