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“Out of the Sea” was out of this world

The Laguna Ocean Foundation and Pacific Vocal Series collaborated for their charitable event, “Out of the Sea,” on June 28 at the historic Rivian South Coast Theater in Laguna Beach. Prior to the performance, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour featuring small bites, craft cocktails, complimentary wine and live music from local Laguna vendors.

The event proceeds benefitted Laguna Beach nonprofits.

Highlights from the collaborative evening to benefit Laguna Beach nonprofits

Laguna Ocean Foundation is dedicated to sustainable ocean ecosystems along the Laguna Coast. They envision an evolving understanding of our local marine resources in order for Laguna Beach to better protect and enhance this valuable wilderness.

“Out of the Sea was a beautiful summer night in Laguna Beach, and marked the first time South Coast Theater has been brought to life through pristine vocal artistry,” said Pacific Vocal Series President and Executive Director Jay Colwell. “More than 100 guests experienced an art-filled journey of ocean-themed music, videography and storytelling that highlighted the vital work of the Laguna Ocean Foundation.”

To donate in support of Laguna Ocean Foundation, click here.

To donate in support of Pacific Vocal Series, click here.

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Susi Q’s Gallery Q receives generous grant from the Festival of Arts Foundation

Nadia Babayi, executive director of Laguna Beach Seniors/Susi Q, has expressed her great appreciation for the $2,000 grant awarded to the nonprofit by the Festival of Arts Foundation in support of Gallery Q, which presents five exhibitions each year.

“As a privately funded nonprofit, the Susi Q depends on donations from individuals, groups and foundations to support our various activities,” Babayi said. “Gallery Q is one of our most popular programs, complementing our organization’s mission through providing opportunities for self-expression. We are very grateful for the FOA Foundation’s support.”

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Courtesy of Susi Q

“Art Patron of the Year” was awarded to Susi Q at the 2024 Art Star Awards

Research on the arts shows promise for improving older adults’ quality of life and well-being, from better cognitive function, memory, and self-esteem to reduced stress and increased social interaction.

“Gallery Q’s exhibitions and receptions assist in socialization, encourage playfulness and offer sensory stimulation,” Babayi noted. “More than 520 artists have exhibited their artwork at Gallery Q within the past 14 years. Each of the five annual exhibitions attracts more than 40 artists who collectively display 60 to 80 pieces of art.”

Exhibitions this year have included A Fresh New Look, Beach Cities and Visual Creations. Currently, the call has gone out for the next exhibition, Artful Cultural Journey, with Art & Nature scheduled for later in the year.

Gallery Q invites artists to submit their work for Artful Cultural Journey, celebrating cultures through art. Art will be accepted on Thursday, July 18 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 5-6 p.m. Download an application here.

The exhibition dates are July 24 through Sept 25, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the Artist Reception scheduled for Friday, July 26, 3:30-5 p.m. For more information, call 949.715.8106.

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The fun continues at Festival of Arts with weekly events, July 12-16

Festival of Arts (FOA) is excited to share the upcoming events at the Festival of Arts Fine Arts Show through July 16.

Highlights include the return of Family Art Day on July 14, featuring wildlife-themed activities and performances, Concerts on the Green and the new Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano series with Josh Nelson (July 13). Coming up next week is a Paint and Sip Class (ages 21+) and build your own tropical Tiki Head for adults and teens, and there are many Youth Art Classes including Ceramics – Create a Pinch-Pot Head.

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Photo by Ron Azevedo

Family Fun Day 2023

Special Events Schedule

Sunday, July 14, 12-3 p.m.

Family Art Day

Cost: Free with $15 Festival Admission. Children 5 and under receive free admission all summer long.

Join the Festival of Arts for a wild good time as Family Art Day returns with a fun new animal-twist! The Festival’s Art Center, sponsored by Bank of America, will be buzzing with wildlife-themed art activities, including an animal anime clay sculpting class with Bowers Museum. Families will have the opportunity to meet feathered, furry and other fantastically fun critters from OC Reptile Zoo, Priceless Pets Rescue, Raptor Events LLC and the OC Beekeepers Association. You won’t want to miss Orange County Aerial Arts taking to the stage for a special aerial performance or the chance to get an airbrush tattoo – it’ll be a real hoot! Limited space is available.

