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Art That’s Small awards announcement

The 18th annual Art That’s Small at City Hall exhibition was installed on March 14, with 62 submissions. Unfortunately, City Hall has been and currently remains closed to the public. 

In order to make the exhibition more accessible during this time the Cultural Arts Department generated an online catalogue of the which can be viewed via the Cultural Arts page on the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/art

This year’s exhibition was juried online by artists David Milton and Vinita Voogd. Milton is an exhibitor at the Festival of Arts and Sawdust Art Festival and holds a Master’s degree in Fine Art from San Jose State University. 

Art That's Buzan

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Submitted photo

1st Place winner – Hedy Buzan, “Good Neighbors,” Oil

Voogd is a printmaker with a degree from the University of Delhi College of Art who exhibits at the Festival of Arts and teaches at Saddleback College and Golden West College. 

Congratulations to the following artists:

--1st Place – Hedy Buzan, Good Neighbors, Oil

--2nd Place – Jody Gerber, Innocence, Oil

--3rd Place – Carolyn Machado, Sheltering in Place, Mosaic assemblage

--Honorable Mentions –Alyssa Fields, James Nordstrom, Sophie Restrepo

Arts Commissioner Michael Ervin, who is Chair of the Exhibitions sub-committee, said, “While there is no true substitute for seeing the amazing artwork created by our community in person, we are grateful that today’s technology allows us to not miss out on one of our favorite annual programs.” Arts Commission Chair Adam Schwerner added, “We are so appreciative of everyone involved, especially the artists and jurors for their contributions to make this program still happen. We hope you can join us in person in September for Juried Fine Art. Congratulations to the selected artists.”

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

For more information, contact Michael McGregor, Arts Program Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Sawdust Festival offers much-needed boost to its artists

The first order of business during last Wednesday’s Sawdust Festival Board of Directors meeting was an action designed to bring immediate financial relief to Sawdust artists. 

By unanimous vote the board approved what is being called the “Sawdust Summer Artists Resilience Act of 2020.” 

Effective immediately: 

--Every artist will receive a full refund of their Summer 2020 payment. 

--No fees will be charged at a later date regardless of the Sawdust’s ability to open the show on schedule or in the event it would need to push back the opening due to public safety requirements. 

Sawdust Festival group

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Submitted photo

Sawdust Festival offers financial relief to artists in time of need 

Monica Prado, President, broke the good news to artists shortly after the board meeting by posting on the artists’ group Facebook page and issuing an email stating, “We understand the devastating impact the COVID-19 health crisis is having on Sawdust artists and their families. We recognize that any meaningful financial sustainability efforts we undertake on behalf of the corporation must also include assisting individual artists. The simple truth is our family of artists are the heart and soul of the Sawdust Festival. Helping ensure your resilience is essential.” 

Debra Covern, longtime Sawdust artist, responded to the news of the board’s action by saying, “I have not cried once through this whole thing until I read this news, totally broke down. Thank you for taking care of your artists during these tough times”. 

Visit the Sawdust Festival’s website at https://sawdustartfestival.org/ for more updates.

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Laguna Playhouse gives back to the community 

Submitted by Laguna Playhouse 

Thank you to all our community service heroes who are working so extraordinarily hard to get us through these unprecedented times. While we’re all practicing “Safer At Home” guidelines, everyone from grocery store workers and gas station attendants, health care workers, law enforcement, court employees and fire personnel, postal clerks, and hardware store employees – you are all on the front lines, working diligently to make sure that we all have the essential items we need. Thanks to you, we can receive healthcare, eat, fix our cars, get gas, and mail letters. Thanks to you, we’re safe.

You are our heroes. And we want to say thank you.

Says Executive Director Ellen Richard, “Every day these incredible people are giving us hope in humanity. They put themselves and their families at risk to serve the entire community. These are true heroes who are showing up every day to help all of us during this unprecedented crisis.”

Laguna Playhouse outside

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Laguna Playhouse signage displays closure for a brief intermission 

We will be back performing again when it is safe to gather. When we do, Laguna Playhouse will make performances complimentary for these Orange County heroes as our way of thanking you for your selfless dedication to us all. 

To be eligible, all you have to do is visit and sign up on our website with your contact information and the type of work you do, and once we reopen, we’ll set you up with a pair of tickets for the show of your choice. It’s that simple; visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com for details.

