FOA gives LPAPA a $3,000 grant to supplement educational programs

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) received a generous grant of $3,000 from The Festival of Arts (FOA) Foundation to supplement their educational projects. This generous grant will be used to partially fund LPAPA’s Educational Plein Air Project. Three portions of the Plein Air Project will once again be presented during the annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational to inspire our next generation of artists.

Laguna Plein Air Project – Recent nominee at LBAA Art Star Awards Best New Arts Program – A program where LPAPA artist/mentors introduce students to the history of plein air painting through lectures, demonstrations and in field study (where students are given art supplies to create their works of art) along with a field trip to museums.

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The Younger Generation enjoy painting

The Younger Generation – A program designed to provide students with the knowledge of plein air painting, art and California history, museum education, field study and a multi-faceted education of California’s natural landscape. The program is meant to enhance their standard study of California history and allow students to connect these history studies to plein air art.  

Ultimately, LPAPA hopes that the program will change the way a student looks at their surrounding landscape and inspire them to further explore their artistic abilities.  

An exciting part of the annual Laguna Plein Air Painting Invitational is the Kids’ PaintOut & Cookie Reception, designed to educate our local students about plein air painting. Students are paired with plein air painters and given their own plein air painting supply kits to create their own works of art

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Board trustee John Campbell, LPAPA president Toni Kellenberg, and FOA Foundation trustee Scott Moore

The Next Generation – A program designed to cultivate the next generation of plein air painters. LPAPA artist/mentors work with students from local colleges to assist in developing their knowledge and expertise in the plein air field. LPAPA supplies the mentors as well as supplies. 

The Now Generation – A multi-faceted education program designed for adults who are interested in learning about plein air painting, California Impressionism, and/or to enhance the knowledge and skills of professional emerging and beginning artists.

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, established in 1996, is a nationwide organization of over 300 professional artists devoted to the art of plein air painting. More information about upcoming events and programs can be found on their website at or call (949) 376-3635.

LCAD MFA opens two exhibitions at new LCAD Gallery 805 space and in Santa Ana

LCAD MFA is opening three related exhibitions in Laguna Beach and Santa Ana, focusing on new works by recent graduates of LCAD’s MFA program in painting.

Called Regarding Reality I and II, two exhibitions will be on show at Q Art Salon, 205 N Sycamore St, Santa Ana.

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LCAD exhibition Regarding Reality 1

Regarding Reality I is set to take place from June 3 - 14, with a reception following on June 2 from 6 - 9 p.m. 

Regarding Reality II will take place from June 17 - 30, with a reception following on June 16 from 6 - 9 p.m. 

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LCAD New Wave exhibition

Also on the calendar for June is The Next Wave: New Masters of Fine Art, taking place from June 7 - 26, with an opening reception on June 7 from 6 - 9 p.m. at the LCAD Gallery 805 space at 805 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information on these upcoming events, contact Mary Castillo at (949) 933-6279. 

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association Family Fun Watercolor Painting event on May 12

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association’s Family Fun Watercolor Painting event takes place this Saturday, May 12.

The fun-filled family watercolor painting workshop is for kids ages 6 - 12, as well as adults. Participants will have the opportunity to paint a special watercolor masterpiece as a Mother’s Day greeting card keepsake. 

This painting class offers the opportunity to work with professional LPAPA artists to create unique watercolor paintings. Parents who wish to have the opportunity to work with watercolors or paint alongside the young artists are also encouraged to register to paint.

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There are two May 12 sessions to choose from with Session I from 9 - 11 a.m. and Session 2 between 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. There are a maximum of 20 painters per session.

Each registered painter will receive a postcard and card frame, watercolor set and apron to take home. A cupcake reception will follow the painting session.

This event is made possible with the support of the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation for the Arts and LPAPA’s Plein Air Project Arts Education Program.

Cost for the class is $20 (including art materials). The class takes place at the LPAPA in Residence at Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave.

For more information or to register, contact LPAPA’s executive director, Rosemary Swimm, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (949) 376-3635.

Art Stars honors include several Plein Air stars

On Sunday, April 29, the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association’s (LPAPA) was awarded this year’s LBAA Art Star Award for “Best Arts Program” for their annual Laguna Plein Air Painting Invitational.

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Rosemary and Tom Swimm, key figures in LPAPA

LPAPA is the steward of Laguna’s plein air legacy, which established our town as an artists’ colony in 1903.  Early plein air artists founded the Laguna Beach Art Association and opened the first art gallery in 1918. 