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Courtesy of FOA

The Cream of Clapton Band – July 12

Friday, July 12, Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

Performer: Tremendous Tributes Music Series with The Cream of Clapton Band

Cost: Concert is free with $10 Festival Admission. Limited nightclub seating available in the reserved section for $30 per person per concert, with a $5 per person service charge applied to all orders. Includes admission to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. Reservations must be made prior to 9 p.m. the night before the performance.

Endorsed by the man himself, family, friends and bandmates, celebrate Clapton’s record-breaking “24 Nights” at The Royal Albert Hall in 1991. Very special guests include Eric Clapton’s bass player, Nathan East and legendary drummer Gregg Bissonette (Ringo Starr/David Lee Roth), who will join founding members Will Johns (Clapton’s nephew) and Noah East (Nathan’s son) on stage.

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Courtesy of FOA

Concerts on the Green with Grace Kelly

Saturday, July 13, 1-2:30 p.m.

Performer: Concerts on the Green with Grace Kelly

Cost: Concert is free with $15 Festival admission. Limited “nightclub” seating available in the reserved section for $60 per person per concert, with a $5 per person service charge applied to all orders. Includes admission to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. Reservations must be made prior to 9 p.m. the night before the performance.

An unequivocal musical prodigy, singer-saxophonist-songwriter-composer and band leader Grace Kelly has rocked the jazz world with sold-out concerts, 14 acclaimed albums and a resume that includes performing at the Hollywood Bowl as well as being part of the house band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – all before reaching her mid-20s.

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Courtesy of FOA

Josh Nelson

Saturday, July 13, 5:30-7 p.m.

Performer: Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano series with Josh Nelson

Cost: Concert is free with $15 Festival admission. Limited nightclub seating available in the reserved section for $45 per person per concert, with a $5 per person service charge applied to all orders. Includes admission to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. Reservations must be made prior to 9 p.m. the night before the performance.

Music series sponsored by City of Hope Orange County and Yamaha.

Pianist, composer and recording artist Josh Nelson maintains an active and creative schedule. He has performed and recorded with some of the most respected names in jazz and beyond, including Natalie Cole, Ivan Lins, Anthony Wilson, George Mraz, Jeff Hamilton, Walter Smith III, Dayna Stephens, Eddie Daniels, Gaby Moreno, Sinne Eeg, Richard Galliano, Michael Buble, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, Greg Hutchinson, John Clayton, John Pizzarelli and Lewis Nash.

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Courtesy of FOA

Paris Chansons

Sunday, July 14, 5:30-7 p.m.

Performer: Wow…That Girl Can Sing Music Series with Paris Chansons

Cost: Concert is free with $15 Festival admission. Limited nightclub seating available in the reserved section for $45 per person per concert, with a $5 per person service charge applied to all orders. Includes admission to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. Reservations must be made prior to 9 p.m. the night before the performance.

Paris Chansons is an exciting French band with an Eastern European gypsy twist! Recently featured on the French news, they are known for their original renditions of French favorites from Aznavour, Dassin, Piaf, Macias, Adamo and Dalida, all the way to contemporary artists like Zaz.

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Summer ESL classes at La Playa

Two new opportunities to support English language learners in our Laguna Beach community are available this summer. Provided by La Playa (South County Crosscultural Council), there is still time to enroll.

English Conversation Group

This is a fantastic opportunity for English language learners to practice and improve their skills in a friendly and relaxed setting. They are seeking volunteers to help facilitate these sessions.

Date: Thursdays, July 11-Aug. 29 from 3-5 p.m.

Location: Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach

Details for Volunteers: You will engage in casual conversations with non-English speakers, provide a welcoming environment for practicing English, and help build confidence and language skills through everyday dialogue. No teaching experience or preparation is required. Regular participation is encouraged but not required. They encourage folks to stop by when they can. Feel free to bring a friend.

For more information and to register, visit www.crossculturalcouncil.com/volunteer.

Details for Students: No registration is required. Just bring yourself and a willingness to learn and practice. More details can be found at www.crossculturalcouncil.com/la-playa.

