High school writers, mentored by Chapman MFA candidates, will also work
with theater directors to present their finished work on Thursday, May 2 at 7:30pm

Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University has announced that a new creative writing program for high school students, in collaboration with the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD), will be one of this year’s “Heartbeat of Mexico” events, in the weeks leading up to the 4th Annual Festival over Memorial Weekend, May 23-26.

The “Heartbeat of Mexico – Creative Writers Youth Project” will pair a select number of high school writers from Santa Ana with Chapman University MFA candidates, who will mentor the young students to help them discover their unique creative process by producing an original piece of writing. With guidance and feedback from their Chapman mentors, the young writers will get their ideas on the page, then work with professional stage directors from The Wayward Artist Theatre Ensemble to learn presentation techniques and get their writing on stage.

The program will take place in two parts. There will be a Workshop/Rehearsal Session on Saturday, April 27 between 11am and 5pm[1] at Chapman’s Entertainment Technology Center. On the following Thursday, May 2 at 7:30pm the presentation will take place at the Grand Central Art Center in downtown Santa Ana. The presentations are free and open to the public.

After the presentation, students, their directing coaches and writing mentors will gather onstage to discuss their experience and the new Heartbeat of Mexico Creative Writers Project.

The Creative Writers Project Showcase is presented by Musco Center in association with Santa Ana Unified School District, The Wayward Artist ensemble, and Chapman University’s Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

“Musco Center, Chapman University, The Wayward Artist, and SAUSD are thrilled about the potential impact that this collaboration will have upon student writers in conjunction with SAUSD’s ongoing after-school engagement,” said Richard T. Bryant, executive director of Musco Center. “This important addition to the Heartbeat of Mexico series really opens up a new dimension for us to pursue this year and in the future.”

Heartbeat of Mexico Festival

The Festival, which last year drew more than 7,500 people to the Musco Center and Aitken Arts Plaza at Chapman University, expands from two to three days in 2019, with superstar duo Jesse & Joy, the iconic Alicia Villarreal, and Lupillo Rivera performing with Mariachi. In addition to the six-week “Big Ideas: Culture and Conversation” series, free events include a new celebration of Ballet Folklórico on Saturday and a large-scale family-friendly community outdoor festival on Sunday. Heartbeat of Mexico is co-produced by Musco Center Senior Director, David Leavenworth.

If you go:

What: Heartbeat of Mexico Creative Writers Youth Project

When: May 2 at 7:30pm

Where: Grand Central Theatre, 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701

Cost: Free

Information: (844) 626-8726 or visit

[1] Or a 3 or 4-hour block within this time frame


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