Beginning this week, Idyllwild Arts is reviving the oral tradition of sharing and learning history.
For each of the next four weeks, a different speaker will tell a story about the early years of the school and the creation of the Academy.
The idea originated with Pamela Jordan, President, Idyllwild Arts Foundation, who arrived on campus last July. Although she had visited the school many times, she devoted many hours to learning about its history during her first year.
“I listened and spoke to a lot people — about 160 one-on-one,” she said. “I heard stories about where we came from, the history, the milestones we’ve achieved, and the tough times, including the separation from [the University of Southern California].”
And she concluded, “There is nothing like learning history through story telling.”
Ernest Siva, whose association with the school started with Max and Bea Krone, opens the series 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 1. Steve Fraider, who heads the Summer Program, met Siva in 1961, when he was Fraider’s summer counselor at the program.
Siva grew up on Morongo Indian Reservation. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education and choral music from the University of Southern California.
Siva was a saxophone player at Banning High School. Max Krone learned of his talent and reached out. Since then Siva has had a life-long association with the school. He has served on the Board of Trustees for many years.
The second speaker, on July 8, will be Walter Parks, former business manager for the Riverside City School District and also a long-time board member, still serving on the Board of governors.
He and his wife Betty, who is a member of the Board of Trustees, began their association with the school in the 1970s and were instrumental in the school’s Parks Exhibition Center, where many art exhibits and receptions are held.
Both were active during the separation from USC.
On July 15, Linda Fuller will tell stories about the early days of the summer program’s Childrens Center. She is a world renowned speaker and advocate for early art education.
The series will culminate on July 22 with a talk from Bill Lowman, the former Idyllwild Arts president and headmaster, who retired in June 2011. He was also founding head of Idyllwild Arts Academy. Lowman assumed leadership of the organization in 1985, following a nineteen-year period when the University of Southern California owned and operated the school.
All of the speakers will begin at 7:30 p.m. and all sessions will be in the Krone Library.