Cultural Center Receives “Best of the Best” Award

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Thank You To Our Incredible Communities!

Celebrating over a half-century of the Desert’s finest, the Hi-Desert Cultural Center is the most recognized performing & visual arts center and was awarded and named among the top three “Best Cultural Attractions” in the region, along with Joshua Tree National Park and Hi-Desert Nature Museum!

Congratulations to our many exceptional volunteers and staff, and to you, our amazing patrons, for your constant support… our communities are made better because of you!

The 2015 Morongo Basin “Best of the Best” Reader’s Choice Awards are awarded by Hi-Desert Publishing Co. and voted on by the residents of the Gateway Communities to Joshua Tree National Park.  Get a copy of the publication today with your local newspaper!


The Hi-Desert Cultural Center is the Performing & Visual Arts Center for the Gateway Communities to Joshua Tree National Park.  The Center is a many-faceted, multi-venue facility for performing and visual arts and is the only non-profit organization in the region to have earned “Silver“ status from GuideStar (and is about to achieve “Gold”) for its exceptional transparency & compliancy – fewer than 0.1% of the 1.8 million non-profits ever achieve this status.  It is the largest and oldest performing and visual arts organization in the region and is a fully-compliant not-for-profit organization registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in the State of California and located in the city of Joshua Tree in San Bernardino County.  The Center and its facilities are not government owned or subsidized.

The Hi-Desert Cultural Center was started by retired actors, directors, and producers from Hollywood and first began serving the cultural needs of its surrounding communities in the late 1950’s.  In 1967, the Center was officially incorporated as a not-for-profit under the name Hi-Desert Playhouse Guild, Inc. and by 1980 construction on its main theater building was completed.  The Center rapidly became a cultural icon and landmark for the area, drawing visitors from throughout southern California.  The Center then added a second theater and rehearsal hall to accommodate the growing needs of the area.

The Center’s state-of-the-art complex contains its 300+ seat main theater, which will re-open this coming year after extensive renovations, its 100-200+ seat Blak Box Theater located in its Palmer Performance Hall, studio and classroom facilities, a piano lab, dance studios, two food preparation/kitchen facilities, a carpenter shop, and the largest costume wardrobe in the region.

The mission and purpose of the Hi-Desert Cultural Center is to operate a Cultural Center that provides venues, support facilities, funding, promotion, leadership, organization, innovation, education, and other resources for programs and productions whose focus is on the aesthetic arts – including the dramatic, musical, visual, and other forms of artistic expression.  The Cultural Center also unifies and coordinates community cultural activities in these fields of art for the local area known as the Morongo Basin Division of the San Bernardino Municipal Court District.  The Cultural Center serves as a center for innovative learning and recreational music-making programs (including wellness programs) for the Western United States and has partnered with Hi-Desert Medical Center in creating four quarterly rotating art galleries located throughout the hospital campus as a part of its “Art In Healing” program that features local artists.

The Center’s programs currently provide well over 100,000 hours per year of service to an astonishing over 8,000 individuals – 95% of whom are from its primary geographic service areas including the communities of Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and Morongo Valley and also serves the Coachella Valley, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.  In partnership with Hope Academy Charter School of the Morongo Unified School District, the Cultural Center’s new first-rate Hi-Desert Arts Academy program instructs over 250 area youth in nearly 30 academic year-round weekly classes in music, drama, and art.  The Center’s prestigious Hi-Desert Playhouse theater division serves as the area’s primary source for professional quality award-winning theater, and its esteemed Joshua Tree Philharmonic intergenerational orchestra performs several multi-day concert series each year to its sold-out audiences.

The Center possesses valuable, unencumbered assets well over a million dollars and unlike many other performing arts venues/organizations, the Center fully owns its real property, improvements, and other assets and is not straddled with any debt.  Therefore it continues to expand expeditiously according to its plan rather than be forced to first work its way out of a financial hole or fund the acquisition of substantial start-up assets.

Box Office: 760.366.3777


GREAT NEWS FOR SEASON PACKAGE TICKET HOLDERS! Should your schedule change and you find yourself needing to attend a performance on a different date — if you give the Box Office at least 48 hours notice prior to your ticketed performance, management will attempt to exchange your ticket for a different performance of the same show!