News and Other Happenings


First Inaugural Cosmic Comic Fest

  • On Saturday, August 24th, 2019 the very first San Bernardino Cosmic Comic Fest was held. A great time was had by all who attended and viewed the collection of comic books which belong to the Center, purchased duplicate books and items by the several vendors, and listened to former Mayor Judith Valles, Artist Cindy Rinne and Board President Jorge Heredia each tell a story from one of the books and read conversation from that story. There were people in costume, and several families who attended. It was a great inauguration for an event that we hope to continue.

    Photo: Former Mayor Judith Valles (the Real Wonder Woman) and Super-Villain Carnage

Former Mayor Judith Valles and Carnage

Welcome San Bernardino Symphony Association

  • The San Bernardino Symphony Association has moved its office to the Garcia Center. A ribbon cutting and Open House, hosted by the San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce, was held in April, 2019. The staff occupy space in the West Wing. Executive Director of the Symphony Association, Dr. Anne Viricel, is also on the Board of the SBVCA, the parent organization of the Garcia Center. Staff of the Symphony Assn. includes Judy Brewer, Operations Manager and Judy Steppins, Guthrie Music Library Rental Librarian. Both Judys are active volunteers at Center events. We are pleased that they are all a part of the arts scene at the Garcia Center for the Arts.

Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting for SB Symphony Offices

Louis Fox Art Library

  • If you haven’t checked out the Library, you should take a look. There are books on artists (we can guarantee that you will find both those you know about and those you don’t); history of art; collections from museums and exhibits; photography; arts and crafts; “how-to” for various media; textiles from around the world; poetry (from the Inlandia collection); and children’s books on artists and art activities.

    Coloring Activity
    When you visit our Art Library, you will find a table with designs to color. There will be colored pencils and markers for you to use. This is meant to be a relaxing, almost-meditative activity. Stay as long as you wish (during the hours we are open) and come back when you wish.

    The Library is open during the hours that the Center is open.

The Louis Fox Art Library Sign

Volunteers Recognized

  • At the League of Women Voters Citizens of Achievement event on May 20th, several of the regular volunteers of the Center were honored. Nominated by Executive Director Ernie Garcia (also a volunteer), those awarded the honor are: George Bohn, Maggie Foss, Luis Fuerte, Dotti Garcia, Tim Garcia, Richard Gonzalez and Dan Rinne.

    All honorees received certificates from a “plethora” of elected officials. These people volunteer at the Center at least weekly on a regular basis. There are many others who volunteer for specific events and purposes, and, of course, the volunteer Board of Directors is involved with the policies and programming at the Center.

    Volunteers Recognized by the League of Women VotersLeft to Right: Luis Fuerte, George Bohn, Dotti Garcia, Maggie Foss. Richard Gonzalez was not available for the picture, and Dan Rinne and Tim Garcia were unable to attend the event. (Photo by Elaine Bohn at the East Valley Water District Headquarters)

Dana Gioia Winner of the National Poet's Prize

  • Dana Gioia, the current Poet Laureate of California, who visited and spoke at the Garcia Center for the Arts in December, recently won the national Poet’s Prize.

    This award, administered by Lake Forest College, is presented annually to the best book of verse by an American author published within the two years prior. 99 Poems: New & Selected features 12 new poems juxtaposed with work spanning Gioia’s career, most notably examining life’s more solemn experiences of death, time, mortality, grief, love, and family.

    Gioia also won a Poet’s Prize in 1992 for his book, The Gods of Winter, making him the first recipient in the prize’s 30 year history to be honored on two separate occasions for different works.” We are very proud that Arts Connection was able to bring Dr. Gioia to San Bernardino, and that the honored book is in our Arts Library!

    i The Blog: California Arts Council, April 18, 2018

Fallen Fruit Event Recap

  • The Fallen Fruit event, coordinated by Danielle Wallis of Arts Connection on May 19th, not only provided the participants with a fun, art-filled experience, and with trees for the Center and the neighborhood—but also with picnic tables to be placed in the “backyard” area and in the patio. These tables will be engraved with poetry and comments from the participants at the event.

    This planting and art activity was the result of grants to the Arts Connection from the California Arts Council and the San Bernardino City Fine Arts Commission.

Fallen Fruit

Summer Puppet Workshop

  • The Puppet Workshop, held for six days in June, 2018, was a success for both the kids who attended and the adults who produced it. Many very creative sock puppets were made, and there was great participation in the plays (“The Hare and the Tortoise;” “Little Red Riding Hood;” “Pierre, I Don’t Care;” and “Old Toad.”) which were performed before an audience of over 20 proud parents, grandparents and admirers.

Summer Puppet Workshop

New Faces at the Center

  • A new tenant is John Brantingham, who teaches writing at Mt. Sac College. John is using one of the offices as a place to write without interruptions. We welcome him to San Bernardino.

    You may have met Yeni Burgos, who curated the exhibit of permanent art pieces in the “Gallery.” Yeni is an artist herself, in both graphics and photography. She volunteers at the Center, helping to coordinate several programs, and assisting in the office.

    Sue Payne is volunteering Mondays primarily in our Art Library, but also answering the phone and other necessary tasks. Sue is a San Bernardino resident, who is the longtime volunteer coordinator of the California Room at Feldheym Public Library, where one can find a multitude of historical documents about the San Bernardino Area. She brings experience in library organization and historical knowledge to us.

Ceramics Studio

  • The Ceramics Studio will have its soft opening in April, with plans to begin regular classes in May. San Bernardino School District Art teachers Keith Brockie and Megan Moore have been instrumental in working as volunteers to make the studio ready for classes. In particular, Keith, who teaches at Arroyo Valley High School and CSUSB, has spent much time cleaning, discarding items that are not useable, adding colorful posters to the walls, and coordinating with Anna Delgado (also an art teacher at CSUSB) to get donations of equipment and materials from several sources. He has taken a very personal interest in setting up this studio, including donating supplies and we are extremely grateful.

    There is now a professional pottery wheel in the ceramics studio. The wheel was donated by Diane Grant, an SBVCA Board member (SBVCA is the parent organization of the Garcia Arts Center). Diane is also an artist, with specializations in ceramics and glass.

Center Receives Donation of Comic Book Collection

  • A comic book business, Comics Plus, in San Bernardino recently donated to the Center over 2,000 comic books. We have spent some time assessing what we have, and Dan Rinne has built attractive display racks. Come see this collection of comic books, many of them historically important.

Display Cases Exhibit Donated Comic Book Collection

Attention Piano Teachers!

  • We have a perfect venue for your student recitals. Our pianos are maintained by Cannon Pianos of San Bernardino. On-site parking available.

San Bernardino Sings Folk Songs, Every Thursday

  • The San Bernardino Sings Folk Songs group returns! Recently they appeared on Inland Empire Live, a TV show on Channel 3. If you want to see them singing with joy, you can access the program on YouTube at this link:

Folk Song Group