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There are some great things happening at the new Baker Family Learning Center in Muscoy. The BFLC in Muscoy is a center for community engagement and change. It opened its doors May 2013. The land, a donation from Neal T. Baker, a native of Muscoy and founder of the Inland Empire fast food chain Baker’s Drive-Thru, who wished to contribute to the education and betterment of his hometown. As part of the San Bernardino County Library System, the BFLC is one of the few city services offered to this unincorporated area; and one that is especially needed.

The BFLC touts a meeting room, computer lab, library, and a preschool. In conjunction with the County’s Headstart program, the BFLC also provides parent engagement classes through early learning programs and nutrition classes. The library is a beautiful and inviting facility with burgeoning programs. One such program, with over 300 children enrolled, is the Summer Reading Program, which thanks to the Baker family, offers reading incentives as small as yo-yos and as big as Disneyland. The computer classes offered to adults (offered in Spanish as well), have also really taken off.

Art is a funny thing, really. It can be created for sheer aestheticism, a means of provocative expression, maybe a non-verbal way to highlight a point. All of these uses encompass the latest exhibition taking place at the Museum of History and Art, Ontario.

Ignite!, a group show featuring the works of California based artists, revolves around the conversation of environmentalism and sustainability. Spanning the nearly 164,000 square miles of California’s soil, thirteen artists were hand-picked to represent and offer their insight on the relationship between nature and man.

Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, the exhibit offers a striking look at sustainability utilizing photography, drawing, painting and an intriguing video installation from Kim Abeles. The eyes and automobiles depicted in the photos of Abeles work are in full motion—a non-stop display of blinking beside excerpts of LA traffic. The concept of pollution is emphasized in a truly unique way.

Tucked away in the foothills of Rancho Cucamonga is a beautiful and serene 5.5 acre garden, filled intermittently with site-specific outdoor sculptures. With materials such as ceramic, metal, wood, stone- whimsical and minimalist forms respond to surrounding horticulture and landscape. This exhibition called “Sculpture in the Garden” was my first introduction to Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts, and although this is now over, there is still plenty else to absorb. On view until October 30th are two small exhibitions- “Betty Davenport Ford: Capturing the Animal Spirit” and “Craft at Play” as well as guided tours of the Maloof residence on Thursdays and Saturdays.

The location of Sam Maloof’s residence and woodworking studio also houses the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts, an organization which serves to preserve the artist’s legacy and benefactory work. For those unfamiliar with Sam Maloof, he was an expert craftsman celebrated for his beautiful and functional wood furniture. He meticulously handcrafted all his work, refusing to outsource or mass produce his popular designs. In an age when the handmade became increasingly rare, Sam championed the arts and crafts movement and became the first craftsman to be awarded the MacArthur Fellowship. Both him and his wife Alfreda were lifetime patrons of the arts, and it is in this spirit of fostering art and crafts that The Maloof Foundation continues exhibitions such as the three aforementioned.

The Joshua Tree Artist Residency program (JTHAR), started by Frederick Fulmer and his partner James Berg, draws diverse talent from all over the world to the Desert for six weeks in the summer.

The program, in it’s eighth year, invites emerging and mid-career artists from different disciplines to spend concentrated time in Joshua Tree and surrounding areas. The artists: writers, painters, performance artists, photographers and musicians work on their own specific projects, meet local residents, explore the area and exhibit their work at Joshua Tree Art Gallery (JTAG) at the end of the residency. The final show will be held on Friday, July 11th & Saturday, July 12th.

This year’s artists are Shea Hembrey, Jed Ochmanek, Andrew Malan Milward and Zoe Childerley.

Hembrey makes art focused on a singular, defined conceptual project where the idea directs his methods and media. He is known for staging an international art show with work from 100 different artists – all of whom he invented himself. He was showcased on Ted Talks in March 2011.   http://www.ted.com/talks/shea_hembrey_how_i_became_100_artists

This year, Hembrey is contemplating the Universe. No small feat as he works to complete close to 20 pieces, some 6 to 8 feet tall and several - his ‘models of the Universe’ are made up of many individual pieces. This body of work will be shown in October at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York City.

“I want work that is timeless,” Hembrey says. “If you ask big questions it becomes timeless.” His work contemplates all of life. “No reason to play small,” he adds. “Play big.”

Two years shy of a 40 year run, The Historical Glass Museum, located in Redlands—a city of great historic value and equally charming architecture—is gaining some light.

The Victorian era construction and the layer of forest green paint, the deep mahogany tones of the museum walls—all things to swoon over when entering the space. For 29 years, Redlands has offered a physical location to house some of the rarest relics in glassmaking history. Founded in 1976 by Dixie Huckabee, it took nine years of fundraising and ingenuity to bring the museum and it’s collection to a permanent location for the public to enjoy.

Lovers of elegant crystals and the rich history that accompany them should have no shortage of appreciation for the collection. Valued donors and glass savvy board members have helped build a varied and thorough assemblage, a potpourri of glass if you will. The colors and cut change with each passing decade, but the quality and attentive touch is as consistent as they come. 

Does your non-profit organization qualify to receive $100,000?

The NBCUniversal Foundation is partnering with NBC Southern California to launch 21st Century Solutions, its third annual grant challenge for local non-profit organizations implementing new and innovative programs.

