Rehearsal for a Yuma Community Theater stage production
The Muses who inspire the arts must love the desert climate, because our locals are some of the most talented people you will meet. Yuma is adorned with a large variety of theatrical performances, concerts, art shows, painting classes and clubs for artists.
In Yuma, the Arts and Culture Division of the Yuma Parks and Recreation Department allows the public to take part in a variety of arts classes and workshops at the Yuma Art Center, located at 254 Main St. The Yuma Art Center also hosts numerous art exhibits, which showcase local artists and art interests.
In addition to recreational outdoor activities, Parks and Recreation also offers arts classes and programs everywhere from art galleries and classrooms to recreational centers and parks.
The theater scene in Yuma is copious! A variety of concerts, plays and other performing arts presentations take place next door at the Historic Yuma Theatre throughout the year. The theater offers its stage to local productions, as well as traveling theatrical and musical productions touring the United States. There are also several theater companies in town who serve the community year-round. In addition, you can find a variety of productions through the school year, performed by the Arizona Western College Theatre and all our local high schools.
Yuma also is the home of a number of talented dance and ballet groups, where youthful dancers can perfect their routines and techniques and perform before local audiences. Dance groups and studios include Ballet Yuma, Dancemakers, Dawn's Dance Studio, Jazz of Yuma, Yuma Ballet Academy and Yuma Ballet. Local seniors and winter visitors also love the classes and dances offered by Golden Roadrunners and the Yuma Square and Round Dance Association.
Musicians perform a variety of music at numerous locations throughout the Yuma community and surrounding areas
Live music is not hard to find in the Yuma community. Whether residents like rock, metal, jazz, hip-hop, country, orchestral, classical music or something completely different, there is something for all eclectic music tastes. Bands and choirs from Arizona Western College and our high schools stay busy with public performances during the school year to showcase their developing talents.
Some of our local students have become so talented that they have been invited to perform at major global events. The Gadsden Elementary School District #32 Marching Band from San Luis, Arizona is composed of approximately 200 students. They have been highly recognized nationwide, and participated in the Twenty-Seventh Annual New Year’s Day Parade and Festival in London, England on January 1, 2013, in the Cabalgata De Los Reyes Parade in Madrid, Spain on January 2016, and Rome New Year’s Parade on January 2019.
In addition to these talented students, many professionals in Yuma have recently found a wider reception and more public performing spaces in the past few years. One event that has begun to showcase local talent is the locally produced Village Jazz Series. For the past few years, the Village Jazz Series has been bringing musicians from the national jazz scene to Yuma, to play with our local jazz musicians for free outdoor concerts at the Yuma Palms Regional Center. In addition, there are two fiddlers associations: the Yuma Old Time Fiddlers and Southwest Old Time Fiddlers. Both of which stay active and perform frequently during our mild Yuma winters.
Yuma's biggest offering of classical music is the Concert Series at St. Paul’s. The church hosts about seven concerts each year, featuring local accomplished vocalists and instrumentalists, the latter including pianists, cellists and organists.
But theater and music lovers aren't the only ones kept happy in Yuma. Local visual arts organizations also give creative folks the chance to make new friends, learn together, enjoy classes and workshops, and host various sales and exhibitions. Those groups include the Mountain Shadow Artists, North End Artists' Co-operative, Potpourri Artists, Yuma Fine Arts Association and Yuma Camera Club. Exhibition space is also offered by the AWC Student Art Gallery and downtown at the nonprofit Village Art Gallery.
Art work displayed at the Yuma Art Center.
Since 1980, the Yuma Art Symposium has brought artists from around the nation to Yuma for several days of presentations, workshops, and public events. This beloved event brings new inspiration to our local artists and gives Yumans the opportunity to see art from around the country face-to-face without having to do extensive travelling.
Yuma also has two movie theater complexes: Main St. Cinemas and Harkins Theatres. Both of which operate full time, showing newly released movies and are a great respite from the long summer days. Harkins will also occasionally screen classic movies on Tuesdays at a discounted price. For people who love independent films, Arizona Western College Foundation's "Thursdays at the Theatre" brings unique films to the Historic Yuma Theatre once a month.
Yes, the Muses are alive and well in Yuma County.