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Laguna Community Concert Band has received a $2,500 grant from Festival of Arts Foundation

The Laguna Community Concert Band (LCCB), approaching their 20th anniversary, was awarded $2,500 from the Festival of Arts Foundation for providing free-of-charge musical performances in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Community Concert Band

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LCCB performs at Main Beach

The band performs every year at Hospitality Night, Memorial Day at Main Beach, and at a pre-concert for Patriot’s Day Parade. 

With this grant the LCCB will obtain new sheet music for future performances along with funds for creating concert programs. 

The band extends a huge thank you to the FOA Foundation for its continued support of the Laguna Community Concert Band.

LCCB will perform next in Laguna Beach on August 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Festival of Arts.

For more information, visit www.lagunaconcertband.com.


Laguna Playhouse announces hiring of new Grants & Community Outreach manager, Michael Garman

Laguna Playhouse is proud to announce the hiring of its new Grants & Community Outreach Manager, Michael Garman. 

Under the leadership of Director of Development Doug Vogel, Mr. Garman oversees the Playhouse’s grant fundraising efforts to help underwrite Main Stage plays, musicals, special engagements and the theatre’s award-winning youth education programming. 

In this role, Garman is also active in the local community, building the theatre’s local visibility and support among elected officials, community leaders and nonprofit organizations. 

laguna playhouse michael

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Michael Garman fits in very well at the Playhouse

Through the Playhouse’s new outreach program TheatreHope, Garman builds partnerships with local nonprofits serving children and families in need and coordinates inspirational outings at the Playhouse. Guests receive free admission and transportation to a performance, an exclusive backstage tour of the famous Moulton Theatre and an opportunity to learn about pursuing live theatre as a career from Playhouse actors and staff.

“We are thrilled to welcome Michael to the Playhouse family,” says Laguna Playhouse Executive Director, Ellen Richard. “His experience, core values and enthusiasm will make him a great asset to both the Playhouse and the community.” 

“The Playhouse is an artistic landmark that has enriched the lives of so many for almost a century,” says Garman. “I’m honored to be a part of the team, and I look forward to helping the theatre continue its important service to the community.”

Garman’s background is in nonprofits – and comedy writing

Garman comes to the Playhouse from Green Dot Public Schools, a nonprofit charter school organization based in Los Angeles that serves approximately 15,000 students in historically low-income communities nationwide. 

As a grant writer, Garman helped generate $755,000 in grants for afterschool programs, community engagement initiatives and arts & music programs. Prior to that, Garman worked in the entertainment industry for several years, including a stint with comedian Andy Samberg and his musical trio, The Lonely Island. 

Founded in 1920, the historic Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously-operating not-for-profit theatres on the West Coast and is proud to be an active participant in the celebrated Laguna Beach arts community. 

The Laguna Playhouse has range

From classic plays and musical comedies to the current off-Broadway smash, cutting edge and traditional music exhibitions, dance festivals and stand-up comedy performances, Laguna Playhouse brings the magical experience of the performing arts direct to over 80,000 patrons each season. 

Laguna Playhouse educational programming includes year-round classes, productions by and for children and teens (Youth Theatre) and is one of the few companies in the region that offer a curriculum-based professional theatre-touring program, TheatreReach, which aligns with the California State Standards for literature, history and performing arts curriculum. 

Laguna Playhouse has been recognized in 2017, 2016 and 2015 as one of Orange County Register’s “Best of OC” in the category of Live Theatre, and has been recognized by OC Hotlist in their “Best Theatre Group” winning first place in 2017 and 2016. The Laguna Playhouse has featured many talented performers on stage, including Ed Asner, Leslie Caron, Hershey Felder, Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith, Val Kilmer, Gregory Harrison, Dan Lauria, Hal Linden, Wendie Malick, Rita Rudner, Charles Shaughnessy, French Stewart, Loretta Swit, and Bette Davis.

For more information, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.org.


Kiki Ebsen performed Joni Mitchell at Festival of Arts

By MAGGI HENRIKSON

The crowd was in a Joni state of mind on Tuesday. Festival of Arts set the stage for Kiki Ebsen as she performed from the Joni Mitchell songbook, and the show did not disappoint. 