Now through August 8, we’re looking for fresh ideas that are moving our community forward. The first place grant recipient will receive a $100,000 grant and two runners-up will each receive $50,000, totaling $200,000 in grants for Southern California.

The competitive grant program is open to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations that are implementing progressive programs that address emerging or ongoing community challenges in the areas of Civic Engagement, Education, Environment, Jobs and Economic Empowerment, Media Arts and Technology.

Please review the grant program’s eligibility requirements to ensure your organization fall within the guidelines before completing the application.

Click here to apply.

Get your tickets for the 42nd season of Redlands Theatre Festival!

The box office is NOW OPEN!

Be a part of the magic under the stars this summer in Prospect Park!

Check out the show schedule HERE!

Season runs July 11 through August 23

This season's shows include:

9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL

ROMANCE ROMANCE

OTHER DESERT CITIES

THE UNDERPANTS

THROUGH WONDERLAND

LOVE LOSS AND WHAT I WORE

Curtain is 8:30 Nightly

Box Office Telephone: 909-792-0562

Box Office Hours:  Tuesday-Friday 3:00-6:30pm

A pint-sized brother and sister duo stopped right in front of me, ice cream melting and sliding down their tiny faces and hands. I laughed as I watched baby sister being attacked by a combination of wind and the blue balloon flailing from her older brother’s wrist. Unphased by it, she kept eating and smiling, enjoying the moment for what it was; unbothered by external interruptions, simply enjoying the luxury of melting ice cream flowing through her petite grasp. 

Times like these remind me to never stop looking for the picturesque moments in life; never stop enjoying bliss and joy even in small increments. A moment of solitude with ice cream dribbling down your hands can equate to one day of positivity shared with your community. Yes, there are external burdens in our home, but no, they should never distract us from enjoying the treats and amenities we do carry. 

A band of cowboys shooting at some unknown enemy. The Virgen de Guadalupe, hands clasped, head bowed, always watchful over her children. Soldiers raising the American flag at Iwo Jima. A pig smiling over a fence; unaware of its imminent end, and probable conversion into some delicacy to be enjoyed on a Sunday afternoon with family. The colorful, sometimes bright, sometimes muted, murals on San Bernardino commercial properties tell us the story of not only the business, but of the community in which they existed. More than an image on a facade advertising pupusas and Mexican food, they are stories of migration, hope, dreams, grief, and even loss. It is the story of America. And who better to tell these stories, than a poet and a photographer.

In an eclectic office, filled to the brim with books, paintings, and other tell-tale signs that an artist resides here (and that, really, could only belong to an English professor) I sat down to speak with photographer Thomas McGovern, and poet Juan Delgado about their new collaboration, Vital Signs; a book that forces us to pause and reflect on what we have been ignoring, and question what we have let go, and what we have to gain from bearing witness.

Isabel Quintero: I’ll start with the big questions. So, the title of the book is Vital Signs, which suggests life or looking for life. But a lot of the book, is about loss. How did you come up with the title?

Thomas McGovern: Technically, and this is sort of mundane, I already had the title for the body of work…But I think the bigger picture…would be that sort of vitality that all things [have]. Whether it be loss...experiencing loss is a very clear human experience and there’s a lot of vitality in it. So I think that sense of vitality would be in that sense of loss, or that sense of hope, would be one of those basic human emotions, with clearly a positive spin on it. We have a sort of optimistic point of view about it.

Juan Delgado: We did have a working title for the poetry, which the publisher, Malcolm, didn’t like, Lavish Weeds…About the lament or loss, we didn’t want to romanticize about [San Bernardino]–there was renewal, and there was hope, but there was also hardship. I don’t think there’s a paralyzing loss. There’s a sense of going through it. That’s one of the metaphors we see, in the paintings and murals being constantly redone, and reworked–but a lot of them are gone.

TM: And I think it’s a little corny to say it out loud but, without loss you really don’t know what you have. Just like anything in life...you don’t really appreciate anything until you have loss. You don’t appreciate how beautiful and precious life is, and it’s fleeting. Loss is a really important part of that experience.

The Community Foundation received funding from The James Irvine Foundation for the Arts Regranting Program/ Inland Empire (ARPIE).

The regranting funds are for small arts organizations in the Inland Empire to experiment with new approaches to arts engagement. Grants are intended as risk-capital for very small arts organizations, agencies, art collectives and groups to pilot projects that focus on:

1) reaching low-income and/or ethnically diverse populations that have been traditionally underserved by nonprofit arts organizations

2) offering active engagement in the arts in which participants are making or practicing art, and/or

3) using nontraditional arts venues such as churches, store fronts and shopping malls, or open lots and other spaces not typically designated for arts use that are easily accessible and familiar to the public..

View the guidelines to see if your arts organization is a good candidate for an ARPIE grant.

Maximum request is $10,000. The deadline is August 1, 2014.

This Friday the second annual Redlands Festival of Arts will take place at Smiley Park. The festival, a celebration of both the visual and performing arts, was co-founded by Jerry Bean and Shirley Harry in 2013 to promote the arts in Redlands and its surrounding areas. Bean saw a need to showcase art from the East Valley and realized that Redlands was the perfect place to do this. According to Harry, the closest outdoor art festival of this size is held in La Quinta. 

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

Tel: 909.381.1900
info@artsconnectionnetwork.org

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

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