Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Chemehuevi Song: Dragonfly Lecture November 16

The Oasis of Mara
The new book, A Chemehuevi Song: The Resilience of a Southern Paiute Tribe, brings together a chorus of Native American voices, both past and present, to narrate the story of tireless efforts to gain tribal recognition and autonomy. 

Please join Clifford E. Trafzer, distinguished professor of history at UC Riverside, also the Rupert Costo Chair in American History, as he shares the story of the power of perseverance in a Dragonfly Lecture at 6 p.m. November 16, 2015, at 127 N. San Gorgonio Ave., Banning. 

Your $5 will help the nonprofit Dorothy Ramon Learning Center save and share Southern California's Native American cultures, history, languages, and traditional arts. Information: 951.849.7736.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

5 Reasons to Love Our Dragonfly Gala

Dorothy Ramon Learning Center's 12th Dragonfly Gala is Saturday, August 8, starting at 4 p.m. at Morongo Community Center.
Here's 5 reasons why we see so many of the same faces among more than 300 people, year after year ...

1. We're Intertribal.  People of all ages, from cultures both Native and non-Native, from all walks of life, gather to celebrate and support the work to save and share Southern California's own Native American cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts. The Gala includes exhibits by tribes and Culture Bearers, traditional music, and traditional foods.
2014 Morongo Cultural Resources Exhibit (Carlos Puma Photo)

2014 San Manuel Serrano game (Carlos Puma Photo)

2. The Food is Amazing.
Carlos Puma Photo of the Chia Café chefs 
You can have your typical banquet food. The Dragonfly Gala is catered by Chia Café, which is devoted to restoring and sharing the arts of indigenous traditional foods. Along with turkey and beef barbecued underground, homemade tortillas and beans, and other mouth-watering foods, past galas have featured rabbit stew, unusual and delicious salads made with wild greens, side-dish staples such as cactus pads and yucca, and other delicious and nutritious Native foods. Oh, and the desserts are to die for.

3. Our Silent Auction is Epic.
Silent Auction Photo by Carlos Puma

One-of-a-kind. Beautiful. Eclectic. Native handcrafted arts. Dragonfly items. Pottery. Jewelry. Shop, shop, shop. Don't miss it.

4.  We Sing. We Dance.
Just as Southern California people have done for centuries.
Bird dancers of all ages (Carlos Puma Photo)

James Ramos (left), 2014 honoree, with Ernest Siva

5. We honor someone each year for soaring cultural achievements

Carlos Puma Photo

The 2015  Dragonfly Award goes to Walter Holmes, Jr., leader of the Morongo Bird Singers and Dancers. (center, wearing hat).

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Explore the Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire near Las Vegas has some of the most dramatic petroglyphs in the West. Add petrified wood and other natural beauties, and Nevada's oldest state park beckons and invites you to explore. Come for an armchair tour at our next Dragonfly Lecture. Dr. Stephenie Slahor will describe the geology, history and flora and fauna of Valley of Fire, and will emphasize the rich archaeological petroglyphs that abound in the park. 

DETAILS: Monday, April 13, 2015, 6:00 pm, San Manuel Gathering Hall at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center,127 N. San Gorgonio Ave., Banning. Information: 951.849.7736. Your $5 helps us save and share Native Cultures.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

1960s Folk Music!

Pete Seeger! Marais and Miranda. Sam Hinton. What memories they trigger, and what songs. Cynthia Rinehart’s family came to the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts (ISOMATA) every summer when she was a child. A summer at ISOMATA was full of these special people. She will share some of their songs as well as songs sung each summer. Join us for a program of folk songs suitable for all ages, including some sing-alongs! Our 4th Sunday concert on March 22, 2015, will be a special one, starting at 3 p.m. at 127 N. San Gorgonio Ave., Banning. Your $10 supports Dorothy Ramon Learning Center's programs to save and share Native American cultures. Information: 951.849.7736.

Memories of Banning, CA, military veterans

These Banning, CA, residents signed up to serve in the "Great War," later known as World War I. Don Robinson will share some military memories from Banning's history at our Dragonfly Lecture on Monday, March 16, 2015, at 6 p.m. at 127 N. San Gorgonio Ave., Banning. Your $5 supports our nonprofit programs to save and share Southern California's Native American cultures.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Rock Art! Explore the Coso Range

Talking Stone

 A film about the rock art of California’s Coso range and what it may mean.

Alan Garfinkel Gold, Ph.D.
Principal Archaeologist, Ultrasystems Environmental, Irvine, CA

Dr. Gold has studied California rock art for many years. He will share a wonderful film and answer questions.

Monday, February 16, 6:00 pm
San Manuel Gathering Hall at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center
127 N. San Gorgonio Ave.
Your $5 helps us save and share Southern California Native cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Guitar music starts our 2015 concerts

Come listen to some beautiful guitar music and help our nonprofit! Dorothy Ramon Learning Center's continuing 4th Sunday concert series begins at 3 p.m. this Sunday, January 25, 2015 in our acoustically wonderful Gathering Hall, 127 N. San Gorgonio, Banning. Your $10 supports our work to save and share Southern California's Native cultures. Our January concert features Samuel McLain, a classical guitarist seeking a Masters of Music degree at University of Redlands. He studies with Stuart Green and Jody Fisher. In addition to his work as a soloist, Samuel is an active member in the guitar duo, Dos Caminos, with Gerardo Inzunza.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Our Poetry Festival a First for the Region

First Native Voices Poetry Festival Celebrates Richness of Native Cultures and Region
Storytelling, songs, and poems at the first Native Voices Poetry Festival will explore the richness of Southern California Native cultures and the beauty, vitality, and uniqueness of the region. The family-friendly festival from 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 17,  at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, 127 N. San Gorgonio Avenue, Banning, celebrates the human voice in all the arts. And it’s all free. Children, young adults, and adults also can create their own poetry, stories, and zines in free workshops led by teachers and poets.

Festival participants are invited to:
• Discover the wonder and beauty of Native American cultures, languages, history, and traditional arts from the songs and stories of Culture Bearers, including Ernest Siva (Cahuilla/Serrano), president of the nonprofit Dorothy Ramon Learning Center; Barbara Drake (Tongva); and Kim Marcus (Serrano/Cahuilla). 
• Be inspired by Native writers Casandra Lopez and Gordon Johnson, who will be joined by many talented poets from throughout the region, along with musicians such as Bill Bell and Don Strandberg, and the Dragonfly Wind Flute Ensemble. Sessions include readings fused with the music of Native American flutes.
• Create poems, stories, and zines in four engaging workshops led by talented performers and teachers.  The workshops are designed for children, young adults and adults, but space is limited, so please check out our online schedule ( for additional information.

Juan Delgado, the Poet Laureate of Inlandia Institute and co-director of Native Voices Poetry Festival, said, “We hope families, students, and community members are inspired by the cultural richness and unique literary expression they will be exposed to in this one-day festival that is free to public.” The festival’s many sponsors with the nonprofit Dorothy Ramon Learning Center include California State University, San Bernardino; College of the Desert; Inlandia Institute; Poets & Writers, Inc.; SCIPP (Students, Coyotes, Instruction in Poetry and Prose); PoetrIE; AS/US; and Super Subs restaurant. The Learning Center saves and shares Southern California’s Native American cultures, languages, and traditional arts, part of our national heritage.

For more information, please call 951. 849.7736, email, or visit and Dorothy Ramon Learning Center on Facebook.