Art Foundation of Desert Hot Springs


Committee Votes to Put David Ross Productions in Charge of Vortex Festival

Great news from the Arts District Committee!

Desert Hot Springs Arts District

The Desert Hot Springs arts district’s event committee voted this 13240142_1684380561824939_9766975314453929_nMonday, June 13th, to put David Ross and his production company, Ross Management & Productions in charge of the Art Zone’s inaugural event: The Vortex Art & Music Festival. The motion that was voted in unanimously was inspired largely by

View original post 447 more words

The Epitome of Press Kits

I’ve noticed a lot of local businesses, artists, cultural attractions, etc. in Desert Hot Springs do not seem to give much credence to the value of press relations. Most people in general have a sense of what a press release is, but few know the specifics and those who are versed in the nuances of these ubiquitous documents are rather rare, even in large metros.

So, I guess it is understandable that in our sleepy little resort town it would be difficult to find folks that are up on the latest trends in public relations. However, regardless of where you are, who you are, or what you do… if you do anything that involves attracting people to a place, a web site, a concept, a movement, or generally distributing any kind of information to anyone that is not already your own, personal, captive audience, there are great benefits to learning about and embracing the art of media relations.

Now, I am going to spare you all the tedious “basic training” about formatting a press release and the difference between a press release, a media alert, and press package, etc. That will just ensure that you never want anything to do with it again. Instead, I am going to WOW YOU with the breathtaking beauty of a really, really, really well done press kit. To clarify the terminology without boring you to death, a press kit is simply a collection of press releases and other media like photos and videos that journalists and reporters can use to put together a story.

Now, take a deep breath, clear your mind, imagine that you are a dynamic media producer working on a high production value magazine show for a cutting edge network.. Your looking for diverse locations with stimulating and unique cultural experiences to be captured by your top notch crew and high paid talent. You’re googling for something that makes you want to jump on the plane and be shooting by 8am. All of a sudden you come across this:

Now, don’t spend too long on there… HEY! Come back here! Remember me? Yes, that’s better, now. Thank you. What did you think? Great wasn’t it. The story ideas, the videos, the prewritten copy you can just paste right into a script. No worries about copyrights, this whole site was MADE to be COPIED! Those beautiful videos, they have studio quality masters of those that you can give right to your editor for stock footage.  Those awesome photos, they have a whole catalog of different angles, different outfits, different lighting. Did you notice the “Press Trip” link on the right? That’s what makes you wanna get on that plane and be sipping mamosas by… I mean, setting up shots by 8 am.

Granted, this press kit is for a whole friggin’ state. Your average Desert Hot Springs business in not going to have, or need, anything this elaborate. But, the concepts are still the same. So, don’t bother learning why press releases have to end with — # # # —  Just get somebody that knows a little about PR or journalism, a student or retired reporter, or an amateur writer or photographer, and show them an example of an AMAZING press kit like this one. If they are not instantly inspired and busy snapping away photos  or taking notes by the time you click to the next page, hire someone else.

I hope this has made you think of press kits in new light. They don’t have to be schlocky, schpealsy, schmaltzy pitches. They can be artful, tasteful, and most importantly USEFUL to the people who will be telling your story to your future customers, clients, collectors, donors, or fans. They can also be a lot of fun and if you are willing to devote some time to doing a good job and get involved in the process, you may find that the experience really opens your eyes to what the public actually sees, what you really want them to see, and how powerful showing them things you don’t necessarily want them to see can be. Sometimes, showing your human fallibility goes a lot farther than sitting on your high horse and tooting your own horn.

Be yourself, use common sense, remember who and what you are writing for, and learn from the experience. It’s well worth it.


1 Comment

New Arts District Committee’s First Meeting on Monday

A new committee has been created by Mayor, Scott Matas by City Council members Yvonne Parks and Joe McKee, to explore the possibilities of developing a cultural district in Desert Hot Springs.

Their fist meeting is on Monday, March 21st at 6pm at the Carl May Community Center on West and Pierson (City Council Chambers). Facebook event is here.

For more information about getting involved, see this post.

We at the AFDHS are excited about this new development and we are encouraging the whole community to come down and get involved.

Although direct involvement in creating an arts district is not part of our mission currently, we have formed a cultural partnership with a new group called Desert Arts Districts (DAD). They are an informal, unincorporated group that is seeking out veteran arts professionals with experience in arts districts to join their online community and act as mentors, content contributors, and centers of influence to guide those who are just getting started in the field.

They have announced their intent to provide tools and resources to the new committee in Desert Hot Springs, starting with a community forum on their site designated for DHS Arts District topics.

DAD (Desert Arts Districts) can be found at or on Facebook or Twitter.

We hope we will see you at the meeting on Monday or online in the forum, voicing your opinions and helping the City create a successful cultural district plan that serves the needs of our community.


Classical Concert Series Presents: Kaleidoscope Chamber Players

The Classical Concerts Series that was a great success last year in Desert Hot Springs is back again in its second season. We at the Art Foundation of Desert Hot Springs are very excited about this and encourage everyone from around the valley to catch this season’s premier tomorrow. downloadPerforming will be the Kaleidoscope Chamber Players, a wind trio from LA’s conductorless chamber orchestra by the same name.


Danny Holt (above) is the mastermind behind the DHS Classical Concerts Series

Who would have thought classical music would be such a hit in Desert Hot Springs?  Continue reading