Native Arts Over The Years

28 06 2012

In 1950, pioneer educators originated the Native American Arts Program at Idyllwild Arts (formerly known as ISOMATA). These Native American artists – Ataloa, Te-Ata, Ambrose & Garnet Roanhorse, Martin Tsiosdia and his wife, Ira Jean Snow and Ann Bolin – were brought together, possibly for the first time in American education, where they discussed the history, social organization, religion, philosophy and arts of Native American cultures. Unknown to them at the time, Idyllwild Arts would become a primary venue for Native American artists, historians and ethnologists to gather that summer and every summer since.

Bob Krone, son of founders Max & Bee Krone recalls, “it was the summer of 1949. Dad (Max Krone) and Bee had met Ataloa, a member of the Chickasaw Nation of American Indians. Ataloa was nationally known as an educator in Indian arts.” The three of them set off on a trip to the Navajo & Hopi Reservations, and to Gallup, New Mexico for a pow-wow. It was there they met the artists who would become the first Native American Arts faculty. Ataloa invited them to Idyllwild for the following summer. With Max and Bee, she started to work out the details for events and classes. It culminated, in the summer of 1950, as a four-week workshop focusing on American Folk culture; a large part of that being Native American. Other courses taught that summer included painting and drawing, photography, sculpture, stagecraft, ceramics, music and square dancing. Read the rest of this entry »


Shepard Fairey Returns to IAA

28 06 2012

Shepard Fairey

Nearly 24 years after graduating from the Idyllwild Arts Academy, pop artist Shepard Fairey returned for a visit to his alma mater in February.  Wearing a black leather jacket and a Ramones t-shirt, he still radiated a youthful edge but this was no longer the rebellious teenager who was kicked out of an east coast boarding school for skateboarding or the art student that put his new color photography skills to use by making fake IDs.  The grown up Shepard Fairey is a successful and influential artist, whose work is credited with enough clout to sway a presidential election.

“I was so excited when I heard he was coming to speak,” said sophomore Jazz major Emily Jimenez.  “I loved hearing what he had to say because I got to know the history of one of my favorite artist and designers from himself.  Also, it was cool finding out we share the same interests, the same taste in music, and skateboarding and art.”

“I just got to meet one of my heroes,” said Peter Ryan, a junior and Moving Pictures major.  “Shepard’s comments about having a strong work ethic and never giving up were great to hear.  He said, ‘I am a living example of a hard-working but not very good artist.’  I thought that was brilliant.”

Shortly before taking the stage as a guest lecturer, Fairey reflected on his art school experience.  “This was the first place that teachers were more like peers with experience than rules and dictators,” he said.  “They were not condescending, they were nurturing.  They made me feel like they respected my opinion.  I’m excited to share my work with students to keep the cycle of inspiration going.” Read the rest of this entry »

2012 Idyllwild Arts Gala

28 06 2012

228 enthusiastic guests attended the 8th annual Idyllwild Arts Gala, honoring Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil with the Idyllwild Arts Life in Art Award on March 11 where we raised over $121,000 towards scholarships for low-income students at Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program.

The evening’s performances by current Academy students of Another Op’nin, Another Show and On Broadway started the evening off with a bang. James Ingram brought the house down with his emotional rendition of Just Once, and Steve Tyrell’s performances of Don’t Know Much and You Turn Me Around were phenomenal. When our current students joined Barry Mann in singing Somewhere Out There, the audience experienced something truly special. There is something very inspirational about watching a songwriter perform their own song. Casey Abrams ’09 gave an impromptu performance (and even auctioned off an original song!). The evening ended with a sing-along of You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.

What an incredible evening – and what an amazing gathering of creative, talented, and generous people all in support of Idyllwild Arts!

An Interview with Maddie Marlow-2012 MacNeal Award Winner

28 06 2012


A typical year in Maddie Marlow’s young life meant moving to another town. She found herself in the public schools of Ashland, Oregon her freshman year. It was her unhappiness there that compelled her to seek change. She was depressed, her personal life had its challenges and she hated school for its lack of art instruction.  She found Idyllwild Arts on the Internet; it appeared to be the perfect fit. The first year she applied there was not enough financial aid. She persevered and the second year all was in place. Maddie came to Idyllwild Arts Academy and her life took a 180 degree turn.

