News and Other Happenings


"Tales of an Inland Empire Girl" Book Launch

  • In January 2022, we had a lovely time celebrating Juanita Mantz’s book launch for “Tales of an Inland Empire Girl”. The day featured readings from Jacqueline Mantz and Romaine Washington along with snacks, drinks and a beautiful cake.

Empire Wind Ensemble Holiday Concert

  • In December 2021, the Empire Wind Ensemble held a wonderful holiday concert at the center.

Empire Wind Ensemble Holiday Concert
Holiday Concert

Young Perceptions: Legends of the IE

  • On October 23rd, 2021 we had a Photovoice Project Exhibition, presented by Sigma Beta Xi. Young storytellers presented their final projects to community members. It was wonderful to hear from the youth, about how they see their community, their culture, and their roots in the IE.

October 2021: Garcia Center Garden Build Day

  • We want to say thank you to everyone that joined us on October 16th, 2021 to build the raised planting beds. Thank you to IERCD, to IEHP and every single community member that came out to support. It means so much to us. We learned so much from everyone and gained a lot of confidence in our building skills.

    This is just the beginning of the garden. We are so excited to see the garden bloom.

Life in SoCal San Bernardino Series

  • Back in July, we held an opening ceremony for the garden at The Garcia Center. We are thankful to have had John Shollenberger of Life In Socal present that day to capture the event.

    Watch the video recapping highlights of that day, featuring interviews with community members, including interviews with Dr. Ernie & Dr. Dotti Garcia, namesakes of the Garcia Center for the Arts.

    Watch the video for yourself and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, LifeInSoCalStudios.

Life in SoCal San Bernardino Series Video

IE Information Ecosystem Assessment

  • We are very happy to have The Garcia Center for the Arts featured in the IE Information Ecosystem Assessment, put together by the Listening Post Collective. Please make some time to read through it yourself. A lot of familiar community faces and voices are featured throughout the report.

Inland Empire Information Ecosystem Assessment

Captain Empath vs. COVID-19 Play

  • On Thursday, August 19th, 2021 we had a special presentation of ‘Captain Empath vs COVID-19’, an action packed play put together by El Sol, whose goal is to combat misinformation around the COVID vaccine and virus. It was great fun seeing the performance, bringing some lightness to the fight against the COVID virus.

    Check out the video recap at the link: ‘Captain Empath vs. Covid-19’: a superhero play for the pandemic era (

Actors in El Sol COVID-19 Performance
COVID-19 Play Flyer

Inlandia Presents: Covid Stories

  • Inlandia presents Stories collected in the midst of the Pandemic:

    On Sunday August 22nd, 2021 Inlandia presented “Covid Stories: How We Made It Through”. This past year and a half has been trying for us all. It was such a pleasure to spend a bit of time unpacking it all, from the lonely struggles of the pandemic, to the US presidential election, to the murder of George Floyd. We must continue connecting as a community, feel empowered to share our stories and struggles, even in the midst of a pandemic and the limitations that get in the way.

    Special thank you to the presenters: Antonio Vong, Rose Y. Monge, Tanisha Bradley, and Rebecca Waring-Crane, and to all who came out!

Covid Stories Presenters in the Auditorium

Downtown SB Art Walk

  • A collaboration of local businesses and community organizations are working together to bring a monthly art walk to San Bernardino’s downtown area. The first art walk was held on July 29th, 2021. Look forward to the next one on the last Thursday of August and every following month.

San Bernardino Art Walk Flyer

Storytelling with Clay

  • On Saturday July 24, 2021 we had an amazing group of participants take part in the Storytelling with Clay workshop. Clay was the medium for which participants were able to tell a story of their past, present or future lives while living in San Bernardino, discussing the changes they would like to see for the future of the city. The workshop went over basic handbuilding techniques and was open to people residing in the City of San Bernardino. The work created by the participating community will be exhibited in a show at The Garcia Center in September.

  • The Storytelling with Clay workshop was made possible by Arts Connection’s 2021 Micro Grants. We want to celebrate Lucy Sunga for being one of the awardees.

    Lucy Sunga has resided in the City of San Bernardino for the past 20 years, she graduated CSU San Bernardino. Her work has been fluid with exploring her identity and the importance of documenting family history, while making visual memories with her sculptures.

    Her project aims to support production of a ceramic art installation, honoring Lucy’s ancestors. Lucy will create an art installation of organic three-dimensional sculptures representing her grandparents who Lucy did not have the opportunity to meet, as her parents immigrated to The United States from Mexico before she was born in 1988.

    Learn more about Lucy and her project by watching the video below.

The Garcia Center Garden Grand Opening

  • On Saturday July 17th, 2021 we celebrated the opening of the Garcia Center garden. It was a beautiful evening filled with music, dance, art, and community. The day included an art show in the Garcia Center gallery, organized by artist Belen Ledezma and featuring work by Erok the Lion, Death in Tales, Denise Silva and Amparo Chi.

