University of California, Riverside

Palm Desert Center


 Events and Activities at UCR Palm Desert

Enjoy the 2015-2016 academic year with great lectures, films, and programs to interest, inspire, and intrigue inquisitive minds of all ages. Most events are held in our auditorium exceptions are indicated below.

Special Events!

    • 6pm Tuesday, Dec. 1:  InsideAn Actor's Carol-Meet & Greet with actors and director
      Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor Hal Linden, (Barney MillerGilmore Girls) will headline “Inside An Actor’s Carol,” a community meet-and-greet featuring the director, writer and actors of the festive new holiday play, An Actor's Carol. The audience is encouraged to interact with the cast in this behind-the-scenes glimpse of the show, a playful and respectful take on the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol.

      Written and directed by UCR theatre professor, Charles Evered, An Actor’s Carol tells the story of Hugh Pendleton, a world weary and cynical actor who has played the role of Scrooge one too many times and is visited by three ghosts of his own. The cast and director will share stories about how the play evolved and other "behind the scenes" insights. Linden plays the role of Pendleton, Barry Cutler, an accomplished TV and film actor will take on the second weekend of performances. A talented ensemble of performers will appear at the "meet and greet" including Alexis Dickey (SyFy Channel, independent films; viral YouTube shorts); Coachella Valley resident Kirk Geiger, (Karate Kill (2016), Sordid Lives) and Ben Atkinson (2forStewJinxed). The play will premiere at the Hi-Desert Cultural Center in Joshua Tree in early December. RSVP
    • 6pm Tuesday, Jan. 19:  All about Strokes: Prevention and Recovery

      Barr performs

      On average, one American dies of a stroke every four minutes, making stroke the fifth leading cause of death in this country. What can you do to prevent your risk of stroke? If you've already had a stroke, what can you do to prevent another? How should you respond if you think someone you know is having a stroke? This must-see panel discussion, in partnership with the American Heart Association - Coachella Valley, will cover all aspects of stroke prevention and recovery. Panelists will include experts from UCR School of Medicine, Eisenhower Medical Center, Desert Regional Medical Center, and John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital. RSVP

Arts & Letters Lecture Series
Arts & Letters is a free series that invites the community to spend time with today's most influential authors through interviews and personal readings. Conversations are facilitated by Tod Goldberg, the program director for UCR Palm Desert's Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts. Co-sponsored by Omni Resorts Rancho Las Palmas.

  • 6:30pm Wednesday, Feb. 3: An Evening with Colby Buzzell
    Colby Buzzell is the author of "My War: Killing Time in Iraq," "Lost In America: A Dead End Journey," and, most recently, "Thank You For Being Expendable & Other Experiences." A frequent commentator on CNN and Al-Jazeera on the conflicts in the Middle East and veteran’s affairs, Buzzell was originally part of a Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Iraq beginning in 2003. RSVP

Boyd Deep Canyon Lecture Series

Facilitated by Dr. Allan Muth, director, Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center, University of California, Riverside, in partnership with UCR Palm Desert and The Living Desert. These free lectures, always held on the second Thursday of the month, are open to the public.

      • 6pm Thursday, Dec. 10:  Avoiding Dry Skin in the Tropics: Strategies for Tree Frogs with Christopher Tracy
        Many Australian tree frogs species live in tropical savannahs, and have a wide variety of strategies to avoid dehydration during the dry season. Dr. Christopher Tracy of Cal. State Fullerton will show the interesting, and sometimes surprising, strategies that Australian frogs use for gaining and retaining water during the dry seasons.

Native American Lecture Series

Join us at the University of California, Riverside, Palm Desert Center for a free lecture series exploring the history, culture and stories of Native North Americans. This series is in partnership with UCR California Center for Native Nations.

      • 6pm Monday, Jan. 11:  Resistance from the Reservation
        "Resistance from the Reservation” explores the complex politics of the Mission Indian Federation, which was founded in Riverside in 1919, fighting against federal intrusions into Indian lives and encroachments upon tribal sovereignty. Lecturer T. Robert Przeklasa is a curator at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum and is at work on a manuscript about conservative American Indian politics in 20th Century Southern California. RSVP

Tuesdays with Spirit and Soul

UCR Osher Lifelong Learning and UCR Palm Desert Center present the second season of Tuesdays With Spirit and Soul, a documentary film series and symposium designed to start mindful conversations, exploring the concepts of empowerment, challenge cultural norms, and cultivate a more meaningful, authentic life. Come to our kick-off event!

      • 6:30pm Tuesday, Jan. 12: States of Grace
        This special event includes a screening of “States of Grace” with a special appearance by Dr. Grace Dammann, the subject of the documentary. After surviving a near-fatal head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge, an renowned HIV/AIDS physician struggles to come to terms with her injuries and discover new meaning in her radically altered life. RSVP

Ideas and Society

UCR Osher Lifelong Learning and UCR Palm Desert Center present the second season of Tuesdays With Spirit and Soul, a documentary film series and symposium designed to start mindful conversations, exploring the concepts of empowerment, challenge cultural norms, and cultivate a more meaningful, authentic life. Come to our kick-off event!

      • 6pm Wednesday, Jan. 13: Aging and the Immune System
        Aging is accompanied by a decline in immune fitness, which contributes to the decreased ability of the elderly to control infectious disease and a poor response to vaccination. Dr. Ilhem Messaoudi from the Division of Biomedical Sciences will discuss how our immune system ages and interventions to delay or reverse these changes, thereby improving our health span. RSVP. 

Art Shows

Come see the first art show of the 2015-16 season!

Jazz Standards postcard 33%


Jazz Standards

"Jazz Standards" features the work of Tim Townsley who has been integrating jazz into his work for years. The exhibit includes more than 25 paintings and drawings of favorite jazz icons.

Art on display in the lobby outside our auditorium until December 18th.

View the show prior to our events.

UCR Book Club

Our monthly book club meetings are free and open to every adult in the community. Genres will change every month, and there is no obligation -- just come whenever a book strikes your fancy! Meetings are facilitated by our Master of Fine Arts creative writing program students. Join us for a lively, educational chat about books in a fun, casual atmosphere. Book club meets in room A206 at UCR Palm Desert. Parking is free. For more information including books that will be discussed, email Maggie Downs at

Money Matters

A unique series of workshops on financial wellness sponsored by UCR Osher and UCR Office of Gift Planning. The workshops provide information on issues and topics that can help improve your financial health. The series is FREE to Osher members and features professionals and experts from the legal, accounting and financial planning fields. 

  • 3pm Wednesday, Feb. 3: Social Security Made Simple with John Pak, CFP, RICP
    Join us as we clear up some confusion over Social Security and simplify the process of applying for benefits. We'll look at the mechanics of the program to find ways to maximize benefits and avoid pitfalls. Did you know that there are over 500 different ways to claim benefits, that you can claim 50% of your ex-spouse's benefits, or that you can earn 8% per year by delaying benefits? Attendees will have the opportunity to request a free, personalized assessment. RSVP

About Osher: Since 2003, UCR Extension's Osher has provided a stimulating learning experience at a modest cost that enriches the intellectual, social, and cultural lives of people over the age of 50.

Read about our 2014-2015 events!


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More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

UCR Palm Desert Center
75080 Frank Sinatra Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92211

Tel: (760) 834-0800
Fax: (760) 834-0796

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