The City of Tracy, Arts Education Program (AEP) will have an Ofrenda (altar) on display in the South Gallery windows at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts to celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  The altar, designed by local artist Gloria Toscano, will be on display beginning at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, October 28 through Wednesday, November 4, 2020.

Gloria Toscano states, “Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican celebration where families gather to honor the memory of deceased loved ones on November 1st and 2nd.  The origins of Dia de los Muertos are rooted in the early traditions of Catholicism and the ancient traditions of the Aztec empire. It is believed that spirits return from the afterlife to enjoy this time in the company of loved ones.  Spirits are guided home to enjoy offerings left on Ofrendas (altars) that are meticulously crafted by the living.”

Community members are encouraged to view the altar while practicing safe social distancing from the sidewalks at 715 Central Avenue in downtown Tracy.  The annual altar is created with incredible detail and symbolism, with each item carrying a specific meaning.

Although each altar is extremely personal there are elements that each altar must have:


  • Levels: Offrendas (altars) can be made up of 2, 3 or 7 levels. Seven (7) levels are the most common in many of the large ofrendas and relates to the seven levels the soul must travel through before reaching heaven.
  • Incense: Copal (aromatic tree resin) or incense placed on the altar to purify the souls of the dead and ward off evil spirits.
  • Water: To quench the thirst of the deceased and strengthen them for their return journey.
  • Calaveras: “Skulls” often made of sugar or chocolate. They are a reminder to mock death and not fear it.
  • Candles: Symbols of the love for the deceased relatives and guiding lights for the souls.
  • Flowers: Campazuchitl (marigolds) the flagrant flower is a guild for the spirits into the mortal world.
  • Salt: A plate of salt is placed on the table to stop the souls of the deceased from being corrupted by earthly temptations.
  • Food: The deceased favorite food is often placed on the ofrenda along with many other typical foods such as Pan de Muerto, rice, mole, candy, alcohol and fruits.
  • Paper: Ofrendas are typically decorated with papel picado. Typical colors are yellow, orange and purple representing the union between life and death.
  • Personal Objects: Personal objects that once belonged to the deceased may be placed on the ofrenda. Common items are toys, eyeglasses, hats, and personal photos of the deceased.

IMAGE: Dia de los Muertos Family Day Ofrenda, 2019


While the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts remains closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, programming is still being developed and offered for our community.  Click here to learn more about the distance learning classes being offered by the AEP through Zoom.

Arts Education Program Announces Distance Learning beginning September 8th!

The City of Tracy, Arts Education Program announces a new way to learn this year at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts.  Beginning in fall semester, virtual classes will be offered to provide a safe learning experience for you and your family.

The skilled instructors at the Grand will be teaching classes through the web application ZOOM.  All classes will be accessible online via computer, tablet, or cell phone.  Class registration will begin on August 20, with classes starting September 8.

Registration is available online at and in-person at the Box Office ticketing window during normal business hours.

Distance Learning 2020-21

Distance learning classes meet in the comfort of your own home through Zoom. Your Zoom class link will be emailed to you prior to the start of your class. Please make sure the student’s email is correct when registering for a class!

Our Fall 2020 semester will include the following Distance Learning classes:


  • Ballet Folklorico – Beginners and Intermediate/Advanced
  • Movin’ Your Groove
  • Groovin’ Fridays   NEW!


  • Voice Overs… Now is your Time!


  • Exploring the Guitar
  • Exploring the Ukulele
  • Music Together Family Class
  • Private Music Lessons


  • Creative Writing
  • Essay Writing


  • Elementary and Cartoon Drawing
  • Comic Book Creation   NEW!
  • Anime/Manga Figure Drawing
  • Introduction and Intermediate Acrylic Painting
  • Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Photography
  • Knitting for Beginners
  • Pencil Sketching with Paulette
  • Paint Night!

updated 8/17/2020

Free Online Paint Night

The Grand Theatre Center for the Arts presents a free Paint Night through Facebook live!  Join the Arts Education Program featuring visual arts instructor Amanda Trask for a 1-hour painting you can do from the comfort of your own home! Participants can follow along in the video below to create their one-of-a-kind painting!

This Paint Night is family friendly and appropriate for school-age students as well as adults.

You will want the following supplies to complete this painting:

  • canvas, canvas board, or canvas paper (we used a 14″ x 11″ canvas)
  • one small paint brush
  • one large paint brush
  • one paper plate for mixing colors
  • one plastic cup for water
  • paper towels used to make the leaf texturing on the painting
  • 6 colors of paint:
    • White 
    • Black
    • Yellow
    • Red/Orange
    • Dark Green
    • Blue

Or you can opt to use any supplies you have available at home!

Please click on the video below to begin painting!

Free Online Art Classes

Grand Art Live Flyer 2020

The Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, Arts Education Program presents free online art classes through Facebook Live!  Join visual arts instructor and artist Amanda Trask for a virtual art class.  Each week starting April 8th, Amanda taught a different topic centered-around drawing.  Students at home can follow along using basic art supplies such as paper, pencil and colored pencil.

Check out the videos below to try one of these drawing classes!

Classes are family friendly and appropriate for school age students as well as adults.

The Arts Education Program is pleased to announce the addition of these Facebook Live art classes during this uncertain time. The Grand Theatre Center for the Arts is currently closed to the public until further notice in response to the current health concerns related to COVID-19.

April 8, 2020     Week 1: Fantasy Drawing: Unicorns & Dragons


April 15, 2020     Week 2: Anime/Manga Style Drawing


April 22, 2020     Week 3: Figure Drawing: Faces 


 April 29, 2020       Week 4: Figure Drawing: Hands & Feet  


May 6, 2020       Week 5: Having Fun with Patterns!


May 13, 2020       Week 6: Cartoon Drawing: Animals 


 Thanks for drawing with us!

Class Updates due to Grand Closure

Arts Education Program Update:

In an effort to protect the health and safety of our participants, Contractors and staff, we are postponing the re-opening of the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts. Summer classes will be cancelled and we will update you when we are ready to re-open.

Thank you for your continued support of the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts and the City of Tracy.

Winter/Spring 2020 Semester:

All Arts Education classes taking place during our Winter/Spring Semester have been cancelled. Please view the list of cancelled classes below:


  • Polynesian Dance, Activity # 17617, 17618, 17619, 17620, 17621, 17622
  • Ballet Folklorico, Activity # 17625, 17627
  • Dance Improvisation, Activity # 17588, 17589
  • Movin’ Your Groove, Activity # 17584, 17585
  • Irish Step Dancing, Activity # 17615, 17616


  • Voice Overs, Activity # 17560
  • Beg. Drama Performance, Activity # 18895


  • Music Together, Activity # 17563, 17564, 17565, 17566, 17567, 17568, 17570, 17571, 17572
  • Piano Preschoolers, Activity # 17555, 17556, 17558, 17559
  • Beg. Group Guitar, Activity # 17634
  • Exploring Guitar, Activity # 17541
  • Exploring Ukulele, Activity # 17539
  • Guitar Fund. Adults, Activity # 17542
  • All Private Music Lessons


  • Comic Book Writing, Activity # 17688
  • Creative Writing, Activity # 17714, 17716
  • Create-A-Book, Activity # 17717
  • La Voz, Activity # 17707, 17708


  • Filipino Fun, Activity # 17731
  • Little Artist & Me, Activity # 17733
  • Preschool Drawing, Activity # 17602, 17603
  • Elementary Drawing, Activity # 17606, 17607
  • Cartoon Drawing, Activity # 17610, 17611
  • Sensory Art, Activity # 17679, 17680, 17681
  • Anime Cartoon Workshop, Activity #17612
  • D & D Game Night, Activity # 18892
  • D & D  Camp, Activity # 17693
  • An Artist a Day, Activity # 17734
  • Superhero Creation, Activity #17689
  • Superhero Creation, Activity # 17690
  • Decorative… Papier Mache Boxes, Activity # 17698, 17699
  • Creative Corner Travel, Activity # 17592
  • Pocket Sketch Anywhere, Activity # 17547
  • Digital Arts Drawing Painting, Activity # 17532, 17533, 18990
  • Printmaking, Activity # 17695
  • Drawing: G C P, Activity # 17691, 17692
  • Introduction Oil & Acrylic Painting, Activity # 17592
  • Intermediate Oil & Acrylic Painting, Activity # 17593, 17594
  • Family Paint Day, Activity # 18891
  • Paint Night, Activity # 18889
  • Intermediate Photography, Activity # 17613
  • Advanced Photography, Activity # 17614
  • Knitting Beginners, Activity # 18903, 18904,18905, 18906


  • Pottery Preschoolers, Activity # 17722
  • Creature Creation, Activity # 17719, 17720
  • Ceramic Hand-Building, Activity # 17728, 17729
  • Youth Wheel Throwing, Activity # 17683
  • Adult Wheel Throwing, Activity # 17725, 17726
  • Functional Ceramics, Activity # 17544, 17545
  • All Ceramics Open Labs


  • Painted Glass Coasters, Activity # 19130
  • Fused Glass Pendants, Activity # 17685
  • All Fused Glass Open Labs

For questions, please call the Box Office at 209-831-6858 or email

We are sorry for any inconvenience.

updated 6-22-2020

Arts Education Catalog is here!


Pick up your copy of the Winter/Spring 2020 Arts Education Catalog now!  Class Registration opens Monday, December 9th!

Please note the following changes in our Catalog:

  • Page 8: Voice Overs class has a dew date: Tuesday, April 7th
  • Page 18: Sensory Art classes have new class dates:
    • 17677 – cancelled
    • 17678 – Saturday, 2/29 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM
    • 17679 – Saturday, 3/14 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM
    • 17680 – Saturday, 4/4 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM
    • 17681 – Saturday, 5/2 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM
  • Page 20: All Private Art Lessons have been cancelled
  • Page 22: Paint Night events start 30 minutes later, 7:00 to 9:30 PM, doors open at 6:30 PM
  • Page 24: Thursday’s Youth Wheel Throwing class has been cancelled
  • Page 26: Fused Glass Pendants has a new date and time: Saturday, April 4th, 2:30 – 4:00 PM
  • Page 26: Fused Glass Bowl has a new date and time: Saturday, Feb. 29th, 2:30 – 4:30 PM
  • Page 26: January Ceramic Lab dates have been cancelled, Open Lab will begin on February 5th
  • Page 26: January Fused Glass Lab dates have been cancelled, Open Lab will begin on February 11th

The following classes have been added:

  • Painted Glass Coaster Set, Activity #19130, Saturday, March 14th, 2:30 – 4:30 PM
  • Fused Glass Bowl/Plate, Activity #19129, Saturday, May 2nd, 2:30 – 4:30 PM

updated: 1/16/2020

Ceramics Lab Hours & Classes

Cermic flyer 2018

The Grand Theatre Center for the Arts features a college-level ceramics lab with instruction in Hand-Building, Sculpting, Ceramic Methods, 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!

Ceramics Lab hours will be every Wednesday from 6:00 to 9:00 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!