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OCCTAC News - October 2021

Thank You To Andrew Deming

By: Phoebe Stanciell

OCCTAC Percussion Student Daniel Angel

Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” OCCTAC Music Coordinator Phoebe Stanciell said several years ago, “my heart is so heavy when I see hard working families and students that are not able to afford quality instruments to thrive and develop their skills on.” Her prayer was to see all her students in the Magnet Program have good quality instruments to play on either at home or in class. Thanks to the incredible generosity of donors like Andrew Deming, those prayers are being answered. The Deming family was gaining a bundle of joy in a few months but had run out of space in their place. The new dad-to-be, Andrew Deming, soon made the difficult choice to find a new home for his drums, cymbals, stands and hardware. We could not believe the great timing! Just one week before this happened, Ms. Phoebe had hired a drum teacher to expand the department with more classes. The new teacher Johnny Sandoval and the donor had a chance to meet that day. Not only did he donate top quality gear, but Mr. Deming brought the drum set in nicely cushioned gig cases, along with a special case for the single and double bass pedal and a huge carrying bag for the hardware. As Mr. Johnny looked through all the gear, he and Ms. Phoebe were overwhelmed with gratitude. Earlier that day they had assessed the drum instruments and saw many needed repairs or incomplete sets. But with this new set and gear, it looked like Mr. Johnny’s new students would really be able to get their “groove on”! If you visit our center and walk past the Parenting Room where Mr. Johnny teaches on Tuesday and Wednesday, you can hear the loud clanging of cymbals, the sound of the heavy bass drum, and snare along with smiling students. Andrew Deming and family, our hearts are full. Bless you for giving our students new creativity and joy playing your Pacific drums. Thank you for your generous heart and the impact you are making on our students. Mil gracias!

Donor Andrew Deming in the OCCTAC Music Room with the new

Pacific Drum donations


OCCTAC Student Success Story: Camila Sanchez

By: Mark Dimalanta

Camila Sanchez poses with her art at OCCTAC Photo courtesy of Mark Dimalanta

OCCTAC’s Prep Arts Program for Visual Arts provides art enrichment that equips our students with the ability to think and produce creatively as well as assist them with portfolio preparation for future art education pursuits. It has been a pleasure to have Camila Sanchez as one of our students. Camila has allowed us to utilize her artwork during many of our multi-disciplinary projects, including this summer’s “Oye Como Va” music video. Camila is a natural born artist and hopes to practice a lifelong career. I would like to allow her teacher and family to share their thoughts on Camila’s art experience with OCCTAC: “Camila Sanchez has been my art student for a few years now; her improvement and dedication have been outstanding. She makes each art work with passion, patience, and love. She is very kind to fellow students and teachers. She understands that we all work at our own pace and she always has patience for herself. I am extremely proud of her hard work. You are amazing, Camila.”-Dianna Najar, OCCTAC Visual Art Teacher “We are always overjoyed with the creative pieces that Camila creates and are very happy that she has further expanded her creative education with piano. We understand how a multidisciplinary approach to creative education will build the foundation for Camila’s creative thinking and problem solving in her adult life.”-Itzel Garcia, mother of Camila

Interview with Camila at OCCTAC

Camila Sanchez’ art featured in recent OCCTAC music video “Oye Como Va

All photos and video courtesy of Mark Dimalanta


OCCTAC Students Perform At

Santa Ana College

Thank you to Santa Ana City Councilmember Jonathan Hernandez, who advocated for our Prep Arts students to perform for the community at Santa Ana College last month as an opening act for the Pacific Symphony Orchestra! Thank you to all who made this memorable performance possible for our budding artists, including Councilmember Hernandez, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Santa Ana College, Ruby Woo, Alan H. Woo, our OCCTAC Music Coordinator Phoebe Stanciell, Dance Coordinator Claudia de la Cruz, Media Arts Coordinator Randy Ruiz, Visual Arts Coordinator Mark Dimalanta, and Director of Arts Carlos Beltran. All photos courtesy of Mark Dimalanta.


