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Amy Behrens

By Amy Behrens

At Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, the holiday season is a time to share gratitude for our community and to recharge for the year ahead.

December brought so many families to our Casa Lumina Holiday Walk, The Nutcracker ballet performances, D. Yoder Family Sundays, and annual cookie decorating activity. It was a joy to see parents and grandparents connecting with children, friends meeting up after a yearlong hiatus, and inspiring to see so many people share their support of our historic estate and its preservation as a cultural center.

As we ring in the new year, Casa Romantica’s mission guides the ways that we plan to serve our community even better:

Continuing our legacy by sharing the history of our home and town with future generations

During Casa Romantica’s daily public hours, you can take a self-guided audio tour using your cell phone. Now, there are QR codes at several points of interest so you can watch exclusive concerts, performances and interviews while visiting. This addition allows us to show visitors how Casa Romantica’s historic estate is used today.

Early childhood exposure to art-making and creative play is crucial for brain development, social skills, and communication skills. This spring and summer, our youngest visitors can sign up for dance and movement classes, and a new painting class just for toddlers. 

We are also continuing to add episodes to our free podcast, Creative Waves, which is available on Spotify. Podcasting enables Casa Romantica to connect people all over the world with artists and academics on topics covering art, history, and cultural traditions.

Share joyful cultural experiences from around the world with South Orange County residents and visitors

This past autumn, Casa Romantica brought the Indian festival of Diwali to San Clemente with dance, music, and arts centered around the holiday.

During the Casa Lumina Holiday Walk, our “Holidays Around the World” exhibit celebrated eight December holidays, beginning with a spectacular Christmas celebration and ending with a bountiful Kwanzaa display.

Next month, Casa Romantica will ring in the Lunar New Year with a series of concerts and performances that spotlight Chinese American cultural traditions and contemporary art in Orange County.

From all of us at “the Casa,” here’s to a Happy New Year of health and happiness—and hopefully many more visits to San Clemente’s grandest old home.

Amy Behrens, the executive director of Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, has been on staff since 2016. She lives in South Orange County with her husband and their two children.

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