Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013
5:00- 7:00 PM
Pine Valley Clubhouse
Proceeds from the Spaghetti Dinner will benefit
The Children's Drama Program

Monday, January 2, 2012

Writers' Workshop with Dr. Dean Nelson on 1/14/12!

Mountain Empire Creative Arts Council presents


Saturday, January 14, 9 a.m - 4 p.m.

Pine Valley Bible Conference Center

Guest Speaker/Instructor:

Dr. Dean Nelson,

Director of Journalism,

Point Loma Nazarene University,

Director, Writer’s Symposium By The Sea

Dr. Dean Nelson is the founder and director of the journalism program at PLNU. He writes occasionally for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Christianity Today, Sojourners, and several other national publications. He has written or co-written 11 books. Nelson is a frequent speaker at writing workshops and retreats. He has traveled throughout the world covering stories of human interest, including India, where he wrote about the slums of Bombay; Kosovo, where he interviewed and wrote about victims of terrorism; Africa, where he wrote about members of the Black Panther Party who live in exile in Tanzania; Tibet, where he wrote about religious persecution; and Central America, where he wrote about poverty and contaminated water. In addition to directing the PLNU journalism program, Nelson also hosts the annual Writer's Symposium By The Sea, where prominent writers come to discuss the craft of writing. This will be Dr. Nelson’s second workshop for MECAC.

Registration cost: $35 (includes lunch)

Mail the following registration form with check to:

Workshop Registration: c/o Elizabeth Barrett,
P.O. Box 1287 , Pine Valley CA 91962

(Make checks out to MECAC)

Driving directions will be included with our confirmation

Organized and Directed by:

Dianne Holly:

Judith Dupree:, Ph. 619-473-8683

(Contact for more information and scholarship inquiry)

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Family Focus to Arts/Writing Conference!

Mountain Empire Creative Arts Council
invites you to a weekend
to remember . . . and treasure:

“Uncommon Community . . . Uncommon Commitment”
(Check Out Registration/Pricing Above for Reduced Rates, Especially for Families!)

A few months ago, we (MECAC) planned a Workshop for Artists & Writers. A very good idea! I hope you saw the e-flyer. But something has nibbled at my overloaded psyche, and left me with second thoughts about an arts-exclusive focus: Life in the “real world”—the multiple issues that press upon us day by day, and the escalation of national and world problems. Artists and writers, and all sorts of people who simply celebrate art and writing, are deeply concerned about the hard issues that life in today’s world imposes. There is an unending interplay between expressing creativity and handling the ordinary and inevitable hard realities of living.

This leads us to a slight but obvious change of focus. This, in part, is what we want to offer you for a weekend: A way of stepping outside your normal boundaries and busy-ness, to join others who are affected (perhaps unconsciously) or afflicted by the rigors of our national life—Indeed, global life—and want to better understand and withstand and respond to it as creative people.

We often feel torn between our unmet need for creative expression and the rude facts of living in a sometimes “hostile” world. Admittedly, we may feel guilty at times for wanting to run away to a quiet place. (Our artsy self needs tending!) Growing national and universal distress is the elephant in everyone’s living room. Climate change, global unrest, and societal upheaval confront us each morning. Perhaps we would do well to bring our creative natures into a larger discussion of core values, and the problems of today’s very fragile world. How do we live in light of this darkness? How do we respond as writers and artists? How does it invade, inform, shape what we do? Where might it take us creatively? This may be an entry to new life for us.

As people who believe in the value of arts, the practice and enjoyment of them, and their soul-necessity, we can move in small, incremental ways—as people who are not “consumed by consumerism,” or defeated by despair. Consider what some small steps toward inventive living in times of crisis might be. How do we build or join in a supportive community? How do we “tend” each other and care for those beyond us, in a toughening world? We can gather hope from our inner resources, from those around us, and from the wisdom of the past, to create hope for the future. This is Fine Art. Does this sound like a healthy challenge? We believe it is.

Come join the adventure. We will have morning time for art instruction and networking, and evening for fine music. But Saturday afternoon will be a time of reflection and creating our own prerequisites for what it means to us to thrive. Bring your viewpoint and ideas. Listen to what our faculty and your “neighbors” have to say. Something to take home and live well with.

Finally, two new additions: There will be a special track for children/youth, concurrent with the adults! And Mothers’ Day will be honored! All moms (with or without family attending) will be treated to Sunday brunch and a gift to take home. Check our blogsite below for special new registration stats on family options, length of stay and special new pricing to go with it.