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Celebrations are in order for LPAPA at the Art Star Awards

The LPAPA Invitational began in 1999 with 2018 marking its 20th year. This event is now recognized as one of the most prominent plein air art painting events in the world.

LPAPA’s artist member Tom Swimm was honored for LBAA’s Lifetime Achievement award.  For over 50 years, Tom’s life work has been passionately dedicated to the creative arts and his career successes have included distinguished accomplishments in painting, photography, advertising, playwriting, musical composition and acting.

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LPAPA president Toni Kellenberg and Joy Dittberner

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, established in 1996, is a nationwide organization of over 300 professional artists devoted to the art of plein air painting. For more information about upcoming events and programs, visit or call (949) 376-3635.

Summer Jazz Series starts up June 13 at [seven-degrees] featuring vocalist Barbara Morrison

Laguna Beach Live! has announced that tickets are on sale for Jazz Wednesdays Summer Series 2018, presented by Laguna Beach Live! at unique event facility [seven-degrees], 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

The Jazz Summer Series features seven concerts, occurring every two weeks from June 13 - September 5, with top jazz musicians from the region. 

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Vocalist Barbara Morrison

Kicking off the season on June 13 is critically-acclaimed vocalist Barbara Morrison, followed by The Latin Jazz Syndicate on June 27 featuring vocalist Norell Thompson and trumpeter Bijon Watson.

 Other performances include: July 11, guitarist Frank Potenza Organ Group; July 25, vocalist Anne Walsh; August 8, classic jazz with vocalist/bassist Kristin Korb Trio;and August 22, The Lineage Trio. The season concludes on September 5 with Laguna Beach Live! All Stars featuring Bijon Watson.

Ticketsare Cabaret Table seating $25/seat in advance and $30 at the door, with season tickets for $175. Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at (800) 595-4849. The information line is (949) 715- 9713.

Other upcoming Laguna Beach Live! concerts include: May 22, Live! Music Insights with Dr. Robert Istad and a special trio of musicians who will explore “The Grass is Blue: America’s Legacy of Bluegrass and Spirituals”; June 4, Live! Music Insights “All That Jazz: An Historic Retrospective with Bijon Watson & all-star trio”; and June 10, the popular Bluegrass & BBQ featuring The Barefoot Movement, with food and beverages provided by Laguna Beach Beer Co, Purple Corduroy Wine, and Gnarly “Q” BBQ.

No Square Theatre needs you: Why you should invest in community theatre

Story and photos by LAURA BUCKLE

All the world may be a stage, but local theatre is a tough way to make a buck.

Raising the curtain can be much more of a challenge than you could have imagined. 

Putting on a show can be fueled by great, infectious enthusiasm, but creating an organization to sustain a series of shows and build a place in the community takes much more sustained effort.

No Square Theatre’s dynamic and exciting calendar of shows and events is planned meticulously with the community audience in mind – despite often not having the budget.

No Square relies heavily on community support, and this year’s arrival of the membership scheme has been successful, but they need more members to sustain the quality and frequency for which they have become renowned.

But why? Why should you invest in local community theatre? 

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Actors become like family

Ok, I’ll admit, as a child born and raised in theatre I am a little biased, but as a researcher, I took it upon myself to explore just what the benefits are even to the most “un-thespian” of people.

“Theatre is one of the higher cultural activities that mark us as imaginative, creative and truly human,” says Dr. Glenn D Wilson, Chapman University.

Attending a performance of your favorite play can promote a connection with and understanding of humanity in a bigger sense, he says. Wilson explains that the inclusion of human conflict in many plays helps people relate to each other while providing subtle guidance in our own personal relationships. 

Watching a play also allows the audience to access emotions they often don’t in the daily course of their lives. “Whether you see a tragedy or a musical, there’s likely an element of the storyline that extends beyond your personal life experiences,” Wilson adds.

This notion was further proven when the University of Arkansas Department of Education conducted a study on the effects of live performances on students. Emotional benefits that surfaced included an increased ability to comprehend and empathize with other people’s feelings and reactions. Those results weren’t as apparent with the control group that read the play or watched a movie adaptation.

The Human Element

One of the key attributes that separate’s theatre from movies and books is liveliness. Have you seen plays that were adapted for film? According to the Guardian UK, movies often show the same performance, but watching it isn’t the same experience as in the theatre.

