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SEPT. 10 - 9AM to 1PM (FREE - no registration required)

Joshua Tree Retreat Center

59700 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree 

Help us celebrate the launch of the 4th annual Big Read at our community kick-off event. Pick-up your FREE copy of this year's featured book There There by Tommy Orange and enjoy live performance and activities for readers of all ages.


Special musical performance by Hunter and the Wick'd

Pop-up activities by our friends at Mojaveland miniature golf course, Thought Theatre and more!

+ FREE copies of the Little Read book Bowwow Powwow while supplies last.

Co-presented with the Joshua Tree Retreat Center.


Staged Readings:
The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse

SEPT. 10 & 11 - 2PM (FREE - RSVP appreciated)

Joshua Tree Retreat Center

59700 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree 

Good intentions collide with absurd assumptions in Larissa FastHorse’s wickedly funny satire, as a troupe of terminally “woke” teaching artists scrambles to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month.

The Thanksgiving Play premiered off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in New York City on October 12, 2018.

Performances by Abe Daniels, Ann Van Haney, Kevin Hayles, Kurt Schauppner, and Katherine Wehler.


Directed by Miri Hunter.

A Thought Theatre production.

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Pop-Up Exhibition:
7 Essential Understandings for California Indian History and Culture

SEPT. 10 - 6PM (2nd Saturdays Art Walk - FREE)

Beatnik Lounge 

61568 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree

There is great diversity amongst the 150+ tribes of California in their languages, cultures, histories and governments.

Visit the pop-up exhibition of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center's 7 Essential Understandings primer, covering elements of California Indian history and culture seldom taught in schools.

Co-presented with the Beatnik Lounge.

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Walking Tour:
Tribal Connections

SEPT. 17 & 25 - 3PM (FREE - Registration Required)

Oasis of Maara'

74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms

Join the Native American Land Conservancy for a guided walking tour of the Oasis of Maara'.


Focusing on the ancestral territory of tribes in present-day Southern California, the Native American Land Conservancy protects and restores sacred sites and areas, provides educational programming for Native American youth and the general public, and conducts scientific studies on cultural, biological, and historical resources on sacred lands.

Visit for more info about the NALC


Short Film & Panel Discussion:
Saging the World

SEPT. 24 - 7PM (FREE - RSVP appreciated)

Harrison House Arts & Ecology Center

6836 Mt. Lassen, Joshua Tree

Saging the World spotlights the ecological and cultural issues intertwined with white sage, centering the voices of Native advocates who have long protected and cherished this plant. Sage smudging has become a viral trend. What’s the truth behind the smoke? Instead of healing, the appropriated use of saging in popular culture is having a harmful effect.

Join us for a screening of the documentary short, followed by a panel discussion with director Rose Ramirez and Craig Torres of the Chia Cafe Collective, moderated by Harrison House Music, Arts & Ecology Founder & Executive Director Eva Soltes.

Produced by Rose Ramirez, Deborah Small, and the California Native Plant Society to foster awareness and inspire action for white sage.

For more information on the film and ways to support white sage, visit

Co-presented with Harrison House Music, Arts & Ecology.

A Tribute to Barbara Drake.


Open Reading: 
Cholla Needles 69 - The Big Read Issue

OCT. 2 - 4PM (FREE - no registration required)

Joshua Tree Retreat Center

59700 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree


Enjoy the open reading of the Big Read issue featuring local writers Cindy Weinstein, Kent Wilson, L. I. Henley, Gabriel Hart, Tobi Alfier, Peter Nash, Susan Rukeyser, Mike Vail, Marlene M. Tartaglione, and Jonathan Ferrini. 

Visit to submit your own work to their monthly literary magazine!

Wood Sculpture by Cheri and Kent Holmgren.

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Discovering Native American Art

OCT. 10 - 6PM (FREE - RSVP appreciated)

Copper Mountain College - community room

6162 Rotary Way, Joshua Tree

Discover Native American Art in this fascinating talk by artist, rancher, and UC Riverside professor Gerald Clarke of the Cahuilla Reservation near Anza, who was recently appointed by the Governor to the California Arts Council.


Gerald Clarke Jr. was born in 1967 in Hemet, California and is an enrolled member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians.  He currently lives and works on the Cahuilla Indian reservation located in Southern California. From Gerald’s statement: "I express my Cahuilla perspective as a 21st Century citizen of the world and the passion, pain, and reverence I feel as a contemporary Cahuilla person”. Gerald’s work has been exhibited extensively including his recent solo exhibition at Palm Springs Art Museum. Gerald currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California-Riverside and teaches classes in California indigenous history and culture, contemporary Native American art and related social issues. 

Co-presented with Copper Mountain College

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Book Discussions:

Join fellow Big Readers at one of five book discussions throughout the Morongo Basin:

Times & Locations (no registration required unless noted):

SEPT. 17 - 3PM Joshua Tree Library

SEPT. 22 - 6PM CMC Greenleaf Library

SEPT. 25 - 6PM Cholla Needles / Joshua Tree Retreat Center

SEPT. 27 - 7PM Hi-Desert Contemporary Literature Club

                       (register HERE)

OCT. 3 - 7PM Hi Desert Test Sites / Copper Mountain Mesa

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