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2018 FOA/POM season is a big success reporting $10.6 million in revenue

At the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters annual membership meeting on November 14, members were updated on recent achievements and given a glimpse of the future. The event, held at the Festival’s Forum Theater, featured reports on the past fiscal year’s activities, an overview of the Pageant’s 85th anniversary, recognition of longtime volunteers and staff, and a preview of the 2019 Pageant of the Masters.

Festival President David Perry began the meeting reporting the 2018 season an enormous success for both the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and Pageant of the Masters. After his opening remarks, Perry presented an upbeat and entertaining video that captured the 2018 season and the Pageant’s 85th Anniversary. It featured the fine art show, the junior art exhibit, art education programs, special events, Pageant of the Masters, and the recent Pageant of the Monsters.

Perry then introduced City Council member Bob Whalen to remark on the season in the absence of Kelly Boyd, Laguna Beach mayor and ex-officio member of the Festival Board.

Julie Kirchen, an eight-year Pageant of the Masters volunteer and the Wellness Strategy and Integration Manager at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, presented the Festival of Arts and Perry with a $5,000 check from the Disney VoluntEARS Community Fund to support community outreach art education programs.

FOA Festival Board

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Festival of Arts board members report a successful year

The 2017-2018 year was a fiscal as well as an artistic success, according to Treasurer Fred Sattler, who presented the unaudited annual financial report. Sattler reported unaudited revenues of roughly $10.6 million, and expenses $9.8 million, resulting in a net income of about $802,000. 2018 unaudited Festival of Arts net assets were reported at $26.3 million with liabilities at $8.2 million, resulting in net assets at $18 million.

Board member Pat Kollenda proudly announced that the Festival of Arts awarded $87,400 in scholarships to college students in 2018. There were 17 freshmen awards in the amount of $29,800. There were two scholarships in Dance, six in Music, one in Theater, seven in Visual Arts and one in Writing. The freshmen average high school GPA was 3.56. There were a total of 31 freshman applicants that applied in 33 areas. In addition, there were also scholarships awarded to 31 returning scholarship recipients.

Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy presented a slideshow of artwork to be presented in the 2019 Pageant of the Masters, The Time Machine, including works of art by Norman Rockwell, Paul Manship, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Johannes Vermeer, Georges Seurat, and Leonardo da Vinci.

Perry recognized and congratulated employees Reagan Foy, Costume Director, for her 10 years of service; Michelle Reindl, Accounting Assistant, for her 15 years of service; Sharbie Higuchi, Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Merchandising, for her 20 years of service; and Caryn Werfelmann, Director of Guest Services, for her 25 years of service. He thanked them for hard work and commitment to the Festival of Arts.

There was no election for the Board of Directors this year as the three incumbents ran unopposed. Tom Lamb, Pat Kollenda, and Anita Mangels will each serve new three-year terms on the board. Elected board officers for the 2018-2019 season are David Perry, president; Scott Moore, vice president; Fred Sattler treasurer; and Pat Kollenda, secretary.

The Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. For more information, visit

Laguna Playhouse kicks off the holidays with Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose

Laguna Playhouse is excited to announce a special introduction to the holidays with Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose, opening on December 5. Written by Kris Lythgoe and directed by Sheldon Epps, with choreography by Mandy Moore, musical direction by Keith Harrison and musical supervision by Michael Orland, Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose will run through December 30. 

Laguna Playhouse Ashley

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Ashley Argota plays Belle in Beauty and the Beast

“Families, our audiences and our subscribers are in for a romantically glorious (and hilarious) holiday experience as we present our fourth Panto spectacle, the truly magical Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose,” says Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard. 

This modern version of the classic fairytale, Lythgoe Family Panto’s Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose brings all the magic of the traditional British family Holiday Panto to American audiences. In this interactive experience, the audience is encouraged to cheer for Belle, boo for Gus and sing along with popular songs such as the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive,” The Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This,” and Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose.” 

Laguna Playhouse Andrew

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Andrew Barnicle plays Belle’s father

As part of the organization’s ongoing commitment to develop theatre for young audiences, Lythgoe Family Panto together with Laguna Playhouse will bring the magic of Panto to hundreds of underserved children who attend school in Orange County. Lythgoe Family Panto is grateful to their partners and friends at Golden State Foods for generously providing school buses for the student matinees.

Tickets range from $41 - $76. To purchase tickets, visit or call (949) 497-2787. 

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Sawdust Art Festival embraces holiday spirit with 28th Annual Winter Fantasy starting this Saturday

Sawdust Art & Craft Festival is pleased to announce the official start of its 28th annual Winter Fantasy this Saturday, Nov 17 with a community tree lighting ceremony featuring local students from Top of the World Elementary Honor Choir and over a dozen trees decorated by local organizations. 

Sawdust Art outside

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Walking in a Sawdust winter wonderland

For five weekends, through Sunday, Dec 16, event-goers of all ages can experience a festive wonderland aglow with thousands of lights and decorations, featuring 182 artists and makers, live holiday performances, glassblowing demos, festival classes, and satisfying offerings from various eateries, cafes and saloon.