There’s a bond that forms between the performers and the viewer, not to mention the connection that bonds the members of the audience. The Guardian article explains how there are brief magical moments that can only happen when spectators and performers share a physical space.

Local Support

By attending local theatre, you’re supporting the community, especially if there are residents performing. The community support I received from doing Annie (after a 20 year break from MT) helped me so much with my nerves and confidence. 

There are benefits for you as well, such as the fact that community theatre shows are often much less expensive than other performances. Additionally, the plays and musicals are typically held in smaller venues, so the action is easy to see and hear. 

Its soooooo good for children

I know I have a theatre child, Lula – but I also have a theatre spectator, Jesse (who would rather poke himself in the eye than perform on a stage) and trust me when I say the performing arts has benefitted them both. It teaches children how to think creatively through imagination. Creative thinking skills are critical in the world of business leaders, where the ability to create solutions to problems is a necessary and valued asset.

Robert A Iger, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, has said that the heart and soul of a company is creativity and innovation. “Without creativity, there is nothing that makes an organization unique. Creative skills are one of the most important skills needed to be successful in any industry.”

Through theatre, audiences are immersed in stories about characters from every background imaginable. Live shows teach children how to appreciate people of all kinds and how to respect other points of view. Production brings a story with a unique viewpoint, characters from historic time periods give viewers a chance to learn about events and people from the past. 

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Rehearsals are fun

Not only is it important to learn about different kinds of people and aspects of life, but these shows also give a glimpse into other people’s lives. Theatre allows you to step into someone else’s shoes and see life from their point of view. This teaches young people lessons of empathy and cultural relativity.

Theatre exposes young people to new vocabulary and ways of communicating. Through the arts of dance, acting, and music, children learn how to communicate in a variety of unique ways.

Children need imagination to grow, create, think, and play. Theatre is the single most valuable place where kids can explore the endless possibilities of their imaginations and what they can do.

Without theatre, children not only miss out on an amazing artistic experience, but they lose the chance to experience an endless amount of learning opportunities. With exposure that not only raises school performance, but also encourages creativity, culture, communication, patience, morals, and imagination, an afternoon at the theatre is something that cannot be overlooked.

So hopefully by now I will have convinced you that becoming a member and supporting No Square Theatre will benefit everyone for generations. Check out their website at and click on “become a member” – this will give you various membership options.

While you are there now is the opportunity to purchase tickets to see “A Little Night Music” which opens May 11 and runs on the weekends until May 20– and also check out the summer camps available for your young people. 

No Square Theatre has been monumental in our family’s adjustment to moving over here. They are a family, we are a family – a family that just wants to grow and grow.

Shana Morrison performs her special brand of music at The Cliff this Friday, May 11 from 7 – 10 p.m.

Shana Morrison will perform her special brand of music at The Cliff this Friday night, May 11, from 7 - 10 p.m.

Shana Morrison with her band

From the release of her 1996 debut CD Caledonia, to the recent recording of “Rough God Goes Riding” on father Van Morrison’s “Duets: Re-working The Catalogue,”Shana makes music on her own terms. 

In the process of recording five original CDs, touring with her band, and being a featured guest artist touring with her father Van spanning over 25 years, Shana has developed a unique and wide-ranging vocal style, bending the blues and R&B to make for a powerful performance that proves family talent runs deep.  

Starting out as a pop/rock artist in the ‘90s, she has always incorporated American roots music into her live shows.

Shana will be joined by a stellar group featuring Bob Hawkins on guitar, Dave Batti on bass, John Hoke on drums, and Andy Hill on “everything else”.

The Cliff is located at 577 S Coast Hwy.

Film Night at LAM: Dr. Strangelove will be shown on Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m. – free admission

Artist Jorg Dubin will introduce a personal favorite at Film Night at Laguna Art Museum on Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m.: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

More commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, the film is a 1964 political satire/black comedy that satirizes the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. 

In it, an insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop. The film was directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, and is loosely based on Peter George’s thriller novel Red Alert.

Advance tickets are recommended. Reserve tickets online at or call (949) 494.8971 x203.

Artists Fund at FOA exhibits Board members’ work at City Hall now through May 22

The Artist Fund at Festival of Arts is exhibiting a Board of Directors’ show at City Hall, located at 505 Forest Ave, now through May 22, during regular hours. Exhibiting board members include Geraldine Cropser, Anne England, Roger Folk, Elizabeth McGhee, Rick Graves, and Wendy Wirth.

