(This story is from an Associates of Idyllwild Arts Foundation press release.)

An organizational meeting in January 1968 created the Associates of Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts (now Associates of Idyllwild Arts). January 2018 marks the 50th anniversary as a supporter of the arts, especially Idyllwild Arts. “Our purpose is to raise funds to support the scholarship programs of Idyllwild Arts and to support the arts and culture of the town of Idyllwild,” wrote AIAF President Michael Slocum.

The anniversary celebration will begin at the annual meeting on June 11 and will continue throughout the Associates’ fiscal year. Many events are planned to recognize the history of philanthropy. Some of the special events include:

• Musical: A musical tradition for more than 30 years.

• Speakers Series: special speakers with historical knowledge and background

• Anniversary dinner, auction and musical performance

• Very special performers.

Watch for more events as well as dates and details.

The group’s community outreach includes:

• Financial support to the smARTS program at Idyllwild School

• Partnership with the Art Alliance of Idyllwild in co-producing the Art Walk and Wine Tasting event

• Collaboration with the Idyllwild Master Chorale

• Community partnership with Jazz in the Pines

• Continued support to the Idyllwild Arts Foundation, plus, volunteering countless hours where needed

Special 50th-anniversary logos will be unveiled at the annual meeting on June 11, 2017. Watch for window stickers with new logos to be seen around the town of Idyllwild as they are distributed to special business members.

In 1968, basic membership in the Associates was $100 per year. Over the next 50 years, new levels and recognition have been added but basic membership remains at $100.

Associates of ISOMATA’S President Ray Garner said in the summer of 1970,

“In a world beset with towering political, sociological, and environmental problems, the question of art may seem of little importance. Yet if man is to prevail, not merely endure, his creative potential must be realized. Our mountain campus, high on a shoulder of the San Jacintos, offers just the right condition for maximum expansion of the mind and spirit.

“The purpose of ISOMATA is to enrich lives. The purpose of ISOMATA Associates is to devote time, energy and financial support to the furtherance of this dream — to the recreation of this little Athens.”