Showing posts from 2010

Stefanie Diaz Performing "Ave Maria" with Ensemble Luz

We thank Eli Reyna from Buen Dia Production for the filming and editing of this beautiful video of Stefanie's performance with Ensemble Luz during the Gift Of Light Concert on December 17, 2010.

Merry Christmas - Feliz Navidad!

Dear Amigos!

We wish you and your loved ones 
A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Feliz Navidad y un Feliz Año Nuevo!

May All Your Wishes Come True!

Please enjoy the musical greeting from two of our Santa Ana Suzuki String Students under the direction of Cynthia Faisst.

OCCTAC Students To Participate In OC Symphony's Holiday Concert "The Gift Of Light"!

We are very happy to report that our opera singing student STEFANIE DIAZ and our HARP ENSEMBLE have been chosen to perform alongside top level professional musicians from the Orange County Symphony during the Holiday concert "The Gift Of Light" on December 17th, at 7PM at the Heritage Forum in Anaheim.
Friends and supporters have a chance to meet and mingle at the pre-concert event at Muzeo.
Dr. Ana Jimenez-Hami: "We are very grateful for this opportunity for our students to showcase their talent, skills and artistry. It is a wonderful chance for the Orange County community to see the results of their hard work and their family's dedication in a beautiful setting. It is also an inspiration for our students to have this amazing experience. It will always be a motivating special memory!"
Tickets cost $35.00 for general admission and $25.00 for students and seniors age 62 and up. They are available online at EVENTBRITE and OC SYMPHONY or by calling (714) 778 0314.

Send A Musical Holiday Greeting To Your Friends And Help Our Violin Program

Dear Friends!
Please consider sending GREEN Seasons Greetings this year!
Our After School Art Program's violin class is in so much demand that we need to provide many more small violins for our Suzuki Strings classes with Cynthia Faisst. Cynthia and her students have worked hard to create musical holiday greetings that you can send to friends and family via Skype, email or phone. So we are hanging out our board: Will Play Music For Donation! 

How it Works:

Please select a song from this list:

International·Bring A Torch, Jeannette, Isabella, French ·Czechoslovakian Carol ·Fum, Fum, Fum ·God Rest Y Merry, Gentlemen, Eng ·Greensleeves, Eng. 16 Century ·Here We Come A-Wassailing, Eng. ·Christmas Tree, German ·Pat-A-Pan, French ·Ring, Little Bells, German ·We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Eng. Sacred·Angels We Have Heard on High, French ·Born is He, This Holy Child, French ·Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Mendelssohn ·Joy To the World, Handel ·Little Town of Bethlehem, Redner ·Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming, Ger…

Thank You - Gracias!

Dear Friends,

We wish you a wonderful time with your loved ones for the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend.
We also want to take a moment to say "THANK YOU - GRACIAS" for supporting our students and our programs at OCCTAC. It has been difficult in light of all the federal and state cuts affecting our students and their families. We work extra hard to maintain our programs and to find sponsors for our neediest students.

If you consider sponsoring one child, as little as 25 dollars a month can pay for a weekly class for one students.
Just a few frappucinos less enable you to create hope and joy in a child's life.
Please call or email Dr. Gail Arriola-Nickell.

Happy Holidays!

Your friends at OCCTAC

Invitation to Orange County Students!

Dear Students!

The invitations are out! The Take The Lead Teen Summit, organized by our friends of the Festival of Children Foundation and OneOC, will take place on March 11, 2011.
The summit will open with a keynote speech by Amy Purdy and you will attend very informative workshops all morning long. Learn a lot more about becoming a good community leader and exerting influence in your world, in short, become a leader. The Teen Summit qualifies as a community service credit and school field trip so tell your teachers to sign you guys up!
More information and signing up on

Latin Dance Festival: What A Wonderful Time! Click to Listen!

Podcast "Me Libere" by Orquesta Caribe



Orquesta Caribe's Nilo Lipiz, Musician, Educator, OCCTAC Board Member

Why did OCCTAC chose Orquesta Caribe?

Who is Orquesta Caribe?

What are Orquesta Caribe's highlights?
How did you get involved with OCCTAC?

Orquesta Caribe Confirmed For Our Second Annual Dance Festival

We are really happy to announce that ORQUESTA CARIBE will play for us on October 23rd!

Orquesta Caribe was founded in 1972 by Musical Director Armando Gomez. Originally comprised of Cuban exiles who settled in Orange County, Orquesta Caribe now consists of eleven musicians who perform traditional Cuban and Puerto Rican music such as Salsa, Son, Bolero, Cha-Cha, Merengue, and Cumbia.

Through its celebrated history, Orquesta Caribe has shared the stage with many of Latin Musics most famous musical stars including Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, El Gran Combo, Oscar De Leon, Eddie Santiago, Albita and many others.
The band is currently celebrating over thirty years as a mainstay in the Los Angeles and Orange County Latin music scene. They've been performing for countless Southern California audiences at many celebrated musical venues. Their performances include concerts, weddings, quinceaneras, night-clubs, parties and a wide variety of other special events.