For further information, e-mail Susanne at

Monday, March 15, 2010

MECAC Spring Fundraising Event on April 10!

(Click on above image to enlarge)

DATE: Saturday, April 10th, 2010 2pm – 5pm
PLACE: Gloriosa Winery and Vineyard in Campo
TICKETS: $25 a couple; $15 single

The event will feature:
--Private stock tasting
--Tour of the vineyard
--Cases of private stock will be available for purchase

Entertainment: “Harpist” Susan Raimond will serenade us
Refreshments: Wines from Gloriosa Vineyard, and hors d’oeuvres catered by Campo Diner

Selected local artists will be on hand displaying their work including:
Sandra Hayden: works in oils and pastels
Rosa Ruiz: unique Southwestern and Fantasy Art from Spanish Village in Balboa Park

Dress “Casual and Comfortable.” This outdoor event will be held at the vineyard and you will be able to walk among the rows of grapes.

This “Spring Vineyard Tour” is the first of two planned for the year.

Spring is the time of year the buds come out and the fruit forms. You will see how they are trained to aid in the harvest.

We will meet again for the “Fall Vineyard Tour” on Saturday, August 14th, to see the fruits of this year’s labor just before harvest time.

The winery is also on site and the tour includes the barrel room where the tasting will occur. An indoor Clubhouse with restrooms and a seating area is available to winery visitors.

Tickets and reservations:
Michael Neff (619) 933-3756
Judith D. Dupree (619) 473-8683
Dianne Holly (619) 473-8760

Directions: From Interstate 8 take the Buckman Springs Rd. and exit to the south. Continue 12 miles to Highway 94 and turn left. Turn right on Sheridan Rd., left on Custer Rd., right on Gloriosa Way. Follow the signs to enter the Winery.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Arts & Writing Conference in May

(click on above image to enlarge)
Mountain Empire Creative Arts Council Presents
"Beauty and the Beast:
Arts In An Age Of Adversity”
A Workshop and Seminar In Literary,
Visual, And Dramatic Arts

Friday, May 7 (5 pm)—Sunday, May 9, 2010 (Noon)
(Optional one-night-only registration is available,
 in deference to Mothers' Day)
Pine Valley Bible Conference Center, Pine Valley, CA
“Art is man defining himself.” Ayn Rand ... (Women too, of course!)

We offer you a time apart to rethink, to respond, to recapture. We will hear from those who live with and for the arts. We will share our own journeys and listen to each other.

We will create time for stretching our souls or dabbling in our own medium. We will also listen, perhaps more fully, for the heartbeat of a struggling world.

Do you write? Draw? Paint? Act or sing—or carry your camera with you for that unexpected “Aha!” shot?

Is it an obsession, a business, a love affair, a dream you’ve tucked between your ears, behind your eyes, to consider now and again?

What underlies your doing (or avoiding!) this demanding, enticing, yin-yang work-play?

Is it something you’re burning to say to the world that can only be said in print or paint?

Or perhaps the search for a “place of purity,” of solace, or a steady joy, brings you to the practice?

In addition, the program will include a thoughtful presentation of and response to the theme, above,
with the intent of giving personal focus to the call of arts in today’s troubled world.

Workshop and Seminar
Moderated By Dr. Dean Nelson: Noted Author
Dean of Journalism, PLNU, San Diego, CA
Director, Writers' Symposium By The Sea

Guest Artists, Speakers, Musicians:
Dr. James Schaap, Professor, English/Literature, Dordt College,
Sioux Center, IA; Novelist, Essayist, Photographer

George Svoboda, Classical & Flamenco Guitar;
Teacher, Mesa College Music Program, San Diego,CA

Dianne Holly, Freehand Drawing; Norman Daniels, Plein Air Painting;
Susan Raimond, Music Composition (& Harp Concert);
Judith Dupree & Kathryn Belsey, poetry;
Donna Swennes, Fabric Art; Lee Swennes, Wood and Metal Crafting;
Larry McNamer, Front-of-House Engineer, “The Sound of Music”;
Keith Barrett, Stained Glass Art; Mesa College Guitar Ensemble
Tony Neff: Editor, BackCountry Messenger,
will teach a concurrent workshop on packaging, marketing, and publicizing your work.

MECAC, c/o Susanne Barrett, Registrar
P.O. Box 1287, Pine Valley CA 91962
(Registration form available just under blog header on top of blog post)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Evening with the Swenneses Postponed

Because of the snow/weather, tonight's MECAC Evening of Art is postponed to a later date.  More news coming as events unfold....