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City presents Kalama Brothers in Sunset Serenades virtual concert 

The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission Sunset Serenades series has been postponed due to COVID-19. Scheduled to perform for the concluding concert on Friday, June 12 was the Kalama Brothers, who have filmed a special performance and message to the Laguna Beach community from their home. 

Although Sunset Serenades was postponed, the Commission is working on other opportunities for future music experiences, which it hopes to present over the summer. 

City presents Kalama Brothers

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Submitted photo

Listen to the music of the Kalama Brothers from your home 

Starting Friday, June 19, live music will be streamed from musicians’ homes to a monitor installation at the Promenade on Forest, and other programming will be announced in the coming weeks.

Arts Commissioner Suzi Chauvel said, “We sincerely appreciate every one of our performers for this gesture and lifting our spirits with their amazing talent.”

To watch the performance by the Kalama Brothers, click here.

The City hopes Sunset Serenades will return in September. The program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

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Laguna Beach Live! presents Live! at the Museum virtual concert

At this month’s Live! at The Museum, virtuoso violinists YuEun Kim and Etienne Gara were set to perform on Thursday, June 11. While we are still not able to gather and see them Live!, Kim and Gara have graciously recorded a concert from their home especially for Laguna Live! patrons.

Laguna Beach Kim

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Courtesy of yueunkim.com

Violinist YuEun Kim 

Prizewinner of the 2018 Boulder International Competition, South Korean violinist YuEun Kim is forging a significant international career. Performing extensively, YuEun has appeared as a soloist with the USC Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Irvine, LA Virtuosi, Temecula Valley Symphony and Sequoia Symphony. YuEun is a founding member of the Zaffre String Quartet and has collaborated with artists such as Ida Kavafian, Colin Carr, Roger Tapping, Michael Kannen, and Steven Tenenbom.

French-born violinist Etienne Gara has performed extensively worldwide, appearing as soloist at SOKA Performing Art Center, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the Jordan Hall in Boston, the Marigny Theatre in Paris, the Wiener Saal, and the Marmor Saal of the Mirabell Palace in Salzburg. A frequent guest of international music festivals, Etienne joined Perlman for the winter residency of the festival in Sarasota, Fla. and travels in Israel.

Laguna Beach Gara

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Courtesy of etiennegara.com

Violinist Etienne Gara 

As all concert venues are closed for the time being, Etienne and YuEun have decided to take to the road with their instruments and safely bring music to people. The project is called MUSIKARAVAN; find out more here.

“Please enjoy this ‘Home to Home’ concert and thank you for staying with us while we work hard to find ways, that we can bring Live! music back to you as safely and as quickly as possible,” says Ava Burton of Laguna Beach Live!.

To watch the video, click here.

For more information on upcoming shows and virtual concerts, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.

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LagunaTunes presents “Throwback Thursdays” weekly video series

Like many other organizations, LagunaTunes Chorus has temporarily suspended normal operations because of COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean the music has to stop. Every Thursday for the next several months, you can relive some of the high points from recent LagunaTunes concerts. 

The chorus website at www.lagunatuneschorus.org features an every-Thursday release of a selected song from one of these concerts: Rock Through the Ages; Countdown to Motown; Broadway, Baby; Ladies and Gentlemen, The Beatles, as well as some favorites from recent holiday shows.

LagunaTunes to group

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Photo by Scott Brashier

LagunaTunes presents virtual throwback concerts 

Each short video (average five or six minutes) is from a concert that was filmed live at Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre. Concertgoers and chorus members will enjoy the memories and in case you didn’t see the concert, here’s your chance to see a bit of what you missed. 

LagunaTunes president Patti Jo Kiraly, assisted by Noah Rosen, headed a project to select and “package” each video and make a new one available every Thursday.

LagunaTunes is all about the joy of singing, and the LagunaTunes Favorites series leaves no doubt that singing together, under the direction of the great Bob Gunn, is a lot of fun. Members look forward to the day they can safely resume rehearsals and performances. Until then, you can sing with LagunaTunes virtually. 

The chorus is led by Bob Gunn, popular director of Orange County’s MenAlive chorus and Laguna’s St. Mary’s choir. Gunn’s entertaining choral productions are well known throughout southern California and in international concerts. 

LagunaTunes is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides choral singing to everyone (no auditions. Funding is by the Festival of Arts Foundation and The Lodging Establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

For more information, visit www.lagunatuneschorus.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Artists Fund invites poets to poetry contest for those who love color

The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach invites poets everywhere to submit entries for its color-themed poetry contest. Submissions may be emailed to The Artists Fund now through June 20. 

Up to ten winning entries will be featured among the art works in the “Connecting Through Color” exhibition. The show runs June 3 through July 30 online, and at Laguna Beach City Hall during restricted business hours. Selected poetry will be added in early July.

Artists Fund Karen

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Photo by Mike Tauber

Artists Fund board member Karen Alvarado encourages poets to submit entries 

Works must be original, and single or multiple entries are invited. Short poems, such as haiku and tanka styles, are preferred. Themes include aqua, black and white, blue, brown, green, gold, orange, violet, red, and yellow. 

