Occidental Center for the Arts Circa 2008
The Occidental Center for the Arts continues to provide a welcoming and accessible venue for the performing and visual arts in Occidental, California. This was their website in 2008.
The new owner of this domain is a supporter of the Occidental Center for the Arts and not only wanted to keep as much of the original content as possible, but also direct any visitors who ended up here to the centers current website.
Content is from the site's archived pages.
The current website for the Occidental Center for the Arts is found at http://www.occidentalcenterforthearts.org/
Visit their website to learn about all their ongoing events as well as up coming events
4008 Bohemian Highway
Occidental, CA 95465
(formerly Harmony School, now Harmony Village
Bohemian Hwy & Graton Rd,
PO Box 1019
Occidental, CA 95465
The Occidental Center for the Arts exists to provide a welcoming and accessible venue for the performing and visual arts in Occidental, California. Our mission is to enrich our community by providing diverse cultural experiences that inspire, educate, and entertain.
Our feasibility study conducted by AMS Planning and Research showed that Occidental and Bodega Bay are affluent, educated communities that provide an ideal location for an intimate performing arts facility. The full time population of over 3,000 people has twice the national average of college-educated individuals, and median household incomes a third higher than the national average. Part time residents and tourists significantly increase the potential audience on summer weekends.
Over the last three years, our neighbors have pitched in on work days, come to planning meetings, donated money, and attended an eclectic series of monthly concerts, plays, readings, movies, parties and other events at the OCA, proving beyond a doubt that there is an enthusiastic audience for an art center in Occidental.
In 1998, Occidental activist Doris Murphy and Redwood Arts Council founder Kit Neustadter founded the Occidental Center for the Performing and Visual Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a home venue for the Occidental Choir, the RAC concert series, and other artists in Occidental.
In 2003, Orrin and Terri Theissen agreed to create Harmony Village> on the site of the closed Harmony School, and to donate a classroom and the multi-purpose room to the OCA.
Since then the OCA has added board members and volunteers, turned the classroom into an office and art gallery, and hired an interim director. We have hired an architect and an acoustician who created plans for turning our multipurpose room into a world class performance space. In 2008 the final map for Harmony Village was approved and our way was clear to launch a capital fund raising campaign to finance the completion of our plans and the construction of our dream art center.
Patrick Ball RAC Concert of Music and Story
Occidental Choir Reunion Concert
Gallery Grand Opening Art Show
Ernie Shelton Dek-tette Plays Jazz Standards
Dream House One-Woman Show
"10 Questions for the Dalai Lama" Film
Women's History Literary Reading
Star-crossed Lovers Cabaret with Andrea VanDyke
Wassailing Early Music Concert
"Rezistans: The Real Haiti" Film
Comedy Night with Local Writers
Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble Concert
Winterlude Concert with Daniel Celidore
Stories for a Sunday Afternoon
Steve Bruner's Standup Comedy
Stretching Boundaries Word Festival
Dustin Coupe Magic Show
Nina Wise in an Evening of Improv
Chester Aaron Reading
Occidental Oddities: Local Comedy Writers
Heritage Days Reception
Italian Food & Cinema Series
"Flushed Away" Movie for Kids & Families
May Maybes Reading of Poetry & Short Stories
Halloween Haunted House
Love Jam Valentine's Day Concert
"Cuba: The Power of Community" Film
The Redwood Arts Council
presents ten classical chamber music concerts a year, for the past 28 years. The Occidental Center for the Arts' renovated auditorium will become the beautiful, spacious, comfortable, and acoustically optimal home stage for RAC concerts.
The Occidental Community Choir
was founded 29 years ago and has grown to a 40-member organization. It performs two major concert series a year, featuring almost exclusively music composed and arranged by its members. The Choir will also find a home venue at the Occidental Center for the Arts.
Project Statement for the Harmony Memorial
For years the Occidental site of Harmony School has lain vacant, neglected and subject to vandalism. It sat as a broken shell, a sad reminder of what once was the vibrant center of our community.
But today, as both global and local factors shift, change has come to our little town of Occidental, and change is coming to Harmony school. What once was the site of a public school -- a unifying institution which helped shape the minds and hearts of thousands of children with the help of over two hundred faculty and staff -- will become multiple new public and private spaces.
The school site is currently in transition. Where once there was a playground where we played softball, soon will stand houses. Where once there were classrooms, soon there will be offices. Where once there was a cafeteria, soon there will be a performing arts center. The Occidental Center for the Arts, along with researcher Dr. Nadja Masura, invite the community to claim this transition of place by inviting members of the community to get involved in our Harmony memorial project.
As an inaugural arts project, the OCA is showing its commitment to becoming a place for community by commissioning the Harmony Memorial Project which will:
- Research the school and collect and digitize information
- Conduct interviews or records of oral history
- Create a log of these digital records
- Use these records to create a site-specific event at Harmony/OCA which involves the community.
In order to honor the memories of Occidental's former Harmony School and the more than 3,200 parents, students, teachers, and staff who constituted it, we'd like to ask you and yours to contact us with any photos, stories, or artifacts you'd like to share.
