Monthly Archives: April 2014

Advancing the Performing Arts in the Victor Valley

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Our MISSION is to enrich the lives of the Victor Valley community by advancing access to the performing arts and educational opportunities that advance artistic pursuits.

We are located in the Mojave High Desert in California. Our long-term goal is to build a dedicated, state-of-the-art performing arts center in the High Desert. Join us!

LOVE Letters – Performance


Victor Valley Arts and Education Center was awarded a $10,000 grant in November, 2013 to stage “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney for underserved residents in the community.

We produced the play at five locations throughout the High Desert in 2014, as well as for the residents of The Aspen at Sun City Apple Valley by Del Webb in July, 2014.


VVAEC receives $10,000 Grant

thankyouVictor Valley Arts and Education Center was awarded a $10,000 arts grant in November, 2014 via our affiliation with the High Desert Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties (TCF) received funding from The James Irvine Foundation for projects targeted to an arts-nonprofit. The grant guidelines were for an arts project to embrace and advance the diverse way that we experience the arts by reaching low-income and/or ethnically diverse populations that have been traditionally underserved by nonprofit arts foundation-smlorganizations. In addition, the arts engagement project needed to actively engage the targeted communities by having them participate in the project and also put on performances in nontraditional arts venues.

The successful grant that VVAEC wrote was to produce the award-winning two-person play “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney and to present the play at affordable housing complexes and senior centers. The project was called “Love Letters and Musical Notes.” VVAEC partnered with Paul Starks of “Parade of Pianos” to present a musical component. That “Musical Petting Zoo” provided a display of unique musical instruments that audience members could touch, strum, and beat before and after the theatrical performance.

The productions, held in May 2014, were performed in unique settings: Village Oaks Apartments in Victorville, Victorville Senior Citizens Club, Adelanto Senior Citizens Center, and Hesperia Senior Living. In addition, VVAEC staged a theatrical reading of “Steel Magnolias” by Robert Harling for the women from “A Better Way Domestic Violence Shelter.” Unfortunately, a Spanish-language production, scheduled for Cinco de Mayo weekend at the Town of Apple Valley Conference Center, had to be cancelled due to casting problems.

These are the populations that are generally underserved in the arts, much as the grant required. In three of the six scheduled performances we were successful in having residents/members perform as the actors in the play.
Love Letters is comprised of letters exchanged over a lifetime between two people who grew up together, went their separate ways, but continued to share confidences. Because the actors read the letters aloud, we knew that this was the perfect play for novice actors to perform. So part of our journey included our talented actress/director Stephanie Brynjolfson teach these folks how to act.

“As we build our audience and community support for VVAEC’s mission to advance the arts in the High Desert,” said Davida Siwisa James, VVAEC executive director, “we felt it was important that all residents know that what we are doing is for the entire community. This project is a great way to showcase that.”

Give BIG!!


On May 8, 2014, VVAEC was one of the many nonprofits in the High Desert that took part in Give BIG San Bernardino County, the first Give BIG campaign the county had undertaken. This is a unique online fundraising campaign where all the giving is concentrated in one day. “Give BIG” days are a new fundraising strategy that is spreading across the country where cities, counties and states are encouraging citizens and companies to focus on supporting the good work of nonprofits…all in one day. Of the 265 participants throughout the county, VVAEC came in at #78 in terms of highest donations. Next year, we hope to be in the top 20! Stay tuned for the 2015 Give BIG day! But you certainly don’t need to wait until then to contribute to Victor Valley Arts! Please go to our DONATE page and show your support of the arts.