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OCCTAC News - September 2021

Thank You

Helping Hands Of Orange County!

Our dear friends at Helping Hands of Orange County once again opened up their hearts and donated $1500 to help Ashley Bustos, Front Desk supervisor at OCCTAC. On July 20th, 2021, Ashley lost her husband, David Bivins, unexpectedly. He was the main financial contributor to the household. Recently, Ashley took custody of her two younger sisters. David took the two sisters as his own as he was a friend and father to Ashley's sisters. When Revathy Ravi and the ladies at Helping Hands of Orange County heard about Ashley’s situation, they decided to take up a collection for the Go Fund Me in Ashley’s name, even though they had just recently donated to OCCTAC’s Special Needs Family Mentoring Program in June. Mil gracias Helping Hands collective for your beautiful, generous hearts! Thank you for supporting our OCCTAC family. You continue to uplift and inspire us all. If you would like to contribute to the Go Fund Me campaign to help Ashley and her sisters with their educational and financial needs, you may donate securely at


OCCTAC Students Perform At

The 20th Annual Festival Of Children

Pictured L to R: Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami, Carlos Beltran, Eileen Daniher, Sandy Segerstrom Daniels

Costa Mesa, CA--OCCTAC was pleased to participate in the Festival of Children’s 20th annual event at South Coast Plaza in September with a double-header. Our students developed a couple of programs with different themes, World Music for the September 11th performance and Classical European for the 18th. These numbers were first developed by our students while learning remotely and refined as we re-opened our doors for in-person classes.

Our families look forward to these performance opportunities to empower and celebrate our students’ accomplishments and support our curricular goals to develop our students as performers. It is true of the African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child”, and our amazing team of teaching artists, coordinators, parents, and support team find a renewed purpose every time we receive the gift of our young creators’ smiles.

We will carry on expanding and maintaining our partnerships with like-minded organizations, and we are very grateful for the opportunity afforded to us by our long-term partners at the Festival of Children Foundation . Eileen Daniher, Director of Programs at the Festival of Children Foundation stated, “We are honored to be able to give exposure to the great children’s charities that we work with, and to give the children a chance to perform in front of a crowd, to develop, rise above, and shine.” The Festival of Children Foundation was formed in 2003 to improve the lives of children by strengthening the charities that serve them.

We cherish the support of our parents, and the invaluable work performed everyday by our Preparatory Arts Academy team. We want to specifically acknowledge our Music Department Coordinator Phoebe Stanciell and Dance and Movement Department Coordinator Claudia de la Cruz for the countless hours of love and dedication they have devoted to our beautiful children!

Photos courtesy of Mark Dimalanta

Family Mentoring

Program Success Story

By Edith Garcia, Case Manager

We are pleased to introduce our client's mother, Mrs. Juana Olmedo, who for many years traveled on the bus with her five (5) children. It was very difficult to afford the ticket on the bus for 6 people and arrive on time to her children’s classes or to process documents at OCCTAC. After the family enrolled in the Family Mentoring program at OCCTAC, this mother finally decided to obtain her driver's license. She was provided with the Spanish DMV handbook and in her few free moments, usually in the evenings, sat down to read and study. Mrs. Olmedo passed the exam, thus giving her independence and freedom to go anywhere necessary for her or her children. Now she and her children are on time and easily drives her own vehicle to our OCCTAC center and to her child’s medical appointments. Wanting is power. Congratulations Mrs. Juana Olmedo!


Save The Date: Nov. 30th

For Giving Tuesday!

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!


Upcoming Events & Workshops


Media Arts Demo Workshops At

Blick arts In Fullerton

Community Wellness & Emotional Support

Salud mental en la niñez temprana (Dirigido a padres, en español)

Registro y enlace:

Let's Connect: Teen Training (Targeted for youth, ​in English)

Register and zoom link:


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


Job Opening At OCCTAC:

Youth Employment Program Coordinator

We are currently seeking to fill a Program Coordinator position with OC Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center (OCCTAC)’s Youth Employment Program. Candidate will be responsible for overseeing all YEP staff and its participants to ensure that program goals are met and program contract is carried through successfully. This candidate will need to work closely with the staff AND youth in order to build rapport and identify program objectives that are being carried through successfully as well as those that need revamping. The Program Coordinator is part of a team of mentors assigned to the youth it serves on a daily basis. Please note that this position is contingent upon grant funding and that benefits are not included with this offer.

Please send your resume and cover letter to Tere Heras at for consideration. Please visit our website for a more detailed job description: Thank you!


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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