I was wary, as I’m a huge Joni Mitchell fan, and feared that it would be a watered down version of the real thing. Happily, Kiki Ebsen was a delight for one and all. She asked the crowd who among us was a Joni Mitchell fan – and there were about 30 hands that shot up in the air. Turns out I’m not the only one who was raised on that soundtrack, rich with lyrical poetry. 

Kiki Ebsen

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Photo by Maggi

Kiki Ebsen and band performing the songs of Joni Mitchell

Kiki Ebsen is a singer-songwriter in her own right (and, by the way, the daughter of Buddy Ebsen), and her band was spot-on. Though the evening was devoted to Joni, Ebsen imparted her own style while she managed the high notes of Joni’s early songs and the jazzy riffs of her later works. The playlist included some of the best: A Case of You, Blonde in the Bleachers, Chelsea Morning, and Free Man in Paris, to name a few.

Ebsen engaged the audience with background stories of Joni’s life, as well as her own admiration and respect for the talented artist. 

I left with favorite songs playing in my head, and rushed home to fish my Joni Mitchell albums back out of storage.


LagunaTunes Community Chorus receives grants from FOA Foundation and City of Laguna Beach

In support of its musical performances, LagunaTunes Community Chorus, a local non-audition choral singing group, has received a grant of $2,000 from The Festival of Arts Foundation and a grant of $5,000 from the City of Laguna Beach. 

LagunaTunes, a 501(c)(3) organization, accepts everyone who enjoys singing and learning about different musical styles. The chorus will use these grants for facility rental, artist fees, and concert production and promotion.

LagunaTunes Community group

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Motown Concert performed by LagunaTunes Community Chorus 

Under the direction of Bob Gunn, the 70-member group gives two free concerts every year. Fall concert rehearsals are held weekly from September to December, and Spring concert rehearsals from February to June.

LagunaTunes includes schooled musicians, as well as non-musicians who just like to sing. Music genres range from serious and traditional to pop, rock, and jazz. The emphasis is on improving skills, learning to perform, and enjoying the experience.

For more information, contact Patti Jo Kiraly, president, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

        To learn more about LagunaTunes, go to www.lagunatuneschorus.org.


LOCA grant from Festival of Arts Foundation benefits all ages with free and affordable programs

LOCA Arts Education announced that it received a major grant from the Festival of Arts Foundation. The grant allows LOCA to continue its free and affordable programs throughout Laguna Beach in fall 2018 and spring 2019.

“We thank the Festival of Arts Foundation for enabling us to continue educating our entire community,” said LOCA President Carla Meberg.

LOCA grant Bullard

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Sherry Bullard, LOCA Arts in Schools Coordinator

LOCA serves hundreds annually in all age groups, including those aged 50 and up at the Susi Q Center, as well as preschool and kindergarten children at the Boys & Girls Club. Students at Laguna Beach Unified School District campuses benefit from LOCA’s Arts in Schools combined learning program. Projects, designed to complement academic curriculum, include printmaking from fish drawings, eco-dyed fabrics using plant materials, oil pastels, tissue paper collage and more.

LOCA grant printing press

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Student learns to use the LOCA printing press

Botanicals was the theme of a LOCA silk painting workshop series, taught by Olivia Batchelder at Laguna Beach High School. The banners were exhibited downtown at Forest and Ocean Gallery.

“We are so grateful to Forest and Ocean for hosting the display,” stated LOCA’s Sherry Bullard. “Our students were thrilled to see their work is this beautiful gallery setting.”

To learn more, visit www.LOCAarts.org or call (949) 363-4700.


FOA Foundation supports Art Education Programs at the Festival of Arts

The Festival of Arts was awarded a $3,000 grant, which made possible three of its summer art enrichment programs, Arts-X-Press, Boys & Girls Club Photo Club and Family Art Day.

With the support of this funding, the Festival of Arts hosted 270 seventh and eighth grade students participating in the Pacific Symphony’s summer arts immersion program, Arts-X-Press. 

FOA foundation Xpress

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Arts-X-Press participants

These students enjoyed complimentary hands-on art workshops and instruction in printmaking, scratch art and ceramics at the Festival’s Art Center. They also went on a private backstage tour of the Pageant of the Masters followed by a performance of Under the Sun in the evening.

