Barbara’s Column

Pageant members get sneak preview of 2018 show



The 2017 Pageant of the Masters took audiences on a Grand Tour, an artistic trip around the world. Next year, the Pageant will stick closer to home.

Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy announced that the 2018 show will present a visual history of its home town, speaking Wednesday at the Festival of Arts Membership Meeting.

She presented a sneak preview of images selected for next summer’s show: “Under the Sun”, beginning with the first inhabitants.

“The ancient ‘People of the Acorn Groves,’ as they are now called, were followed by the Spanish Padres, Mexican ranchers, U.S. homesteaders and eventually the artists and impressionists who were fascinated by the colorful coastal landscape and the dazzling light of the California sun,” said Challis Davy.

Those artists founded what became the Laguna Art Museum in 1918 and its100th anniversary will be celebrated via tableau vivants in the 2018 show. 

“Of course, there will be a tip of the hat to the origins of Laguna’s own Festival of the Arts and the pageant,” promised Challis Davy.

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Submitted photo

Pageant recreation of “The Garden Wall” by John Singer Sargeant will be one of the art pieces featured in next summer’s Pageant, Under the Sun

The meeting opened with a video of the massive reconstruction of the grounds, which was successfully concluded despite setbacks due to the rainiest winter in decades. 

“’We did it. They said we couldn’t do it, but we did it,’” said festival President Fred Sattler, cadging lines from Professor Higgins.

Mayor Toni Iseman, an ex-officio member of the festival board, gave one of her highest compliments to the renovation: “Just the same, only better.” She favors changes that do not destroy the original concept or intent. 

Iseman asked to borrow the video to be shown at a council meeting so the general public would have the opportunity to see what the festival accomplished.

Sattler has conducted the annual meeting for seven years, beginning each meeting with the same six words: “It was a very good year.”

Highlights included the festival’s 85th anniversary celebration, recognition of Jacquie Moffett’s 50 years as an exhibitor, an interesting change in the Pageant format, a warm welcome to new orchestra Conductor Corey Hirsh, the unforgettable gondola ride at the end of the first act of the pageant and the acquisition of a Jacques Garnier photograph for the permanent collection, thanks to a generous donation by Ron Weldon and Rita Moon

Sattler also paid tribute to the 500 volunteers it takes to put on the show and to the creative team behind the scenes. 

Festival vice president Kathy Jones introduced the team, starting with Human Resources Manager Monica Daebritz.

Kudos went to Director of Special Events Susan Davis, Director of Operations Gary Fowler, Director of Finance Jill Harris Sturdy, Director of Marketing and PR Sharbie Higuchi, Exhibit Director Ron Morrisette and Guest Service Director Caryn Werfelmann

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Submitted photo

Attendees got a sneak peak at next year’s theme

Also announced: $95,900 in scholarships to 26 new recipients and 36 returning recipients, reported by a jubilant Pat Kollenda, perennial board secretary and chair of the scholarship committee. 

Kollenda’s beloved alma mater, USC, Berklee College of Music and Laguna College of Art & Design are among the 22 schools attended by the scholarship winners.

The scholarships are paid with festival and pageant revenue: about $10.4 million in 2017, a seven percent increase over 2016. Expenses came to $8.82 million.

“This produced a nice increase in assets of over $1.5 million” said Treasurer David Perry.

Perry is trading offices with Sattler for the coming year. Kollenda continues as secretary; Scott Moore will serve as vice-president. 

One of Sattlers’ last duties as president was the awarding of Life Memberships to volunteers with 15 years of service: Hope Bosheff, Jean Cavanaugh, Alison Godleski, Jim Harrison, Cindy and Leslie Helliwell, Kathleen Jepson-Bernier, Linda Kerr, Dee Ketner, Dave Kiff, Margaret Loesch, Christine Niemeijer and Jeanette Shelley.

Staff service awards were presented to David Marceau and C.W. Keller.

Sattler’s swan song as board president was a thank you to his wife, Jan, for her support. 

But wait – there’s  more. You will find advance notice of all the fun and interesting stuff for visitors or residents to do in Laguna by reading 

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