There are several ways you can participate:
- Email digitized photos or send (with return stamped envelope) us your photos (especially of the playground or classrooms) along with a signed statement giving OCA permission to use the image. Likewise, if you have access to yearbooks, school papers, or other memorabilia, please contact us.
- Contact us if you'd like to be interviewed about being a student, teacher, or staff member at Harmony (Occidental Campus). Interviews will be held by appointment at the Occidental Campus/Construction Site, at the Media Arts Center in Santa Rosa, or in home if requested by disabled persons or families with multiple school alumni. If you are not in the area, you may read the interview questions posted online and email or send in a video message (along with statement of consent to use this information).
- Donations and volunteer support are appreciated. Later stages may include further aspects of community participation. Let us know if you or your kids are comfortable performing infront of others.
Contact us for additional ways to get involved. If you would like to become involved in the Harmony/OCA Project, you can contact us by phone: (707) 829-1270 or email- please indicate if you were a student, teacher, etc.).
"My husband and I are big supporters of OCA and have been involved in a number of very successful fundraising efforts. The arts are hugely important to this community, so getting people behind our efforts is key to our success. One of the most productive efforts was in support of the Batman Trilogy Project, led by our own Bruce Wayne (Sarg Milhouse), who conceived of the very clever publicity outreach involving a number of Batman themed giveaways. We started with a lottery in which each winner received a unique Batman T shirt. We then sponsored a contest where the contestants created posters to promote the Project performance and barbeque. There were 5 winners and each received a sweatshirt with a Batman theme and their photos appeared in the Occidental Voice along with their posters. The biggest success was the Batman auction, where, because of the publicity of the 2 previous giveaways, the most valuable items were Batman hoodies. Sarg acted as the auctioneer and convinced everyone to bid heavily for the hoodies - some, autographed by Christian Bale went for over $100! We hope to repeat this success each year going forward." Madeline Cutts and Julian Beale
A Successful Beginning
Since receiving Orrin and Terri Thiessen's generous gift of our auditorium and gallery space, we have raised over $75,000 to fund interim repairs, minor renovations, and day-to-day operations. Now that ground has broken on the Harmony Village project, there are many new opportunities for donors in our Capital Campaign.
Perpetuate Your Contribution to Our Community:
- Auditorium................... $200,000
- Art Gallery................... $100,000
- Lobby Gallery................ $50,000
- Plaza/Water Feature...... $50,000
- Amphitheater................. $50,000
- Stage............................ $30,000
Wall of Fame
Listed prominently by name in the new lobby:
- Founder's Circle...... $25,000-$49,999
- Major Donors.......... $10,000-$24,999
- Sustaining Donors...... $1,000-$9,999
- 100-Letter Inscription of Your Choice, Engraved on a 12" x 12" Paver in the New Plaza...... $275 Each
For OCA events, we need people to prepare mailings, make phone calls, set up chairs and tables, take tickets, usher, serve food, and clean up.
To prepare for renovations, we will need demolition help in stripping the slats and acoustic fabric from the auditorium walls, removing and capping plumbing fixtures, cutting down trees, moving bushes, ripping the ceiling tiles off the auditorium, making dump runs, and so on.
When construction starts, we need help to repair the door to the gallery furnace room, sheetrock the gallery ceiling, move the stage and band shell, landscape, and replace the auditorium house lights.
For those who want to embrace a stewardship role, we are accepting applications to join our Board of Directors.
In Kind Donations (Stuff We Need!)
- Late Model PC
- Laptop with DVD Player
- Late Model All-in-One Printer/Fax/Copier/Scanner
- Sound Gear: Monitor Speakers, Mics, and Stands
- 12-16 Foot Wide Pull-Down Movie Screen
- Stage Lighting: Lamps of All Kinds, Dimmer Packs, and Gels
Please make all checks payable to Occidental Center for the Arts and mail to:
Occidental Center for the Arts
PO Box 1019
Occidental, CA 95465
We acquired our auditorium and gallery space, and completed our conceptual plan.
|Auditorium, Gallery Space (6,000+ Sq. Ft.), and Land Parcel
|Architectural Design Documents
We will finish drawings, pull building permits, and build a new 750 sq. ft. lobby and a new 460 sq. ft. plaza with fountain. We will improve auditorium acoustics, increased seating capacity, install new house & stage lighting, and renovate the restrooms.
|Drawings, Engineering, Permits, Water, and Sewer Fees
|Connections for Power, Water, and Propane
|Lobby, Plaza, and Landscaping
|Auditorium Acoustical Treatments
|House and Stage Lighting
|Upgrade Existing Restrooms
We will build a new 493 sq. ft. flexible stage with wheelchair lift, install new raked seating for better sight lines, remodel the art gallery, and build 700 sq. ft. of new backstage area. On the west side of the auditorium we will build a new kitchen, restrooms, storage, and outdoor amphitheater stage & shell.
|Stage, Backstage, and Stage Right Storage
|Gallery, Office, and Box Office
|West Wing: Green Room, Storage, and Kitchen