Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s ArtsTech Academy Fall 2017 after school arts program begins next week — new courses & faculty added!

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JOSHUA TREE, CA — The Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s highly esteemed ArtsTech Academy after school arts program for youth grades 1-12 begins its Fall courses next week at the Hi-Desert Cultural Center in Joshua Tree.  The arts program continues to expand with seven exciting new course offerings and exceptional additions to its award-winning program faculty.  This follows the success of its summer youth arts program, which was recognized as a program of excellence and awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
There are twenty-two courses offered for the Fall schedule, and the seven new courses span all areas and ages of instruction.  The Visual Arts Department has added three new courses: “Art 4 Kids!” (grades 1-3), a hands-on course especially designed to introduce young elementary school-aged children to the fun and creative process of learning to express themselves through visual art; “Self-Expression Through Photography and Collage Painting” (grades 7-12) will be taught by Darlene Morris; and “Media Exploration” (grades 4-6) will be taught by new instructor Lisa Dean, who joins the academy faculty with more than 20 years of experience in youth arts education.  The Theater Department has added three new intermediate/advanced courses: “Technique and Analysis” and “Scene Study Workshop” will both be taught by Playhouse Artistic Director Howard Shangraw; and “Musical Theater Repertory” will be taught by Cultural Center Education Director, Nelms McKelvain.  The Music Department will be adding two new courses: “Class Voice”, a course designed to improve one’s singing through studying the fundamentals of healthy vocal production, will be taught by new academy faculty member Analisa Pilecki who is a recipient of numerous Desert Theater League awards for her outstanding performances in musicals; the “Orchestral Strings” courses are adding electric violin to the mix with new faculty member and classically trained violinist, Nicole Anna, whose “soulful strings” and studio performances are a favorite choice for recordings by well-known chart-topping and Grammy award-winning urban musicians.  Anna will be leading courses that include both electric and traditional violin and viola instruction on Monday afternoons.
Most courses begin the week of October 9th and run through the week of December 11th.   The Kids courses (grades 1-3) begin October 16th and run through the week of December 4th. Course costs range from $35-$110 and substantial financial aid is available.  For the music courses, many instruments are also available for rent/loan at reduced or no cost.  All faculty are live scanned and parents may watch the classes live on the monitor in the theater’s foyer.
For more information or to register, visit www.hidesertculturalcenter, call 760.366.3777, or visit the Cultural Center at 61231 Twentynine Palms Highway in Joshua Tree. 
PHOTO CAPTION (FROM LEFT): Hi-Desert Cultural Center Education Director Nelms McKelvain teaches a piano class as part of the Cultural Center’s highly esteemed ArtsTech Academy after school arts program for youth grades 1-12.  The Academy’s Fall 2017 classes begin next week.
PHOTO CREDIT: Anne Sholtz, HDCC Board Member and CFO.
With its multi-venue performing and visual arts centers located in Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley, California, the Hi-Desert Cultural Center (HDCC) is a 50+ year non-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation (Federal Tax ID# 23-7425816) that serves as the regional performing and visual arts organization for the gateway communities of Joshua Tree National Park.  The Cultural Center operates its own performance venues and produces award-winning professional live theater, concerts, art exhibits and galleries, festivals, the Joshua Tree Philharmonic symphony orchestra, an artist residency for veterans, an extensive educational arts and technology academy program for youth and adults, and more.  It operates a significant financial aid and scholarship program so that no children are turned away from programs due to their socioeconomic situation.  Learn more at:

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