Funding also goes to supporting the Festival’s partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. Each year, the Festival hosts the club’s Photo Club where children meet artists, take photos, view the art and participate in art workshops.

Additionally, over 200 children were able to take part in free workshops on Family Art Day, a special day at the Festival of Arts dedicated to families with kid-friendly art activities in July.

FOA foundation family art day

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Family Art Day at the FOA

“We’re very grateful for this generous grant,” said Sharbie Higuchi, Marketing/PR Director. “To partner with the Foundation to provide creative and educational art experiences for children and young adults is extremely gratifying and beneficial to the community.”

The FOA Foundation, operating independently from the Festival of Arts and co-founded by John Rayment and David Young in 1989, was originally designed to award scholarships to graduates of Laguna Beach High School and grants to nonprofit art organizations and educational institutions in and about the city of Laguna Beach. 

In 2007, the Festival of Arts assumed the financial responsibility of the art scholarships, enabling The Foundation to focus on its grant program for local nonprofit art organizations.


Art Talks and Tea this Wednesday at FOA

Festival of Arts will hold its weekly Art Talks and Tea this Wednesday, July 25 from 1 to 2 p.m., offering festival-goers an opportunity to meet with local artists Antje Campbell, Paula Collins, Jorge Fernandez, Rachel Young, Nikita Young, and Jon Edward to discuss figurative sculpture and 3D artworks.

At Art Talks and Tea, artists share their history, inspiration, and career in art as they present their work and dig deeper into the understanding of painting, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics and other art on FOA’s grounds. The progam is held every Wednesday at 1 p.m. through the end of August.

Art talks and tea

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Photo from FOA website

Antje Campbell will lead Wednesday’s Art Talks and Tea at FOA

Each week is filled with new artists and new activities. For more information or to check the sechedule, visit www.foapom.com/festival-of-arts-art-talks-and-tea

Additional subjects include mixed media, abstract painting, secret passions, recycled runway fashions, and the Pageant of the Masters.

Art Talks are free with regular Festival admission, no reservation required. Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Celebrity Benefit Event at FOA will feature Steve Tyrell and Sarah Drew on Saturday, August 25

On Saturday, August 25, a celebrity benefit event – including a Steve Tyrell concert preceded by a glamorous Red Carpet – will take place at the Festival of Arts.

celebrity benefit steve

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Steve Tyrell

This private event, presented by Southern California Acura Dealers and KOST 103.5FM, begins at 5 p.m. with star-studded red carpet arrivals and fine art, followed by an exclusive live concert with Grammy award-winning record producer and vocalist Steve Tyrell.

celebrity benefit sarah

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Sarah Drew

After the concert, actress Sarah Drew from Grey’s Anatomy and star of the film Moms’ Night Out will draw the winning ticket for a 2019 Acura TLX and introduce a special performance of the 2018 Pageant of the Masters production of Under the Sun. 

Proceeds from this fundraising event go towards the Festival of Arts building fund and future arts programing. Tickets to this star-studded event start at $50 and can be ordered at www.PageantTickets.com or by calling the Box Office at (800) 487-3378. 

Festival of Arts information

Dates & Times: July 5 – September 1; Open weekdays: 12 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.; Open weekends: 10 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.; Early closing: August 25 at 1:30 p.m.

Ticket Information: General Admission: Weekdays $10, Weekends $15;

Students & Seniors: Weekdays $7, Weekends $11; Children 6-12: $5; free admission for children five and under, military, and Laguna Beach residents.

Passport to the Arts: A special promotion (funded in part by Bank of America) for only $29. Includes unlimited admission all summer long to the Festival of Arts, the Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Art-A-Fair. Guests enjoy works of art by more than 500 artists, 300 hands-on workshops, dozens of special events, plus a one-time, all-day free parking pass with each Passport purchased. Order online at www.LagunaBeachPassport.com. Passports are also available for purchase on-site at each festival location during the summer. Offer excludes Pageant of the Masters. 

Sponsors: Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters are sponsored in part by

Southern California Acura Dealers, Fidelity Investments, KOST Radio 103.5,

Pavilions and the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.

