By Crystal Harrell

It is difficult to plan an escape these days to ease your mind from the growing state of the pandemic. However, artistic expression is an alternative that can bring peace to the soul and momentary distraction. The CREATE Center for the Arts has relocated to the Venus Studios building in Palm Desert, providing a place to unleash your creativity during these strange times.

The CREATE Center was founded in October of 2016, originally located at Morningstar Plaza on Fred Waring across from the Civic Center in Palm Desert. The CREATE Center had been on the search for a new location for the past two years, beginning by subleasing space for classes and events from Venus Studios on Hwy. 111 in Palm Desert. When the ‘For Lease’ sign went up at the former Venus De Fido building, opportunity arose.

“CREATE had looked at other buildings in the past that the landlord Lindi Biggi had for lease that didn’t end up fitting our needs. This building has everything we were hoping for and more. Lindi, being a visionary herself, saw the potential for what we are offering the community and gave us an opportunity to set up shop in her beautiful facility,” said the Founder and Executive Director of CREATE, Debra Mumm.

The CREATE Center is home to dedicated studios for different artistic disciplines: printmaking and screen printing, drawing and painting, fiber arts and textiles, photography and darkroom, video, digital design (which includes Virtual Reality and 3D printing), gardening, spa services, including a salt cave, saunas, hot tub and massage, an event room, outdoor patio and a café.

Between the retail art supply store and all of the studio equipment, it has taken some time for the CREATE Center team to sort through their inventory and put everything in place while relocating. The printmaking studio, drawing and painting studio, and the film/video studio and retail are among the first sections of the Center to open. The art supply and video broadcasting are essential services, and they are the first features up and running until state health recommendations change in California.

“What I love most about CREATE is that it is inspiring. There are so many things for creative people to choose from, and all of the departments feed each other. For instance, we do 3D printing for printmaking, for the textile department, and camera mounts for film. The darkroom is a fantastic tool for screen printers. I love learning stuff, and CREATE provides opportunity to learn new things every day. CREATE is where tradition meets technology. It is a super fun and interesting place to hang out, especially if you like to experiment,” explained Mumm.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the programs at the CREATE Center are currently on hold. For safety measures, the facility has touchless automatic doors in the entry and sanitizer when visitors come in, as well as in all program areas. Once programs return, all participants that will be in the building for studio sessions will have a temperature check. All visitors will be logged for contact tracing purposes. High-touch areas will also be sanitized often. The spacious interior of the building will enable the CREATE Center to provide services with plenty of social distancing. Properly worn masks will be required and Mumm hopes to make more use of the outdoor patio area for activities.

“Artistic expression is always important, now more than ever. Not only do artists tell the stories and document the emotions of the current time, they also look to the past and the future. Our future will be built on creative artistic expression and ideas. The arts are vital for forward momentum and to keep people connected. During these strange times, acts of making, of using our hands, of being able to do something constructive is also creating new entrepreneurial opportunities for makers of all kinds. From helping kids learn, to helping seniors stay engaged to stress relief. We all need it. Making matters. I don’t care if you are baking or planting, sewing or painting. When people love what they are doing, it shows,” said Mumm.

In the future, Mumm hopes to add woodworking, metalworking, and a sculpture in the garage in the back of the CREATE Center within the next year. The goal is to maintain the 3000-square foot space and not only preserve tradition, but also marry it with technology and take fine art and craft to new levels.

The community can support the CREATE Center for the Arts by shopping for their new art supplies, as they have a thoughtful selection of made-in-the-USA products and supplies for students. When you shop art supplies at CREATE, you support a local non-profit.

“The most important thing is that this is all possible because of our community. Memberships, donations, programs and grants are what keep us going. It is a challenging time for everyone and even though we have a fantastic new facility and an amazing staff, it still requires a significant amount of funding to keep things rolling,” stated Mumm.

To learn more about the CREATE Center for the Arts, visit

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