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Laguna Dance Festival presents free dance performances at the Festival of Arts

Laguna Dance Festival presents free public dance performances by bold, multilingual Los Angeles-based dance company CONTRA-TIEMPO this Sunday, Aug 26 at the Festival of Arts grounds’ outdoor stage. 

The company creates a new physical, visual and sonic vocabulary that collages Salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and contemporary dance with theater, compelling text, and original music to bring dynamic multi-modal experiences to the concert stage.

laguna dance festival

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CONTRA-TIEMPO offers a stunning hybrid of styles

CONTRA-TIEMPO takes an uncompromisingly radical approach to the ways in which artists function within communities and create their work. The company members are professional dancers, artists, immigrants, educators, activists, organizers, and movers of all types, living and working across Los Angeles and across the country.

Each company member lives, expresses, and struggles within the varied and infinitely complex political and personal landscapes that Artistic Director Ana Maria Alvarez seeks to address in the work.

Join them this Sunday, August 26 at the beautiful Festival of Arts grounds for a moving performance followed by an interactive dance class. Performances are at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., and they are free with FOA admission.


Steve Wade and Joey Sellers will headline Laguna Beach Live! “All About That Jazz”

Steve Wade, director of music and jazz for Laguna Beach Unified School District, and Joey Sellers, director of jazz studies at Saddleback College, will headline Laguna Beach Live!s “All About That Jazz” seminar series.

Steve Wade and Joey Sellers trumpet

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Steve Wade is the Director of music and jazz for Laguna Beach Unified School District 

Both are well-known musicians and teachers. Sellers, a trombonist, has also composed for such prominent performers as Doc Severinsen and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Wade is a longtime teacher of band, orchestra and jazz at schools in Orange County as well as a professional trumpet player. 

Steve Wade and Joey Sellers profile

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Joey Sellers is the Director of Jazz Studies at Saddleback College 

The seminar series will explore the history and music theory of jazz in three sessions. Other professional musicians will join the presenters to demonstrate how the jazz creative and performance process develops. 

The series will be held from on Tuesdays, Sept 18, Oct 2 and 16 at Mozambique Restaurant from 6 - 8 p.m. Class size is limited to 40 participants.

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.


Fun coming up at No Square Theatre

There’s non-stop action at No Square Theatre as autumn approaches with three great shows scheduled. 

Get ready for a bumpy ride, as My Midlife Cabaret presents an evening with Juliet Fischer-Schulein as she relives her bumpy, crazy ride from Broadway performer to OC Housewife, and all the laughs and tears that came with it. September 15 is sold out already, but there’s been a show added on Friday, Sept 21. Get your tickets now by clicking here.

Fun coming up at No

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The Stand Up Comedy, Hilarious features Lynn Epstein at her funniest on Saturday, Sept 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Then there’s the ever-popular, fantastic Lagunatics to look forward to in October. Every weekend you’ll have the opportunity to crack up as Laguna’s sacred cows (and goats) get skewered. It’s been all in good fun since 1992. Tickets go on sale for members/donors today, August 24.


Festival of Arts announces the scarily exciting return of Pageant of the Monsters 

Every five years, the Pageant of the Monsters returns to stage, and this year they are coming back with a monster of a good time offering ghoulish tricks, treats, and “spook-tacular” art surprises on October 26, 27, 28 and 31 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. 

Festival of Arts monsters

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Get ready for the spook-tacular returning event Pageant of the Monsters 

Resurrecting an event from years past, the Pageant’s backstage will transform into a haunted house with an artistic twist. The Festival of Arts grounds will be filled with live music, fortune tellers, pumpkin printmaking, mask making, wandering zombies, and other surprises. Funds for this event are provided in part by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach. 

Tickets will go on sale in September. Adult tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 at the door. Children tickets for ages 12 and under are $10. This event is not recommended for children under 5 years of age.

For more information on this upcoming event or to buy tickets, visit www.PageantTickets.com or call (800) 487-3378.


Festival of Arts: Calendar of events Aug 25-Sept 1
Weekend Nightly Music Schedule
Dates/Times: Through September 1
Daily at 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with $15 Festival Admission

Saturday, Aug 25: Private Event (see Celebrity Benefit information above)
Sunday, Aug 26: Phil Salazar and the Kin Folk

Monday, Aug 27: Buzz Campbell and Hot Rod Lincoln
Tuesday, Aug 28: Feelin’ Alright – a tribute to Joe Cocker with Jason Feddy and friends (part of the Tribute Tuesday music series)
Wednesday, Aug 29: Slim Man
Thursday, Aug 30: Scott Wilkie (part of the Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate series)
Friday, Aug 31: Tony Guerrero presents Leslie Page (part of the Step into the Spotlight Music series)

Festival of Tyrell

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Steve Tyrell performs at Celebrity Benefit Concert & Pageant on Saturday, Aug 25

Celebrity Benefit Concert & Pageant 

Date: Saturday, Aug 25

Times: 5 p.m. Red Carpet, 6 p.m. Concert

Cost: Tickets start at $50

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.

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.

Adult and Teen Art Class: Drawing

Date: Monday, Aug 27
Time: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with $10 Festival admission

Students will learn the foundational principles of drawing. Working from a still life set-up, participants will be guided as a group and individually starting from a basic block-in all the way through to a completed rendered drawing. The students will also be informed as to the best materials and supplies to use when making their own drawings. All skill levels are welcome, from beginner to advanced. For ages 13 and up. Reservations preferred. 

Festival of Slim Man

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Slim Man performs at nightly music concert on Wednesday, Aug 29

Art & Story Time

Date: Monday, Aug 27
Time: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with $10 Festival admission

Art and Story Time is a weekly series for children 5 and under. Every Monday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., enjoy a different book read aloud plus a hands-on art project. Fun for children and their parents! On Monday, Aug 27, Little Mermaid will be the special guest reading “The Pout-Pout Fish” by Deborah Diesen.

Art Talks and Tea
Sponsored by PBS SoCal

Date: Wednesday, Aug 29
Time: 1 - 2 p.m.
Cost: Free with $10 Festival admission

Whether you’re an informed connoisseur, an amateur collector, or an art lover, enjoy fascinating and informative discussions with the Festival of Arts exhibitors at FOA’s Art Talks and Tea, sponsored by PBS SoCal. Enjoy tea on the Festival’s green while listening to artists talk about their inspiration, history, and careers in art. On Wednesday, Aug 29, the topic will be “Crafting the Pageant” where Pageant of the Masters Director Diane Challis Davy will discuss the behind-the-scene magic that goes into creating the annual production of “living pictures.”

Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate
Sponsored by Charles Schwab

Performance by Scott Wilkie

Date: Thursday, Aug 30
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p. m.
Cost: $20 in addition to $10 Festival admission. Limited seating available in reserved section for $35 per person (includes Festival admission)

Chocolate, wine, and all that jazz sweetens up the Festival of Arts this summer! On Thursday nights, indulge your senses at the Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate series. Sample a wide variety of Kendall-Jackson wines expertly selected to complement and enhance the nuanced flavor of high-end chocolates from XAN Confections. The Festival’s casual and classy outdoor setting, together with the soulful sounds of jazz surrounded by fine art, creates an ideal evening for friends, sweethearts, and family.

Jazz keyboardist Scott Wilkie’s latest album, StudioLIVE, was the #1 Hot New Release on Amazon for three straight months last year. The entire project was recorded in a matter of hours, live and unedited, and is now available as a full-length video release as well. Known for his fiery live performances, Wilkie’s contemporary jazz recordings are popular worldwide, and he has toured throughout the US, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Festival of Side Deal

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Side Deal appears at Concerts on the Green on Saturday, Sept 1

Concerts on the Green
Sponsored by Cambria Estates Vineyard and Winery

Side Deal
Date: Saturday, Sept 1
Time: 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with $15 Festival admission. Limited seating available in reserved section for $40 per person (includes Festival admission).

Side Deal is a band of four friends from various performing and touring bands who have come back to their hometown of Newport Beach to rekindle a love of music. Charlie Colin (Founding Member of Train), Stan Frazier (Founding Member of Sugar Ray), and Joel & Scott Owen (Founding Members of PawnShop kings) have known each other for many years but never played music together.

That changed one night in 2016 when Charlie called Stan to come down and jam with him at the Lido Theater in Newport when his band, Painbirds, was performing with Skunk Baxter (The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan) to a sold-out crowd.  Stan invited Scott & Joel that night which resulted a month later in the two of them collaborating at the follow up show where Side Deal was born. 

In this spirit of collaboration, Side Deal exists not only to reshape and play the hits from the former projects alongside all new originals, but to maintain an ever-revolving door of friends from bands loved around the world to join in on the fun.

Festival of Arts Grounds, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd

For a full schedule and reservations, call (800) 487-3378 

or visit www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org.


Calls for Artists: City is accepting submissions for several exhibitions

The Arts Commission is currently accepting submissions for their Juried Fine Art and Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibitions as well as their Council Chamber Banner and Holiday Palette Competitions. 

Calls for winners

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Winners of the 2017 Children’s Palette Contest: (L-R) Taylor Brook Jones, Emma Chi-Sing, Mia Gwin, Audrey Calef, Paige Laws, Reagan Hannus, Allie Borgerdring, Tessa Anderson, Lexi Breault and Addyson MacKay

Guidelines and entry forms are available via the “Calls for Artists” page at http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/art. These arts opportunities are funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

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


Laguna Dance Festival: four exciting performances on an intimate stage October 4 - 7

As part of the Laguna Dance Festival’s 14th annual summer and fall program, the organization will bring to the local stage a variety of stunning dance performances between October 4 - 7 as well as two master classes. The program will also include a free backstage peek with Complexions, a one-night-only Bowie tribute, featuring international dance stars in their prime.

Prior to those dates, there will be two free performances at the Festival of Arts grounds on July 29 and August 26, and then a bonus show by an athletic Afro-Colombian contemporary troupe on October 25 at Neighborhood Congregational Church’s Bridge Hall.

Introducing the onstage festival on Thursday, Oct 4 at 7 p.m. is a free dance experience dubbed Backstage with Complexions, offering a unique opportunity for audiences to observe the rehearsal process, speak directly with performers, and gain a deeper understanding of the dances being performed during the Festival. In an onstage demonstration, the Director will work with star dancers from Complexions Contemporary Ballet, leading them through a live rehearsal.

laguna dance one

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Photo by Karolina Kuras

Laguna Beach native Skylar Campbell, a principal dancer with National Ballet of Canada, will return to his hometown to appear in Laguna Dance Festival’s “Stars of Dance” performances October 6 & 7 

On Friday, October 5 – one night only – Laguna Beach audiences will experience the brilliance of David Bowie with StarDust, Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s dance tribute to the late rock icon. This production will feature the rhythms, personas and musical drama of nine Bowie songs including “Changes,” “Rock and Roll Suicide,” “Heroes” and “Space Oddity.” StarDust takes the genre-crossing, gender-bending, boundary-breaking music of Bowie and translates it into powerful, poignant movement to create a tribute to his restless artistic invention.

StarDust made its West Coast premiere at the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on April 20. Included in the evening program are excerpts from Complexions’ contemporary repertory. Complexions Contemporary Ballet, founded in 1994 by master choreographers Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, mixes methods, styles and cultures to create groundbreaking movement.

Audiences will have the unique opportunity to see current and future stars share the stage in one spectacular program at the Stars of Dance shows on Saturday, Oct 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct 7, at 2 p.m. Onstage in dazzling duets and solos will be principal ballerina and Breaking Pointe TV reality series star Beckanne Sisk and soloist Chase O’Connell of Ballet West, Laguna Beach native Skylar Campbell and Jordana Daumec of National Ballet of Canada, and Dores Andre and Joseph Walsh of San Francisco Ballet.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet will perform excerpts by choreographer Dwight Rhoden, and America’s Got Talent finalist DIAVOLO/Architecture in Motion will present Knockturne by director/choreographer Jacques Heim. In addition, dancers from USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance’s inaugural BFA class will perform a variety of works choreographed by Barak Marshall, Aszure Barton and Laguna Dance Festival founder and artistic director Jodie Gates.

laguna dance two

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Photo by Rachel Neville

Terk Waters of Complexions Contemporary Ballet will appear in the single performance of “StarDust,” a moving tribute to David Bowie on October 5, part of the Laguna Dance Festival

The festival’s four onstage performances will be held at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road. Tickets are on sale now at www.lagunadancefestival.org and will go on sale August 6 at Laguna Playhouse.

In addition to these shows, the Laguna Dance Festival will present free public dance performances by Entity Contemporary Dance and Contra Tiempo, both based in Los Angeles, on Sunday, July 29 and Sunday, August 26 at 1 and 2 p.m. at the Festival of Arts grounds’ outdoor stage. 

Entity, directed by Will Johnston and Marissa Osato, is a professional contemporary dance company that interweaves modern, jazz, and hip hop dance techniques to present dynamic repertory that explores the depths of human emotionality and connectivity. Contra Tiempo Urban Latin Dance Theater, founded in 2005 and directed by Ana Maria Alvarez, is rooted in salsa and Afro-Cuban movement and draws from hip-hop and contemporary dance theater. Contra Tiempo’s dancers create an invigorating blend of physically intense performance that pushes the boundaries of Latin dance as an expressive cultural and contemporary form.

Laguna Dance Festival, now in its 14th year, is regarded as one of Orange County’s major annual cultural events and continues to be an important showcase for new and established dance companies and artists. Its mission is to present world-class dance performance, increase public appreciation for the art, and provide quality dance education. Visit www.lagunadancefestival.org for more information.


Laguna Dance Festival presents free dance performances at the Festival of Arts

Laguna Dance Festival presents free public dance performances by bold, multilingual Los Angeles-based dance company CONTRA-TIEMPO on Sunday, Aug 26 at the Festival of Arts grounds’ outdoor stage. 

The company creates a new physical, visual and sonic vocabulary that collages Salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, and contemporary dance with theater, compelling text, and original music to bring dynamic multi-modal experiences to the concert stage.

laguna dance festival

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

CONTRA-TIEMPO offers a stunning hybrid of styles

CONTRA-TIEMPO takes an uncompromisingly radical approach to the ways in which artists function within communities and create their work. The company members are professional dancers, artists, immigrants, educators, activists, organizers, and movers of all types, living and working across Los Angeles and across the country.

Each company member lives, expresses, and struggles within the varied and infinitely complex political and personal landscapes that Artistic Director Ana Maria Alvarez seeks to address in the work.

Join them on August 26 at the beautiful Festival of Arts grounds for a moving performance followed by an interactive dance class. Performances are at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., and they are free with FOA admission.


Sawdust guest artist Jwan Peres Ramos experiences the best of Laguna Beach benevolence

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

At the Sawdust Festival Benevolence Art Auction last Sunday, guest artist, 20-year-old Jwan Perez Ramos, saw his mural auctioned off at $800. 

Perez Ramos, who is from Puerto Rico, is attempting to make enough money this summer to put a roof back on his home, shared with his father, grandmother and aunt. Their home was leveled by Hurricane Maria last fall.

Perez Ramos and his father, Billy Joe Perez, painted murals depicting Aguadilla before the hurricane to help inspire the reeling community.

sawdust guest jwan

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Jwan Perez Ramos

“The customer had heard that the board was going to match the price of the mural up to $1,000,” explains Sawdust trustee Jay Grant. “When she came to pay, she gave us $200 more for the piece so Jwan would receive the full matching amount. Just so heartwarming for all of the trustees who facilitated the auction. And Jwan was so touched.”

The Sawdust Artists’ Benevolence Fund is a source of financial assistance for artists in Laguna Beach who have suffered a catastrophic event, leaving them unable to work. 

“Over the years, our art auction has raised over $150,000. It’s encouraging to see how much our community of art patrons values local artists,” said Monica Prado, president of the Artists’ Benevolence Fund board of trustees.

sawdust guest mural

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Mural depicting Aguadilla before Hurricane Maria

The auction featured an exciting selection of art created by Sawdust artists, including paintings, mixed media, ceramics, jewelry, clothing, photography, and more. These artists generously donated their work with the goal of raising funds for fellow artists in times of need. 

Professional auctioneer Tony DeZao, who presided over the live auction, packed the experience with lots of laughs and entertaining stories.

Perez Ramos has his own booth and is staying in a local home, organized by the Festival.

sawdust guest booth

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Jwan Perez Ramos working at his booth

“Our goal with this is to help somebody in distress,” Grant is quoted as saying. “We want to encourage him, his family and community. We will do everything we can to let him know there are people who care.”


Red Hot Art-To-Go: The sell-out auction will be August 26 at Festival of Arts

Art collectors who love red will enjoy the 2018 Art-To-Go fundraising sale at Festival of Arts. More than 100 exhibitors donated originals under the theme “Red Hot.” Works are available for purchase daily, now through August 26 while supplies last.

 A sell-out auction will take place on Sunday, August 26, from 6 - 8 p.m. 

“Bids open at 1/3 retail value, so it’s a great chance to start a collection from these prestigious artists,” said Curator Mike Tauber.

Red Hot Art

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Photo by Mike Tauber

Get ready – it’ll be a bidding war at Red Hot’s silent auction

Offerings include jewelry by Lance Heck and Linda Potichke, paintings by Susan Cox, Sue Thompson, David Milton, and Bruce Vanderwilt, plus drawings, photos, and mixed media.

 Proceeds from the Art-To-Go sales will benefit The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts, providing hardship and disaster relief grants for artists in need. Additionally, buyers qualify for a drawing to win a two-night stay at The Tides Inn.

View the online gallery at www.TheArtistsFund-foa.org or call (949) 612-1949 for more information.s

Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

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