Idyllwild Arts became her home.  To Maddie, “home” implies where you breathe and exist. Idyllwild Arts is her family and community. Maddie started in the Creative Writing department and has a love for physics; however, her true passion is dancing. She knew that if she got the opportunity to be in the dance department she would have to work.  Work hard she did. Maddie became so successful she landed the title role in the ballet Cinderella. She was president of the senior class, president of the National Honors Society, writing tutor, Admission’s tour guide, and prefect in Husch Dormitory. In addition to her dance performances on campus, she was one of three students who performed 13 shows of Nutcracker with the Claremont Pacific Inland Ballet. This year, Maddie graduates from Idyllwild Arts and will be honored with the MacNeal Award. Read the rest of this entry »

Alumni Updates

28 06 2012

Alumni Updates

Breanna Gribble ‘04  – “I give back to Idyllwild Arts because the years spent in that community nurtured what will make me happy the rest of my life.”

Angel Morgan ‘88 – Completed her doctorate in 2011 at Saybrook University.
A photograph from graduation is featured on their webisite:

Carlo Vogel ‘88  –  A NYC-based private investigator has offered to help Idyllwild Arts’ Alumni Relations manager to track down lost alumni.

Anthony Postman ‘88 – Anthony Postman aka ThePostmOn is a guitarist on the Reno scene for 15+ years. Currently plays with Keyser Soze and The M*A*S*H* Unit, featuring Soulmedic and Jah Works The Revolutionary. ThePostmOn held down bass duties for Reno’s SkyJuice, Team Irie!, and occasionally Jahzilla, and played guitar for Serious T’ing, Rootsonic, Homegrown, The King Michael Blues Band, his own AMP3 (featuring “TooHotSlide” in the music player). Anthony grew up playing piano and hand drumming in addition to guitar…….ThePostmOn’s been on the Reno club scene as a DJ for almost 15 years, bringing his Messenjah Soundsystem to many of the area’s venues and festivals, and hosted Reno’s longest-running weekly reggae night, Rasta Sessions…Currently you can hear ThePostmOn on Reno’s public radio KUNR 88.7 FM, ( hosting REGGAE Fi’REAL! and WORLD SPINS (if you are a Reggae, Dub, or World artist seeking airplay– link we!)…….Postmon Productions is Anthony’s sound design company put into business thanks to International Game Technology of Nevada, who hired out Postmon Productions for some game sounds and musical loops. Postman Productions has also done contract work for Nokia

Aaron Kahn ‘93 – Aaron is studying full-time in a professional training program at École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq (AKA: The Lecoq School) in Paris, France, where he has been living, working and studying for 4.5 years.  He has also just booked a nice voice over monologue for a short French film called DETOX.  Recently, he created an original work in progress at Théâtre de l’Épée de Bois (in the Cartoucherie) called Produits Exotiques about the global financial crisis.  Aaron teaches yoga and Pilates.  Notably, he teaches an unplugged annual ayurvedic retreat in the remote jungle of Sri Lanka every August at Ulpotha.  Last year, he was interviewed by “The Hindu” (one of India’s national newspapers)

Kyoko Bunchikin ‘97– Kyoko has designed bicycle wear for the Asian Cup, April, 2012.

Dennis Doubin ‘97 –Dennis  is an Assistant Conductor of the San Francisco Opera.

Alexae Visel ‘97 – Alexae is currently working as a theatrical costume designer. She just opened a show with Shotgun Players in San Francisco.

Pandora Peoples ‘98 – has a thriving psychic and herbal practice in Cape Cod, Mass. She is the proud owner of Pandora’s Garden offering magical gifts and healing teas. She gives workshops on connecting with the sacred feminine and energy medicine. Email her at

Jacque Carnahan ’98 – has a one-woman show and is working on a musical version of Pride & Prejudice.  She is working with Diane Burt (ISIS Theater) to bring her show to Idyllwild.  She’s been working in NYC for nine years.

Michael Singer ’98 – is a tympanist receiving his DMA from Rutgers this December.  He has been auditioning widely for orchestral positions.

Nana Lee ’98 – The owner of Blank Space Gallery in NYC recently hosted the Idyllwild Arts Academy Alumni Reunion on May 12.  She has run the place for three years.  She offered to put on an exhibition of Idyllwild Arts Visual Art alumni at the gallery.  She also helps her father’s fashion design business in Korea.