Summer ESL Class for Service and Hospitality Industry Workers

They are offering an ESL class specially designed for hospitality and service industry workers in Laguna Beach, taught by volunteer teacher, Kolleen. Kolleen has been a teacher at La Playa since 2014, holds a Professional Teaching Credential in four subjects, and is certified in TOEFL and TESL. Students can easily register at www.crossculturalcouncil.com/la-playa.

Date: Wednesdays, July 3-Aug. 28 from 3-5 p.m.

Location: Susi Q Center (Technology Room), 380 3rd St., Laguna Beach

Share this opportunity with anyone working in the hospitality and service industry who might benefit from improving their English. Register online at La Playa Center. For more information, email laplayaenglish@gmail.com. Follow them on Instagram at @southcountycrosscultural.

For more information, visit www.crossculturalcouncil.com.

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Overlooking the spectacular ocean beneath

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

On a clear day you can probably see forever

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A glimpse at Crystal Cove in Summer

“Summertime at Crystal Cove is magical – and our programs team has been working all year to create new opportunities for folks to explore the park and to reimagine old favorites,” said Crystal Cove Conservancy President & CEO Kate Wheeler. “Our team has been testing new ideas like science hikes and rethinking and expanding classics like the Historic District Walking Tours and movies on the beach to create a menu of programs to help parkgoers deepen their connection with the park and become part of protecting it.”

From hands-on explorations of history and nature to art classes and conservation stewardship, there is something for everyone to explore during the summer at Crystal Cove.

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Sign up to spend a relaxing day capturing the beauty of the Cove on canvas with Crystal Cove plein air artist, Debbie Morines

The Great Plein Air Art Experience every Monday and Wednesday through October, except September 2 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Registration is required. Celebrate more than 100 years of plein air art at Crystal Cove State Park and spend a relaxing day capturing the beauty of the Cove on canvas with Crystal Cove plein air artist, Debbie Morines. During these four-hour classes, you’ll take part in living history while learning the step-by-step process of creating your very own plein air painting from beginning to end. Each class will have a break for lunch, but lunch is not provided. Classes are for ages 18 and up. Register here for July 10. Register here for July 15. Register here for July 17. For additional dates, visit https://crystalcove.org/art-class/.

Tuesdays in the Commons: Hands-on Educational Activities from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (July 16, 23 and 30).

Stop by the Education Commons in the Crystal Cove State Park Historic District each week on Tuesday for new hands-on educational activities that will help participants learn about ongoing conservation work at the park, the critical habitats at Crystal Cove, and how it all connects with landscape scale efforts to protect and preserve the natural world. Park at the Los Trancos lot near the trailer then walk through the tunnel to the Education Commons (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos). $15 day use fee.

Junior Ranger Programs, Tuesday and Thursday mornings continuing through July 30 from 10-11 a.m. Join a Park Ranger for a fun introduction to the animals and plants of Crystal Cove State Park in their weekly Junior Ranger programs. This children’s nature program is a favorite in State Parks and allows kids to earn a badge, stamps, a poster, or a patch. Each Tuesday they will focus on tidepools and on Thursdays they will learn about sharks. Meet at the Berns Amphitheater (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow signs towards the Campground.) $15 day use fee. No program on July 4.

Perimeter of the Park, Monday, July 15 from 6:45-11 a.m. Ready for a challenging hike to tour the Crystal Cove State Park backcountry? Join a park docent as you go from the “gills to the hills” on this strenuous but very scenic loop hike known as the “Perimeter of the Park.” Distance is around nine miles; elevation/gain loss, around 1,850 ft. The hike is done at a moderate pace with one or two short breaks. Be sure to bring plenty of water and a snack. Arrive by 6:45 a.m. as the hike will start promptly at 7 a.m. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at the stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs towards the Ranger Station.) $15 day use fee.

Walk on the Wild Side, Friday, July 19 at 10 a.m. At Crystal Cove, you walk upon some of the rarest land in Southern California: coastal sage scrub. Join a park docent for a Walk on the Wild Side and enjoy a one-hour stroll learning about this amazing native habitat as you walk along a boardwalk to the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Meet at Pelican Point parking lot #2, at the top of the boardwalk near the parking lot (PCH coastward at Newport Coast, right at kiosk to first lot.) $15 day use fee.

