Category: About

Coachella Valley Days of Los Muertos: Partner organizations and artists

Ofrendas (altars) organizations:

Calaveras (giant skulls) artists:

  • Her Excellency by Noelani Vargas
  • Alebrijes by Monserrath Zamora

Nichos (shadow boxes) artists:

Filed under: About, Art, Education

Virtual Yoga

For the time being, we’re safer at home so Sunnylands Center & Gardens is closed to the public until further notice. Please see Sunnylands’ note to guests regarding COVID-19 here.

Yet, you might enjoy the virtual offerings from our Yoga on the Great Lawn instructors online. Please check each instructor’s link below for information on the days and times of their sessions.

Shay Moraga’s classes can be found here:

Jenn Smith’s classes can be found here:

Kristin Olson’s classes can be found here:

Stay healthy. We look forward to the day when we can once again gather on the Great Lawn.

About Shay Moraga:

Shay’s training in vinyasa, power, gentle and restorative yoga, combined with yoga for cancer experience, have given her the tools to support her yoga community in achieving something she knows matters to them. She is able to give a gentle yet challenging class. She finds it both satisfying and meaningful to have students say: “I really feel capable and comfortable coming to your class.”

Shay loves sharing the mind-body connection with her yoga community. “To me,” Shay says, “yoga is not just about the poses, it is what happens from the moment you step on a yoga mat and start to breathe possibility of practice. Yoga starts within.” When she started practicing yoga she was able to do almost any pose there was. That all changed in the winter of 2016 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. During her year-long battle, she never gave up. She would show up at her studio or practice at home only, at times, to find her breath in the moment. “I thought, how am I ever going to be able to be an instructor again and practice the way I used to? I thought to myself many times I will be too inflexible, stressed, traumatized, and unfit to do this or ever lead again … .” But, here’s what she found: She could still show up, she could still breathe, she could still practice in modified ways until her strength returned. She did not have to do every pose correctly. She did not have to be super fit to lead or practice yoga. She found yoga to now become a mental and spiritual practice, not just a physical one.

About Jenn Smith:

Jenn has dedicated her yoga teaching career to promoting health and self-acceptance for all shapes, sizes and abilities. She is a highly experienced and educated teacher and her yoga training and teaching background is a blend of styles learned from Anusara yoga, Iyengar, and active hatha yoga. She defines yoga as a union of body, mind, and heart.

Jenn’s style of teaching is an alignment-based yoga that helps people find their way safely into yoga poses. She infuses a lot of humor and laughter into her teachings, so people find fun and transformation.

About Kristin Olson:

Yoga has been Kristin’s passion for 40 years. In 1976, she started her yoga journey in Tecate, Mexico, studying with Indra Devi, and teaching at Rancho La Puerta. In 2000, Kristin began working as a provider for Desert AIDS Project, offering HIV/AIDS yoga with the support of the Ryan White Act. That same year, she started up a teen yoga program for physical education credit at Palm Springs High School. The teen program continues to this day, all underwritten by her Urban Yoga Center.

On September 6, 2001, Urban Yoga Center opened its doors.  Five days later, in the face of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Kristin showed up at the makeshift UYC that evening and found six students waiting. None knew how to process the situation, what to do, where to go, so they had headed for a safe haven, a place of friendship and “family, their yoga CommUnity.”  Since that day on 9/11, Urban Yoga Palm Springs has become a sacred center for “CommUnity,” connection, creativity, ceremony, practice, kirtan, workshops, and a celebration of yoga of all varieties. In 2013, the Sunnylands yoga program was born and the class, originally led by Kristin, has grown at times to a 200-person session.

Kristin continues to travel and work in India, Mexico, France, Spain, and other locations throughout the world. She teaches classes at Urban Yoga and at private entrepreneurial gatherings and parties. She has taught athletes, movie stars, and rock ‘n rollers—all with her dynamic energy.

Filed under: About, All, Health & Wellness, Virtual Activities

Art and the Annenbergs

Recognized as world-class art collectors, Walter and Leonore Annenberg acquired paintings and sculptures by many renowned artists. Their private collection, some of which is now on display at Sunnylands Center & Gardens, included sculpture by Auguste Rodin, Yaacov Agam, Alberto Giacometti, and others. Their priceless collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including works by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Paul Gauguin, were donated to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City upon Walter Annenberg’s death in 2002.

