Valerie Peister is the director of community engagement for the Redlands Community Music Association; she was previously the executive director of the San Bernardino Symphony. Before participating in an event on how the arts can revive cities, she discussed fine art, college memories, and inspiring festivals.
What’s your favorite thing about the Redlands Bowl?
It’s that sense of community—being under the stars with thousands of people, enjoying the music and being together.
What’s your favorite San Bernardino lunch spot?
Molly’s. It has a great San Bernardino vibe. Lot of locals go there, especially folks who work downtown.
What’s your most prized piece of art?
A couple of Ginger Pena watercolors of Redlands Bowl performances … She captures not just the beauty of the structure, but the performances on the stage, the energy of them.
What do you remember most about your time at UCLA?
Walking up and down the Bruin Walk, you take in everything UCLA is.
What superpower would you most like to have?
My 11-year-old just asked me that same question, and it’s flying. Because it sounds like a lot of fun.
What dessert do you find impossible to resist?
Where and when did you learn how to swim?
It was a backyard summer swim lesson in upstate New York.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
The thing that drives me crazy is when I’m eating pancakes and syrup gets on the silverware.
What was the last thing that inspired you?
Bringing the Mosaico Music Festival to life. It was an Irvine Foundation project that they supported through the San Bernardino Symphony—a full-day event, and I was very inspired by the community coming together and pulling it off.