Making like the Masters!

Making like the Masters!

The City of Tracy, Arts Education Program is excited to launch the new “Making like the Masters!” series in 2021!  Each month the program will highlight a different, famous artist in these educational grab bags.

Each bag will contain a short biography about that month’s featured artist, as well as an art project inspired by their artwork.  All the supplies will be included in the bag so you may complete your art project at home.  Grab bags are designed for school-aged students.

“In January we will be featuring Michelangelo”, says Valerie Pavlakis, Arts Education Coordinator at the Grand. “Those who purchase the grab bag will learn about Michelangelo, his artwork, and then be challenged to paint as he did. These bags are perfect for families to complete while at home.”

You may register for an $8 Grab Bag online at  Each month uses a unique activity number for registration. Bags may then be picked up at Patron Services at the Leona Darr Willis Box Office ticketing windows, during normal business hours.



Making like the Masters ad 2021
Jan, Feb, March 2021 ad for Catalog

Holiday Craft Grab Bags!

The City of Tracy, Arts Education Program (AEP) has created Holiday Craft Grab Bags, on sale at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts this holiday season! Designed for an elementary school-aged child, each Holiday Craft Grab Bag comes with everything needed to create three (3) crafts at home. Grab Bags will be on sale December 1 through December 17, while supplies last.

Crafts may vary and each bag is a mystery. In addition, a small handmade ornament created by the Grand Staff will be included. These cute ornaments are made from clay, stamped with the Grand’s logo, and just need to be painted and hung this holiday season. All supplies are included to create each craft, with only a set of colored markers needed at home.

Community members may register for a $12.00 Holiday Craft Grab Bag online here! Bags may then be picked up at the Grand’s Box Office ticketing windows at 715 Central Avenue in downtown Tracy during normal business hours.

  • Monday through Thursday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Friday, December 13, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Thank you for supporting the Arts Education Program at the Grand!

Holiday Craft Bag - Facebook Ad


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.

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!

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