Founded by Anne England in 2000, the organization provides financial aid to Festival artists suffering hardship due to disaster, medical or unfortunate circumstances. A separate scholarship fund provides grants to artists for professional growth. 

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Elizabeth McGhee’s portraits are among The Artists Fund show at City Hall 

The non-profit organization recently received a donation from the Gross Family Charitable Foundation, which will increase funding of both grants for artists. 

“We are extremely grateful to the Foundation for this generosity.” said Shirley Rush, President. Additional board members include Karen Alvarado, Angela Goodwin, Roseanne Nolan, and Hugo Rivera.

To contact The Artists Fund, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , call (949) 612-1949 or log onto

Laguna Playhouse Gala will feature Davis Gaines, Phantom of the Opera star, on May 12 

The spotlight will shine bright at the Laguna Playhouse’s annual gala on May 12, with special performances by “Phantom of the Opera” star Davis Gaines, a tribute to the Moulton Theatre’s 50th anniversary, and a host of highlights celebrated throughout the much-anticipated, elegant affair.

The nearly sold out 2018 Laguna Playhouse Gala will once again be held at Fashion Island Hotel, Newport Beach, featuring an elegant cocktail reception, fine dining, and live and silent auctions with exotic trips and Lugano Diamonds jewelry.

An intimate VIP experience with Davis Gaines, Los Angeles’ longest running Phantom star, special performances by the talented Playhouse Youth Theatre Conservatory kids and a performance by Davis are some of the evening’s highlights, followed by dancing to the sounds of a nine-piece band.

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Special performances that night will include Davis Gaines 

“Honoring the Moulton family on the 50th Anniversary of the Moulton Theatre is such a wonderful time to share the story of Lewis and Nellie Gail Moulton. Nellie Gail Moulton generously contributed to building the Laguna Moulton Playhouse in 1967,” said Event Co-chair and Season Producer Lisa Hale. “The Playhouse opened with its first performances in 1968 and the same structure continues today as The Laguna Playhouse and Moulton Theatre.”

“Nellie Gail loved Laguna and she loved The Playhouse. Our family helping to protect its history and secure its future is the right thing to do,” said great grandson and Playhouse Board Member, Jared Mathis. “This wonderful season at the Playhouse is the result off a huge increase in underwriting. Executive Director Ellen Richard and Artistic Director Anne Wareham said if we can get $250,000 in underwriting we can produce this season,” explained Hale. “I believed in them and the season, so I wrote the check.”

Popular actor Richard Burgi lauds the Moulton family and the Playhouse. He recently performed in back-to-back Laguna Playhouse hits, “The Graduate,” with Golden Globe winner Melanie Griffith, and “12 Angry Men.”

“Any family that puts their heart and resources into the arts I have a lot of admiration and gratitude for,” Burgi said. “I think there’s not enough of that in the world.”

Burgi added, “The resources at the theater, it’s just incredible. They put on incredible shows. I just encourage people to go out and support their local arts.” 

The Gala is the Laguna Playhouse’s biggest fundraising event of the year. “Last year’s Gala, under co-chairs Glenn Gray and Kathryn Burton Gray, grossed more than $600,000. It is a very large part of our annual fundraising number,” said Hale.

For more information on this upcoming event, contact Doug Vogel at (949) 204-5341.

Coastal Eddy, A Gallery, is five years young and ready to celebrate the milestone 

Coastal Eddy, A Gallery, celebrates five years in Laguna this month. Since May 2013, the gallery has showcased many exciting artists’ ceramic works. Laguna Beach has a rich history in ceramic art and needed a gallery to represent both the past and present in ceramic techniques. 

Starting with local artists, the gallery has grown to 32 artists, including artists from around the country and Canada. From functional ware to abstract sculpture, the ever- changing collection is meant to inspire. 

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The vibrant storefront of Coastal Eddy

Over the last five years Coastal Eddy has hosted over 30 exhibitions, including several installations, with the idea that “art for art’s sake” is just as important as the sale. If you have creative, edgy art that is evocative, people will connect and find a place for art in their lives. 

Owner Robin Lee Riddell plans a Cinco de Mayo party to celebrate this anniversary and to thank the residents of Laguna Beach for their support. The party is Saturday, May 5 from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Visit the gallery for an evening of art, music, food & fun. 