Notable dates includ…

Support Us Through Ebay Giving Works

Dear Friends!

Since we are all heading back from the beach to work these days, we just wanted to send you a reminder that our students continue to need your support. One easy way to help us is through Ebay. We are on Ebay Giving Works/MissionFish. One click and you can donate a portion of your sale or purchase to us. Yes, it even works when you are buying! Many sellers will dedicate a portion to a charity of your choice! Simply click HERE and go to our Ebay page.

Thank you! Gracias!

Event Alert: Get Your Dancing Shoes Ready!

We are happy to announce our Second Annual Latin Dance Festival!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
6PM until your feet are sore
Latin Dance Instruction, Dancing, No Host Bar, Silent Auction, Buffet.
If you attended last year you know it was a lot of fun!
Please sign up for blog news to stay tuned.

Special Event Alert: Celebrate Selena Gomez' new film with TIDE Family Festival

Dear Friends!

We have exciting news to share! Attention, all Selena Gomez fans!

In celebration of Selena's upcoming new film, our favorite laundry detergent TIDE comes to Orange County with a special family event!

“Ramona and Beezus” And Tide with Acti-Lift®
Invite Orange County Families To Get Messy

Activities open to the general public will include:
– A chance for families to add their creative touch to a community mural, inspired by the mural in the film
– Free t-shirt to wear while painting and take home after
– Pictures with props from the movie
– Demos of Tide with Acti-Lift technology
– Tide with Acti-Lift samples (while supplies last)

Century Stadium 25 Theatres
Orange Stadium Promenade
25 1701 W. Katella Ave.
Orange, CA 92867

Saturday, July 24, 2010
10:00am – Event begins
6:00pm – Event ends
Sunday, July 25 Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, Aug 1
11:30am – Mural painting begins
7:30pm – Mural painting ends

Have you ever noticed how difficult it can be to remove stubborn, dry…

See The Photos! Our Latin American Art Auction

Wells Fargo Revisits Our Latin American Art Auction

Thank you - Gracias! to our board members
John K. Tran and Robert Fair
from Wells Fargo
for helping publicize our mission and news about our work!
A recap of our recent art auction appeared in the current
Wells Fargo Orange County Volunteers newsletter.

Robert Fair, wife Jenny Benford and son James

John K. Tran with Larry Yenglin, Redevelopment Project Manager for City of Santa Ana

Revisiting Our Latin American Art Auction

Gregorio Luke and Alex Slato

May 27th, 2010, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana

Nearing our 10th anniversary as an organization, we celebrated with friends and supporters. We wish to thank Gregorio Luke, Alex Slato, Olga and Fernando Niebla, Consul Alejandra Garcia Williams, The City of Santa Ana, all of our wonderful TecMa volunteers and OCCTAC staffers for making the Latin American Art Auction a fabulous event.

A Bronze By Felipe Castaneda

Gregorio Luke and Alex Slato
Well known art world personalities Gregorio Luke and Alex Slato team up and join the auction as special guests. GREGORIO Luke provides his usual informative and entertaining narrative on the artists and their works. Alex Slato conducts the auction bringing his long experience in the Latin art world thought the U.S. and Latin America.

Consul Alejandra Garcia Williams

Gregorio Luke is an expert on Mexican and Latin American art and culture. He is the former Director of the Museum of Latin American Art, Consul of Cultural Affairs of Mexic…

Happy Mother's Day - Feliz Día de la Madre

Dear Moms,

This year we celebrate you on consecutive days, our American moms this Sunday,
our Mexican moms this Monday.
We want to take the opportunity to say "THANK YOU - GRACIAS" for all you do for your children and our students.
Our center would not be possible without all the countless hours of help and love you bring.

Happy Mother's Day! Feliz Día De La Madre!

Stefanie's Story - Opera Gives Voice To Autistic Singer

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
April 23rd, 2010.
NBC Nightly News featured OCCTAC student Stefanie Diaz and instructor Renee Rulon Cortez in the "Making A Difference" segment on their Friday night national broadcast.
For all of us who have known Stefanie and her family for many years it was an emotional moment. It was wonderful to see how far Stefanie has come in the 9 years she has received therapeutic art classes at our center. Of course, a 2-minute news segment cannot tell her amazing story in much detail. But Dr. Ana Jimènez-Hami, founder and president, remembers. "Stefanie was one of our first students. Her family came to us for help because both Stefanie and her brother have autism. Stefanie displayed severe autistic behavior at that time.

Stefanie Diaz at age 9.

However, Stefanie showed a keen interest in many forms of art. Over the years, she has attended visual …

Watch Our Opera Singer Stefanie Diaz On NBC Nightly News Friday, April 23rd

Dear Friends!

We just got word from NBC that the story about our student Stefanie Diaz will be on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams on Friday night, April 23rd, 2010 at 6:30PM.
The segment "Making A Difference" usually airs close to 7PM.

