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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.

In response to decades of budget cuts to one of California's most dynamic industries, Sen. Ted Lieu today announced plans to restore state funding for the California Arts Council to levels not seen in more than a decade.

“California is home to one of the highest concentrations of creative individuals in the world,” Lieu, D-Torrance, said in support of the role the 'creative economy' plays in the Golden State. “Artistic services and intellectual capital are essential to the 21st Century economy, which is dynamic, knowledge-based and increasingly global.”

Lieu, chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts, announced his plans at the beginning of a Capitol hearing on California's creative economy. This followed the formal release last week of the Otis College of Art and Design's Annual Report on the Creative Economy. Known as the Otis Report, the study assessed the impact and influence the creative sector had on the economy statewide, including a detailed picture of the creative economy in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Among its conclusions: The creative economy supported one in seven jobs in the Southland in 2012, with an estimated impact of $140 billion.

Hearts for Arts continues as we ask our patrons to "show us their heart" and donate towards supporting the arts at the Lewis Family Playhouse. Every little bit helps to help us continue to present the best possible theatrical and concert performances for our patrons. There are many ways to participate, choose your method below!

Call and Make a Donation or Donate over the Web: Call the Box Office at 909.477.2752 or click here and make a donation in any amount. Payment plans are available.

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With the enthusiasm reserved only for recess, the students from Salinas Elementary School anxiously waited in the lobby of the Lewis Family Playhouse for the moment when they would experience one of their favorite story characters come to life in, “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley.” And then we walked in.

The 21st Annual Foundation Gala benefiting Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) is putting a new twist on a 20-year tradition, adding a benefit concert and celebrity guests to the program! Thirteen-year-old superstar, Jackie Evancho, will headline the themed event, “I’m Possible: Making the Impossible Possible,” along with the San Bernardino Symphony and special guest, Hugo Ramos, at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. on Thursday, March 13. K-FROG’s Heather Froglear and actor Craig Bierko will serve as the celebrity emcees for the evening.

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There are few things that make people more uncomfortable than talking about race and marginalization. But do not fret dear reader, this article is not only about race and marginalization, but also about art as a means to explore and respond to these issues. The “Ebano” exhibit by Mexican photographer Nicolas Triedo at the National Orange Show Art Gallery in San Bernardino, is a celebration of African heritage in Mexico—a heritage, as Triedo eloquently stated, oft swept under the rug.

I have no problem professing that we have some of the most intriguing subcultures embedded in our society. It simply takes inquiring and inquisitive minds to stumble upon the waves that these countercultures are making. All-encompassing creative brand, Nerdpop, spear-headed by Redlands native Rob Mardis, is putting its mark on our small segment of the Inland Empire in colorful, quite loud, yet wholly creative ways.

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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

Pappy & Harriets

Bobby Furst 


Arts Friends

Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency (JTHAR)

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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