A night out, on us, as our way of saying thank you. 

As we journey down this road together, know that we at the Playhouse will support our community in any way we can. We have just delivered our supply of N95 face masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves to local hospitals and our costume department is busy sewing masks. If there are other ways we can give back, know that we will. As we know you will too.

We look forward to seeing you soon – at your Laguna Playhouse.

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Friday Flicks continues via online screening

The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission has arranged for the last film of the Friday Flicks 2020 season to be made available online. The public is invited to view the film Play Serious (2018) on April 3 via a link on the City’s Cultural Arts webpage at www.lagunabeachcity.net/culturalarts

The film follows Alexander Ekman as he creates his new work, Play, for the Paris Opera Ballet. The Cultural Arts Department contacted film director T.M. Rives regarding the possibility of making his film accessible to Laguna Beach residents online. 

Friday Flicks serious

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“Play Serious” can be viewed on the City’s website on April 3

The Arts Commission expressed the importance, now more than ever, that people can still experience and discuss art together. Rives stated that he, “Couldn’t agree more. It is not the time to pull art out of our lives.”

Suzi Chauvel, Arts Commissioner and Friday Flicks chairperson, said, “Please tune in to our last Friday Flick of the season via your computers. I know you will find this film inspiring, entertaining, and best of all you can watch it in your jammies!”

The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission and Cultural Arts Department will continue to provide programming to the public at a time when the arts are needed most. 

Next week tune in for more Beatles songs with Jason Feddy.

Friday Flicks is funded by Laguna Beach residents Mark Porterfield and Steve Chadima. All film rights are reserved by T.M. Rives with permission of use granted to the City of Laguna Beach.

For more information, contact Arts Program Coordinator Michael McGregor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To view the film, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/culturalarts.

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Laguna Beach Live! presents music at its best

By Ava Burton, Associate Producer, Laguna Beach Live!

We at Laguna Live! hope you are staying safe and feeling OK at this strange and incredible time. While we are profoundly sorry not to be able to bring you live concerts right now, we know that the power of music to uplift and soothe the soul is of immeasurable value especially in time of crisis.

Laguna Beach flute

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Enjoy the sounds of jazz music from Laguna Beach Live!

With that in mind, we’re sending our subscribers links to video of the artists whose shows we have had to cancel or postpone due to the threat of COVID-19, beginning with last week’s performer, double Grammy-winning flautist Danillo Lozano. 

Please click here– and enjoy the music. Sending love and virtual hugs to all of you and your families.

To support Laguna Beach Live!, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org/.

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Artist-in-residence

Artist in running

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Photo by Carole Boller

Carole Boller is an American plein air artist. Her work has been exhibited in the National Art Gallery in New York, and she’s an exhibitor at the Sawdust Arts Festival, where she also conducts workshops. Boller says, “Look on the bright side, I am no longer calling this Sheltering-In-Place. I am now an Artist-In-Residence. (“Run For Your Life,” oil, 16 x 20)

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Sing along at home to The Beatles with Jason Feddy

The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission invites Laguna Beach to sing along at home with local musician Jason Feddy. In the recently released sing-along video, Jason sings some of your favorite Beatles songs and during the next two weeks, the City will add additional performances. 

Join the sing-along by visiting www.lagunabeachcity.net/culturalarts

Sing along at home studio

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Submitted photo

Local musician Jason Feddy and the City invite locals to sing along at home

The City would like to issue a huge thank you to artists Rick Graves, who produced the video, and Jason Feddy, who both generously donated their time to create this event for the community. 

“I am just doing my bit to bring our neighbors together, at a time when we can’t physically be together,” said Feddy. “This was such fun to do! When this is all over, I’ll do another Beatles Sing-along at Heisler Park, but for now you can join in at home!”

The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission and Cultural Arts Department will be providing online programming to the community. Coming soon will be virtual installations by street artist David Zinn and screening of Friday Flicks on April 2, 2020.

Keep updated on the latest news at www.lagunabeachcity.net.

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Laguna Beach Arts Alliance announces nominees for the 14th Annual Art Star Awards

Laguna Beach Arts Alliance (LBAA) has announced the nominees for the 14th Annual Art Star Awards. The event originally scheduled to be held on Sunday, April 5, 2020 has now been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic until Sunday, October 25, 2020. 

