Pacific Symphony's 'arts-X-press' Program Returns for 14th Summer, Beg. Today

Pacific Symphony's 'arts-X-press' Program Returns for 14th Summer, Beg. Today

Fostering artistic discovery and creative expression, Pacific Symphony's arts-X-press program returns for the 14th summer to provide 150 middle-school students with a safe and encouraging environment while exploring their love of the arts. Filled with exciting workshops led by arts educators, excursions to see performances and opportunities to meet artists behind the scenes, arts-X-press students are treated to experiences many have never had before. Each year, students from all parts of Orange County entering 7th and 8th grade are nominated by their teachers and apply for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Beginning today, July 12, these students dive into the heart of the arts and discover dance, theater, visual art, vocal music and instrumental music during a five-day stay in the dorms at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa. Founded by Music Director Carl St.Clair to celebrate the memory of his (and wife Susan's) son, Cole Carsan St.Clair, the innovative and multidisciplinary program lets students test the boundaries of their creativity in an overnight summer camp, where no artistic risk is too intimidating to explore.

"As a camper, arts-X-press was an opportunity of a lifetime for me to learn about the arts and explore my own artistic talents," says James Suazo, who returns this year as a staff member. "Arts-X-press took me to my first musical, first symphony concert and opened my eyes to an entire world that I only imagined. Arts-X-press changed my life because I felt comfortable exploring the arts by taking creative risks regardless of what anyone thought of me. These are values and experiences that I still cherish today."

This summer, the first session of arts-X-press takes place from July 12-16; session two from July 19-23; and session three from July 26-30. Fifty students participate in each session. To learn more about the program and to view first-hand accounts of the impact that arts-X-press makes on its students, visit

Reflective of how many artistic disciplines-not just music-influenced his own creative development, Maestro St.Clair's philosophy is the driving force behind the program. In line with his vision for encouraging love of the arts, arts-X-press is designed for students to gain a lifelong connection to the arts and to foster respect for each student's individuality, interests and diverse heritage.