Coastal Eddy, the only ceramic art gallery in Laguna Beach, is located at 1417 S. Coast Highway, in the HIP district of Laguna. 

For more information or to RSVP, contact (949) 715-4113 or visit

No Square Theatre presents A Little Night Music

Love under the chandeliers! This is the delightful musical that gave us the popular and haunting “Send in the Clowns.” A Little Night Music is based on the book by Hugh Wheeler and features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. This production, opening on May 11, is directed by Joe Lauderdale, with music direction by Diane King Vann, choreography by Ellen Prince, and costume design by Brigitte Harper.

Performances will be May 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m., May 13 at 6:30 p.m., May 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m., and May 20 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 (VIP seating $35) and can be purchased at

A Little Night Music is the witty, delicate, sophisticated, and occasionally heartbreaking story of actress Desirée Armfeldt and the men who love her – a lawyer from her past and a Dragoon from her present. Both men, as well as their jealous wives, agree to join Desirée and her family for a weekend in the country at Desirée’s mother’s estate. With everyone in one place, infinite possibilities of new romances and second chances bring endless surprises under the magical chandeliers floating above.

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The cast in rehearsal for A Little Night Music

The talented, veteran cast includes (in order of appearance): Gary Greene, Alexandria Goforth, Rebecca Butkivich, Eric T. Anderson, Chloe Lovato, Olivia Tewksbury, Karen Rymar, McKay Mangum, Marisol Zamora, Rob Harryman, Ashley Montgomery, Alexis Acevedo, and Chelsea Vann. Audience members will be delighted to see many of their favorite actors from touring companies, area theater shows, and past No Square productions (including Annie, Chicago, Rocky Horror Show, and Lagunatics).

Award-winning director Joe Lauderdale has directed or produced more than 70 productions for both youth and adults.

No Square Theatre is generously sponsored by The Lodging Establishments & City of Laguna Beach, Patrick Quilter, Dorene & Lee Butler Family Foundation, Yvonne & John Browning, The City of Laguna Beach, Stella Charton in Memory of Lloyd Charton, Ann & Charlie Quilter in Honor of Joe Lauderdale, Carolyn & Tom Bent, Festival of Arts Foundation, Laguna Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund, and Patrick Quilter/Quilter Labs.

No Square Theatre is in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion Street, two blocks south of the High School. The High School has ample free parking. Seating is extremely limited and the theatre has enjoyed a long run of sold-out events, so tickets must be purchased in advance.

Laguna Canyon Artist’s Spring Open Studios celebrates Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, May 5

On Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Laguna Canyon artists (LCA) open their studios to the public. LCA suggests that the public celebrate the Cinco de Mayo edition of the Laguna Canyon Artist’s Spring Open Studios by visiting these talented artists’ workspaces and viewing their unique art.

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Dynamic Color Abstract by LCA Paul Gardner

The work of these artists, representing a diverse mix of styles and mediums including drawing and painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and ceramics, will be on display.

Attendees can start the Cinco de Mayo holiday festivities by taking a drive to beautiful Laguna Canyon for this rare opportunity to visit these artists in their studios to see how the work is created. 

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Laguna Canyon Artist’s Studios open for Cinco de Mayo on Sat, May 5

Parking is free; refreshments will be served. Drivers should look for signs at the Laguna Canyon Artists complex.

The studios are located at 3251 & 3275 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre opens classic tale of A Little Princess on May 5 at Laguna Playhouse

The award-winning Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre opens A Little Princess on Saturday, May 5 on the Moulton Stage at The Laguna Playhouse. Adapted by June Walker Rodgers, from the story Sara Crewe by Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess tells the story of young Sara Crewe, privileged daughter of a wealthy diamond merchant. 

All the other girls at Miss Minchin’s school treat Sara as if she truly were a princess. But when Captain Crewe’s fortune is sadly lost, Sara’s luck changes. Suddenly she is treated no better than a scullery maid. Her own fierce determination to maintain her dignity and remain a princess on the inside has intrigued and delighted readers for over a hundred years.

