Arts Education Program News & Events

We Animated Gumby!

On Saturday June 24th a class of animation enthusiasts joined Stephen Wathen, our summer Artist-In-Residence, for an afternoon of fun.  Not only did we learn about the history and making of "Gumby," but everyone had the rare opportunity to animate one of the actual puppets on display in the Vivid Increments exhibition!

You can view and download our demo animation, as well as a time lapse of the afternoon session, from the workshop here.

Dinosaur Stop Motion Experience

Join us for the final special event as part of Vivid Increments - the making of Stop Motion Animation, on display through July 22nd.

The Dinosaur Stop Motion Experience begins with a Movie Presentation/Screening of Planet of Dinosaurs (1977) from 12 to 2 pm, hosted by SPFX Professionals Jim Aupperle & Stephen C. Wathen.  The movie contains images of violence between humans and dinosaurs; parental guidance is suggested.  The screening is a limited engagement; free and open to the public.

The screening will be followed by a T-Rex Armature Animation Workshop from 2 – 4 pm.  The workshop is suitable for participants age 12 – Adult.  Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a Adult participant.  Registration is required. Residents:  $10 / Non-Residents: $12  Register is now open!

All Powerful! Still Living!

Join us for this - extra! - special event as part on the on-going feature exhibition Vivid Increments - the making of Stop Motion Animation, on display in the Grand Galleries through July 22nd.

The mighty Kong comes to Tracy, in a classic/deco theatre of the Eight Wonder of the World's era, on Saturday, July 8th, from 12 to 4 pm.  We'll be hosting several special guests who are stop motion historians, collectors, and special effects professionals.  Enjoy an afternoon of creature classics, participate in our educational panel discussion following the movies, and meet-n-greet our VIPs.

All of these associated events are free and open to the public.

Animating Gumby Presentation & Workshop

Join “Gumby” animator Stephen C. Wathen, our 2017 summer Artist-In-Residence, for this special event on Saturday, June 24th, 10 am to 4 pm in the feature exhibition, Vivid Increments - the making of Stop Motion Animation.
The workshop will start at 10 am with a presentation by Mr. Wathen including screenings of “Gumby” episodes and George Pal Puppetoons with audience Q & A.  There will be a lunch break from 12:00 to 1:00 pm, followed by an afternoon session including hands-on demonstration of stop-motion animation until 4:00 pm.
The special event is suitable for for participants ages 10 – Adult.  Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a Adult participants.  $10 Tracy Residents - $12 Non-Residents  Registration is now open!

Vivid Increments – the making of Stop Motion Animation

The 10th Anniversary 2016-17 Season closes with a blockbuster event!  This exclusive exhibition features a unique display of art and objects that illustrate the 100+ year history, allure and creative process of stop motion animation.  Vivid Increments - the making of Stop Motion Animation  presents production art, posters, puppets, props, toys and video exploring the genre including King Kong (1933), The Black Scorpion (1957), Jack the Giant Killer (1962), Planet of Dinosaurs (1977), “Gumby” (1980-90’s), Mars Attacks (1996), James and the Giant Peach (1996), ParaNorman (2012) and Kubo and the Two Strings (2016).

In addition, a series of special educational events will feature movie screenings, presentations and workshops with appearances by experts from the field of stop motion animation.  The project honors of those working in this incredible media, from the early pioneers such as Dawley, O'Brien, Pal & Harryhausen, to the contemporary animation studios of Aardman, Clokey & Laika.

Ceramics Lab Hours & Classes

The Grand Theatre Center for the Arts features a college-level ceramics lab with instruction in Hand-Building, Sculpting, and Wheel Throwing. Classes are available for students ages 3 1/2 and up!

New sessions of classes start every few weeks! View our current class schedule or register online now!

This summer Ceramics Lab hours will be every Monday from 2 - 5 PM and every Wednesday from 6 - 9 PM.  Students can work on their projects at their own pace. Lab hours are recommended for ages 14 and up. No prior registration needed, just stop by!

Top X Lists

As we continue our celebration across the 2016-17 Season, we present the Top X Lists!

Over the next 10 months, beginning in September 2016 and continuing through July 2017, a list of important, educational and interesting facts about the Grand will be featured.  In addition prominent collaborators and patrons who've made notable contributions to the programming and operations of the Center will be recognized.

10th Anniversary Season – Thank You!

The 2016-17 Season has begun!  Thank you to the Trace Adkins fans who enjoyed a sold out performance on August 20th, the 1,500 patrons who packed the Grand for our 10 Year Anniversary Party on August 26th, and to the all of the artists and instructors who celebrated together at the Art Awards Luncheon on August 27th!

Special honors to the sponors of this programming: the City of Tracy, Grand Foundation, Dr. Shailaja Singh, and Mike & Mariette McLellan!   Without your generous support these events would not be possible.  We would also like to acknowledge the amazing team of artists, contractors, staff and supporters who helped design, decorate, host, perform and provide hospitality across the weekend.  The Grand looked amazing, the food was delicious and entertainment was so much fun!

An on-going series of special events, presented by the Arts Education, Exhibitions & Presenting Programs, will be featured across the 2016-17 Season in honor of you, our Patrons!  We thank you for your continued interest and support of our programming!  Together we make the Grand truly unique in the State of California and a model collaborative arts project for other communities across the nation.

Remembering Our Friend Gretchen Talley (1933 - 2016)

Gretchen Talley was a long time, celebrated community leader and activist, and one of Tracy's quintessential arts and education supporters.  Her decades of remarkable community involvement included St. Bernard's Mothers Guild, Tracy Joint Union High School District, San Joaquin County Board of Education, THS Parent Advisory Committee and Band Boosters, Tracy Parks & Recreation Commission, Tracy Tennis Club, San Joaquin County Bike Task Force, Tracy Friends of the Stockton Symphony and numerous other organizations.

Ms. Talley was also a Board Member of the Arts Leadership Alliance (now Grand Foundation) who worked in collaboration with the City of Tracy in the development of the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts.  For many years after the Grand opened, Gretchen would enthusiastically attend events and promote the Center, as well as consistently offer kind words of support to the Staff.  Her sincere efforts were always appreciated and she will be greatly missed.

Additional details about Gretchen's impressive life has been recently documented in the Tracy Press.

Remembering Our Friend Pat Sanchez (1942 – 2016)

Pat Sanchez (Tracy, CA) was a truly special and memorable member of our community. Ms. Sanchez served as a nurse for 20 years, including caring for terminally ill children. Since 2007, Pat worked as a gourd and pine needle weaving artist.  She began exhibiting professionally at the Grand in the fall of 2010, and quickly became a gallery favorite.  Pat also offered a series of workshops in the Arts Education Program, patiently teaching hobbyists and artists alike how to work with her preferred materials.
Pat was highly supportive of the Grand Theatre Center of the Arts and her extraordinary loyalty and contributions to our programs will be remembered and celebrated. Before her passing, Pat donated one of her signature gourds to the City of Tracy – Civic Art Collection.  It will remain on display in the Grand Galleries for the remainder of the 2015-16 Season in her honor.

Contact Us

Grand Theatre Center for the Arts
715 Central Avenue
Tracy, CA 95376
Phone: 209-831-6TKT (6858)
Fax: 209-831-6271

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Facility Hours

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
One hour prior to ticketed performances.

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