Whale, Dolphin & Wildlife “Twalk,” Saturday, July 20 from 9-11 a.m. Crystal Cove State Park is a great spot to look for resident dolphins, migrating whales and birds just passing by the coastline. Join a park naturalist for a Whale, Dolphin & Wildlife “Twalk” and learn some fun facts about the coastal creatures as you walk the bluff trail and scan the ocean at each overlook. Bring binoculars for better viewing. Meet at Pelican Point lot #4 (PCH coastward at Newport Coast left at kiosk to the last lot.) $20 day use fee.

Full Moon Hike on Saturday, July 20 from 7:45-10 p.m. Explore the park after dark, on a guided interpretive two-hour, four-mile Full Moon Hike at Crystal Cove State Park. A park naturalist will lead hikers on this moderate to difficult loop trail with uneven terrain and a steep uphill climb, elevation gain of 600 ft. This hike is suitable for ages 10 and up. Hikers must wear sturdy shoes, bring water and a snack. Bug repellant is recommended. Please bring a red flashlight, but if you don’t have one, they will have plenty to share. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs to the Ranger Station.) Registration is required, so sign up at https://letsgooutside.org.

Explore the Cove Science Hikes, Fourth Saturday each month: July 27, August 24 and September 28 from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Registration is required for this event. Take a hike with a Conservancy educator to explore Crystal Cove State Park’s geological and ecological systems. Explore the impacts and challenges of climate change including fire ecology, ecological restoration, coastal engineering and marine conservation, as well as native versus non-native species and their impact on natural communities and ecosystem functions. Registration is required for these events.

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Historic District Walking Tours take place the fourth Saturday of every month

Historic District Walking Tours, Fourth Saturday each month: July 27, August 24 and September 28 from 2-3 p.m. Historic District Walking Tours return to Crystal Cove State Park. During this 60-minute tour led by Conservancy educators and former cottage residents, participants will step back in time to explore the history of Crystal Cove and the Historic District’s rescue and restoration.

Movies on the Beach, monthly from July through September. Click here for upcoming events.

Cove Talks, Ongoing. Click here for upcoming events. Registration is required for these events.

Grunion Run, One night only. Click here for details. Registration is required for this event.

For more information about summer programming at Crystl Cove and to register for upcoming programs, go here.

For a complete calendar of events, go to www.crystalcovestatepark.org/park-calendars/.

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Find out what the buzz is all about at FOA Family Art Day, coming July 14

The Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach announced the return of Family Art Day on Sunday, July 14 from 12-3 p.m., with a fun new animal twist! This year’s event promises an exciting array of wildlife-themed art activities and encounters, ensuring a fun-filled afternoon for the whole family.

“Family Art Day is getting a wild makeover this year!” shared Christine Georgantas, exhibits and events director at the Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach. “We’re thrilled to introduce this brand-new animal theme and offer a wider range of art experiences for families of all ages. It’ll be a fantastic way to explore the wonders of the animal kingdom through creative expression.”

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Photos courtesy of Festival of Arts Laguna Beach

Priceless Pets Rescue is offering on-the-spot dog adoptions

On Sunday, July 14, prepare to be amazed by a variety of incredible animals. Come face-to-face with fascinating reptiles from the OC Reptile Zoo and see the majestic power of birds of prey with Raptor Events LLC. Priceless Pets Rescue is offering on-the-spot dog adoptions. Fall in love with a furry companion and give them a forever home. Anyone who adopts a pet on Family Art Day will receive an exclusive Festival of Arts doggie bandana, perfect for showing off your new buddy’s festival spirit.

Plus, learn all about the fascinating world of bees and their crucial role in our ecosystem with the OC Beekeepers Association. Laguna Beach’s own local celebrity, Cooper the Peer Support K9, will also be attending the festivities. Cooper, a Labrador Retriever, is beloved for his comforting presence, helping those exposed to trauma, easing the stress of victims and witnesses during criminal investigations, and promoting employee wellness. Family Art Day is an opportunity to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures, ask questions and create lasting memories.