The Annenbergs first brought the artistry of the Chávez Morado brothers to Rancho Mirage in 1968, less than a year after the couple went on vacation to Mexico to see the country’s modern museums and architecture. They returned with the idea of installing a copy of El Paraguas in the entry court of Sunnylands and commissioned a 20-foot, half-scale version of the fountain from the National Museum of Anthropology’s architect, Pedro Ramírez Vázquez. He enlisted the Chávez Morado brothers to create a new column for the Annenbergs’ palatial, Mayan-themed home in the Southern California desert.

Filed under: About

Walter y Leonore Annenberg

Walter y Leonore Annenberg eran filántropos extraordinarios—asignaron más de 3 billones US$ en la forma de becas o donaciones a universidades grandes de investigación, hospitales, centros de servicios medicos, escuelas públicas, y organizaciones culturales y cívicas.

Durante la administración del Presidente Nixon, Sr. Annenberg sirvió entre 1969 y 1974 como el Embajador a la Corte de St. James, Gran Bretaña. Leonore, quien se graduó de Standford University, sirvió al lado de su esposo, dirigiendo la renovación de la residencia del Embajador de los Estados Unidos, La Casa Winfield, un proyecto financiado por el Sr. y la Sra. Annenberg como regalo al pueblo estadounidense. Mientras vivían en Londres, la Sra. Annenberg también fundó el American Friends of Covent Garden.

En 1951, Walter Annneberg ganó el premio distinguido Alfred I. duPont por su trabajo y innovación en televisión educativa. En 1983, le fue otorgado con el Ralph Lowell Medal por su “contribución extraordinaria a la televisión pública.” Fue honorado por varios premios incluyendo el Presdential Medal of Freedom, el Lindus Pauling Medal for Humanitarianism, y el National Medal of Arts, lo cual compartió con Leonore.

Leonore Annenberg, tal como su esposo, participaba al servicio del público a un nivel muy alto. En 1981, el Presidente Ronald Reagan la nombró como Jefa de Protocolo. La Sra. Annenberg sirvió como Jefa Emerita de la Foundation of Art and Preservation in Embassies, una organización privada y independiente, sin fines de lucro, que se estableció para ayudar al Departamento del Estado de los Estados Unidos con la adquisición y el mantenimiento de arte y decoración para las embajadas, cancillerías, y residencias de los embajadores de los Estados Unidos. Fue miembro de la Committee for the Preservation of the White House entre otros comités y juntas directivas. Por su esfuerzo filantrópico, recibió el Philadelphia Award y el Wagner Medar for Public Service, entre otros honores.

Filed under: About, Spanish

The Annenbergs

Walter and Leonore Annenberg were extraordinary philanthropists, designating more than $3 billion in grants and gifts to major research universities, hospitals, medical centers, public schools, and cultural and civic organizations.

During the Nixon administration, Mr. Annenberg served from 1969 to 1974 as Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, Great Britain. Leonore, a graduate of Stanford University, served at her husband’s side, overseeing the renovation of the U.S. ambassador’s residence, Winfield House, a project the Annenbergs funded. While in London, Mrs. Annenberg also founded the American Friends of Covent Garden.

In 1951, Walter Annenberg won the prestigious Alfred I. duPont Award for pioneering education via television. In 1983, he received the Ralph Lowell Medal for his “outstanding contribution to public television.” Other honors include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Linus Pauling Medal for Humanitarianism, and the National Medal of Arts, which he shared with Leonore.

Leonore Annenberg, like her husband, played a major role in public service. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed her Chief of Protocol. Mrs. Annenberg served as chairman emeritus of the Foundation of Art and Preservation in Embassies, a private nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation established to assist the United States Department of State in procuring and maintaining fine and decorative art for United States embassies, chanceries, and ambassadorial residences. She was a member of the Committee for the Preservation of the White House among many other boards and committees. Her philanthropic efforts earned her the Philadelphia Award and the Wagner Medal for Public Service, among other honors.

Filed under: About