Coachella Valley Arts News – June 2020

Watts-based artist Mister Alek from Watts spray painted a mural in memory of George Floyd on Indian Canyon Drive just north of Amado Road. Photograph courtesy Palm Springs Public Arts Commission.



Your Coachella Valley culture fix is here (Palm Springs Life)
During the COVID-19 shutdown, Coachella Valley artists and arts organizations are reaching and even growing their audiences. Here’s a roundup of local offerings ranging from live performances to virtual exhibitions.

CAC offers reopening resources for arts organizations, venues (California Arts Council)
After following state and local public health guidelines, arts venues and events can use these tools as they plan to safely reopen and resume operations.

CDAC awards another 26 grants to ‘Keep Art Alive’ (California Desert Arts Council)
Twenty-six visual artists, musicians, authors, graphic designers, and other creative professionals earned grants from the California Desert Arts Council (CDAC) in May to “Keep Arts Alive” during the COVID-19 pandemic. CDAC awarded 14 grants in April.

Local museums cope with the COVID-19 shutdown (CV Independent)
CV Independent
spoke to representatives of the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert, Coachella Valley History Museum, and Palm Springs Art Museum about how they are handling the closure and what attendees can expect when they reopen.



Downtown PS mural declares, ‘I can’t breathe’ (The Desert Sun)
A mural depicting George Floyd with the words “I can’t breathe” across it has become a popular place for passersby to stop, talk, pray, and remember Black Lives Matter.

Road signs celebrate Cahuilla language (Uken Report)
Artist Gerald Clarke has installed more than a dozen yellow road signs in the Cahuilla language in six Palm Springs parks. The public art project encourages a connection with nature and celebrates the local indigenous culture.

The gospel of America’s first TV art teacher (California Desert Art)
The Chicago gallery Firecat Projects has opened an exhibition dedicated to “desert” artist Jon Gnagy.



Palm Springs ShortFest rolls with free online screenings (Palm Springs Life)
The festival will screen 332 short films from 69 countries in a virtual event June 16-22. Here are artistic director Lili Rodriguez’s top 10 must-see films to watch.

Homegrown film fest director feted among ‘women who lead’ (Palm Springs Life)
Lili Rodriguez oversees every program and screening for the Palm Springs International Film Festival as well as ShortFest, two large-scale events that receive global attention from filmmakers and cinephiles alike. Palm Springs Life honors her with two other local women leaders.



This is what a socially distanced theater looks like (Dezeen)
What can we learn from a Berlin-based theater company that removed about 500 of its 700 seats to prepare to reopen in compliance with Germany’s social distancing rules?



The Flusters release single ‘We Were Young’ (CV Independent)
The synth-driven, ’80s-style pop tune is the result of a more collaborative songwriting effort, says the surf band’s frontman, Doug VanSant.

Desert rocker Josh Heinz drops first solo album (CV Weekly)
Josh Heinz — known for founding Blasting Echo, performing with 5th Town, and organizing the Concert for Autism — has released his first solo album, Made in Memphis 2003. CV Weekly publisher Tracy Dietlin, one of his biggest fans, interviews him on the eve of the album’s release.

Coachella, Stagecoach rescheduled for April 2021 (The Desert Sun)
Festival promoter Goldenvoice will honor all passes for the 2020 event that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The festivals generate approximately $400 million in local economic impact.

The resiliency of music, according to local musicians (CV Weekly)
The Weekly spoke with a number of musicians how the COVID-19 shutdowns and shelter-at-home protocols are affecting their lives and their music.

How to make your virtual jam session look — and sound — great (Wired)
You know those videos of musicians rocking out from their living rooms, laid out in a grid? Here’s how they’re made.



Brain research shows the arts promote mental health (The Conversation)
While practicing the arts is not the panacea for all mental health challenges, evidence supports prioritizing arts in our lives at home as well as in our education systems.

Study: 90 percent of U.S. music venues could permanently close (NPR)
In a survey of independent music venue owners, promoters, and bookers, 90 percent said they may close permanently if they can’t get an infusion of targeted government funding within the next few months,