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OCCTAC News - October 2022

Thank You, WeWork Lakeshore Towers!

Pictured here: WeWork art donations; Adriene Matsudaira and Pheenix Peterson. Story & Photos courtesy of Mark Dimalanta

OCCTAC gives thanks to the community relations staff at WeWork-Lakeshore Towers, Irvine for their community partnership and Art donations! Members who share the coworking space were informed of the 22+ years of community engagement provided by OCCTAC, serving the at-promise Santa Ana and surrounding community. Inspired by our sincere mission, members donated Art Materials for our grassroots outreach programs. While donating, many members found their creative bug and woke the sleeping artist within. Not only were the members very generous with their donations, but many have found their new passions, according to Pheenix Peterson, WeWork Community Associate.

WeWork was founded in 2010 with the vision to create environments where people and companies come together and do their best work. Like OCCTAC, WeWork believes we are better together, operating with a shared purpose to constantly improve and grow and to become better as individuals, as teams, and as a community. Thank you to Community Lead Katelyn Sinclair, Community Associate Pheenix Peterson, and Senior Community Lead Adriene Matsudaira for all your sincere efforts at enriching our kids!


Board Member Melody Winter Head

Presents at Impact Giving Annual Kickoff

On Saturday, October 22ndOCCTAC Board Member Melody Winter Head presented at Impact Giving’s Annual Kick-Off 2023 season of grantmaking. The event was held at the Orange County Great Park’s Farm + Food Lab located in Irvine and there were 70 women in attendance. Impact Giving is an Orange County based philanthropy founded and managed by women. It serves as a collective giving organization that enables Impact Giving Partners to pool their money, their knowledge of local and/or global needs, and their personal experience to assist local nonprofit organizations like OCCTAC. We became known to the organization in 2020 and look forward to additional opportunities to work together in support of individuals and families with special needs in Orange County.


New Roosevelt-Walker

OCCTAC Classes in Full Swing!

Santa Ana families are now enjoying new OCCTAC classes at Roosevelt-Walker Community Center in the city of Santa Ana. We recently heard from Cintya Garcia, our partner at Roosevelt-Walker Community Center, about how families are enjoying our new classes at the neighborhood community center. One example, Giselle and Sofia Pineda’s parent, has repeatedly commented that they are happy to have different classes during the week for their girls. Their girls attend the dance and the art class. Another parent, Itzayana Joya’s mother, expressed that her daughter is happy to go the center and attend her classes. She attends Ukulele and Art. She mentioned how friendly and engaging the teachers were with both Itzayana and herself.

Prior to the pandemic, Itzayana's mom was a regular attendee of the center and when the center reopened this year, she came in to check out what classes Roosevelt Walker was offering for her daughter. The reality is that formerly the classes were fee-based, and the mom had this in mind when coming in. Once finding out that the classes were free, the mom felt relieved and content to bring her daughter to multiple classes. Itzayana has expressed her interest in learning ballet. But it takes more than the child to be interested, the parent must also show effort to find classes for their children and ultimately bring the child to the classes every week. Itsayana’s mom is very grateful for this partnership between OCCTAC and City of Santa Ana and Itzayana is very content with the teachers and the classes itself! We thank these lovely parents for engaging their children to join the classes and being present in their children’s involvement in the center. Thank you to Roosevelt-Walker for helping us develop and bring these great programs to the neighborhood!

Stay tuned for more news from the other Santa Ana Community Centers that we serve, Jerome, Garfield, and Salgado.We are proud to and grateful to have the opportunity and means to align our mission and services with the City's commitment to their constituents as true champions of our youth.


OCCTAC Dance and Music Students

Perform at Fiestas Patrias

Photo courtesy of Claudia de la Cruz

We were so excited to be part of the lineup of performances at Fiestas Patrias Celebration organized by the City of Santa Ana on September 19! Our beautiful and talented kids from the Music and Dance programs shined like stars! The audience loved the performance, especially the closing number that was such a success in our Bloom Recital, "La Bamba". Thank you to the City of Santa Ana for putting on a beautiful cultural event and allowing our students another fantastic performance opportunity!


OCCTAC Seniors Enjoy a Day at the Beach

Photos courtesy of Rosa Garcia

Recently our older adult EISOA participants visited Santa Monica Pier, where they enjoyed a delicious meal, walked on the shore, and created new memories with their peers. Thank you to the Zonta Club of Newport Harbor and Irma Espinoza for making this day possible! Irma Espinoza, who represents the Zonta Club of Newport Harbor, communicated to EISOA that her organization approved donation funds and volunteer hours for our program. Through this gentle and loving donation, our seniors receive the opportunity to be in contact with other seniors and reduce the risk of suffering from depression due to isolation.

One of our participants, Mrs. G, said: "I am happy to know that there are people like those fantastic people from Zonta Club of Newport Harbor, who are always aware of me." Another participant said, "Mrs. Irma and her friends are beautiful people who are touching our hearts, and I feel happy." OCCTAC and the EISOA program thank the Zonta Club of Newport Harbor for supporting our older adults.Together, we can make a difference in the lives of these precious seniors!


Join Us for Giving Tuesday '22!

The holiday season is just around the corner, and we invite you to kick it off with us on Giving Tuesday! Join OCCTAC and become a #GivingTuesday#Superhero!!! Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving back. On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, November 29, you’ll have the chance to join people around the world and support a cause close to your heart, OCCTAC. Last year we raised over $50,000, and this year, we want to raise $60,000 to help provide OCCTAC students and families with the arts education and community wellness services they deserve. With your help, we can make this a reality! 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 joining the global Giving Tuesday movement for a 5th year 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.

We are busy planning a fun day for our special donors and families on Giving Tuesday. Stay tuned to our website & social media for more details and check your email for all the festivities and updates on November 29th!

You can give to our Giving Tuesday campaign at Every gift counts, from $5 to whatever your heart moves you to give. Thank you in advance for your continued support of OCCTAC! By joining forces to give generously, we can make huge strides and help more children and families through the power of the Arts and community wellness in 2023.


Upcoming Events at OCCTAC


Register For Fall Classes!

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


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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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