YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — An opportunity to paint in the ancient Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias, a performance about how black cavalrymen patrolled Yosemite National Park's wilderness years ago and a firsthand account of rescues by the park's emergency response teams are among the art and theater programs for 2013 announced Thursday by the Yosemite Conservancy.
"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 President Mike Tollefson said in a news release. "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.
"Art and theater programs provide entertaining, compelling and creative ways to enrich the visitor experience and encourage stewardship of the park."
Starting Monday and continuing through Oct. 19, professional artists will lead adult Yosemite Art Center sessions held outdoors for all skill levels.
In addition, new programs will be held in the Mariposa Grove and at the Thomas Hill Studio in Wawona from June 3 through Aug. 31. Some of the workshops offered are Fun with Watercolor, Create Your Own Art Postcard and Adventures in Ink.
The Yosemite Art Center also will offer hourlong kids-only sessions from June 17 through Aug. 15 in the morning for ages 6 to 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 LIVE! kicks off its season April 12 with "Return to Balance," presented by famed climber Ron Kauk.
Also in the series, the park's cultural history and adventure comes to life as 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 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.
Yosemite Theater LIVE! performances are held every night at 7 in the Yosemite Theater behind the Valley Visitors Center. Specific dates and additional details can be found at www.yosemiteconservancy.org. Tickets are $8 adults, $4 children under 13, and free to children under 4. Tickets are available at Yosemite Conservancy bookstores and at tour/activity desks in the park.
Learn more at www.yosemiteconservancy.org, or call (800) 469-7275.