When welcoming in a new year, it is hard not to look back at the last year and do a little review, reflecting on the good and the challenging. Although it’s difficult to find the right words to describe all that has gone on in 2020, it’s fair to say it was daunting, but here at JDS Studios, we like to make lemonade out of lemons – creating and celebrating the memorable moments.
JDS Creative Academy, fueled by go-getters, is known for its year-round programs, classes, special events and live productions including Riverside County’s only news-magazine program, Spirit of Innovation.Putting our “names” to good use, we got “Creative” with our “Spirit” and continued our mission of providing career pathways and opportunities in visual, performing and digital arts for youth, teens and adults.
At the start of the 2020 stay-at-home order, we put our backstage designers to work. Normally, they create sets, props, and design original outfits for our stage productions and television show, Spirit of Innovation, instead, they started sewing for a cause and made over 500 masks that were donated to local senior homes, hospitals, and businesses throughout the Temecula Valley.
While working remotely, our 7,000 square foot building wasn’t being occupied, so we partnered with LifeStream Blood Bank to host a series of four mobile blood drives, collecting over 50 pints to help blood levels remain stable at the peak of the Coronavirus uncertainty.
As with so many in the area, all events that were planned pre-pandemic had to be rescheduled or reinvented like DigiFest Temecula . After months of planning, we ended up turning our annual April three-day festival into an August DigiDay; an eight-hour virtual interactive experience with special guests, workshops, networking, screenings, entertainment and awards! Ironically, we now plan to incorporate some of these virtual aspects into DigiFest moving forward.
2021 DigiFest dates are April 16,1,7,18 – competition submissions are open. Go to digifesttemecula.org for information. Like Charlie said in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory , “You’ve got nothing to lose so why not choose to think positive!” Speaking of that eccentric man, JDS Creative Academy’s 2020 Musical Theater Group and JDS Actors Studio, joined forces to create the first-ever Zoomsical production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
The 50-minute production included every aspect of a live stage performance all within Zoom! The #JDSFamily is exceptionally proud of the performers who brought their gifts to the computer screen to entertain in these difficult times. 2021 enrollment open.
Thanks to technology and the internet, togetherness still blossomed amid quarantine. Another 2020 challenge was how to reinvent our Annual Haunted Studio fundraiser for Halloween. Pre-pandemic, JDSCA welcomed the community into our studios for a haunted walk through production with tricks, treats, thrills and chills to enjoy the holiday and raise scholarship funds for at-risk and foster youth.
We went into hyper-creative mode, and The #JDSFamily put together a 360 degree virtual reality immersive experience that went right along with our Drive Through Spooktacular and Blood Drive.
As we look into what the new year will bring, we anxiously anticipate our fifth DigiFest in April, along with creative visual, performing and digital arts classes (whether they are virtual or in-person), live productions in some form, plays and events. We are very thankful for the continued community support especially in these adverse times and look forward to the fresh slate of 2021.
We are super proud of our team and how hard everyone has worked. The #JDSFamily wishes everyone blessings and prosperity for the New Year ahead!