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Photos courtesy of Festival of Arts Laguna Beach

This year’s event promises an exciting array of wildlife-themed art activities and encounters for the whole family

In the Festival’s Art Center, generously sponsored by Bank of America, families can unleash their inner artist with hands-on, animal-inspired activities. Bowers Museum will host a special animal anime sculpting class in conjunction with their current exhibition, “Asian Comics: Evolution of an Art Form.” The excitement doesn’t stop there! Be mesmerized by the graceful performance of the Orange County Aerial Arts on the Festival stage and even get an airbrush tattoo. Food and refreshments will also be available for purchase for a day of unforgettable family fun.

Due to limited space, early arrival is encouraged. Family Art Day is free with Festival admission, and children 5 and under receive free admission all summer long.

For more information on Family Art Day visit www.foapom.com/event/family-art-day.

To stay up to date on all things Pageant of the Masters and Festival of Arts, follow the Festival on social media at @FestivalPageant and visit www.foapom.com.

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Top of the World General Meeting this Sunday to feature City Manager Dave Kiff

The Top of the World Neighborhood Association (TOWNA) General Meeting will be held this Sunday, July 14 from 4-6 p.m. at the TOW Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room (21601 Treetop Lane). New Laguna Beach City Manager Dave Kiff will be the speaker at the meeting and answer questions of concern to the TOWNA board.

All Top of the World neighbors are invited. At the meeting, the members will vote on approving the TOWNA bylaw amendments proposed by the TOWNA board. Only paid TOWNA members can vote ($10 per household per year), however, dues can be paid at the General Meeting. For more information, visit the TOWNA website at https://towna.mailchimpsites.com.

Kiff started as Laguna’s city manager on May 6. His work experience includes the California legislature, as well as several cities and counties, including 20 years working for the City of Newport Beach, with service for nine of those years as the city manager.

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach City Manager Dave Kiff

Concerns and issues to be addressed include the unpermitted open space grading by Southern California Edison; prosecution and penalties for deliberately setting fires; emergency evacuation via the gate to the fire road to Arch Beach Heights; fire detecting cameras; e-bikes in the open space; cameras to limit, identify and punish criminal activity; Park Avenue undergrounding between Wendt Terrace and St. Ann’s Drive; School District construction staging plan with all equipment and materials on site; Parking Fund use for additional Police and Fire Department positions; City police park rangers patrolling of Carolyn Wood Knoll; cancelled homeowners insurance; City building a community swimming pool; expanded Laguna Local service hours Monday through Thursday and the Park Avenue bike lane project.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

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Meet Pet of the Week Lily

Lily may be tiny, but she has a big heart. Lily has had the run of the shelter lobby and therefore has become great at greeting guests. This cat is an adorable short-hair white with gray and there’s a possibility she may even have some Turkish Van in her background. She is spayed and 2 1/2 years old. She is often friendly, but, like all cats, she does make sure it’s on her terms.

Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, is hoping to have Lily adopted as soon as possible.

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Courtesy of the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter

Lily is an adorable short-hair white with gray cat seeking her forever loving home

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter adoption procedures are designed to make sure that both the potential family and the animal adopted are in the very best situation possible. Due to their approach to adoption, their return rate is 5% as compared to the national return rate of 50%.

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road. Call 949.497.3552, or go to the website for information on adoption procedures, www.puplagunabeach.org/our-pets.php.

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Laguna Beach Fairy Garden launches Inaugural Summer Stroll

The Laguna Beach Fairy Garden, a 10-year favorite spot in Laguna Beach, has launched its Inaugural Summer Stroll. The Summer Stroll is an 11-stop photo scavenger hunt highlighting public art in Downtown Laguna Beach. The stroll is free, available to locals and visitors and designed to spread awareness and love for Laguna Beach.

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Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Beach Library Fairy Garden

The Summer Stroll features 11 stops along Mermaid Street and Forest Avenue, each highlighting public art in Laguna Beach. Every clue features a different piece of artwork and showcases the piece’s artist & history (when applicable).

The 2024 Summer Stroll is live now and will run throughout the summer. Visitors can access the stroll through QR codes posted in and around the library. All are encouraged to share photos & tag @lagunabeachfairygarden.

