By Morgan James

Over the last few years, The Coachella Valley Art Scene has grown exponentially, hosting a number of community events to thrilled artists, appreciative musicians and all fans of the creative arts. Our valley population seems littered now more than ever with a beauty seeking, splendidly whimsical youth culture who rush to flood workshops and concerts put on by the Art Scene. Every Thursday in July catch live music at MAKE 6pm – 9pm in the Westfield Mall. While every Friday in July you can find Poetry Workshops at MAKE 4pm – 6pm. Also on Fridays, take date night to a new level and hear live music at The Mary Pickford Theatre all Summer 5:30pm – 7pm. Sundays at MAKE from 1pm – 3pm bring the family and boogie away the afternoon at “Kid Disco” with DJ Amavida. I spoke with Founder, Sarah Scheideman about the Non-Profit Organization’s beginnings, their current event schedule, and goals for the future.

MJ: Tell me about The Coachella Valley Art Scene and your inspiration to found it? What is your background and how has that translated into your drive for this project?

SS: “The Coachella Valley Art Scene started as a blog in 2008 after I graduated from UC Riverside (BA in Film & Visual Culture) and returned to the desert. When I came back I was looking for information on local art and music events to attend and I couldn’t find anything. It was then that I became acutely aware of this burgeoning art community and the need to organize in order for it to thrive. With my background and power of the internet, I launched a platform for artists and art enthusiasts via The Coachella Valley Art Scene. With a growing audience over the last eight years, the ‘Scene’ has emerged into something beautiful and bigger than myself.”


“Our growth has gone from the internet to a tangible experience. Three years ago we opened up our first brick and mortar art gallery in Cathedral City along HWY 111, a year and a half ago we officially became a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization, and 6 months ago we partnered with Westfield mall for temporary venue space. Every day I wake up and am so proud and passionate of the progress The Coachella Valley Art Scene has made and the people who helped me build it. I am very excited for the future of the CVAS and the next steps as we continue to grow our community.”

MJ: Tell me about MAKE at Westfield Palm Desert?

SS: “MAKE is an alternative space for art and culture in the Westfield mall. The interactive art and music lounge is a collaboration between The Coachella Valley Art Scene and Westfield Palm Desert. We first joined forces for our urban art and music festival, STREET, last year in November. Our working relationship was great so we took it another step further by filling an empty 6,000 sq. ft. space in the shopping center to the brim with local art and culture. Stroll the mall and stop by our space to learn about what your local art community is up to.  All the art and merchandise being sold is created locally.  All the live music and programming is produced by and features local artists.”

“We will be in our current location (Level 1, next to Macy’s) until August 7th, we will then be moving up stairs in-between Hot Topic & Zumies for about 6 months.  The art, music, programming and workshops will continue in the new space.”

MJ: How about Fridays at The Pick?

SS: “’Fridays at the Pick’ makes date night much more romantic when you can catch an acoustic live music performance before enjoying a movie.  It’s unexpected art in an unassuming place.  ‘Fridays at the Pick’ is an evening event held every Friday throughout the summer in the lobby entrance of the Mary Pickford Theatre in Cathedral City.  It’s free to attend, open to all ages, and features local emerging musicians.”

July 8th -Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates -David Morales

July 15th -Ghostbusters -The Flusters

July 22nd -Star Trek Beyond -Eevaan Tre

July 29th -Bad Moms -Madison Ebersole

Aug 5th -Suicide Squad -Dreamers

Aug 12th -Sausage Party -Hannah Mills

Aug 19th -War Dogs -Alshon

MJ: What are your goals for the immediate future and goals for the long term?

SS: “We are going to be launching our membership drive this month!  Memberships to support The CVAS will range anywhere from $10 to $100 a month.  There will be corporate and private sponsorship opportunities available as well.  In order to stay afloat as a nonprofit organization, to be able to continue these music and art programs, we need the community’s support.  We need to know that our community values our efforts and believes in what we are doing by becoming a member. Our long term goals are to produce more programming, festivals, and a permanent location to call home.”

MJ: Please shine a light on your team who make these special events happen?

SS: “Having a great team is crucial to the success of any project.  I am so lucky to work with such a bright and passionate team.  Ian Cush booked the Thursday night music series at MAKE and ‘Fridays at the Pick’.  Sofia Enriquez helps curate and hang every art show.  Michelle Castillo has been hosting her Open Mic night for 2 years and now is taking on Poetry Classes and a Poetry Festival.  Melinda Vida is working closely with me to launch our Membership Drive to assure that all these free and/or very inexpensive programs can continue to happen.  Diana Grasso of Westfield Palm Desert is the woman who offered The CVAS a space in the mall.  There are so many others who contribute to the success of The CVAS…I am very thankful for each and every one.”

MJ: Anything else you would like to share?

SS: “I want to take a moment and thank all the artists who continue to create.  This world would be a dark place without their bright light.”

There are also a series of other events and popups, check it out:

  • "Sarah" - Photo By Ryan Campbell