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OCCTAC News - April 2020 - A Tribute to Cynthia Faisst

A Tribute to Cynthia Faiss

The OCCTAC community suffered a great loss this year with the passing of our beloved violin instructor, Ms. Cynthia Faisst, in February. Since then, testimonies, photos, and memories of her have been pouring in from students, parents, and staff. We will continue to share some of these wonderful memories of Ms. Cynthia in future newsletters.

Ms. Cynthia was a great teacher and friend to many at OCCTAC since she joined our team in 2006. Trained for 3 years by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Matsumoto, Japan, Ms. Cynthia was a world-class educator of the Suzuki method of music education. Her teaching style was both loving and unique, combining play and instruction in such a way that her students were encouraged to learn and thrive.

“We were so blessed to know and love Ms. Cynthia. Her beautiful legacy lives on in her students and in all the lives she touched in the OCCTAC community, especially children with special needs! We will honor her memory and start a scholarship fund in her name for all the beautiful memories we have of her. Rest in peace Ms. Cynthia. Your OCCTAC family will always remember you with great love!”-Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami, OCCTAC Executive Director. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, in-person memorials for Ms. Cynthia have been postponed until a future date when we can all gather safely and celebrate her life. Details to follow soon.


California Arts Council Awards OCCTAC $38,000 for Arts Education/Artists in Schools & Youth Arts Action Grants

On May 5, 2020, the California Arts Council announced grant awards of $19,000 to Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center (OCCTAC) as part of its Arts Education/Artists in Schools program and another $19,000 as part of its Youth Arts Action program. OCCTAC was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council of more than 1,500 grants awarded to nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state for their work in support of the agency’s mission to strengthen arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. The investment of nearly $30 million marks a more than $5 million increase over the previous fiscal year, and the largest in California Arts Council history. Organizations were awarded grants across 15 different program areas addressing access, equity, and inclusion; community vibrancy; and arts learning and engagement; and directly benefiting our state's communities, with youth, veterans, returned citizens, and California's historically marginalized communities key among them. Successful projects aligned closely with the agency's vision of a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts. The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Learn more at


OCCTAC is Staying Strong With Virtual Events & Online Classes


You Can Help OCCTAC Today!

The new federal CARES Act allows for charitable gift tax deductions in 2020, even if you are unable to itemize your deductions, as an added incentive to give.

You can help OCCTAC today by donating money, choosing to donate on a recurring basis, or by designating “Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center” as your charity when purchasing through Amazon via their Amazon Smile program at:

We appreciate you and your continued support of OCCTAC’s mission to provide innovative, artistic, educational and therapeutic programs that inspire and transform children, at-risk youth, adults and their families to fulfill their highest potential.

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