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Newly Renovated Theater Improves the Visitor Experience and Art Programs for All Ages Inspire Deeper Connections to Yosemite

Yosemite National Park, April 3, 2014 – Yosemite Conservancy announced an exciting line-up for the Yosemite Theater 2014 season celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act as well as a host of new art workshops to inspire visitors to create memories of the park’s iconic landscape, wildlife and people.

“Theater and art programs connect people to the park in unique and memorable ways,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher. “These opportunities could not happen without the support of Yosemite Conservancy.”

In honor of the Yosemite Grant, which protected Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, there is a new Yosemite Theater performance called The Tramp and the Roughrider about the unique relationship between President Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir performed by Alan Sutterfield and Lee Stetson. Two new films are at Yosemite Theater, which has been newly renovated with support by Yosemite Conservancy, including Yosemite Through the Eyes of a Buffalo Soldier, 1903 by Sterling Johnson that includes an in-person discussion with the film’s lead actor and park ranger Shelton Johnson, and Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit, a documentary about the Yosemite Grant by renowned filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan.

For visitors interested in expressing themselves through painting, drawing or sketching — or who want to learn how to do so — the Conservancy has workshops for both accomplished and budding artists. “By participating in Yosemite Art Center programs, visitors forge deeper connections to Yosemite and the fees go to important restoration and protection work in the park supported by our organization,” said Yosemite Conservancy President Mike Tollefson. “Yosemite has inspired works of art of all kinds for hundreds of years that remind people of the need to preserve and protect the park.”

Visitors can choose from a wide range of new and popular art programs using watercolor, charcoal, pastels and other materials. One new program teaches how to paint a tiny Yosemite landscape of the park’s immense grandeur with Miniature Landscape Artist Gary Bertram. Another workshop focuses on creating a vibrant landscape with silk and dye from experienced silk artist Tina Gleave. An always-popular watercolor workshop that encourages artists to follow their heart while painting shimmering early summer park scenery is led by celebrated artist Robert Dvorak.

Art workshops run now through October 25 and are held outdoors Monday through Saturday starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m. at the Yosemite Art Center, located near the Village Store in Yosemite Valley. Registration is $10 per person. There is also a workshop for beginners on Sunday afternoon for $15. Advance sign-up is recommended by calling call 209-372-1442.

Yosemite Theater kicks off the season April 11 with Return to Balance, a breathtaking film about rock climbing in Yosemite and presentation by famed climber Ron Kauk. The park’s cultural history and adventure comes to life as park ranger Shelton Johnson reprises his role as an African-American cavalryman patrolling Yosemite’s wilderness in the early 20th century. The Yosemite Search & Rescue Ranger team will share thrilling stories and cautionary advice with photography from actual Yosemite rescue operations. Performances are held seven nights a week at 7 p.m. at the Yosemite Theater behind the Valley Visitors Center. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for children under 13, and children under 4 are free. Tickets are available at Yosemite Conservancy Bookstores and at Tour & Activity Desks.

Additional details for Yosemite’s theater and arts programs can be found at

Through the support of donors, Yosemite Conservancy provides grants and support to Yosemite National Park to help preserve and protect Yosemite today and for future generations. The work funded by Yosemite Conservancy is visible throughout the park, from trail rehabilitation to wildlife protection and habitat restoration. The Conservancy is dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience and providing a deeper connection to the park through outdoor programs, volunteering and wilderness services. Thanks to dedicated supporters, the Conservancy has provided more than $81 million in grants to Yosemite National Park. Learn more at or call 1-800-469-7275.

Peter Bartelme, Yosemite Conservancy, 415-664-1503,
Jennifer Miller, Yosemite Conservancy, 415-434-1782,
Scott Gediman and Kari Cobb, National Park Service, 209-372-0248,,