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. RSVP's are highly encouraged. All pre-registered guests will be seated first.

Special Events!

  • 6pm, Tuesday, Feb 23:  Annual Pre-Oscar Event! (check-in at 5:30pm; event begins at 6pm)
    View and discuss film clips for this year's nominees! Learn about the Academy voting process! The party will also feature trivia, take-home ballots and, of course, popcorn.  Speakers include film producer/development executive John Schimmel, screenwriter Joshua Malkin, and writer/critic Tod Goldberg, all faculty from our low-residency Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts. Last year this event was at capacity.
    SOLD OUT - WAITING LIST FULL - NO WALK-INS - Please join us next year if you do not have a reserved seat!

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum Voices of Culture Series
UCR Palm Desert is proud to partner with the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum on a variety of lectures, panel discussions, and performances focusing on aspects of Native American history and culture of tribes in the Coachella Valley and other parts of the western United States. Admission to these public programs is free. All events start at 6:30 p.m

  • 6:30pm Thursday, Feb. 4:  Bird Singing: Perspectives on Indian Social Song & Dance with Michael Mirelez
    A panel of distinguished bird singers and dancers will discuss aspects of traditional bird singing and dancing past and present, and what the future holds for this unique performance practice. Traditional regalia will be discussed. Panel Moderator: Michael Mirelez (Desert Cahuilla) RSVP

Art Shows

Our quarterly art exhibitions feature diverse, challenging, exciting works from artists all over the region. Each show kicks off with an opening reception, which is always free and open to the public. Show up to meet and mingle with the artists; we’ll provide the food and fun!

Hollywood Glam


Hollywood Glam

Features the work of Gary Borgstedt, William Dey, Terry Hastings, Dimitri Halkidis, Pat Kodet, Curry Mendes, Tim North, Elaine Sigwald, Mike Thomas, and Tim Townsley.

RSVP for the opening reception Friday, February 5, 2016.

Art will be on display in the lobby outside our auditorium January 11 - February 26.

View the show prior to our events!

Native American Lecture Series

Join us as we explore the history, culture and stories of Native North Americans. This series is in partnership with UCR California Center for Native Nations.

      • 6pm Monday, Feb. 8: Sacred Spaces and Cultural Preservation: Native American Land Conservancy's Old Woman Mountain Preserve
        Daisy Ocampo’s lecture focuses on the establishment and cultural significance of the Old Woman Mountain Preserve in the heart of the Mojave Desert, a Native American preserve tied to trails, rock art, and the sacred space of a shaman's cave. 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.

      • 6:30pm Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016: "A Beautiful Equation"
        A Beautiful Equation
        Laughter, spontaneity, and good stories - all are part of this documentary journey with eight grandmothers as they prepare for a stage play about two historic physicists - Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. The women and their stories reveal the beautiful humanitarian ideals that these two men possessed as well as their stance on issues of trust, fairness, education, peace and justice, and more. As they spin the tales of Einstein and Bohr with grace, depth, and wit, each grandmother also shares her diverse perspective and background, adding vivid expression to the personal lives of the scientists while also revealing the strength and beauty of elder women. Following the screening. director Robin Truesdale and cast member Lee Baron will be available for a Q&A via Skype. RSVP

Ideas and Society

The Center for Ideas and Society is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to advancing humanistic studies and creativity at UC Riverside. The Center’s fellowships, research workshops and public events strengthen the intellectual and creative life of the university. The Center is committed to disseminating the results of its programs to the Riverside community and beyond.

Health, Hope & Humanities Series -- Learning to Live Well

  • 6pm Wednesday, Feb. 10: A Humanist in the Medical Classroom with Goldberry Long
    In recent years, increasing concern for fostering more empathy in doctors has led to a revival of including the humanities in medical school. UCR’s new School of Medicine has taken this idea farther than any school in the country by integrating a three-year, mandatory writing program into their curriculum. The novelist Goldberry Long, who has spent almost two years developing and implementing this unprecedented program, will describe the adventures of a creative humanist crossing the divide between the humanities and the sciences, and all that she discovered in that new country. RSVP

LGBT Lecture Series

  • 6pm Tuesday, Feb. 16: What is Queer about Frankenstein with George Haggerty
    "What isn't queer about Frankenstein?"  After all, an obsessive scientist crawls around graves and into charnel houses and drags variously corrupted body parts back to his laboratory; out of these decomposing parts he constructs a hideous male monster.  Then, for more than a hundred pages, the scientist and his creature are locked in a death-dance. Let's start there. George Haggerty is a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the UCR Department of English. RSVP

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. 10: Investing 101 with James Bruner, CFP
    Do you want a better understanding of how to make your money work for you? In this workshop, you will learn about the different types of investments and the concepts behind the terms. Get a long-range perspective of the market, and explore the role that your goals and risk-tolerance play in your investment decisions. 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.

Boyd Deep Canyon Lecture Series

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

  • 6pm Thursday, Feb. 11:  Recovering the Mexican Wolf: Back from the Brink of Extinction with Maggie Dwire
    As a result of a government anti-predator campaign, gray wolves were nearly eliminated in our country. In 1998, the US Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced the Mexican wolf into Arizona and N.M. Today there are over 100 Mexican wolves in the wild, but there is still much work to be done. Hear the latest from Maggie Dwire, US Fish and Wildlife Service  RSVP

UC Global Food Series

This series is a partnership between UC Riverside and Hidden Harvest.

  • 6pm Wednesday, Feb. 17: Why We Waste Food
    Jonathan Bloom, renowned author and journalist, on why we waste food, why it matters, and what we can do about it. RSVP

Palm Desert Art Documentary Film Series

In partnership with the City of Palm Desert Public Art Department, this series features many memorable community works from all over the globe. These free movies are screened on the third Thursday of the month at 6 pm and are open to the public.

      • 6pm Thursday, Feb. 18: Calder - Sculptor of Air
        Unique modern artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976) revolutionized the art of sculpture with his distinctive modernism, freeing sculpture from its stand and adding movement to the art itself. He rose to fame in the 1930s with his renowned Miniature Circus, but his modernist creativity skyrocketed with his wire sculptures, an invention he dubbed 'drawing in space'. This film retraces this unique quest and explores the masterpieces that have marked the history of 20th century art. Q&A with Dr. Steve Nash, former director of the Palm Springs Art Museum, to follow the film. RSVP

UCR Living Green Series

Who said it wasn't easy being green? Learn how to improve your environment, health and quality of life with our new lecture series, Living Green! Our eco-experts will take a look at the issues that face our community and discuss solutions to ensure that the needs of people and environment are met in the present -- and long into the future. Our partner for this series is Friends of the Desert Mountains.

  • 6pm Wednesday, Feb. 24: The Making of A Monument 

Learn about the history and creation of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument by Act of Congress and why it matters to you. 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, Apr. 6: An Evening with Jill Alexander Essbaum
Jill Alexander Essbaum is the New York Times bestselling author of "Hausfrau," one of the most acclaimed books of the last decade. Hailed by Time as “Anna Karenina with a side of Madame Bovary,” Hausfrau chronicles the unraveling of Anna Benz, an American living in Zurich. Essbaum is also the celebrated author of several poetry collections, and has twice been named a Fellow of the National Endowment of the Arts.. RSVP

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

Read about our 2014-2015 events!


Join our Mailing List

email sign up

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

Related Links