In 2013, just a few months after our incorporation, we were awarded a $10,000 grant by the Community Foundation that serves Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The grant project was intended to bring an arts event to underserved populations set in non-typical venues. We produced the play “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney as well as “Steel Magnolias” by Robert Harling, free of charge at several low-income housing complexes and senior centers in May, 2014. The “Musical Notes” part of the grant involved a musical petting zoo by our partner Parade of Pianos. It was an opportunity for people to pick up and handle musical instruments of every variety. As part of the grant, we gave the residents acting lessons, and they performed in the plays. We had the “Love Letters” translated into Spanish, but unfortunately had to cancel the Spanish-language production due to difficulty in casting.
THE FIRST HIGH DESERT BOOK FESTIVAL, October 1, 2016
WE produced the first ever High Desert Book Festival in October, 2016 that was part of the Sixteenth Annual City of Victorville Fall Festival (with 15,000 people in attendance). Our featured presenter was best-selling murder mystery author Anne Perry. It was very successful, with hundreds of attendees visiting our book festival area. Our exhibitors included authors and small publishers from Arizona, Los Angeles, the High Desert and Northern California. Our anchor exhibitor was Barnes & Noble, which set up a mini bookstore. The event was highly praised by exhibitors and attendees. We were welcomed back by the City of Victorville to produce the festival the next year, and we received a glowing letter from the Mayor. Our nonprofit was well into our planning the 2017 festival, but sadly we had to cancel it. There are tentative plans for a summer book festival.