Serving the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts and the Tracy community
Newsletter - November 2018
Holiday Season at the Grand!
At the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, the holidays have already begun. October has become a busy month as Dia de los Muertos and Halloween celebrations have grown in popularity. Central West Ballet put on a production of Dracula that featured haunting visuals and an original score. Arts Education held a Day of the Dead event with lots of activities for kids and families.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy kicks off the winter holiday season with a show on December 2nd. Grand Foundation members who have tickets to the show are invited to a VIP party beginning at 6:30 pm.
The Grand Theatre will have a Holiday Open House on December 8th with Santa’s Workshop, photo opportunities, and fun activities. This event is free and open to the public. That same night, the Foundation will give out ornaments as part of the Downtown Ornament Stroll. To get tickets to the Ornament Stroll, go to the TCCA website .
To see what is coming up at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts or to buy tickets, go to
Coming to the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts
Sold out!
November 2nd
8 pm
Tickets $42-65
The Valley Voice
November 10th
7:30 pm
Tickets $35

The Valley’s best vocal performers are teamed up with a professional production staff and showcased in a competition. Proceeds benefit Tracy Inner Wheel, a women's organization associated with Rotary that supports Tracy Interfaith Ministries and McHenry House.
Four Weddings and an Elvis
November 16th-18th
various times

A hilarious comedy co-presented by Tracy Repertory Theatre and the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts.
Sugar Plum Tea
December 1st
11 am & 1 pm
Tickets $12-20

A Tracy favorite for the children! Join the Children's Dance Theatre for their annual Sugar Plum Tea Party.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
December 2nd
7:00 pm
Tickets $47-65

VIP Reception & Toy Drive
5:30 pm
for $250 & up level members
(watch your email for an invite)

The group, which has been touring for 25 years, is one of the best known swing bands. But even people who aren't familiar with swing will enjoy this high energy show. Check out their videos at "You and Me..." and "Diga Diga Doo."

For those of you attending the VIP Recep-tion, please consider bringing a toy to donate to EA Family Services. This 501(c)(3) foster family agency is conducting a toy drive for all of the foster kids in Tracy, and the Grand Foundation is helping out by collecting donations on the 2nd.
#GivingTuesday Fundraiser to Benefit
Camp for Students with Special Needs

On November 27th, the Grand Foundation will be raising money to benefit the Special Needs Musical Theatre Summer Camp offered at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts. The camp is put on by the Academy of Performing Arts based in downtown Tracy.

November 27th is #GivingTuesday, a day of giving that was created several years ago to encourage people to support the non-profits in their community as part of their holiday spending. It falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the day after CyberMonday.

The summer camp program accommodates twelve students at a cost of $1300, or $108 per child. No donation is too small! All money raised on #GivingTuesday will be used to reduce the cost of this camp for kids in our community.
Students participate in last year's theatre camp
Our Special Needs Musical Theatre Camp provides a place for our children with special needs to shine. We provide an opportunity for each child to be creative and share their joy with others. This joy is contagious. Community support for this program would help more kids take part in this fun-filled summer program.
Deborah Skinner Director, APA
To learn more about the Academy of Performing Arts, go to the APA website. To donate to support this program as part of #GivingTuesday, go to
Would you like to help the Grand Foundation? Join the Grand Guys and Girls!

The Grand Guys and Girls is a group of volunteers that help the Foundation as event volunteers (check-in, membership table, security, bartending, set-up/clean-up, etc…) or with special projects, small errands, office assistance, etc… from time to time. This group is comprised of Foundation members that have expressed a willingness to help but cannot commit to a standing or event committee and would like to be contacted for less time consuming roles. 
President's Message
I hope everyone has taken time to notice this wonderful weather transition from summer to autumn. Just in time with this season’s change, we have a change at the Grand Foundation to announce. As some of you may be aware, our executive director, Valerie Umana, is expecting a beautiful baby boy in December and has decided to become a stay-at-home mom. We are so happy for her and her family, but it is a bittersweet change for our GF board. For the past week, Valerie has been training and mentoring our new executive director, Azadeh (Azi) Jorgensen, whom, I am pleased to announce, will be filling her shoes as of today. 

Azi brings to our Grand Foundation a wealth of executive administrative experience and an impressive educational background. She is a hard worker, but also a personable and approachable individual. She is eager to assist our board in taking our level of fundraising for the Clyde Bland Endowment Fund to the next level.

As Azi takes some time to familiarize herself further with our mission and daily operations, she is happy to meet any of our members who wish to drop by our office (most) Mondays through Fridays from 9 a. m. to 2 p. m. Although we strive to maintain regular hours, Azi will be working a flex schedule to accommodate some of our special events that happen occasionally on evenings and weekends. We thank our membership for your understanding. You will also have opportunities to get to know Azi at any of our upcoming Grand Foundation events that you can read about in this newsletter. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank each of our members and especially those who have sponsored any of our GF events over the years. We know that you understand that every dollar you dedicate to us through your membership, sponsorships or underwriting, goes to the growing and sustaining of the important arts culture in our community. 

Cynthia Souza
President, Grand Foundation

Just a reminder: The Executive Director has a  new email address: .  Please be sure to update your contacts.  
Student Film Festival Open for Submissions
Poster Contest Deadline December 15th
Now in its third year, our Grand Foundation 2019 Student Film Festival will once again showcase the entertaining, innovative and thought provoking short films from three Student Divisions: colleges, high schools and immersive film/digital/art high schools throughout California, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Within each Division there will be different genres of film, including Narrative, Indie, Experimental, Animation, Documentary and Political/Cause, P.S.A. and others. 

To get information about prizes, requirements, and deadlines for the film festival, go to the Grand Foundation's webpage.

In connection with the Student Film Festival, the Grand Foundation holds a poster contest to encourage local high schools students to create a poster announcing the festival. Details can also be found on the Foundation's webpage. But, enter soon! The deadline is December 15th.
Above: Cynthia Souza with last year's Poster Contest winner Emmanuel Atabay
Have you ever noticed the interesting murals on the walls of the Grand Theatre? Have you ever wondered who made them? For information about the creators of these interesting paintings, check out the webpage of the Grand Theatre's Exhibition Program .
Grand Foundation Underwrites Student Attendance at Performances
The Grand Foundation has provided the funding for hundreds of children to attend performances at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts. On October 25th, students from Stein High School visited the Grand Theatre to watch the Central West Ballet perform Dracula. Check out some photos from the performance put on for the students.

The Foundation is excited that students from several schools in our community will benefit from the ticket sponsorship program and will attend a showing of The Secret Garden at the Grand Theatre.
Artist Spotlight:
 Susan Richardson
Susan Richardson has been an asset to the Grand Foundation and the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts for many years. You may have seen her work in the Grand Theatre during the multi-artist exhibition, Transforming the Written Word, in 2014. Or, you may have purchased one of her mixed media pieces in the Grand's Co-op Gallery. Susan also created art for last year's Arts Education brochures.

Susan recently held her first solo exhibition at the Art Ventures Gallery in Menlo Park. The work shown in this exhibition, Enchanted Conversations and Broken Dreams, was inspired by her fascination with The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The Grand Foundation is grateful to Susan for creating the cover art for our holiday cards for the past two years. Foundation members can look forward to receiving another of Susan's designs when our holiday cards are mailed out later this month!

To get more information about Susan's work, go to her webpage at .
Above: Susan in her home studio.
Below: Last year's Grand Foundation holiday card designed by Susan Richardson.