Utilizing a grant from the Jarvis family the Center began operation in Napa, CA, in 1995, providing training and support for artists. The Center is dedicated to serious art forms not often available in other places, and at the same time, art forms relating to the large Hispanic community of Napa. All Jarvis Center productions take place in what has been described as a jewel of a theater, and an acoustic marvel, 220 seats on the main floor and the dress circle (balcony).
The Center''s latest innovation is Leticia Jarvis' new Art Film showings on Saturday Nights at the lovely theater. Since this is the first time such films have been available in the Napa area they are sure to prove popular.
It's A Grand Night For Singers program brings singers from around the San Francisco Bay Area on the first Saturday of each month, offering them exposure to a live audience and the ambiance of a professional theater. Singers are professionally accompanied on the piano while the members of the audience get exposure to a fun evening with many forms of singing.
Previously, the annual Zarzuela workshop was a vehicle for training performers in an intensive multi-disciplinary program and an ideal vehicle to initiate people of all backgrounds to the fine arts. In addition to the usual theatergoer, this brings in the young and the Hispanic people, and those who can't afford the theater. Since 1995, eleven Zarzuela workshops and four Baroque Ballet workshops have been conducted, all with multi-week training in the areas of voice, dance, acting, stage movement and language for the artists involved. More than 550 artists have participated in the workshops. A treasure trove of 16 professional DVD's record the Zarzuela productions and are available for sale on this web site. Rare Baroque Ballet recordings, in both DVD's and Cassettes are also available.
Baroque Ballet workshops were conducted utilizing authentic choreography, masking, costumes and music. The New York Public Library participated in videotaping the latest production for their dance archives as well as doing a documentary of the workshop leading up to the performance. This program was also aided by the National Endowment for the Arts who made a grant to assist in recording the production. Production credits to the New York Baroque Dance Company.
Performances that are staged at the Jarvis Center are professionally videotaped utilizing the latest HD digital recording techniques and the videos are made available to public broadcast stations, to educational institutions and libraries. Numerous productions have been up linked via satellite to PBS stations throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and have reached upwards of a million viewers.
Other activities of the Jarvis Center include workshops and performances in chamber music and puppetry. In 1999 the Jarvis Center began it's annual Holiday Choral Ensemble featuring Bay Area Choirs.