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Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach Unified School District programs receive Festival of Arts Foundation grants

Laguna Beach Unified School District was awarded four grants totaling $18,000 from the Festival of Arts (FOA) Foundation to enhance fine arts programs at Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School. 

The Laguna Beach High School art, drama, and ceramics programs each received $5,000. At Thurston Middle School, the drama program received $2,000 and the multimedia program received $1,000. 

The Laguna Beach FOA Foundation was incorporated in 1989 to preserve and promote the fine arts and all other artistic endeavors in and about Laguna Beach. The foundation operates independently from the Festival of Arts. To date, the Festival of Arts, along with the Foundation, has cumulatively awarded nearly $2.6 million in grants to the art community in Laguna Beach. 

Laguna Beach Joseph

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Photo by Johanna Ellis

LBHS drama program’s recent performance, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

“I am grateful to the Festival of Arts Foundation for their generous support of Thurston’s multimedia program and for providing my students with the unique opportunity to learn about astrophotography,” said Thurston Middle School Multimedia Teacher Andy Crisp. He continued, “With this grant, we will be able to purchase a high-quality telescope, filter, and camera mount and host Thurston’s first ever astronomy night! Astrophotography is a challenging, yet really fun field of photography, and I am super excited to bring this art form to my students.”

Teachers have used the grants to provide students with real-world experiences and opportunities, including after-school open level master classes for the dance program and exhibit opportunities for the arts and ceramics programs at local galleries.

“Thanks to continued support from the Festival of Arts Foundation, we’ve been able to provide our Laguna Beach High School drama students with unique and meaningful opportunities both on stage and in the classroom,” said Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School Drama Teacher and Director Alexis Karol. “This year, we’re excited to partner with the FOA Foundation at Thurston Middle School as well, as we focus on aligning our middle school drama coursework with the high school’s CTE Pathway in drama. Through the generosity of organizations like the Festival of Arts, we can provide quality production values and innovative curriculum designed to prepare our students for college, career, and beyond,” she concluded. 

The FOA Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the visual and performing arts in the LBUSD and will be recognized at a future school board meeting. For more information about the Festival of Arts Foundation, including its grants and scholarships, visit

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