Location: Festival of Arts Grounds, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For Information & Tickets: (800) 487-3378, www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org


Pacific Chorale will perform a free public concert August 12

More than 300 Southern California singers, including members of Pacific Chorale, are scheduled to perform in Pacific Chorale’s Choral Festival in a free public concert onstage at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall on Sunday, August 12. The annual event, presented in collaboration with Segerstrom Center for the Arts, draws singers from cities throughout the United States for a weekend of intensive rehearsals culminating in this community performance. 

“Pacific Chorale has been presenting the Choral Festival for eleven years now,” said Molly Buzick Pontin, managing director. “This event has become a highlight of the year for the choral community, and available spaces for singers in the Festival Chorus regularly fill within the first few hours of registration. We love bringing our community together every summer, both as performers and audience members, for this celebration of song.”

Pacific Chorale

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More than 300 singers will perform in Pacific Chorale’s free concert

Robert Istad, now entering his second year as the Chorale’s Artistic Director, will conduct the program of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The highly regarded organist Jung-A Lee will accompany at the William J Gillespie Concert Organ. The concert also features four accomplished soloists from Pacific Chorale.

Pacific Chorale’s Choral Festival begins at 5 p.m. on August 12 at the Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, in Costa Mesa.

Pacific Chorale’s Festival Chorus includes Jung-A Lee, organist, Maria Cristina Navarro, soprano, I-Chin Lee, mezzo-soprano, Nicholas Preston, tenor, Ryan Antal, baritone, and Robert Istad, conductor.

The program will be music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Excerpt from Fantasia in F minor for Organ, K. 608, Vesperae solennes de confessore, K. 339, “Alleluia” from Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165, Ave verum corpus, K. 618 

The concert is free to the public. General admission tickets are available through Segerstrom Center for the Arts at www.scfta.org and (714) 556-2787. Ticket holders are guaranteed admission until 4:50 p.m., after which time any available seating will be made available to stand-by patrons.


Laguna Plein Air Painters Association’s

14th Annual Best of Plein Air Award Winners

Saturday evening was lively and festive at Laguna Plein Air Painters Association’s (LPAPA) in Residence, located at Forest & Ocean Gallery, as LPAPA hosted the opening reception for the 14th Annual Best of Plein Air juried art show. 

Guests sipped wine and enjoyed nibbling on a beautiful array of artisan cheeses, fruits and sweets as they anxiously awaited the announcement of the five award-winning artists.

LPAPA’s 14th Annual Best of Plein Air exhibition is a special juried exhibition of original works of art created by Signature and Artist Members of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA). Four hundred entries were received for this prestigious show with jurors Cynthia Britain (Signature and Founding Member of LPAPA), Carl Bretzke (LPAPA Signature Artist) and Ludo Leideritz (owner Forest & Ocean Gallery) choosing over 60 original framed paintings created by LPAPA Signature and Artist Members for the show’s coveted spots. 

Laguna Plein Baker

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Courtesy of LPAPA

First Place – “Harvey was Here” by Suzie Baker

LPAPA shares the award winners: 

1st Place was awarded to LPAPA Signature Artist Suzie Baker’s painting, “Harvey was Here”;

2nd Place was awarded to LPAPA Artist Durre Waseem’s painting “On the Crystal Cove Bench”;

3rd Place was awarded to LPAPA Artist Bob Upton’s painting “The Breakwater”. 

Honorable Mention Awards given to LPAPA Signature Artist Greg LaRock’s painting “All Quiet Now” and LPAPA Artist Tatyana Fogarty’s painting “Monterey Fishing”

Laguna Plein Waseem

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Courtesy of LPAPA

Second Place – “On the Crystal Cove Bench” by Durre Waseem

All paintings are on exhibit at LPAPA In Residence located at the Forest & Ocean Gallery until July 23 or can be viewed online through LPAPA’s Best of Plein Air expanded online gallery at www.DailyBrushwork.com. 

LPAPA was founded in 1996 with a mission to preserve Laguna Beach’s rich artistic legacy founded by early plein air artists and promote the tradition of plein air painting in our community, across the nation, and around the world. 

Forest & Ocean Gallery is located at 480 Ocean Ave.

The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday & Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and closed Mondays. 

For more information, call (949) 376-3635, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to www.lpapa.org.

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