Poets are encouraged to view the online gallery for inspiration. Selected entries will be curated by Laguna Beach Literary Laureate Emeritus Lojo Simon. One poet will receive a $50 Curators Prize and additional publicity.

Instructions to participate can be found at https://tinyurl.com/yb84ttye

To view the “Connecting Through Color” exhibit, visit https://tinyurl.com/y8gl4xd2. Proceeds from sales of “Connecting Through Color” artworks support both the exhibitors and the hardship fund for Festival artists in need. 

The exhibit is supported by a grant from the Laguna Beach Community Foundation. Email poems to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Temporary art installations proposed for Forest Avenue Promenade

By BARBARA DIAMOND

An Arts Commission Subcommittee was scheduled on Monday to recommend approval by the committee of proposed temporary Public Art installations at the Promenade on Forest, which staff has recommended for council approval. 

If approved by the commission, the art works by Laguna Beach ceramist Marlo Bartels, whose Canyon Chess and Checkers became a Main Beach landmark, and Laguna College of Art & Design alumni James Thistlethwaite, will be submitted to the City Council at tonight’s meeting.

Bartels’ four 36-inch ceramic covers are designed to hide the concrete block barriers at South Coast Highway and Forest Avenue at the terminus of the Promenade, and will cost $41,000. A $36,000 donation to the Art in Lieu Fund by Robert Irwin Axelrod in 2018 and savings from another temporary installation will cover the majority of the cost.

Thistlethwaite’s aluminum sidewalk installation will cost $20,000, to come out to the savings due to canceled events in the Arts Commission’s Special Programs budget of the Business Improvement District, which is funded by the town’s lodging industry.

His thin aluminum sidewalk installation will run the length of the streets, identifying the required fire lane. Additional arrows will mark the sidewalk for pedestrians.

The art works will be relocated at the conclusion of the pilot program for the promenade.

Besides approval of the installations, the council will also be asked to authorize Assistant City Manager Shohreh Dupuis to enter into all agreements related to these two installations and for performances to be scheduled at the Promenade.

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Art-A-Fair canceled

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Art-A-Fair became the second summer festival to announce the cancellation of the 2020 show.

Officials announced this week that restrictions related to the COVID-19 epidemic forced the regretted decision. 

“However just like the other two shows, we are looking to see if there are some smaller events that we could do this summer,” said Mike Cahill, president of the Art-A-Fair Board. 

Sawdust Festival President Monica Prado said on Thursday that her board is looking at options and will shortly be submitting a concept to the city. 

“There are a lot of disappointed people and everybody is looking to next year,” said Cahill. “For more than 50 years, Art-A-Fair has provided a venue for artists to exhibit their works.”

Art A Fair canceled building

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Art-A-Fair in 2019

In the late 1960s, traditional artists were finding it hard to get space in the Festival of Arts, according to fair documents. Instead they hung their paintings on fences on Glenneyre Street and Park Avenue. The show was so popular the artists sought a large venue and moved to a vacant lot on North Coast Highway. They called it the Sawdust Festival.

However, irreconcilable differences between artists split the group – one retained the Sawdust name, the other became the Art-A-Fair. 

Art-A-Fair moved around to different locations for several years, but finally found its forever home in 1988 at 777 Laguna Canyon Road. A juried show, Laguna Art-A-Fair is unique among the local shows in that it does not restrict residency, thereby drawing artists from an unlimited geographic area. Presently there are approximately 125 exhibiting members – just not this year.

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Sunset Serenades from your sofa continues with Jazz ensemble Sibarg

 The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission Sunset Serenades series has been postponed due to COVID-19. Scheduled to perform on Friday, May 29, was traditional Iranian music and Jazz ensemble Sibarg. Founding Member Hesam Abedini has filmed a special performance and message to the Laguna Beach community from his home.

The Arts Commission works with local musician Jason Feddy in curating the performances, bringing a variety of genres and cultures to the season. Although postponed, the Commission is working on other opportunities for future music experiences which it hopes to present over the summer.

Sunset Seranades group

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Sibarg Instagram 

Enjoy the music of Sibarg from the comfort of your home, courtesy of the Arts Commission

Commission Chair Adam Schwerner, who replaced Suzi Chauvel on the Arts Task Force, said, “I am thrilled to be working with this innovative group of people with imagination and expertise to look towards our future with opportunities for artists, performers, organizations, and businesses. We need to think outside the box and that requires the support of the community. We want our community, our residents, and artists to be safe, be healthy, and ultimately be able to continue to enjoy our city of artists.”

Cultural Arts Manager Siân Poeschl explained, “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic an Arts Task Force has been appointed by the City Council to reimagine opportunities to reinvigorate the Arts for economic success. Our industry is completely in free fall. But we are reminded that in 1932 [when] artists were in a similar situation, patrons funded artists and they established the Festival of Arts – we know great things can come from situations like these.”

To watch the performance, click here. 

