Winter Break: Art for the Holidays

Cultural events and performances led by UC Riverside's own faculty and staff this winter

UCR Professor Emeritus of Theater, Eric Barr, reprises his inspirational solo performance, ‘A Piece of My Mind.’ ucr

If you are looking for local activities and events to keep your schedule busy this holiday break, check out what the local communities have to offer. Many of these events are led, directed, or created by UC Riverside’s own faculty and staff, and have a far-reaching presence in the greater Southern California area.

1. Crafts: Gifts, and Artisanal Treats at the UCR Farmer’s Market

Come this Thursday for the last Farmer’s Market of 2017, and enjoy a wide array of holiday treats, seasonal items, gift baskets, and special wrapping for the season. Local produce is featured weekly, as is My Halo Honey and Sola Food jams and spreads – the creators of a jalapeno-kiwi jelly served at the Grammys in 2013.

With every purchase, shoppers will be entered into a raffle to win a surprise holiday gift basket filled with goodies.

  • Thursday, Dec. 7
  • Time: 3-7 p.m.
  • Lawn between the Arts building and Hinderaker Hall

2. Film: UCR ARTSblock Screening of ‘The Beguiled’

Elle Fanning and Colin Farrell in “The Beguiled.”

 If you missed Sofia Coppola’s Civil War Drama this summer, it’s not too late the see the Cannes Film Festival winner on the big screen. Coppola, who became the second woman in history to win Best Director in Cannes for her work on the film, produces a stunning period piece that exalts old-fashioned movie-making while offering a suspenseful and raw cinematic experience.

Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell join an acclaimed cast to tell the story of Cpl. John McBurney (Farrell), an injured Union soldier who finds himself on the run as a deserter during the Civil War. He seeks refuge at an all-female Southern boarding school where the teachers and students seem more than willing to help. Soon, tensions lead to dangerous rivalries as the women tend to his wounded leg while offering him comfort and companionship.

3. Theater: ‘A Piece of My Mind’ at the Fountain

UCR Professor Emeritus of Theater, Eric Barr, reprises his inspirational solo performance chronicling the challenges he faced after a series of strokes left him unable to speak or use his left side. Barr presents his story as “a journey from near-death to recovery and reinvention, a celebration of life and the human spirit.”

This one-night performance is presented by the Fountain Theatre as a benefit for veteran L.A. theater director Dan Bonnell, who faces a difficult rehabilitation of his own after a brain aneurysm. Barr’s show is a fitting vessel of hope and generosity.

4. Benefit: A Reading of ‘An Actor’s Carol’ by Actor and UCR Director Miles Anderson

Miles Anderson will star in a reading of the comedic play “An Actor’s Carol” by UCR playwright Charles Evered.

Film and theater actor Miles Anderson (“La La Land”) will star in a reading of the comedic play ‘An Actor’s Carol’ by UCR playwright Charles Evered. Anderson, who has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), will be joined by a talented ensemble of actors playing 17 roles between them. Anderson won the 1982 London Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performances in “The Twin Rivals” and “The Witch of Edmonton.” He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in 1984 for his performance as “Sigismund” in Calderon de la Barca’s “Life’s A Dream” at the RSC.

“An Actor’s Carol” tells the story of Hugh Pendleton, a cranky veteran actor who is sick and tired of playing Scrooge every holiday. The adaptation is a loving send-up of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and was nominated for eight Desert Theatre League Awards with Evered winning the Bill Groves award for Outstanding Original Writing.

The reading is a benefit for the Charles J. Evered House, an artist residency for veterans and those who serve in conflict zones. The “CJE House” is situated near the Joshua Tree National Park and is the newest program division of the Hi-Desert Cultural Center.

  • Friday, Dec. 22
  • Time: 5:30 p.m.
  • Melissa Morgan Fine Arts
    73040 El Paseo
    Palm Desert, CA 92260
  • Admission is free, although donations are highly appreciated. Light refreshments will be served. All proceeds raised during this event will go toward the CJE House program and are tax deductible.

For more information about the Charles J. Evered House, please visit:

5. Art: UCR ARTSblock presents Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas

Don’t miss this wide-ranging survey exhibition that brings together contemporary artists from across the Americas who have tapped into science fiction’s capacity to imagine new realities, both utopian and dystopian. Drawing on UCR’s strong faculty and collections in science fiction, the exhibition offers a groundbreaking account of the intersections among science fiction, techno-culture, and the visual arts.

“Mundos Alternos” is curated by UCR Assistant Professor of English Robb Hernández; Tyler Stallings, artistic director of the Culver Center of the Arts; and Joanna Szupinska-Myers, senior curator of exhibitions at the California Museum of Photography.

The exhibition is part of “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA,” a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions. “Pacific Standard Time” is an initiative of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

  • Sept. 16, 2017 – Feb. 4, 2018
  • UCR ARTSblock
    3824 Main Street
    Riverside, CA 92501
  • General admission: $6
    Seniors, Jurors, and Veterans: $3
    Students with I.D. and Children under 12: Free
    UCR Faculty and Staff: Free
    Members: Free
  • Check website for holiday hours:

6. Performance Art: The Broad’s ‘Gifts of the Spirit’

“Gifts of the Spirit,” a performance/installation made up of 16 writers, six typists, a hypnotist, vocalists, and musicians.

“Gifts of the Spirit,” a performance/installation made up of 16 writers, six typists, a hypnotist, vocalists, and musicians, manifests from artist Ron Athey as he “completes” his memoir together in ecstatic communion with his collaborators. He partners with Sean Griffin, a prominent experimental music composer whose music has been featured in film, theater, and installations internationally. The performance is part of The Broad’s innovative program series, which serves as an extension of the downtown LA museum’s contemporary art collection. The evening’s performance will take place at Vibiana, a performing arts venue in the Historic Core of downtown Los Angeles.

The performance is co-produced by VOLUME, a Los Angeles collective dedicated to presenting time-based work by emerging and established artists engaged in sound-based practices. The series was developed by Jennifer Doyle, who has served as a guest curator for the Broad since the museum’s opening. Doyle is a professor and director of graduate admissions for the UCR English Department.

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