Idyllwild Arts Summer Program

The Idyllwild Arts Summer Program has taught the arts to people of all ages and abilities, and even to families, for over sixty years.  The wooded 205-acre campus sits a refreshing mile above sea level in Southern California’s breathtaking San Jacinto Mountains, only two hours from both Los Angeles and San Diego and within easy reach of several major airports.

The Summer Program draws on a rich tradition of teaching by celebrated artists like Ansel Adams and Pete Seeger.  Their example still gives inspiration to the artists of many disciplines who visit Idyllwild from around the world each summer to share their love and knowledge of what they do.

More than three hundred masterful artists gather in Idyllwild to form a community like no other and create a magical experience for anyone who loves the arts.  They teach dance, film, music, theatre, creative writing, computer animation, fashion design, and visual arts, including painting, sculpture, print-making, ceramics, jewelry-making, and more.  Every year they attract almost two thousand children and adults to their memorable hands-on classes.

The Summer Program also honors the Native American people who have lived for many centuries in the San Jacinto Mountains.  Workshops in numerous traditional and contemporary Native art forms—even the medicinal and culinary arts—offer an unparalleled immersion in Native American culture.

The Native American Arts Festival is among a handful of absolutely-don’t-miss programs, along with Hot Clay, Metals Week, Writers Week, and Family Camp.

The Idyllwild Arts campus features modern dormitories, an air-conditioned dining hall, three theatres, a twenty-five-meter swimming pool, and majestic pine and cedar forest as far as you can see.  A healthy walk gets you to the small town of Idyllwild and its unique shops and abundant dining choices.

A student signs up for one course per session and generally takes part in course-related activities for an average of six hours a day, six days a week.  Class schedules vary according to the requirements of the particular arts discipline.

Courses are offered by age:  Children’s Center (5-12), Junior Artists Center (11-13), Youth Arts Center (13-18), Adult Arts Center (19+), and Native American Arts (19+).  Most courses for young people last two weeks, but some one-week courses are offered for younger children.


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Faces of the East Bay