Lectures, films, music and more in April, May and June

Forget all you may believe about a library being stuffy and quiet. The Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory offers a plethora of programs, events and more during April, May and June.


With hands-on activities, films, discussions and more, there’s something to please families from toddlers to seniors. The best part? Nearly all the programs are free thanks to generous support of donors.


Community Showcase 

Everyone is welcome to the Palm Springs Writers Guild (PSWG) monthly meetings. Join in when Doug Johnson, founding editor of Cave Moon Press, presents “Borders, Landscapes and Semicolons: The Mechanics of Poetry in Community.” And come recognize students as PSWG awards Rancho Mirage High School writing contest finalists. Plus, local writers won’t want to miss author Brian Jud when he presents “Seven Secrets of Successfully Selling Books.”


Like a good book and a good deal? Come choose from an enormous selection of gently-used books during the Book Sale. Like chatting about a good book? Join in the Book Discussion Group to share your thoughts about “When Books Went to War” by Molly Guptill Manning, “The Other Einstein” by Marie Benedict and “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson.


Local businesses are invited as The Rancho Mirage Emergency Preparedness Commission presents a Business Emergency Response Training (BERT) workshop. Presenter Chris Wright, the immediate past President of the Los Angeles Business and Industry Council for Emergency Planning and Preparation (BICEPP), will also discuss the emergency management work he performed to prepare Warner Bros. Studios.

And come out and support your community May 22 at the Lifestream Blood Drive.



If you love celebrity gossip, you won’t want to miss former Hollywood Reporter columnist and TV editor Sue Cameron for a fascinating talk, “Hollywood Secrets and Scandals.” Get the behind-the-scenes scoop on some of her past and present clients. And join author Josh Frank and local musician/entertainer Bill Marx for a special program celebrating the release of “Giraffes on Horseback Salad,” a new book exploring the “cult film that never was,” a nixed collaboration of artist Salvador Dalí and Bill’s father, Harpo Marx.


Plus, learn from the decisions, opportunities, mistakes and successes of fictional characters as Bruce Craven discusses “Win or Die: Leadership Secrets from Game of Thrones” and from All Hands founder and author David Campbell when he discusses the organization he founded and his book, “All Hands: The Evolution of a Volunteer-powered Disaster Response Organization.” Then take home a free book during Gold Card events when Rancho Mirage Writers Series hosts Harlan Coben, the perennial #1 New York Times best-selling author; the first 600 people receive his new novel, “Run Away.”And the first 400 people a free copy of “American Moonshot” when Douglas Brinkley brings fascinating history to life as never before with his book about the brilliant men and women who made possible the giant leap to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s.



During Hollywood’s early years, there were more women directors employed by major film studios than any other time in American cinematic history. As part of the “Women Filmmakers: Silents through 1930s” series, see Dorothy Arzner’s “The Bride Wore Red”(1937), a light romantic comedy sound film starring Joan Crawford.


Catch the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival Film Club free film series centered around the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. Films include “The Great Escape”starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough; Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan”(1998): and the 1961 British-American epic war film, “The Guns of Navarone.”



Take a tour of the Rancho Mirage Observatory any Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. No reservations required! Be sure to save the date for July 20 to bring the whole family and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing during “Apollo 50: Next Giant Leap.”


Eric McLaughlin presents “Islands in the Sky: Galaxies” on May 23 and “Metal Inhabitants of a Rusty World: The Robotic Explorers of Mars” on June 13.



There won’t be anyone whispering “shhhh” at the library when Peter Sprague’s Trio takes the stage to play music inspired by jazz, samba, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley.

On April 13 the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory once again becomes home to the International Classical Concerts of the Desert series with cellist Sergey Antonov, Tchaikovsky Gold Medal Winner. Then, shift gears and join in an evening of music, song, spoken word and visual art from the talented young artists of Idyllwild Arts Academy.


Let Ken Dahleen and His Big Band Staff whisk you away to the world of stage and cinema with a special concert celebrating the music of Broadway and Hollywood and catch a memorable performance by Rancho Mirage-based Jim Borax’s California Cabaret performing unforgettable standards from the Great American Songbook.


On May 9, don’t miss piano performances during The Steinway Society of Riverside County presentation of the winners of the 15th Annual Festival Competition in concert. Winners range from age 7 to 17 years of age.


Teens, Kids and Families

You won’t have to hear, “I’m bored,” during spring break. Kids can see “Mary Poppins Returns,”  “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “The Grinch.” Plus, come for Craft Day and make tile art.


Looking for fun both parents and kids can enjoy? Put Family Night on your calendar and learn about all things mythological (you can even come in costume). Plan your summer by learning more about the 2019 Summer Reaching Club with a preview night. And come celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and decorate your own flower pot, plant flowers and get seeds to take home.


Children ages 9 to 12 who love chatting about books can join in the Kids Book Discussion Group to share thoughts about “Under the Ashes” by Cindy Rankin and attend the end of year party on May 13. Children ages 6 to 9 can talk about “Stellaluna” by Janell Cannon and join in the end of year party on May 18.


Design It-Make It, a great monthly program for ages 5 and up, sparks creativity and imagination with STEAM/STEM projects such as a catapult, cork raft and bead art. Artistic teens can create tape art or rock art at Teen Night events. Plus, come build during Lego Club and create something with an insect theme and castles.


More information to check out

If these events intrigue you, learn more about all these offerings and many more at Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory.