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Kiki Ebsen performed Joni Mitchell at Festival of Arts


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

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 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

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 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 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,

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 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 

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

LCAD hosts Summerstudio: Design Thinking 

 Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) hosted the National Art Education Association’s (NAEA) SummerStudio: Design Thinking 2018 from July 16 through July 20. Sixty art educators from across the nation explored the concept of human-centered design through the creative problem-solving process of Design Thinking – an inventive process through which problems are identified, solutions proposed and produced, and the results evaluated. 

Contributing partners of Design Thinking included Gensler, an integrated architecture, design, planning, and consulting firm; Crayola, providing educators with resources and professional development to increase creative capacity school-wide; LIVE Lab, Visualization Department, Texas A&M University; Triseum educational learning games; The University of the Arts; and Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD).

LCAD hosts building

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LCAD hosted Summerstudio

 “We were very excited to host an event with a national community of learners and leaders that offers a structured framework to integrate creative problem solving with design strategies,” said LCAD President Jonathan Burke.

 During the event, attendees were immersed in hands-on workshops including an interactive tour of LCAD›s new Extended Reality Design (XRD) Studio and a visit to Vans, which has generously collaborated with LCAD to create the Vans Honors Lab (an advanced course for LCAD Graphic Design + Digital Media Action Sports students) as well as host an annual Vans Custom Culture high school shoe design competition. 

“Our hope is to empower visual arts educators and decision makers to foster a high level art and design curriculum and create programs in all grade levels,” said Burke. 

LCAD is located at 222 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information, call (949) 376-6000 or visit

LGOCA presents new paintings by Robin Hiers

Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art (LGOCA) is featuring a new exhibit of Robin Hiers’ “Lifestyle” paintings.

“Robin’s Lifestyle paintings speak for themselves and bring summer vibes all year long,” the gallery states.

LGOCA presents Lipstick

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“Lipstick & Champagne” by Robin Hiers

 A recent Stu News article featured Robin Hiers, noting her background in the life of Laguna Beach art; her parents helped co-found the Sawdust Festival and Art-A-Fair. She studied art at San Diego State and has exhibited in Colorado and New York. Upon returning to her home base of Laguna Beach, Hiers has capitalized on the exuberance of the beach lifestyle with her summery and fun paintings.

LGOCA presents Peace

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“Peace Love & Champagne” by Robin Hiers on exhibit now at LGOCA

The show reflects Hiers’ happy outlook on life by the coast, and is displayed at the gallery on the coast – Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art, located at 611 S Coast Hwy. 

Visit for more information.

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