Jeff L. Grubbe, chairman, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ETHAN KAMINSKY PRODUCTIONS
For Jeff J. Grubbe, it’s a great honor to serve as chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. He has served in leadership roles for the Tribe for the past 16 years.
Now, he’s excited to look toward the future, particularly the long-anticipated opening in the coming year of the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza, which features a world-class spa and a state of-the-art cultural museum.
“It’s going to encompass everything about who the Agua Caliente are and how we came about,” Grubbe says. “It will go into the history of the Tribe, the challenges that we’ve overcome, and how we got to where we are today.” Visitors can seep into an enveloping experience that includes the traditional “taking of the waters” at the spa, powered by a hot mineral spring that has propelled the Tribe for centuries. At the museum, visitors will enjoy galleries that share the stories of the Agua Caliente people, and one that includes recently recovered artifacts from the site of the Cultural Plaza.
As for the site, it’s one that has been sacred to the Tribe for generations. It’s the home of the Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring. “There’s a spiritual connection to that water,” Grubbe says, “and it really is a good place to unwind and relieve stress. Building this Cultural Plaza is a huge accomplishment for my people. It’s something that we’ve wanted for so long.”
The Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza will become a favorite destination in downtown Palm Springs and evolve into an epicenter for cultural heritage tourism in the state of California.
VIDEO: Jeff Grubbe chats about the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza.