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Local Fun

26 Aug 2020
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In September, the Palm Springs Cultural Center will reach the six-month anniversary of being shut down—along with all other venues across the state—by COVID-19. While the doors of the Cultural Center building will remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future, management will still have far too much going on to take much notice of the anniversary. The Saturday Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Markets continue, as do the drive-in films that have been taking place each weekend since the start of July. The “virtual cinema” streaming-film offerings will be expanded, and the center’s annual LGBTQ film fest, Cinema Diverse, will proceed despite the pandemic. And that’s just the beginning of the Cultural Center’s plans. Many of the Cultural Center’s offerings these days revolve around the new drive-in screen. Michael Green, the executive director of the Palm Springs Cultural Center, explained how it came to be. “One of our board…
17 Jul 2020
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Every year, the McCallum Theatre showcases local performers via its Open Call Talent Project—but the series of April shows, like so many other events, was a casualty of the coronavirus epidemic. However, the show must go on—so Open Call 2020 has moved from the stage to the screen: At 6:30 p.m., Saturday, July 18, KESQ Channel 3 will air a special half-hour video, produced by the McCallum and hosted by Patrick Evans, showcasing the Open Call finalists. The video was filmed in the desert adjacent to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Kajsa Thuresson-Frary, the vice president of education at the McCallum, explained how Open Call normally works, during a recent phone interview. “It’s a competition where people submit, and then we have callbacks; then we get to about 18 to 20 finalists,” Thuresson-Frary said. “The whole thing is a learning process, but there’s also an added competition element. What…
14 Jun 2020
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Many local nonprofits depend on large signature events to raise a significant portion of the money they need. However, large events are currently not safe—and won’t be until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, likely many months or even several years from now. So what can nonprofits do in the meantime? The Desert AIDS Project hopes to get some answers to this question at 7 p.m., Friday, June 19, when the virtual event Voices of Hope takes place. The free, online show is hosted by Scott Nevins, and will feature appearances and performances by Kristin Chenoweth, Betty Buckley, Ann Hampton Callaway, Erich Bergen, Matthew Morrison and others. Interested attendees can go to to register--and, if they so choose, donate. Registrants will then get sent details on how to “attend” the online event at home via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. I recently spoke to Darrell Tucci, DAP’s chief development officer. (Full…
22 Apr 2020
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Mitch Gershenfeld has been booking shows at the McCallum Theatre for more than two decades now—and it’s a vast understatement to say he’s never experienced a season like this. The longtime McCallum president and CEO retired—while keeping his booking duties—late last summer to make way for a new president and CEO, Terrence Dwyer. Three months later, Dwyer was let go, and Gershenfeld returned as the acting president. Then came March 12—and the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were supposed to have Ricky Skaggs that night,” Gershenfeld said during a recent phone interview. “It was a sold-out show, but we shut everything down. The rest of the shows for the season were canceled. “But we had a plan. We kept all of our full-time staff on, and we’re continuing to work from our homes. We’re using Zoom and having daily meetings. We’re working on all the various aspects of the…

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