By Dee Jae Cox
Founded in 2007 by long time Coachella Valley Philanthropists Ric and Rozene Supple, the Palm Springs Cultural Center is a 501c3 Nonprofit. Their mission is to incubate, produce and encourage arts and cultural programs in order to leverage the unique power of creativity to open minds, bridge what divides us, and discover what connects us.” Their programs include independent films, film festivals, a farmer’s market, live performances, art installations and lecture series.
Independent films and film festivals are a critical segment of any community and became an integral part of the Palm Springs Cultural Center in 2016 when the Camelot theatre was donated by Ric and Rozene Supple to the Cultural Center nonprofit organization. Along with offering on site independent films, the Center also offers ‘Virtual Cinema.’ These films are Palm Springs premieres, along with a mix of favorites from the Desert Film Society, Cinema Diverse, Cinema Francais and Palm Springs International Film Festival, (PSIFF.) Tickets can be purchased on their website- https://psculturalcenter.org/pscc/virtual-cinema.
Hosted by Rosemary Galore, with songs led by the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus, the Cultural Center will also feature weekly Summer Sing-a-Longs, Mary Poppins (7/24), Chicago (7/31), South Pacific, (8/7), Bohemian Rhapsody, (8/14), Westside Story (8/21), Grease, (8/28), Fiddler on the Roof (9/4) and Mama Mia (9/11).
The Cultural Center also sponsors the Certified Farmer’s Market, inside the Palm Springs Pavilion during the summer, located at 401 South Pavilion Way, Palm Springs, Saturdays from 8am – 12:30 pm.
The Center’s newest offering came on July 16th when they kicked off their “Summer Concert Series,” to a sold-out house, featuring the incredible talents of songstress Leanna Rodgers and her band, “Leanna and the Jazz Collective.” Rodgers’ husband Miguel Gomez on Congas, Mark Massey- piano, Sam Montooth- bass, Ishmael Hunter- drums and Aaron Merc on Saxophone.
If you haven’t had the good fortune of seeing Leanna Rodgers perform, you’re missing one of Palm Springs’ true treasures. My introduction to her incredible talent was in the Desert Rose Playhouse’s production of, “The Sugar Witch,” a play and a performance that was phenomenal. Since that show, I have had the pleasure of seeing her perform on different stages and venues around the desert. Each time more exciting than the last.
Without doubt, Rodgers’ opening of the Cultural Center’s Concert Series was a top tier musical performance. From the Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington’s classic, “Take the A Train,” to Nat King Cole’s, get your kicks on “Route 66,” her show is a musical journey that will keep you smiling and your toes tapping. Leanna’s presentation was elegant and classic, mesmerizing the audience with her timeless voice. Two couples, (who looked to be professional dancers,) bookended each side of the stage, their dance moves adding an exciting ambiance to the show.
I once wrote that “Rodgers is like a cool drink on a hot sultry night, reminiscent of the early Speakeasy performances,” that critique may have been an understatement.
As a continuation of the Concert Series, Leanna and the Jazz Collective will do a second show on August 20th. Check out her upcoming schedule at: leannalive.com
The Palm Springs Cultural Center offers the best in culture and the arts.
The Center is located at 2100 Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
And can be contacted by phone- (760) 325-2582 or on their website – https://psculturalcenter.org/
Dee Jae Cox is a playwright, director and producer. She is the Cofounder and Artistic Director of The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Project.