Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stefanie's Story - Opera Gives Voice To Autistic Singer

Visit msnbc.com 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 art classes, dance and many different music classes. She is currently visiting the center 4 days a week and besides opera, she takes piano, violin and art. We asked her father how these classes have impacted Stefanie and his family. "The difference is a miracle" responds José Luis Diaz. "I'd describe her improvement level as 75 per cent from where she was to the best she can get." Hoping for 100 per cent, Stefanie and her brother keep attending classes and improving more! How did they like the NBC Story? Mr. Diaz: "We are waiting for a DVD copy. We could not watch it on Friday night. Stefanie was at the center in a violin class".

Many of you know that federal funding for Stefanie as well as many others of our students has been cut. We hope to be able to continue to provide classes to all of our students.
Please consider becoming a sponsor by making a donation. OCCTAC is a 501 C3 non-profit organization. Thank you for helping our children!

Instructor Renee Rulon Cortez about her work with Stefanie:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Thursday, April 22, 2010

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!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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.

Friday, April 16, 2010

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

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


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.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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

Thursday, April 1, 2010

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 to read the official release.
Instructor Cynthia Faisst and the Santa Ana Suzuki Strings Students

Contact the Consulate in Santa Ana at (714) 835 0042 to learn more about Este es mi México 2010.