Oye Como Va Red Carpet Premiere

& Awards Ceremony

We were so excited to celebrate this month outdoors at the premiere of our “Oye Como Va” music video at the center! VIPs included our students, EISOA senior adults, staff and participants who all worked so hard to make this video project happen. Guests were greeted on the red carpet by paparazzi (our own OCCTAC photographers and videographers) and received certificates of participation, snacks and lunch, swag bags and even gold awards statues! After the awards ceremony, everyone was treated to a live Oye Como Va musical performance and screening of the OCV music video. Oye Como Va, a multidisciplined and multigenerational arts project created by our Preparatory Arts Academy, was made possible with the generous contribution of a grant by the Cal Arts Council. Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate and to all who worked behind the scenes to make this glittering affair possible!

Awards ceremony on the Oye Como Va red carpet

Some of the stars of Oye Como Va arriving on the red carpet

Stars from Oye Como Va performing for red carpet guests

For Oye Como Va Red Carpet premiere full gallery, click link here: All photos courtesy of Mark Dimalanta, OCCTAC.


Join Us November 30

For Giving Tuesday '21!

The holiday season is just around the corner, and we invite you to kick it off with us on Giving Tuesday! Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving back. On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, you’ll have the chance to join people around the world and support a cause close to your heart, OCCTAC. This Giving Tuesday, help us give the gift of arts education and therapeutic services to children and families in our community. By joining the movement, you’re providing classroom supplies, scholarships, and more programs and services so that families have everything they need to succeed. Mark your calendars, spread the word, and stay tuned for more details!

OCCTAC is again joining the global Giving Tuesday movement to raise funds to transform the lives of local children, youth and families that need your help! Our children and families need the ARTS and therapeutic services that we offer now more than ever.

Join OCCTAC and become a #GivingTuesday #Superhero!!! Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving back. On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, November 30, people around the world will come together to celebrate generosity and make an impact. Last year we raised over $20,000, and this year, we want to raise even more to help provide OCCTAC students and families with the arts education and services they deserve. With your help, we can make this a reality!

We are busy planning a fun day for our special donors and families on Tuesday, November 30. Stay tuned to our website & social media for more details, and check your email for all the festivities, including:

  • Donor gifts: Holiday Cards designed by OCCTAC students

  • Original framed art created by OCCTAC students

  • Special original donor badges, original art by OCCTAC students

  • Special screening of our multi-discipline, multi-generational “Oye Como Va” music video

  • More fun!


Upcoming Events & Workshops


Community Wellness & Emotional Support

Let’s learn about mental health: Teen Training (Targeted for youth, in English)

Thursday November 18 from 5:00-6:00pm.

Register and zoom link:

Salud mental del adolescente (Dirigido a padres, en español).

Jueves 18 de Noviembre de 6:00-7:00pm.

Registro y enlace:


Preparatory Arts Academy 2021

Fall Registration

Classes for our amazing Preparatory Arts Academy are open for registration now! Studio Arts, Dance, Music, Media Arts and more! Call us or visit our website for more information on how your students can be part of the OCCTAC dream!

OCCTAC: 714.547.5468


Need A Vaccine?



You Can Help OCCTAC Today! Become a Donor

Did you know that when you donate, you are improving your own health as well? A study by the University of Oregon found that donating activates the pleasure center in your brain. Voluntary donations are especially pleasurable and improve your happiness, joy, and contentment! OCCTAC is forever grateful to our Supporters and Community Partners! Their donations and support continue to help our Arts Center grow and bring opportunities to our families and community, and you can be part of this as well!

Please help OCCTAC by sharing our Social Media links, liking our page, sharing our events and donating to our center! Find out how by clicking on the link below:

Donate with Amazon Smile!

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 Here are the simple steps to designate OCCTAC as your charitable organization to receive a portion of the purchase price:

  1. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select “Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts” to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation.

  2. If you already use Amazon Smile for another charity, you can change your charity to "Orange County Therapeutic Arts" on your Amazon Smile home page. ​

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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