Amanda Aday ’98 – “I am the social media coordinator at an Indie Record Label called Rocket Science. I work with all sorts of music acts; Don Felder, John 5, Angels & Airwaves, Black Light Burns, etc. I am still acting as well, and have recently been cast in two feature films set to shoot this summer. “The Trials Of Cate McCullough” (Kate Beckinsale & Nick Nolte) & “Escort Service” (Rebecca De Mornay & Clint Howard) Many other projects in the works including a Film and Music Festival I will be hosting this fall at Paramount Ranch and a production deal I just signed for a secret project that will available to the public sometime next year.”

Topher Payne ‘98 – Recently was recognized by – Best Actor/Actress – Best Playwright – Best Writer/Poet
They wrote, “Your fave in these three categories is the ubiquitous Topher Payne (, who writes and acts almost nonstop. Whether he’s in high heels tackling one of the “Designing Women” or doing an about face and playing David Frost, he brings absolute joy to his work. A tireless playwright, he opens another show this week in the ATL — the drama comedy “Evelyn in Purgatory.”  Does this man ever sleep?”

Elora Hardy ‘99 – Was recently married in a wedding dress she designed. After 5 years in New York at DKNY, she moved back home and has been in Bali for 2 years now, leading an architecture & construction team called  Ibuku.   Recently she spoke at the INK Conference (in association with TED Talks).

Tivon Marcus ‘01 – Currently works as the Booking Manager at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island (a 17,000 seat arena).

Leif Shackelford ‘01 – Lives in Portland, OR and plays violin and synth in the band EMA (

Adam Glick ‘02 – Adam has been promoted to Curator of the Madision Square Park Conservancy’s Public Art Program.

Amy Rothenberg ‘03  – Lives in Oakland, CA and has lived in the Bay area for 8 years on and off. She graduated the San Francisco Art Institute in 2008. Now she works as the newborn photographer at Alta Bates Hospital, and as a freelance documentary photographer. She is working towards a Fulbright, and is going to Uganda in June ’12, to do a photo project and teach art classes for blind kids. Amy paints when she has time, as wells as playing music. She is planning on becoming a yoga teacher.

Jon Worley ‘03  – An article on Jon “A Q&A WITH ‘JUSTIFIED’ WRITER JON WORLEY”


David Shook ‘04  – David was shortlisted for the Melita Poetry Prize. He was recently in London as Translator in Residence for the Poetry Parnassus, the largest ever poetry festival in Britain, part of the Cultural Olympiad that lead up to the Olympics, featuring a poet from every Olympic nation.

Lila Ann M. Dodge ‘05 – Lila has been living in San Francisco for just over a year. She dances for B Chanel Bibene/ Kiandanda Dance Theater, and trains with a number of superb artists in town. She gets by, just but quite happily, doing a  lot of childcare and laundry-folding, French teaching and dance administrative work. I ride my bike everywhere, do a fair amount of contract improvisation and pursue improvisation, and other projects with friends. “I am as much torn as excited to leave SF to start the Master of Arts programs in African Studies at Yale this autumn. The launching point for these studies will be my research on contemporary dance in Burkina Faso under a Fulbright Grant in 2009-10, but I will be going further to places I don’t know yet…”


Mystral Echeverria 05 – Mystral is at Brooklyn College studying pre-med.  She has had a fairly wide-range of interests, including marine biology as an undergraduate at Boston University.

Teale Sperling ‘05 – Earlier this year, Teale interviewed the actor Ezra Miller, one of the stars of the new movie We Need To Talk About Kevin at the Angelika Film Center in NYC. She was responsible for producing, interviewing, editing and shooting.

Sung Eun Chang ‘05  –  She is studying piano performance at NEC.

Elliot Gordon Mercer ‘05 –  Elliot is teaching historical dance at Juilliard.

Amy Claussen ‘05 – Amy has announced her appointment as one of the 2012 Drama League Directors. She will be in residence at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY this summer.

Brett Lord ‘05 – In August 2011, he and his partner, Jesse, were married and they have relocated to Los Angeles from New York to enjoy the sunshine and pursue more artistic opportunities. Brett will be performing at Robin’s Scupture Garden in Venice for 1st Friday on Abbot Kinney in June.


Ashley L. Rizzo ‘05 – Ashley is active as an opera singer in NYC.

Michael Noble ‘06 –  Michael is studying piano at Yale.