The Laguna Beach Fairy Garden was founded in 2014 by local artist Jessica DeStefano at the Laguna Beach Library. The Garden features more than 30 fairy houses and fairy scenes nestled throughout drought-tolerant, pollinator-friendly plants. A key highlight of the garden is the fairy mail, where locals and visitors write and receive letters from fairies. The garden receives 150-300 letters each month. Visitors are encouraged to visit the garden year-round and participate in the Summer Stroll from June through September.

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Fairy mail

The Fairy Garden is part of the Friends of the Laguna Beach Library, a nonprofit created to make the Laguna Beach library a better place for all who enter. The Friends and its supporters help fund structural improvements, programming and college scholarships.

For more information, email lagunabeachfairygarden@gmail.com.

Follow The Fairy Garden on Instagram @lagunabeachfairygarden.


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LCAD’s Emerging Masters 2024 exhibition runs through July 14

LCAD’s Emerging Master 2024 exhibition, which opened on June 6 at LCAD Gallery will run through July 14.

Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) is proud to present Emerging Masters 2024. This diverse and impressive group exhibition features artwork by the most recent graduating students from LCAD’s Master of Fine Arts programs in Drawing and Painting. These skilled creatives are among today’s most promising emerging artists.

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Courtesy of LCAD

Cara Baxter, “The Journey,” acrylic on panel, 36” x 24”, 2024

Students come to LCAD because the college believes that enduring art comes from a fusion of contemporary ideas and time-honored skills. Learning how to draw and paint with a high level of skill is a discipline that enables the artist to truly see and effectively communicate.

Exhibiting Artists: Cara Baxter, Amber Foote, Sara Khakpour, Ryanne Phillips, Janaise Sanchez, Eric Theodore and Kevin Yaun.

LCAD Gallery is located at 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

LCAD Gallery admission is always free.

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Beautiful growth behind the gate

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The great weather has made for an abundance of wild flowers

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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Unfortunately, the July 4th drone show was a dud pretty much all the way around in Laguna Beach

You ever wonder what it must be like to live in a war-torn country with battle going on daily? Gunshots and bombs lighting the sky, etc.

Well, I think I lived through that scenario last Thursday, July 4th. As soon as dusk approached, the sounds of fireworks filled our skies. The only thing not present, fortunately, was the threat of harm, in the sense of getting shot.

But literally, every moment, one after another, the sound could be heard with another detonation. And it carried on until late into the night. And when I say many, they were the kind that light up the sky, and M80s, firecrackers and such.

No sparklers and snakes for those of us wussies.

Fortunately, it only happens one night a year…or two or three when you add in the days leading up to it, and a couple of days afterwards, while clearing the garage of that extra arsenal.

It’s crazy.

And what about those repeated calls from our city officials, “Fireworks of any kind are illegal” in such and such city; “violators will be prosecuted?”

If that truly was the case, by Friday morning our jails would be overflowing with violators. Now, I get it. There are simply too many people taking part. Police could literally pick a street and find those breaking the law.

Well, the good news is that if you’re reading this, you and I survived!

• • •

Did you see the drone show up at Heisler Park on the 4th? Now, I was one of the people that said how we don’t like change and to give this year’s presentation a chance.

Well, we did.

I know some people are attempting to defend the show after the fact, while others are vastly disappointed. Add me to camp two. Now to be fair, I only saw pictures of the show (yes, we were on deadline writing for Stu News) and my feelings were the show was amateurish at best. Simply not enough drones to carry out what I’ve seen in other presentations before, and presented less than acceptable content.

I’d say it was a complete bust!

What I think is unfortunate is that the city officials went into the evening believing they were going to deliver something special to the community, while also protecting the environment which is so important to so many.

I don’t know if the company handling the show knew that there weren’t enough drones, etc., but if they did, I wish they would have said that the allocated amount to underwrite the evening was less than adequate and help move the city in a different direction.

I mean, let’s be honest, the host company cannot possibly show a video of that evening’s performance and tell a future, potential client that “this is what we’re capable of doing for you.” They’d probably be thrown out.

