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Arts & Culture Newsletter

Teacher brings the arts alive in Fun Art for Kids classes

fun art for kids

Many teachers believe in the old adage of “once a teacher, always a teacher” and this holds true for Peggy Dutcher. After retiring from a 38-year teaching career in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Peggy decided she wasn’t ready to hang up her chalk yet. So after substitute teaching for two years, she realized that with the incredible demands for English, language arts and math, creative arts had taken a back seat. This was on top of the challenges of COVID-19, which also impacted the ability of children to tap their creativity.  

Peggy decided to combine the skills of listening, oral language and drawing and created the “Fun Art for Kids” class. With experience teaching grades 2-5, Peggy identified with youth eager to learn something new and have fun.

During this class, Peggy reads a story book based on current events, holidays, weather or other interesting subjects. Then as a group on Zoom, Peggy and her students complete a directed draw based on the story. The entire hour is interactive with Peggy asking questions and the kids presenting their creations. The class is delightful for Peggy and her students alike. The eventual goal is to return to in-person classes at the Potocki Center for the Arts when safe, but until then, this class is tons of fun. Peggy loves Pablo Picasso’s sentiment that every child is an artist, and it’s important to foster that love of the arts into the future. 

You can find out more and register for Peggy’s March class


Get making with Creativebug!

creative bug

Have you checked out our new online resource Creativebug? Find thousands of award-winning arts and crafts video classes taught by renowned artists and creative experts. Classes are offered for every age and skill level, with new classes added daily. Creativebug offers painting, drawing, quilting, sewing, ceramics, and cookie and cake decorating classes, to name a few. There are also special topics for holidays, parties, and kids’ crafts. If that’s not enough, you can find daily practices and live instruction to keep you in the creative spirit. Some our favorites for springtime include:

-    Handmade soap
-    Bath bombs
-    Felt Easter chicks
-    DIY cleaning supplies
-    Embroidered napkins

Login today at https://cityofmissionviejo.org/departments/arts-culture/creative-resources. It’s free and easy to use. All you need is a Mission Viejo Library card. If you don’t have a card, you can apply online.


Parkway Gallery Lifting Your Spirits with Color and Light

parkway gallery

City of Mission Viejo artists have been working behind the scenes to lift our spirits along the Parkway Gallery. Working on 66 x 30 panels in their home studios, the artists have been creating colorful, feel-good artworks that will be installed along Parkway Gallery on Crown Valley Parkway near the Kaleidoscope and intersection at Marguerite Parkway. 

The talented pool of creatives includes lead artist Linda Harms along with Suzanne Helmstetter, Laurie Crankshaw, Valerie Gutierrez, Jack Knight, Mojdeh Bastani, Jenni Nonaca, Irfan Murtaza, Vickie Green, Stan Stone, Maribeth McFaul, Pam Rietzler and Sam Rietzler. 

Along with Parkway Gallery, these folks have been lending their talents to a cornucopia of projects. Maribeth McFaul is working with the City of Hope on a street painting project; and Suzanne Helmstetter and Laurie Crankshaw installed a repurposed book exhibit in the Mission Viejo Library. Irfan Murtaza is exhibiting at the Muzeo Museum; Jack Knight is facilitating student projects in Anaheim; and Jenni Nonaca serves on the board for the Mission Viejo Friends of the Arts. Vickie Green is an artist and painter who displays her love of trees and flowers – and Pam and Sam Rietzler simply enjoy sharing their creativity with our community.

While on Crown Valley Parkway, we hope you feel inspired and embrace what the arts bring to the human spirit.  

parkway gallery

“One of the things we can turn to fill our spirit is the creative arts, which have been a constant for many people during this time,” said Nashormeh Lindo, chair of the California Arts Council. “Engagement with the arts and its ability to enhance the general quality of life give spiritual sustenance and bring some semblance of meaning to an upended world… It is essential to getting the general public through this crisis.”    

The exhibit will be on display from March 2021 through January of 2022.  For more information, contact Dru Maurer at dmaurer@cityofmissionviejo.org.


Save the date for Comic Fest 2021

comic fest

The Mission Viejo Library’s popular Comic Fest returns this spring in a new virtual format. The excitement takes place via Zoom April 19-25. 

Folks can tune in each weeknight from 6:30 to 7:30 pm to enjoy panels featuring fun-filled discussions with and demonstrations by amazing authors, creators and illustrators. Panels will also take place that weekend. 

This free event is open to people of all ages and will include great giveaways throughout the week. Stay tuned to the library’s website or Facebook for the latest news and information about the presenters! 

Register online today to obtain your Zoom invitation.




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