  • The evening also included musical Performances by QUITAPENAS, Milpa, Yung Miss, Illsamar, and Phantom Thrett. Duan Kellum of Skool Boiz was also screen printing live during the event on behalf of the Just SB collective. We also had artist LetterAction doing live graffiti art. Thank you so much to everyone that was able to join us.

Portrait Photography by Fabian Torres

Commemoration with James Ramos and Eloise Gomez Reyes

  • On July 10th, 2021 Assemblymembers James Ramos and Eloise Gomez Reyes were present at The Garcia Center for the Arts to commemorate the $1million in state funding coming to the center. It is a blessing to have the support from two of our local elected leaders. We  are so grateful for the support and are looking forward to realizing all the projects that are now possible with this funding!


  • Throughout the month of June, we invited 24 community members to take part in discussions and dialogues on how to create a human-centered city. With the help of Future First, we recorded 6 separate conversations focusing on wellness, vending, local business, arts and education, city planning, and the narrative behind our community and how it is represented in the media. Keep an eye out for these videos throughout the month of July.

    This project is part of the Just San Bernardino Collaborative (JustSB), which is a coalition of 9 organizations who believe that now is the time for the “People” to have a voice about the conditions in San Bernardino, not just government and big businesses!

    Learn more about JustSB and the mission at

Garden of Health, El Jardin de la Salud

  • On June 20th, we invited the community to come and help us paint a mural for the Garden of Health, El Jardin de la Salud.

    Huge THANKS to all the community members, gardeners, creatives who have helped with this project. We are eternally grateful! Please follow and support all of the local artists and organizers, making everything possible: Ana Cervantes, Alcira Mendoza, Edgar Perez Peña, and Sarah Rain Devine.

A Space Between Us

  • A Space Between Us is a project made possible by The State of California’s “Your Actions Save Lives” campaign. On June 12th, we hosted a soft launch for the project with artist Tamara Cedré. There was a film screening documenting pandemic stories from residents throughout San Bernardino, CA. These stories were shared also through the creation of a zine, which you can pick up from The Garcia Center. On a related note, you can also start picking up the IE Community Newspaper at The Garcia Center again. Make sure to pick up this week’s copy.

IEHP’s Cultivate IE Program

  • Summer 2021 – We are so excited to share that The Garcia Center for the Arts will be part of IEHP’s Cultivate IE community garden program, providing a $20,000 sponsorship to support the creation of a Zen relaxation garden.

The Garcia Center Receives a Sponsorhip Through Cultivate IE Program

Summer 2021 - Investments in Arts & Culture

  • We are so happy to share with you that The Garcia Center for the Arts has been included in the California State Budget, as an arts and culture line item investment for the local community of San Bernardino. We are so excited and are looking forward to all the possibilities this funding will bring to the center and the community. We want to thank both Assemblymembers Eloise Reyes and James Ramos, and their invaluable staff for making this happen. Without your support and unwavering advocacy, these major accomplishments would be impossible.

    But the Garcia Center for the Arts is not the only investment being made in San Bernardino. We are also happy to share that the historic California Theater is receiving $2,500,000 for repairs and upgrades.These are truly significant investments for the arts and culture in San Bernardino!

Meet Resident Ceramics Artist Alcira Mendoza

  • Alcira is a ceramicist by trade, born and raised in San Bernardino, CA. A first generation college student who recently received two bachelors in both Studio Art and Biology from California State University of San Bernardino. She aims to teach and engage others through ceramics. As an artist, Alcira hopes to create a catalyst that encourages conversation with her artwork, while finding ways of connecting her love of science, art, and her community.

    Alcira has started wheel throwing classes at The Garcia Center. Schedule private classes with Alcira by emailing or by messaging them through Instagram @alley.cat_ceramics or @thegarciacenterforthearts.

Alcira Mendoza Headshot
Alcira Teaching Wheel Throwing Technique

May 2021 - Neighborhood Association Council Monthly Meeting & Plant Sale

  • The Neighborhood Association Council of San Bernardino met at The Garcia Center for the Arts on the first of May. County Supervisor Joe Baca Jr was a guest speaker at the meeting, and shared his priority issues as well as potential solutions. Also featured were Karen Suarez with the Making Hope Happen Foundation & UpliftSB, as well as our friend Jenny Kane, speaking on behalf of Arts Connection.

    The following week, the NAC also held a successful plant sale event. There were musical performances from the Highland Pickers, as well as other art activities thanks to Arts Connection and Planet A SB.

    Interested in getting more involved in your neighborhood? Join your local Neighborhood Association today! Info HERE.

COVID Vaccine Pop-up Clinic

  • On May 14th, we partnered with Loma Linda University Health and El Sol to do a pop up COVID vaccine clinic at The Garcia Center. We had a good number of people from our community come get vaccinated and many others who helped volunteer. We even had a musical performance during the clinic from singer Pamela Nolasco Brito. We are happy to offer the space for these pop up clinics, as we make our way out of this pandemic.