Kaley Pruitt ‘06 – Kaley is a dancer and administrator with Elisa Monte Dance.

Alexandra Rush ‘06 – Alexandra’s YouTube videos
Freddi Scheib ‘06 – Freddi is an aspiring actress and comedian who currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Anne F. Larsen ‘07 – Anne is currently attending SAIC.


Caleb Joshua Eberhardt ‘08  – Caleb has recently released an album

Alice Gi-Young Hwang ‘08 –  Alice has just finished her third year at Juilliard and is getting ready for the summer, which will include competing in the William Kapell International Piano Competition, a recital in New York and also in North Carolina, going to the Mendelssohn Academy for masterclasses in Leipzig, and participating in the Holland Music Sessions as a full scholarship recipient.  She has extended her studies to include composition as of this past year, and she is also doing a lot of chamber music.  Also, as a Gluck Community Service Fellow at Juilliard, she performs at shelters, hospitals, and senior homes very frequently.  Kathryn Peterson ‘09 and Alice are currently busy working on their outreach program, T.R.I.O., which they founded in 2010.  Alice also teaches beginner and intermediate piano in the city.


Casey Abrams ‘09  Casey has recently released a new album.

Stephanie Yee ’09 – Stephanie is taking a year off from Drew University where she was studying television.

Janelle Korcheck ‘09 – Janelle is a successful stylist, styling celebrities and socialites for red carpet events in New York City.  Articles by Janelle Korcheck

Ruby Day ‘10 – Ruby is finishing her second year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, Scotland. She is in the music theatre department, and now has a new website –

Sung-Ah Jun ‘10 – Sung-Ah is at Pratt Institute studying photography.

Sahara S. Spain ‘10 – Sahara is currently attending Colgate University.

Kumi Sweely ‘10 – Since graduating from IAA she has sold a few of her photography pictures and had her ceramics displayed in a winery in Virginia, where she sold her works as well. She later moved to Hawaii and modeled for a wedding company for their brochure. Currently, she studies at a community college to get a teaching degree in second language teaching. She is a volunteer tutor for the ESL classes at her community college.

Rachel Hill ‘11 – Rachel completed her first year in the Honors program at UNC Wilmington as a Music Ed major (spring Dean’s List). She was awarded first chair (horn) and maintained that position both semesters.

Arts Enterprise Lab Projects Summary for 2011 – 2012

28 06 2012

By Don Put

The second year followed on the success of our first year in ways that were gratifying to all involved. The AEL projects this year encompassed a wide variety of ideas and helped us to move forward and substantiate the importance of the four major sections of AEL: directed master classes, grants for student work, internships, and the alum/professionals guest speaker series for our seniors. We are particularly thrilled with the internship program and we had two strong participants, one an alumni of IAA and the other a graduate of CalArts with an MFA.

To summarize:

AEL sponsored eight master classes, many of which gave our students insights into their chosen art fields in ways that helped them to understand what a career in the arts might look like and how to go about planning for it and navigating through the unique situations common in each field. Connections that were made during these classes will most likely enable our students to have contacts outside of the relatively cloistered environment of Idyllwild Arts that provide an opportunity for networking far from “the hill.” One of the highlights for sure was the master classes given by Jock Soto during his week here. He showed the dance students that it is possible to be a great teacher as well as a great dancer. I think his visit was a life-changing event for our dancers. Read the rest of this entry »

Jazz Combo Wins first place honors at Reno Jazz Festival

28 06 2012

The Idyllwild Arts Academy Jazz Combo won first prize at this year’s Reno Jazz Festival. What makes this accomplishment amazing is that this year’s IAA Jazz Combo had only one returning musician from last year’s ensemble (which tied for 2nd place). This year’s returning member was guitarist Lake Jiroudek and he was joined by Mary Duffy, bass, Luca Jacaruso, piano and Max Kazakov, drums. It’s even more impressive when you consider that Luca and Max were 10th graders joining far more seasoned senior players Lake and Mary.

The Reno Jazz Festival is the largest and most prestigious jazz festival in the western US. This very competitive and high profile festival features high schools, middle schools, and colleges who bring their Big Bands, Combos, and vocal ensembles to compete. Schools from all across the western United States come to compete with one competitor coming from New South Wales, Australia. Since its first year in 1962, the festival has brought to Reno both talented students and renowned professional artists. Read the rest of this entry »