Arne Nixon Center Advocates (ANCA) at Fresno State will hold its 11th annual Secret Garden Party from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, April 20.

Traditionally the party location is not revealed to guests until they sign up, but this year the event will be held at the newly completed Leo Politi Garden, outside of the Henry Madden Library on campus. A rededication of the garden will take place during the event.

Politi was the Caldecott Award-winning illustrator and author of more than three dozen books. A Fresno native who relocated to Los Angeles, Politi was a good friend of Fresno State professor Arne Nixon. Nixon often asked Politi to return to Fresno to give presentations to his children’s literature classes and festivals. The Politi Garden was created with funds raised by ANCA to honor the special friendship between the two men.

Politi is survived by his children, Paul Politi and Suzanne Bischof, who will attend the rededication.

Colorful mosaic tiles crafted by artist John Cook were installed in the garden last summer. The tiles, measuring up to 40 inches-by- 67 inches and weighing as much as 900 pounds, are replicas of those Politi created for his Los Angeles home.

Bronze castings of Politi’s only known sculptures will be installed. The statues, fabricated by sculptor Lester Harries, depict a girl and boy reading a book with a dog, and a little girl with arms outstretched to birds overhead.

The Secret Garden Party is ANCA’s major annual fundraising event, with all profits going to the Arne Nixon Center. Underwriters will receive tickets to the party and acknowledgements in promotional materials. The $1,000 sponsor level includes up to eight tickets, $500 sponsors receive up to six tickets and a $250 sponsorship comes with up to four tickets. Individual tickets for $50 are also available.

For more information or to make reservations, contact Jami Stanford at 559.278.8116 or

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