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Yosemite National Park, April 4, 2013 – New outdoor art workshops and captivating live theater performances add to the richness and drama of a visit to spectacular Yosemite National Park. Among the art and theater programs for 2013 announced today by Yosemite Conservancy are a new opportunity to paint amid the ancient Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, a gripping performance of how African-American cavalryman patrolled Yosemite’s wilderness years ago, and a thrilling first-hand account of rescues by park emergency response teams.

“Yosemite has inspired artists, painters, photographers, writers and performers for more than 150 years to create works that portray the park’s iconic landscape, wildlife and people. Yosemite Conservancy not only supports art and theater programs that carry on that tradition, but fees from these programs go to important restoration and protection work in the park supported by our organization,” said Mike Tollefson, president, Yosemite Conservancy. “Art and theater programs provide entertaining, compelling and creative ways to enrich the visitor experience and encourage stewardship of the park.”

From April 8 through October 19, professional artists will lead adult Yosemite Art Center sessions held outdoors for all skill levels. In addition, inspiring new programs will be held in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and at the Thomas Hill Studio in Wawona from June 3 through August 31. Some of the workshops offered are Fun with Watercolor, Create Your Own Art Postcard and Adventures in Ink. The Yosemite Art Center will also host kids-only hour-long sessions from June 17 through August 15 in the morning for ages 6-10 and 90-minute sessions for kids 11 and older in the afternoon. Sessions for both adults and children are $10 per person.

Yosemite Theater kicks off the season April 12 with Return to Balance presented 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. Actor Lee Stetson portrays John Muir in adventures about Yosemite wildlife and his dramatic battle to preserve Hetch Hetchy Valley. Filmmaker Steven Bumgardner gives a behind the scenes look into his wildly popular Yosemite Nature Notes series on the park’s natural phenomena and history. The Yosemite Search & Rescue Ranger team will share thrilling stories and cautionary advice with photography from actual Yosemite rescue operations.

“Because of Yosemite Conservancy support, people of all ages and abilities have an opportunity to experience the park in unique and memorable ways through art, live performances and cultural programs,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher.

Yosemite Theater performances are held seven nights a week at 7 p.m. at the Yosemite Theater behind the Valley Visitors Center. Specific dates and additional details can be found at yosemite.org. 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.

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 yosemite.org or call 1-800-469-7275.

Peter Bartelme, Yosemite Conservancy, 415-664-1503, [email protected]
Jennifer Miller, Yosemite Conservancy, 415-434-1782, [email protected]
Scott Gediman, National Park Service, 209-372-0248, [email protected]
Kari Cobb, National Park Service, 209-372-0529, [email protected]