At this red carpet event, the winners will be announced and presented with one-of-a-kind Art Star award sculptures created by Louis Longi. These organizations, businesses, and individuals contributed and shaped the arts and culture in Laguna Beach in 2019. 

“Laguna Beach is so fortunate to have such a plethora of wonderful artists and supporters of the arts in our community. We are pleased to recognize these amazing people and organizations whose contributions are so critical to Laguna Beach’s thriving arts community,” said Art Stars Chairperson Dee Dee Irwin. 

The winner of the $5,000 Honarkar Family Grant, honoring the best and brightest of Laguna’s diverse artistic community, will also be announced during the event. 

Laguna Beach Bree

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Bree Burgess Rosen awarded special Art Star Award

Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts this year honors Bree Burgess Rosen with a special Art Star Award for Lifetime Achievement in recognition of her accomplishments in the arts in Laguna Beach. This year, LOCA and LPAPA Workshops was a unanimous choice for winner of Outstanding Arts Collaboration. 

The additional categories, nominees, and winners are: 

Best Arts Program 

--Third Street Writers 

--CAP Gallery 

--City of Laguna Beach Temporary Public Art Installations 

Individual Arts Patrons 

--Carla and Jeff Meberg 

Corporate Arts Patron 

--Dawson Cole Fine Art 

--Quilter Labs 

--Laguna Clay Company 

Arts Leadership 

--Wendy Wirth 

--Ellen Richard & Ann E. Wareham 

--Diane Challis Davies 

Artist of the Year 

--Timothy Robert Smith 

--Kathy Jones 

--Lojo Simon 

Laguna Beach Kathy

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Kathy Jones, nominee for Artist of the Year 

Volunteer of the Year 

--Pageant of the Masters Volunteers 

--Pat O’Brien 

--M. Charlie Ferrazzi 

The 2020 Art Stars Award winners will be announced during the event. 

To purchase tickets to attend the 14th Annual Art Star Awards, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Tables/Tickets for the rescheduled event will be available September 1, 2020. 

The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance was established in 2002 as the result of an exciting partnership among more than 20 Laguna Beach organizations. The mission is to serve as an advocate for the arts, promote collaboration and networking among the arts organizations of Laguna Beach, and to serve as a united voice for the arts in the city.

Members of the Arts Alliance include City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission, Community Art Project, Festival of Arts, First Thursdays Art Walk, KXFM Radio, Laguna Art-A-Fair Festival, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Concert Band, Laguna Dance Festival, Laguna Beach Cultural Center, Laguna Beach Craft Guild, Laguna Beach Live!, Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association, LOCA Arts Education, Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, Lagunatunes Community Chorus, No Square Theatre, Sawdust Art Festival, [seven-degrees], and Third Street Writers.

For more information, go to www.lagunabeacharts.org.

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Rock of ages

Rock of birds

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Photo by Scott Brashier

A safe place to land

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Laguna Dance Festival COVID-19 update

By Jodie Gates, LDF Founder and Artistic Director 

We hope you are well and staying safe. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we are closely monitoring both federal and state guidelines and responding accordingly and wanted to share some new adjustments to our upcoming dance events.

To ensure the safety of dancers, audiences, and staff we are closely following the CDC’s guidelines to avoid gatherings of 50+ people for the next eight weeks. We are reinventing and postponing LDF engagements. 

Laguna Dance tower

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Photo courtesy of Laguna Dance Festival 

Laguna Dance Festival announces cancellations 

This includes:

--Art Walk scheduled for May 7th at Laguna Art Museum postponed

--Spring Soirée/gala May 9th at [seven-degrees] canceled until further notice

We regret any inconvenience caused by these changes. Your health and safety is foremost, and we are grateful for your understanding. As we adjust to our virtual spaces, we are working to reinvent and entertain you remotely. These include training sessions and coaching for young dancers and providing access to master teachers.

Small arts organizations like ours are already feeling the economic impact of COVID-19. Our Spring Soirée/gala brings in 20 percent of our annual revenue so canceling is a tremendous loss. That is why the show will go on in one form or another. Stay tuned!

Thank you for your continued support during this challenging time. We wish you and your loved ones well and look forward to welcoming you back to Laguna Dance Festival as soon as we safely can share artistic experiences together again.

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