Thank you to producer Aarne Heikkila for featuring Stefanie!
And a special Thank You to reporter Yvette Cabrera from the OC Register whose article about Stefanie got the ball rolling!

Latin American Art Auction Tickets Now Available!

Tickets are now available on Eventbrite and we can accept all forms of payment!

We also have more exciting news about the upcoming auction!

Meet Gregorio Luke, former Director of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach and guest speaker at our event.
Alex Slato, Auction Specialist and VP of Special Projects at MoLAA and auctioneer at our event.

Star Power! Get A Preview Of Our Exclusive Art For Auction!

Dear Friends and Supporters, Art Lovers!

Come and Join us on
Thursday, May 27th at 6PM
at The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana
for an exclusive art auction benefiting our center.
Have a look at the amazing pieces available at the auction, featuring works by Andriacci, Castaneda, Montoya, Ochoa, Orozco, Toledo, Siqueiros and many more renowned Latin American artists.

For more information, please call (714) 547 5468


Dear Friends,

Tonight, our singing sensation Stephanie Diaz will be featured on Nightly News with Brian Williams on NBC (Channel 4 for most). It should be aired between 6:30 & 7:00 PST, however, as with most human interest stories, breaking news takes precedence. If for some reason OCCTAC's rising star is preempted, we will keep you up to date with any information we receive.

Dr. Ana Jimènez-Hami Appointed To Two New Board of Director Posts

Dear Friends!

I am proud to share with all of you that I was recently appointed to the statewide
California Arts Advocates Board as well as the VSA California, International Organization of Arts and Disability!
It is an honor for me to serve on these boards. Both organizations support our work with the children through the arts and we are very happy to work together to help the children.

Dr. Ana Jimènez-Hami

You Are Invited! Latin American Art Auction At The Bowers

May 27th, 2010
Bowers Museum, Santa Ana
For more information call: (714) 547 5468

Welcome Mexican Consul Alejandra Garcia Williams!

We had a fiesta! On Wednesday, March 24th, 2010, we welcomed the new
Mexican Consul Titular Alejandra Garcia Williams and
Consul Para Asuntos Comunitarios Lourdes Chàvez to our center.

OCCTAC Board President Mary Ellen Lohnes, Consul Alejandra Garcia Wiliams, OCCTAC president Dr. Ana Jimènez-Hami
The Consuls did not come empty-handed! Many of our students had participated in the international "Este es mi México" annual children's art contest, sponsored by the government of México. Thousands of pieces of art work were sent to Mexico City where a committee of professional artist painters judged the entries. The Consuls came to OCCTAC to congratulate the students who received a certificate of excellence!

Consul Garcia Williams: "Last year, the contest theme celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. We encourage all children ages 7 to 11 to submit their work this year as well!"
The 2010 Contest will feature heroes and battles. Click HERE…

Nikki Soohoo and LOUDreams Exchanging Art visit OCCTAC

A big "Gracias" to our friend Nikki Soohoo who arranged the LOUDreams Exchanging Art visit to our center the last Saturday of February.
Nikki and her friends created a wonderfully inspiring day for our students.
Among the LOUDreams' artists were AJ Subat (singer), Esna Yoon (singer), Shakeib Siddiq (LOUDreams), Joseph Aslam (LOUDreams), Bear Allen-Blaine (drama skit; Jack and the Bean Stalk) , D Duong (DSC dancer), Cameron Crisostomo (DSC dancer), Vanessa Born (Bring It On actress), Meagan Holder (Bring It On actress) and Holland Roden (Bring It On actress).

CBS 2 Visits Stefanie Diaz and Renee Rulon Cortez

Just before the end of the year we received several phone calls regarding our student Stefanie Diaz, 15.
Back in December reporter Yvette Cabrera had written a very nice article (see previous blog post) about Stefanie for the Orange County Register. Editors at CBS/KCAL in Los Angeles took notice and sent their reporter Suzie Suh and camera man Robert to OCCTAC. Our opera music teacher Renee Rulon Cortez and the Diaz family graciously cleared their schedules to film this segment.

You may have heard that many of our students just like Stefanie no longer receive federal grant money that allowed them to attend classes at OCCTAC. We are trying to provide services as best we can under the cutbacks but we do need your help!
Please consider sponsoring students by making a donation to the center.
If you would like to learn more about our programs and the possibility of sponsoring one child, please contact Dr. Ana Jimenez Hami at 714 547 5468.

OCCTAC's Taco Thursday Fundraiser

Three Locations for Our Taco Thursday Fundraiser! Click and save the image, print it and take it to a participating Rubio's! 20 % of your purchase will go to help our students!

Thursday, February 25, 2010.

Buen Provecho and THANK YOU!

OCCTAC Now Partners With Cars 4 Causes

Dear Friends!

We are very happy to announce that we are now partners with Cars 4 Causes!

So if you need a tax write-off and want to get rid of a car, please click the logo link! You donate the car, get the write-off and you help our students!

Thank you for your support!

You Are Invited! OCCTAC Community Festival and Art Auction