Posted on 17 January 2015 by La Habra Journal
By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
Over the centuries, communities have thrived on the development of their cultures. In order to help enrich the lives of its residents, La Habra has continued to develop and build on its community. Last Saturday La Habra launched an Art Appreciation program in partnership with Oasis Center International. The 10-week program will include visual and performing arts and will be focused primarily at children and youth in the community. “We need to help the youth in the community to aspire to greatness,” said Mark Sturdevant, president of the La Habra Chamber of Commerce. “Oasis International has the foundation to make that happen.” Courses in children’s theater, journaling, painting, tap dancing and architectural design are scheduled for the community.
In addition to the arts, Oasis will be offering non-art courses for young mothers, financial literacy, home ownership, just to name a few. “There are many paths to prosperity in a community,” Sturdevant said. “I have always believed that cultural arts development is a critical part of economic development.” Over the course of the 10 weeks, Oasis will also conduct special community events. Including the Children’s Festival on January 31 and art symposium on February 21. Cost for the programs are low in comparison to others of a similar type, and there are scholarships available for all of the programs.
The art collaboration between Oasis and La Habra is unique and is a first of this size and diversity for Oasis.
Sung added that other cities in Orange County are interested in a similar collaboration. She said that she has appreciated the outpouring of support and the willingness to work together among organizations in La Habra. “Great programs often operate in silos,” Sung added. “I feel there is a great willingness to break that mindset here in La Habra.” Sung explained that the collaboration with the La Habra Art Association and the Children’s Museum has really helped provide resources and expand the scope of the program. Further, the support from the La Habra Chamber of Commerce, the La Habra Collaborative and the various faith-based groups in the community have helped make this program happen, according to Sung. This program is just another in a series of events that the city has done in an effort to help grow the cultural heart of La Habra, including bringing in Mysterium to operate and produce shows at the Depot Theater, after it sat unused for nearly two years. “It’s really a collaboration,” said David DeLeon, La Habra recreation manager. “We are creating a platform to join groups together and leveraging our resources and knowledge bases. To achieve a strong footprint for the arts here in La Habra.” New productions by Mysterium and the art appreciation program by Oasis, including community classes by professionals to help inspire La Habra’s younger population, are definitely increasing La Habra’s cultural footprint.
“There is a power in art,” Sung explained. “Art has the ability to store the wounded heart, awaken a sleeping soul and even shed light to beauty. Art leads.”