• Leadership Santa Maria Valley: Learning About Arts and Recreation in Santa Maria

    On Friday, August 6th Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2021 gathered to learn about Arts and Recreation in our community. Kyle Hawkins, Vice President, and Jaime Espinoza, Secretary for the Board of Santa Maria Civic Theater (SMCT) located at 1660 N. McClelland helped the class learn to break the forth wall and get themselves out of their comfort zones using entertaining improv techniques. SMCT found creative ways to survive the COVID shut down by performing drive up theater around Santa Maria. Now entering their 63rd season, the SMCT looks forward to their upcoming performances including “The Show Will Go On: Behind Closed Doors” on August 27th, 28th, and 29th and “The Full Monty” coming January 2022.

    Alex Espinoza-Kulick from Corazon Del Pueblo shared how his organization is supporting local children in our community find ways to express themselves through art. Corazon Del Pueblo’s vision is to “provide a community space that advances the individual and collective imagination as it relates to our Latinx culture, while creating a culturally enriching space where diverse identities, heritages, and expressions are affirmed and celebrated throughout the arts.” In collaboration with SM Joint Unified School District, high school students from Santa Maria, Pioneer and Ernest Righetti High Schools with assistance from their Ethics & Gender Studies teachers and local artist Ruben Espinoza “lead students through a critical examination and reconstruction of the traditional game of Loteria. Students collectively created a new and uniquely youth-centered version of the Loteria game anchored on the notions of social justice, empowerment, and resistance.” For a limited time playing sets of Nuestra Loteria are available for a donation on their website.

    Jeff Allen, Production Manager for PCPA led the class in a behind the scenestour of Marian Theatre.. From planning to painting and stage design to lighting and finally center stage, members of the leadership class got a deep dive behind the scenes into what it takes to put on a production.

    Sue Anderson, CEO of Dignity Health: Marian Medical Center this month’s Leadership Speaker spoke on “Leading Through Unforseen Challenges & Adversity”. Working at Marian through the challenges of COVID-19, Sue found that communication was integral in the confidence of her staff during a period of uncertainty.

    To close the day members of the leadership class toured the Abel Maldonado Youth Center and learned how the center is supporting children in our community by creating a safe space, encouraging artistic expression and providing an indoor space for sports and fitness.