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Creative Education * Creative Arts * Creative Therapies



OCCTAC Featured In Spring 2023 Quarterly Publication

of the Regional Center of Orange County

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OCCTAC Featured In Tableau Digital Magazine
Fall 2022 Issue

By Allison Hata

O.C. Children’s Therapeutic Arts Returns to In-Person Learning

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L to R  Justin Navarette, Jesus Reyes, Roberto Reyes, Angelica Cervantes, William Do-Trinh


MAY 26, 2021 9:11 PM PT

At the start of distance learning last year, Roberto Reyes didn’t feel like logging into any additional Zoom classes other than the required amount, he said. Reyes, now 15 years old, had spent most of his life consistently attending Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts programs, but finishing up his last year of middle school online was hard enough. It wasn’t until a few months later that he began itching to return to art classes no matter if they were held online.

“Not having something to look forward to every day was driving me nuts,” he said.

This year Reyes is participating in piano, viola, harp and media arts programs at the center in a hybrid-learning model. By June 7, the center plans to fully transition to having in-person classes limited in size to accommodate social distancing at its Santa Ana headquarters.    Read full story here 

OCCTAC/Engage360 Art Students Honored
Press Enterprise Publication
May 2021

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By: Mark Dimalanta


During the recent Covid-19 Pandemic, Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center was pressed to pivot, create virtual curriculum, and engage the students through the Zoom Platform.  Our society witnessed coarse and divisive themes which caused much anxiety among our community.  In partnership with SAUSD Engage 360, OCCTAC was able to reach the community and provided the much needed creative enrichment that gave balance to their core subjects and improved their social /emotional well being. We tasked our teachers to inspire their students to create art work that inspires unity through diversity.  The best educational tool was found within Mexican mythology in the form of the “Alebrije” and our California VAPA standards based curriculum, inspired by Favio Martinez Curiot. The students combined separate, but majestic creatures into one form, hence creating an even more beautiful species strengthened by unity.  In essence, each individual creature or symbol uniquely separate, but joined together as one... more beautiful. -A lesson we can all learn from during the pandemic’s divisive times. We are very proud to announce that 2 students were selected to participate in a county wide editorial for the Press Enterprise, written by Allyson Escobar.  Their work was featured in “How students are using Art to channel Covid-19 fears.”


Paola Sanchez, Age: 10, 4th Grade Adams Elementary SAUSD E360/OCCTAC, Teacher Blanca Ibarra. “From the chaos of darkness, beauty evolves by the fusion of color.” A contrast of colors and form made with Watercolor, chalk, tempera paint on card stock. Jimena Lemus Perez, age: 6, 1st Grade, Santiago Elementary, SAUSD E360/OCCTAC, Teacher Kristina Baker. “Mixed in Unity we find Love.” The blending of tiger, elephant, butterfly and giraffe to create a majestic new form, filled with love and smiles. -Media, watercolor, ink, & crayon wax resist.


The full article can be found here:

Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

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Article By: SARA EAKER (Leap Into Leadership)

The Orange County Children's Therapecutic Arts Center (OCCTAC) offers programs that unite the arts with academics an cretive therapies for at-risk youth and children with special needs. Found and CEO, Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami, recognized as a "Woman Who Makes a Difference" has received both the National Hispanic Business Women Association Award and the National Award for Creativity in Special Education. For nearly 20 years, OCCTAC has provided artistic training in the fields of .... Read Full Story Here

Chapman University
2018 Neighbor to Neighbor

The Power of Art



















Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami, founder of OCCTAC, speaks of the multifaceted healing reach of art  in the November 2018 "OC Heroes" issue of Orange Coast magazine.

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Santa Ana Celebrates the Latin American Harp


From the coastal port of Veracruz, Mexico to landlocked Paraguay, the harp in Latin America has accentuated traditional music with its sonorous melodies for centuries. The grown out fingernails of musicians pluck the instrument's numerous nylon strings that vibrate its sophisticated sounds. Four such master harpists from Latin America are lending their superb talents for days of events culminating in a concert performance this weekend in Santa Ana..... Read Full Story Here

Ana Jimenez-Hami Brings the Arts to

Low-Income Kids

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Growing up in Puerto Rico, Ana Jimenez-Hami’s father, Freddy, never let her forget about the importance of helping those who weren’t as fortunate as she.

“He’d always say, ‘You have to learn to give back to others in need,’ ” recalls Jimenez-Hami, 52, who now lives in Irvine, Calif.... Read Full Story Here

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