Sunset Serenades is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

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Artist Carly Long & Five 3 Gallery host silent auction to benefit TWLOHA through May 31

Artist Carly Long and Laguna-based gallery partner Five 3 Gallery have gathered notable celebrities for virtual art show, FORTIFIED, to raise funds and awareness for To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

In light of Mental Health Awareness Month, the show will host a silent auction, which began yesterday and continues through Sunday, May 31, for a custom painting by Long, up to 24” x 36”. Throughout the length of the auction, the public can make a donation via FORTIFIED’s fundraising page by clicking here. At the close of the auction, the highest donor will receive the custom painting. 

Artist Carly lips pic

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Courtesy of easternsurf.com

By Carly Long: “Charli Howard” from photograph by Heather Hazzan

To Write Love on Her Arms is a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

Leading up to the silent auction for a custom painting, Long has been auctioning off paintings of celebrities such as Jesse McCartney, singer-songwriter; Mohamed Sanu, wide receiver for the New England Patriots; Oliver James Webb, British auto racing driver; Molly Bernard, actress; Colton Underwood, ABC’s The Bachelor; and more. 

Carly Long is a self-taught artist whose home is wherever passion lies. She developed her own technique of painted photography, after dabbling in portrait photography for notable musicians from different genres, reality TV stars, and assisting renowned photographer Heather Hazzan on photoshoots for Elle Magazine’s Personal Style Awards, Glamour Magazine’s feature of television host Rachel Maddow, and Glassbook Magazine.

Artist Carly lips pic

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Courtesy of easternsurf.com

By Carly Long: “Alessa Quizon” from photograph by Brent Bielmann

“During an unprecedented time when myself and so many others were experiencing loss – of our jobs, our homes, our dreams, our loved ones – I asked myself, ‘How was I going to honor my life, the lives of my loved ones, the lives of those in the world around me, and the lives of those we lost?’” says Long. “I was laid off from my job in public relations due to coronavirus, and knew I could use my skills to gather celebrities, influencers, professional athletes, etc. willing for me to paint their photograph for this charitable show. I originally created my own painted photography technique as a way to fortify my own mental and physical state, so I knew there was no greater time to turn back to this art. To bring myself, and others, back to life in this new age.”

Five 3 Gallery is the vision of gallerist Brigette Hernandez. It produces and presents a program of exhibitions and events as well as provides a vital platform for a wide range of disciplines, cultures, and contexts. Presenting art in a way to satisfy and excite collectors of established and emerging artists alike. 

To view Caryl Long’s work, go to https://bycarlylong.com/.

For more information about Five3Gallery, go to at www.five3gallery.com/

To learn more about TWLOHA, go to https://twloha.com/ or follow on social media @TWLOHA.

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Sunset Serenades from your sofa continues with Jazz ensemble Sibarg

 The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission Sunset Serenades series has been postponed due to COVID-19. Scheduled to perform tonight, Friday, May 29, was traditional Iranian music and Jazz ensemble Sibarg. Founding Member Hesam Abedini has filmed a special performance and message to the Laguna Beach community from his home.

The Arts Commission works with local musician Jason Feddy in curating the performances, bringing a variety of genres and cultures to the season. Although postponed, the Commission is working on other opportunities for future music experiences which it hopes to present over the summer.

Sunset Seranades group

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Sibarg Instagram 

Enjoy the music of Sibarg from the comfort of your home, courtesy of the Arts Commission

Commission Chair Adam Schwerner, who replaced Suzi Chauvel on the Arts Task Force, said, “I am thrilled to be working with this innovative group of people with imagination and expertise to look towards our future with opportunities for artists, performers, organizations, and businesses. We need to think outside the box and that requires the support of the community. We want our community, our residents, and artists to be safe, be healthy, and ultimately be able to continue to enjoy our city of artists.”

Cultural Arts Manager Siân Poeschl explained, “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic an Arts Task Force has been appointed by the City Council to reimagine opportunities to reinvigorate the Arts for economic success. Our industry is completely in free fall. But we are reminded that in 1932 [when] artists were in a similar situation, patrons funded artists and they established the Festival of Arts – we know great things can come from situations like these.”

To watch the performance, click here. 

Sunset Serenades is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

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Enjoy more Sunset Serenades from your sofa

The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission Sunset Serenades series has been postponed due to COVID-19. Scheduled to perform on Friday, May 22 was classical pianist Chiacheng Sen, who has filmed a special performance and message to the Laguna Beach community from her home.

Chiacheng Sen is a multi-talented pianist and violinist and works with the Orchestra Collective of Orange County. She also holds her master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and won the American Protégé International Piano and String competition, which led to her Carnegie Hall debut.

Enjoy more Sen

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Submitted photo

Multi-talented pianist and violinist Chiacheng Sen will serenade you from your sofa 

“Sunset Serenades hosts the performances of talented artists in a spectacular location,” said Arts Commissioner Suzi Chauvel. “Although we may not be at the concert physically together, the music brings our souls together to enjoy the talents of this astounding pianist. 

“These concerts are curated and are funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. They are a real treasure.”

“This is the twelfth season of Sunset Serenades,” said Siân Poeschl, Cultural Arts Manager, adding, “The season is not over yet. We hope to present some concerts in the fall, some virtually, and some in alternative and new locations. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know”

To watch the performance, click here.

Sign up for the newsletter here.

Sunset Serenades is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

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