I can only compare what I hoped for with two other drone shows I’ve witnessed. The first was around the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. That was a drone show I viewed from across the bay and was captivated with the exquisite detail, content, pace and presentation.

The other was a post-Super Bowl drone show over Las Vegas that was simply spectacular. As a comparison, that show in particular had 1,000 drones, compared to what I heard for here in Laguna totaled 300.

The other vast difference was that other shows seemed to incorporate tighter stories and actually conveyed tighter messaging.

Granted, I believe both the examples above had higher amounts of money thrown at them, but if that is the case then the city needs to allocate that amount or return to fireworks.

It was simply disappointing.

• • •

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Okay, maybe not dinner, but to a fundraiser in town. If you said President Joe Biden, move to the head of the class.

The President is still at it!

Reports yesterday said that he will attend a reception in Laguna Beach on Friday, July 26. The reported hosts are Anne Earhart and Janet Keller.

After a disappointing showing in his recent television debate opposite Donald Trump, President Biden has fought against loud calls for him to consider stepping down because of health and mental competency concerns.

So far, he’s continuing on.

Still, many Democrats nationwide are working for a change at the top of their ticket.

I guess by then we should know where the party is headed.

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4th of July Drone Show

By Scott Brashier

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Iconic Lifeguard Tower. Emerald Bay fireworks can be seen in the background.

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Reflected in the ocean

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Because of onshore winds, the visibility of a majority of the fireworks were blocked by the previous fireworks’ smoke. A good example of this can be seen this year at Emerald Bay’s show in the background of our Drone show.

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Interesting contrast

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Lots of smoke from the fireworks

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Homage to the Olympics

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Happy Fourth of July 2024

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Music in the Park kicked off on July 7

By Scott Brashier

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The Great North Special emerged from the sunny shores of Laguna Beach in 2019, forged through friendship and by a collective passion for the improvisational magic of bands like Little Feat and The Grateful Dead

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The Great North Special fans

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Enjoying the moment

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The seven-piece ensemble is comprised of Andrew Corradini on vocals and guitar, Russell Long on vocals and guitar, Ben Wagner on guitar and pedal steel, Albert Margolis on keys, Anson Ditt on bass, Derek Eglit on drums and Max Vega on percussion

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A great time was had by all

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Nice evening for musical festivities

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Girls just gotta have fun

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Standing room only

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The fun continues at Festival of Arts with weekly events, July 9-14

Festival of Arts (FOA) is excited to share the upcoming events at the Festival of Arts Fine Arts Show from July 9-14.

Highlights include the return of Family Art Day on July 14, featuring wildlife-themed activities and performances, Concerts on the Green and the new Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano series with Josh Nelson (July 13). Coming up next week is a Paint and Sip Class (ages 21+) and build your own tropical Tiki Head for adults and teens, and there are many Youth Art Classes including Ceramics – Create a Pinch-Pot Head.

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Photo by Ron Azevedo

Family Fun Day 2023

Special Events Schedule

Sunday, July 14, 12-3 p.m.

Family Art Day

Cost: Free with $15 Festival Admission. Children 5 and under receive free admission all summer long.

Join the Festival of Arts for a wild good time as Family Art Day returns with a fun new animal-twist! The Festival’s Art Center, sponsored by Bank of America, will be buzzing with wildlife-themed art activities, including an animal anime clay sculpting class with Bowers Museum. Families will have the opportunity to meet feathered, furry and other fantastically fun critters from OC Reptile Zoo, Priceless Pets Rescue, Raptor Events LLC and the OC Beekeepers Association. You won’t want to miss Orange County Aerial Arts taking to the stage for a special aerial performance or the chance to get an airbrush tattoo – it’ll be a real hoot! Limited space is available.

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Courtesy of FOA

133 Band – 2023 FOA concert

Nightly Music Schedule

Tuesday, July 9, 5:30-7 p.m.

Performer: 133 Band

Cost: Concert is free with $10 Festival Admission. Limited nightclub seating available in the reserved section for $30 per person per concert, with a $5 per person service charge applied to all orders. Includes admission to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. Reservations must be made prior to 9 p.m. the night before the performance.

