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Aquinas High School Opens New San Manuel Performing Arts Center

San Manuel Aquanas

Grand Opening to celebrate the completion of the $10 million facility

San Bernardino, Calif. – Special guests, alumni and dignitaries gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the cutting edge San Manuel Performing Arts Center at Aquinas High School. The facility that was made possible through the generosity of Shea Family Charities, the J.F. Shea Foundation and San Manuel Band of Indians.

The over 16,000 square foot building holds a 336-seat auditorium, band rehearsal space, dressing rooms, and designated design and set building areas. The San Manuel Performing Arts Center will serve the students as well as the community at-large.

“For many years, our theater and band students were limited to the shared space of the old gym, and our larger productions needed to be held at the Sturges Center for the Fine Arts downtown,” said Aquinas High School President, Jim Brennan. “Our mission is to give our students a quality education, which includes catering to the needs of all disciplines. We are thrilled to now have the means to support those who wish to pursue the arts.”

It is too early to say what productions may soon be seen at this center, however it does offer opportunity for ceremonies, conferences, dance and theater performances and concerts. Local theater groups will also have access to the San Manuel Performing Arts Center.

“San Manuel believes that the arts are essential to a community’s vitality and social development. We are honored to support students in greater San Bernardino to develop a stronger sense of self through the power of the arts,” said San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena. “As a community, our hearts are lifted with the sights and sounds of young talented actors, musicians and performers.”

A community-wide Grand Opening Carnival will be held on Sept. 8, 2018 at Aquinas High School from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. During the carnival, all Inland Empire residents are welcome to tour the San Manuel Performing Arts Center up close.

About Aquinas High School

Aquinas High School is a College Preparatory High School that has served the city of San Bernardino and Inland Empire for over 60 years. It has been named The Best Private High School in San Bernardino County from 2010-2017, find out more at

About The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located near the city of Highland, Calif. The Serrano Indians are the indigenous people of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys and mountains who share a common language and culture. The San Manuel reservation was established in 1891 and recognized as a sovereign nation with the right of self-government. As an indigenous community the origins and history of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians stem from our relationship with the land and to all who share it. Since ancient times we have expressed ourselves through a culture of giving. Today, San Manuel is able to answer the call of Yawa’ (Serrano word meaning “to act on one’s beliefs”) through partnerships with charitable organizations. We have drawn upon our history, knowledge, expertise and cultural values to direct our philanthropic giving in our local region, as well as to Native American causes nationwide. For more information, visit

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