Breakfast with Santa

An extra special occasion this year will be Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec 8 with the Laguna Beach Firefighters Association. All proceeds of the pancake breakfast will go towards Spark of Love, and Sawdust Art Festival will also be a drop-off location for the Spark of Love toy drive throughout the festival season. 

To further encourage the giving spirit, attendees will receive free admission on Sundays with the donation of an unwrapped toy.

Sawdust Art santa

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Say hi to Santa at a special pancake breakfast and toy drive 

Community Tree Night

Another highlight of the season is the Community Tree Night on Saturday, Dec 1 at 5 p.m., an evening honoring the 12 local organizations participating in Winter Fantasy’s annual community tree program. 

There will also be an enchanting Towne Square featuring daily photo opportunities with Santa at his cottage, in addition to a host of other magical moments with puppeteers, a balloon diva, falling snow, and the beloved gingerbread playhouse.

Lastly, there will be three stages of holiday music and entertainment, with food and refreshments from Deb’s Deli, Espresso on the Go, Fran’s Popcorn, Sawdust Saloon, Evan’s Gourmet Bistro, Tacos Durrell, and GG’s Mediterranean Express.

Presale tickets are available and the cost is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (65+), and $4 for children (6– 12). Admission is free for children five years and younger. Season passes are $12. 

For more information, as well as a comprehensive list of events and special features at this year’s Winter Fantasy, visit

Laguna Playhouse honors veterans with new ticket program for military and veteran families

On Veterans Day, Laguna Playhouse announced a new ticket program that will provide complimentary tickets for veterans and their families as a way to honor the courageous men and women who have valiantly served the country to protect and defend freedom. 

Through their new outreach program, TheatreHope, the Playhouse offers free tickets to military and veteran families for performances at Laguna Playhouse. 

As a testament to the Playhouse’s deep gratitude, they welcome veterans and active service members to the Playhouse for entertaining, uplifting and educational live theatre experiences. 

“We are thankful to the many veterans in our community that have served their country with valor, and we would like to show our appreciation to these brave men and women and their families through this new program,” said Doug Vogel, director of development for Laguna Playhouse.

Laguna Playhouse medals

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Veteran salutes flag at Veterans Day commemoration at Legion Hall

This opportunity is available year-round, and often includes a backstage tour along with an opportunity to meet Playhouse actors and staff during interactive “stage talks” following select performances. 

Laguna Playhouse thanks O.L. Halsell Foundation, S.L. Gimbel Foundation, and the Peter and Ginny Ueberroth Family Foundation for their support of this program. 

For those interested in this opportunity, contact Michael Garman (the Playhouse’s Grants & Community Outreach Manager) for more details at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 715-5355.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

LAM to feature acclaimed LA-based artist Lita Albuquerque on Nov 29

Laguna Art Museum will feature Lita Albuquerque, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based artist, often associated with the Light and Space and Land Art movements, to discuss her work on Thursday, Nov 29, at 6 p.m.

Since the early 1970s, Albuquerque has created an expansive body of work, ranging from sculpture, poetry, painting, and multi-media performance to ambitious site-specific ephemeral projects in remote locations around the globe. 

Often associated with the Light and Space and Land Art movements, she has developed a unique visual and conceptual vocabulary using the earth, color, the body, motion, and time to illuminate identity and its relation to the universal. 

In Person Lita Albuquerque

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From LAM website

Particle Horizon 2014 by Lita Albuquerque, Laguna Art Museum

She was the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant for her Stellar Axis: Antarctica project, which culminated in the first and largest ephemeral artwork created on that continent. In 2014 her performance piece on Main Beach, An Elongated Now, played a central part in Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature festival, complementing the installation Particle Horizon inside the museum.

Advance tickets are recommended for “In Person: Lita Albuquerque” on Thursday, Nov 29, at 6 p.m. Tickets are included with museum admission, $5 for students, $7 for general public, and free for ages 17 and under. 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive. For more information, call (949) 494-8971 or visit

Live! at the Museum presents Celtic Consort of Hollywood on Thursday, Dec 13

Live! at the Museum presents Celtic Consort of Hollywood on Thursday, Dec 13 at 7 p.m. The Celtic Consort of Hollywood consists of award-winning concert and studio musicians Christina Linhardt (soprano, flute), Shawna Selline (harp), and Mark Sellin (cello, mandolin, and fiddle). 

Together and separately the group has performed all over Southern California (as well as abroad) from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to Walt Disney Concert Hall, with weddings, club dates, and recording sessions in between.

Live Celtic Consort of Hollywood

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Check out Live! at the Museum featuring Celtic Consort of Hollywood

Live! at the Museum, a special collaboration of Laguna Beach Live! and Laguna Art Museum, takes place the second Thursday of each month from 7 - 8 p.m. The concert is free to museum members and to non-members with museum admission. 