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Little Princess runs from Saturday, May 5, through Sunday, May 13

Actors include; Bridget Phillips as Sara Crewe, Claire Day as Miss Minchin, Cassidy Morgan as Becky, Erin Sawyer as Amelia, Grace Hahn as Ermengarde, Bethany Klause as Lavinia, Lyndsey Grace Stradwick as Jessie, Sienna Voisin as Lottie, Abigail Williams as Anne, Elisa Rodriguez as Marie and Mrs. Perrens, Ella Thimons as Janet, Charlie Grace Goubran as Nora, Carson Kubelun as Guy Lawrence, and Chloe Lawson, Fiona McCue, Sophia Pachl and Raquel Temesvary as School Girls. Terry Christopher will perform as Captain Crewe and Mr. Carrisford, Charles McClung as Mr. Barrows and Mr. Michaels, and Aaron McGee as Monsieur Thibault and Ram Dass. 

A Little Princess is directed by Kelly Herman with costumes by Kaitlyn Kaufman, set by Jim Prodger, lights by Glenn Powell, and sound by Mike Ritchey, and includes a cast of 20.

Performances will be: Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Sunday, May 6 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Thursday, May 10 at 10 a.m.; Friday, May 11 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, May 12 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and Sunday, May 13 at 1 p.m.  

Tickets are $20 for Adults and $10 for youth and can be purchased by calling (949) 497-2787 x1, or going online to

Laguna Dance Festival Gala takes on a musical theme with tribute to legacy of West Side Story on May 18

Laguna Dance Festival’s 2018 gala will celebrate the launch of the festival’s 14th season with a West Side Story theme in honor of the centennial birthdays of two of the production’s artistic luminaries, composer Leonard Bernstein and choreographer Jerome Robbins. 

The gala will be held at [seven-degrees] on Friday, May 18, and includes a live auction, fine dining, wines donated by Hall Winery of Napa, and dancing into the night. 

The program will include live music and dance from West Side Story and vocal renditions of select songs, and an iconic dance excerpt from “America,” performed by dancers from the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. There will also be several new commissions performed by professional artists - each inspired by the musical, but with their very own “west coast story” flair. 

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Jerome Robbins with George Chakiris during rehearsals of West Side Story

Additionally, Clifford Williams from Complexions Contemporary Ballet will perform a solo as well as the three recipients of the 2017 Laguna Dance Festival scholarship – Emily Eckert, Jocelyn Magana, and Marcus Sarjeant. 

“This year’s gala event not only marks the centennial of two great artists, it also celebrates Laguna Dance Festival’s commitment to quality education and innovative programming. The night will be full of glorious music and dance that represents the brightest stars of today and tomorrow,” says Artistic Director and Founder, Jodie Gates. 

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West Side Story dance number - America

Laguna Dance Festival offers world-class dance on a theatre stage, art galleries and site-specific outdoor venues throughout Laguna Beach and Orange County. Since its inception in 2005, Laguna Dance Festival has presented companies such as Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Parsons Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, BalletX, and Ballet BC, among others. In addition, the festival is committed to providing quality dance education to the west coast through master classes, a summer intensive workshop, and scholarships for young dancers.

Go to for tickets and more information.

Doheny Blues Festival rocks it May 19 and 20


Right down the road there’s a little something to get you on your dancing feet. Looking for lively music fun? Go no further than Dana Point for the Blues Festival. 

Dana Point’s Doheny Blues Festival returns with a rockin’ lineup May 19 and 20. Participating musicians include legendary blues rocker George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Buddy Guy, Blues Traveler, Jimmie Vaughan, Beth Hart, Larkin Poe, The California Honeydrops, and many others. There will be more than 20 performers, on three stages.

The Blues event is Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at and also available for purchase at Wahoo’s.

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Buddy Guy will be performing at Doheny Blues Festival

By the way, this year’s festival has found a new home. The event producers, Omega Events state that, “After 20 successful years of bringing the world’s finest Blues musicians to Orange County, we are also excited to announce our new venue, Dana Point’s Sea Terrace Park. The award-winning festival will be reimagined at its new seaside home, with more intimate stage areas, elevated food and beverage offerings, and involvement from many local businesses.”

The new location means that the Laguna Beach trolleys can take visitors and locals all the way to the festival entrance this year.

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There will be a Blues Festival pre-party on Thursday, May 17 at Mozambique.  Featured will be international artist from Sweden, Knock-Out Greg and the Jukes, pictured here.

Laguna Beach Live! presents Live Music Insights with Dr. Robert Istad at Mozambique on May 22

On May 22, Laguna Beach Live! presents Live! Music Insights with Dr. Robert Istad who will explore “The Grass is Blue: America’s Legacy of Bluegrass and Spirituals.”

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Dr. Robert Istad

Dr. Istad is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at California State University at Fullerton, and has been serving as Pacific Chorale’s Artistic Director since July 2017. Demonstrating the musical highlights of his talk will be Denean Dyson, mezzo-soprano; Jeff Askew, guitar and banjo; and Chris Booke, bass.

The evening takes place in the Boma Room at Mozambique where guests are invited to come starting at 5:30 p.m. to enjoy social time and the Happy Hour menu. The talk and music will begin at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are $10 and can be made online at or by phone at (800) 595-4849. Seating is limited.

Coming up on June 10 is the Great Bluegrass music by the Barefoot Movement at Laguna College of Art & Design.

Art Museum publishes tribute to artist Marcia Hafif, 1929-2018

The news of Marcia Hafif’s death has saddened us all. She was a good friend to the museum, and in 2015 we had the privilege of presenting an exhibition of her paintings. 

Marcia considered an exhibition to be a work of art in itself, and the experience of discussing, designing, installing, and lighting the show, along with the production of the accompanying book, was an education in the aesthetics of perfection. 

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Exhibition of Marcia Hafif’s work

Knowing and working closely with an artist of her stature was an honor made all the more memorable by her graciousness, her humor, and the sheer liveliness of her mind. 

Although she made her reputation on the east coast and in Europe, we have reason to be proud of this celebrated artist who grew up in Laguna Beach and returned to live here, largely under the radar, for the last twenty years of her life. She loved Laguna, and the natural beauty of the place was an important source of inspiration for her art. 

“Walking often on the shore,” she wrote, “I was influenced by the colors of the sea, the sky and the sand, by the seashells and seaweed, the dark clouds over the horizon in the evening, the shining colors reflected in the sand as the waves fell back.”

LCAD’s art takes center stage at the 28th Annual Collectors’ Choice (not so) Silent Auction


Photos by Jeff Rovner

No one stayed silent about their love of art – and appreciation for LCAD – at Laguna College of Art + Design’s 28th Annual Collector’s Choice Silent Auction last Friday night. Artists, patrons and community members poured into [seven-degrees] for a festive night of live jazz, seasonal bites, cocktails and, of course, lots of art. The proceeds benefited the college, supporting its students and programs, and helped fund the $2.5 million in scholarships the school awards each year.

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Not only the art was colorful at the Collectors’ Choice Gala

LCAD faculty, alumni and other celebrated professional artists offered up oils, charcoals, photographs and sculptures. There were watercolors, wooden boxes, and blown glass. As guests gathered, sipped and ate, one woman painted another’s portrait onto her canvas in the corner of the room. 

There’s plenty to love about Laguna Beach, but the LCAD event summed up one of my favorite things about our town: this community is authentically passionate. Art auctions have the potential to feel pretentious. For someone like me, who barely knows her Jasper Johns from her Jackson Pollocks, that can be intimidating. Yes, this town appreciates art. But, more importantly, people just dig it. You can feel the difference between folks who are politely supportive and those who are sincerely passionate. 

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Artist in action at the Collectors’ Choice Gala

I pulled LCAD’s president, Jonathan Burke, aside to talk about this. Burke has been with LCAD for 38 years, serving in various capacities as professor, dean and president. He embodies passion, and he’s focused on making LCAD one of the premiere art institutes in the United States. He explains that recently, the live auction (held this year at Montage Resort) is now separate from the silent event, giving guests on each occasion an entirely different experience. For serious collectors, or donors looking for a more extravagant evening, Montage Laguna Beach provides that ambience. But Burke is committed to making art available to everyone.

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LCAD’s president, Jonathan Burke, addresses guests

“We wanted to have a party in town and make it more accessible,” says Burke. “We brought the price point down to embrace more of the community. The artists here love the college and want to donate.” Burke himself donated a piece, as he does every year, often to both the silent and live auction, and sometimes more than one. 

As the evening wound down, I watched people pick up their art. Couples talked about where new pieces would hang. A man was hurrying to bring the car around, having won three wooden boxes. He’d lost a few paintings he wanted, but he still looked like a little boy on Christmas morning, triumphant and giddy. The artists watched their work going off to new homes, elated they made someone happy. 

And LCAD is now able to do more of what it does best . . . produce another generation of artists who instill this passion and carry the torch for art. 

That circle of love for art sums up what it feels like to live in Laguna.

To view more of Jeff Rovner’s outstanding photographs, click on the gallery below. Jeff will be exhibiting his fine art photography at the Festival of Arts for the second year this summer. The theme of his exhibit is Cirque Noir.


Breathing life into art: Rehearsals for Pageant of the Masters are heating up

The Pageant of the Masters, presented by Laguna Beach’s Festival of Arts, is heating up the beachside community with preparations and rehearsals underway for the highly-anticipated 2018 production of “Under the Sun.” 

Celebrating its 85th anniversary, the 2018 Pageant of the Masters will amaze audiences nightly July 7 - September 1 with 90 minutes of tableaux vivants. These “living pictures” are re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. Tickets are available now at

“We started work on pre-production for “Under the Sun” in October 2017. Currently we are building different sets each week, and conducting dress rehearsals every Thursday night for 3-4 set pieces,” said Richard “Butch” Hill, Technical Director and Lighting Designer for the Pageant. “This will be my 34th year with the Pageant and the passion and dedication from the designers, volunteers, make-up artists, Pageant Director, and everyone involved truly shows in the masterpieces created.”

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Pageant Sculptor Daniel Stonebreaker (far right) helps volunteer cast members (left to right) Sunshine Iller of Lake Forest, Ferne Ames of Laguna Beach and Caroline Reese of Ladera Ranch, into their poses at a rehearsal for the 2018 Pageant of the Masters

Since opening in 1933, the Pageant has welcomed approximately 500 volunteers each year who eagerly contribute more than 60,000 hours of their time in total. Many staff members, like Butch, have worked with Pageant of the Masters for decades, creating a family-reunion-like environment that attracts mass numbers of volunteers and crowds to learn, appreciate and perform in the fine arts. The volunteers vary in ages with the youngest volunteer at just four years old, and the oldest in his late 80s.

Every Thursday night through June, staff and volunteers gather in the Irvine Bowl studying details from stage lighting to specific pose placement, and unique make-up art to complicated set designs. Volunteer actors fill the backstage area during rehearsals, along with Allyson Doherty, Makeup Director, who coaches the make-up volunteers with step-by-step tutorials on how to transform the actors into living art. To complete the final picture, Costume Director Reagan Foy and her team help cast members into their costumes and make final adjustments.

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Scene from Under the Sun: Garden Wall

The Director, Diane Challis Davy, selects the pieces in the Pageant and oversees pre-production and each rehearsal to perfect the living pictures and transform their presentation, with help from the Pageant staff, into a full production with music, narration and backdrops.

In the 2018 Pageant of the Masters, “Under the Sun,” theatrical magic, live music and light-hearted storytelling will honor masterpieces including work by Leonardo da Vinci, Kleitsch, Rosenthal, Monet, Kuntz, Sargent, and Wasil. Staying with tradition, the finale of the Pageant will feature Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”

The Pageant of the Masters runs July 7 - September 1 with advance tickets now available starting at $15 per person. A Pageant ticket is also a season pass to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. 

The 2018 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show will take place in conjunction with the Pageant of the Masters, July 5 - September 1, with general admission tickets starting at $10 per person. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Gallery Q explores diversity and unity in Harmony exhibition; artists invited to submit artwork on May 3

Gallery Q at The Susi Q explores diversity and unity in its third exhibition of the 2018 season – “Harmony.” Artists are invited to submit artwork that explores our society’s diverse perspectives and inspires us to work together to create a better world. 

All media will be accepted for this juried exhibition including collage, paintings, drawings, mixed media, photographs, jewelry, sculpture, textiles, mosaics, relief or ceramics. 

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Artist, Gretchen Shannon

In conjunction with the City of Laguna Beach, which has proclaimed the month of June as LGBTQ Heritage and Cultural Month, the exhibition will also feature a current and historical collection of LGBTQ artists from the community.

Gallery Q will be accepting artwork on Thursday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. There is an entry fee of $25 per piece. Additional entry pieces are $5 each – limit three. Scholarships are available to individuals 65+ on a limited income. 

A free Artists’ Reception with live music, wine, beverages and light refreshments will take place on Friday, May 11 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The exhibit will be on display from May 7 through June 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondau through Friday.

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Artist, Kristi Ann Smith

Gallery Q is located in the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Senior Center at 380 Third St in downtown Laguna Beach. Many of the art pieces in the show will be available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Laguna Beach Seniors. 

For additional information, visit (under Gallery Q), email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (949) 300-9224.

To download the guidelines and application form, visit the Susi Q front desk or go to and then to Gallery Q.

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