Laguna’s greatest musicians have come together to form the fabulously popular 133 Band. 133 includes Nick Hernandez, Poul Petersen, Steve Wood, Beth Wood, Jason Feddy, Richard Bredice, Alan Deremo and Frank Cotinola. They all sing, are solo artists or play in bands or both; some teach privately and are veterans of big-name rock gigs. Always a great, fun time for locals and visitors alike, the 133 Band performance is a memorable one.

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Courtesy of FOA

Kay-Ta Crypto String Society

Wednesday, July 10, 5:30-7 p.m.

Performer: Kay-Ta Crypto String Society

Cost: Concert is free with $10 Festival Admission. Limited nightclub seating available in the reserved section for $30 per person per concert, with a $5 per person service charge applied to all orders. Includes admission to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. Reservations must be made prior to 9 p.m. the night before the performance.

Osaka (Japan)-born guitarist Kay-Ta has supported/performed with artists ranging from pop/R&B artists like Grammy Winner Lalah Hathaway, Jennifer Hudson, Jody Watley, Amerie & Chante Moore; contemporary jazz artists like Jackiem Joyner, Keiko Matsui and Michael Lington to Jazz Fusion artists like Japanese drum prodigy, Senri Kawaguchi.

Friday, July 12, Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

Performer: Tremendous Tributes Music Series with The Cream of Clapton Band

Cost: Concert is free with $10 Festival Admission. Limited nightclub seating available in the reserved section for $30 per person per concert, with a $5 per person service charge applied to all orders. Includes admission to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. Reservations must be made prior to 9 p.m. the night before the performance.

Endorsed by the man himself, family, friends and bandmates, celebrate Clapton’s record-breaking “24 Nights” at The Royal Albert Hall in 1991. Very special guests include Eric Clapton’s bass player, Nathan East and legendary drummer Gregg Bissonette (Ringo Starr/David Lee Roth), who will join founding members Will Johns (Clapton’s nephew) and Noah East (Nathan’s son) on stage.

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LAM thanks donors for supporting art

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Courtesy of LAM

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) has exceeded their spring appeal goal of $101,500! Thanks to generous donors, they reached $101,800! These donations directly support their mission and allow them to make extraordinary art accessible to the community. With help from donors, they were able to serve 4,079 students this school year – 3,602 of them being Title 1 students – with enriching school tours that include art-making classes and curriculum for teachers. For more info on LAM, visit https://lagunaartmuseum.org.

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Join the Laguna Beach Library for fun programs this summer

Summer is here and the Laguna Beach Library is offering three fun and interactive programs for kids in July.

Photos courtesy of Laguna Beach Library

Abbit the Average brings his “above average” comedy, magic and juggling show to the library on July 11

–Thursday, July 11 at 4 p.m.: Abbit the Average is back! Magician Abbit the Average will visit the Laguna Beach Library for an “average” magic show you won’t want to miss. Laugh your socks off at this “above average” comedy, magic and juggling show.

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Best Bubbles Parties is coming on July 18

–Thursday, July 18 at 4 p.m.: Best Bubble Parties is coming! Ready for some bubble fun? Explore colors, shapes and sizes through soap film properties, huge rainbow bubbles, square bubbles, triangular bubbles… and of course the grand finale – going inside a giant bubble!

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Creativity and song at The Alana Banana Show

–Thursday, July 25 at 4 p.m.: The Alana Banana Show is nearly here! Join Alana Banana and her friends on their adventures in sharing kindness through creativity and song.

In addition, the library continues their weekly programs for kids.

–Tuesdays at 3 p.m.: Sensory Time Tuesday is a calming hour of sensory play for little ones, ages 5 and younger.

–Wednesdays at 3 p.m.: Join Summer Surprise Wednesdays featuring mysterious projects and surprising activities. Come to the Laguna Beach Library on Wednesdays to experience all the fun. Activities may also include slime making, bubbles, or chalk art.

Laguna Beach Library is located at 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach. For more information, visit www.ocpl.org/libraries/laguna-beach.

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Checking into Moss Point

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Photo by Michael Roy

Looking through the rocks to Moss Point

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Early morning bliss

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Photo by Michael Roy

The calm ocean waters make for a potentially great morning swim in these hotter summer days

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