Coachella Valley Arts News – May 2020

The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument welcomes amateur and professional photographers to participate in a photo contest to mark its 20th anniversary. Photograph by Tom Brewster/courtesy Palm Springs Life and Friends of the Desert Mountains

 

COVID-19

Arts organizations invited to apply for COVID-19 relief funds (WESTAF)
The Western States Arts Federation’s WESTAF CARES Relief Fund is awarding grants to support general operations of eligible arts and culture organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

‘Do I buy paint or do I buy dinner?’: Artists get creative in face of financial hardship (The Desert Sun)
Entertainment reporter Brian Blueskye spoke to Coachella Valley artists Adam Enrique Rodriguez, Ryan Campbell, Tania Denice, and Kylie Knight about artmaking during the pandemic.

CDAC awards grants to ‘Keep Art Alive’ (California Desert Arts Council)
Coachella Valley artists and arts organizations are receiving grants through the Keep Art Alive emergency fund established by the California Desert Arts Council and La Quinta Arts Foundation. Here are highlights from the first wave of grant winners.

Desert X creates fund to offer relief to artists (The Desert Sun)
The nonprofit Desert X is awarding one-time unrestricted emergency grants of $1,000 to artists affected by exhibition and museum closures as well as loss of commissions and employment.

New data on impact of pandemic on artists (Los Angeles Times)
A new survey asked artists what COVID-19 did to their jobs. The results are devastating.

Is it time for culture institutions to redefine the value of art? (Artnet)
“The success of the work that comes out of this moment will rely on our newfound ability to value art that satisfies human needs within a community context, rather than market relevance,” writes Deborah Fisher, director of A Blade of Grass.

 

ART

Andrea Zittel on the ‘silent spring’ in at A–Z West in Joshua Tree (Artforum)
In a dispatch from A–Z West, her home and studio compound, the artist says, “We’ve lost commissions and tours and all the other things that keep us afloat … [but] my studio focus has deepened, and I feel more excited to make things to keep than to show or sell. The art world feels like it’s a zillion miles away.”

When art becomes self-help (The New Republic)
In his book How to Be an Artist, critic Jerry Saltz aims to lead the reader “from wondering and worrying to making real art, even great art” — and then adjusts expectations: The book can “at least help you live life a little more creatively.”

Facing Fire in the New West (UCR Arts)
Curator Douglas McCulloh gives a video tour of the exhibition Facing Fire: Art, Wildfire, and the End of Nature in the New West at UCR Arts’ California Museum of Photography.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

The desert’s Ansel Adams (Palm Springs Life)
A Palm Springs Art Museum online exhibition showcases the desert landscape photography of Palm Springs pioneer Stephen H. Willard.

Photo contest celebrates anniversary of national monument (Palm Springs Life)
The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains mark their 20th anniversary as a national monument with a photo contest. Amateurs and professionals can enter in five categories. 

 

MUSIC

And the bands play on (CV Independent)
The director of the Academy of Musical Performance, after-school and summer camp programs, explains how student bands rehearse and perform amid stay-at-home orders.

New brightener EP brings the R&B and fun (Coachella Valley Weekly)
Will Sturgeon plays all instruments and produced, mixed, and mastered all four songs on “Stay Open,” which drops May 20. He says the songs are about letting go and being open to new relationships.

JT Music Fest producer: ‘We’re in the hugging business’ (Palm Springs Life)
Barnett English discusses the communal nature of the Joshua Tree Music Festival, when he knew it was time to pull the plug on this month’s event, and the prospects for October.

 

LITERATURE

UCR authors offer picks for books to read while sheltering in place (UC Riverside)
Faculty members from UCR’s creative writing and English departments — including Tod Goldberg, who runs the Low-Residency MFA program in Palm Desert — recommend books to help ease stress, provide an escape, and offer some perspective.

 

FILM

Palm Springs ShortFest goes virtual (Palm Springs Life)
The popular festival of short films move online, artistic director Lili Rodriquez announced. A selection of films will screen free on the festival’s website from June 16 to 22.

Camelot Theatres offers online screenings (psculturalcenter.org)
Palm Springs Cultural Center offers “v-tickets” for online screenings of new films, along with favorites from Desert Film Society, Cinema Diverse, Cinema Francais, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. 

 

THEATER & STAGE

CVRep’s Ron Celona to host online theater chat (CVRep)
On May 21, the theater company’s artistic director shares the past, present and future of CVRep, including the theme for next season: Resilience & Survival. Sign up to participate.

McCallum Theatre announces lineup for next season (Palm Springs Life)
The Palm Desert theater plans to reopen in October with Family Fun Day, followed by night after night of broadway productions, comedy shows, and a variety of music and dance performances. 

 

ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN

Expert discusses “lost, saved, endangered’ architecture (Palm Springs Preservation Foundation)
Palm Springs Preservation Foundation board president Gary Johns lectured on “Lost, Saved & Endangered: Modernist Architecture in Palm Springs” at last May’s California Preservation Foundation conference — and his talk was just posted to YouTube.

 

HERITAGE

How Earl Cordrey’s illustrations redefined the little town of Palm Springs (The Desert Sun)
In the 1940s, the artist and his wife moved to Palm Springs, created the city’s seal, and helped launch Palm Springs Life with his jaunty, deliciously fun depictions of life in the village.