Pre-reservations for Celtic Consort of Hollywood are available online through the Museum’s website at or by calling (949) 494-8971, ext. 203. These seats are held until 6:50 p.m. Additional seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about the series and other concerts, visit or call (949) 715-9713.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

Laguna Playhouse to present “Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose,” starting Dec 5

Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard are proud to present “Beauty and The Beast: A Christmas Rose,” with performances from Wednesday, Dec 5 through Dec 30 at Laguna Playhouse. 

The production is written by Kris Lythgoe, directed by Sheldon Epps, choreographed by Mandy Moore, with musical direction by Keith Harrison and musical supervisor Michael Orland.

The show stars Ashley Argota, Thomas Hobson, Heath Calvert, Andrew Jackson, Riley Costello, David Engel, and more.

Laguna Playhouse Rose Ashley Argota

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Ashley Argota to star in Laguna Playhouse production of “Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose” starting Dec 5

For information or tickets, visit or call (949) 497-2787 ext. 229. Tickets range from $41 - $76.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Art Walk meets Day of the Dead at AG Vision

Adriana Guzman of AG Vision is proud to present a celebration of her culture, heritage and history for Day of the Dead (“Día de los Muertos”), which begins sundown on Wednesday, Oct 31 and ends sundown on Friday, Nov 2. It is a very special day for Mexicans all over the world. 

Art Walk meets Adriana

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

“It brings us great joy to celebrate our first year of Day of the Dead here in Laguna Beach at AG Vision Gallery,” says AG Vision owner Adriana Guzman

Those who have yet to experience the celebration may be confused in thinking it is intended to be scary or morbid but in fact it’s quite the opposite. Day of the Dead is actually about the life of all of those who have passed. It’s filled with color, music, painting, dancing, offerings of wonderful food and drinks, plenty of flowers, and pictures of families.

Art Walk meets store

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

AG Vision celebrates Day of the Dead on November 1 during Art Walk

From October 31 through November 2, it is said that family members who have passed can come to visit their families, drink with them, eat and dance with them but you must create an alter, have an offering (“ofrenda”), and a picture as well as the traditional flowers known as Marigolds or (“Cempasúchil”). 

It’s a celebration that makes a graveyard a lively and family oriented place where you may hear stories or jokes and maybe even learn about your grandparents or great grandparents. 

AG Vision is located at 572 South Coast Hwy.

LAM to feature “Nature into Art, a Conversation” on Nov 3

As part of Laguna Art Museum’s sixth annual “Art & Nature” event, Nov 1 - 4, art enthusiasts have the opportunity to attend the “Nature into Art, a Conversation” panel discussion that will take place on Saturday, Nov 3, at 2:30 p.m. 

“Art & Nature” keynote speaker Jane Munro, UCSD evolutionary biologist Lin Chao, and artist and UCLA professor Victoria Vesna discuss art and nature in a conversation moderated by LAM executive director Malcolm Warner. 

LAM to feature Nature into Art

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LAM’s Art & Nature event to feature “Nature into Art, a Conversation” panel discussion on Nov 3

Chao is a Chinese-Brazilian-American evolutionary biologist and geneticist. Professor Chao gained his PhD in 1977 from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as a student of Bruce R. Levin (now at Emory University), and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University in the laboratory of Edward C. Cox. Before taking his present position, he spent most of his career in the Department of Biology of the University of Maryland, College Park. He is currently in the Ecology, Behavior and Evolution Section at the University of California, San Diego.

Vesna is an artist and professor at the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts and Director of the Art|Sci center at the School of the Arts and California Nanosystems Institute. Trained as a painter, she has followed an exploratory path in work that can be defined as experimental, creative research, residing between disciplines and technologies. 

Her art has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and she is involved in long-term collaborations with composers, nano-scientists, neuroscientists, and evolutionary biologists. Professor Vesna is currently working on a series of essays on art, science, and technology.

Advance tickets are recommended: $5 for students and LAM members and $10 for general public.

For more information, call (949) 494-8971 or visit

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

LAM’s Art & Nature to feature Jane Munro lecture, “Charles Darwin: Art, Nature, and Beauty”

Laguna Art Museum will present the sixth annual Art & Nature, a multidisciplinary exploration of art’s many and various engagements with the natural world, Nov 1-4. 

On Friday, Nov 2, enjoy Jane Munro’s lecture, “Charles Darwin: Art, Nature, and Beauty” at 7 p.m., with a reception preceding it at 6 p.m.

Munro, Keeper of Paintings, Drawings and Prints and Acting Assistant Director of Collections at the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge, will give the keynote lecture for Art & Nature 2018, “Charles Darwin: Art, Nature, and Beauty.”

LAM Art Jane

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LAM’s Art & Nature event to feature a lecture by Jane Munro on Nov 2

  Her research interests and publications have focused on British and French art from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, much of it interdisciplinary in nature. She is the curator of Degas: A Passion for Perfection and has previously curated Endless Forms: Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts and Silent Partners: Artist and Mannequin from Function to Fetish.

Advance tickets are recommended: $5 for students and LAM members and $10 for general public.

For more information, call (949) 494-8971 or visit

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

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