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Greg MacGillivray of MacGillivray Freeman Films relates his life in cinema

The Newport Beach Public Library Foundation (NBPLF) presented an evening with filmmaker Greg MacGillivray at the Newport Beach Central Library on Saturday, Jan. 28. MacGillivray spoke about his life as a filmmaker from surf films to Hollywood masterpieces to his 45 groundbreaking IMAX films that raised awareness about the natural world. His presentation included video clips of his films including Everest, To The Arctic, Journey to the South Pacific and his early career with his partner, Jim Freeman.

Greg MacGillivray at podium

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Photos courtesy of NBPLF

Filmmaker Greg MacGillivray addresses the audience

Freeman tragically died in a helicopter accident just days before the grand opening of their first IMAX film in 1976, To Fly, which is still being shown at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. MacGillivray related how he has continued to honor his friend and early partner by keeping the name MacGillivray Freeman.

MacGillivray Freeman is a very successful production company having produced five of the top 10 highest-grossing IMAX films in the world with more than $1 billion in sales. Greg’s wife, Barbara, was always involved in the production company, and they are now joined by their son, Shaun and daughter, Meghan.

Greg MacGillivray Walkie Ray four

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(L-R) Walkie Ray, Barbara MacGillivray, Janet Ray and Greg MacGillivray

Greg MacGillivray Clark duo

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NBPLF President Karen Clark with Michael Ray

Greg MacGillivray signing 1

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Greg MacGillivray signing 2

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Greg MacGillivray signing his recent memoir, “Five Hundred Summer Stories: A Life in IMAX”

MacGillivray signed his recently released memoir Five Hundred Summer Stories: A Life in IMAX after his presentation and the evening included a light dinner catered by West Coast Event Productions with music provided by Steve Wood and Beth Fitchett Wood of the acclaimed band Honk. Steve Wood worked on 25 soundtracks of the MacGillivray Freeman films including Everest with George Harrison, To the Arctic with Paul McCartney, Grand Canyon Adventure with the Dave Matthews Band, The Living Sea with Sting and the music for Five Summer Stories, the iconic surfer film celebrating its 50th anniversary last year.

Greg MacGillivray film clip

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Viewing a clip from a MacGillivray Freeman film

The evening benefited the A/V Technology Fund for Witte Hall, the soon-to-be constructed Library Lecture Hall that will transform the quality and character of programs and events presented by the Newport Beach Public Library and Library Foundation, as well as the extended Newport Beach community.

MacGillivray mentioned in his presentation that his films will look terrific on the planned 9’ x 16’ LED video wall display in Witte Hall, where everyone will be able to see both the video screen and the speaker with the planned tiered seating. The Foundation anticipates inviting MacGillivray for another presentation when Witte Hall opens in 2024.

Greg MacGillivray Teddie Ray three

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(L-R) Teddie Ray, Michael Bryan and Witte Lecture Series Chair Janet Hadley

Greg MacGillivray Tuckers

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Larry Tucker and Jill Johnson Tucker

Greg MacGillivray Honk

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Barbara Fitchett Wood and Steve Wood, band members of Honk perform during dinner

Greg MacGilivray grandkids

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Greg MacGillivray enjoying time with his grandchildren at the library event

Witte Hall will also include technically advanced stage lighting and audio-visual equipment that will maximize the audience experience. Computer-controlled lighting over the audience and above the stage will provide multiple lighting settings for lectures, performing arts, film and other presentations. Multiple state-of-the-art speakers and excellent acoustics will mean that the human voice, musical instruments and sound from the video display will be clear, precise and vivid everywhere in the auditorium. Additional advanced technology includes the capacity to livestream presentations and a wireless Assistive Listening System.

The city and the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation have entered into an agreement in which the city will be contributing half of the cost of construction of Witte Hall and the Foundation will raise funds for the remainder. It is anticipated that groundbreaking for the new hall will be in 2023 with the grand opening in 2024.

Naming opportunities are still available for the new Library Lecture Hall. Major donors will have permanent recognition on the Donor Wall in the Louise and Roy Woolsey Memorial Lobby at Witte Hall and at grand opening events.

For more information on the Foundation’s capital campaign Beyond Books, go here.

For additional information on Greg MacGillivray’s memoir, go here

For more information on Witte Hall and the Beyond Books capital campaign, contact Jerold D Kappel, chief executive officer of the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation at 949.717.3890, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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February brings close to Tenth Annual Art & Nature Festival and the opening of a new exhibit 

Laguna Art Museum’s (LAM’s) 10th Annual Art & Nature Festival celebrates its close on February 4 at 6 p.m. However, the exhibitions are still on view, featuring groundbreaking, immersive exhibitions including The Sea Around Us by artist Rebeca Méndez, Pyramidion by artist Kelly Berg, The Big One by artist Robert Young and Five Summer Stories: The Exhibition. The museum has announced new Art & Nature public programs, including innovative workshops, panel discussions, nature excursions, immersive yoga and an exhibition-closing celebration.

February brings Spence

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Photos courtesy of LAM

 From the Stuart and Judith Vida Spence Collection: “I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art” by John Baldessari, 1971 lithograph

On February 4, the exhibition featuring Southern California Contemporary Art Gifts from the Stuart Spence and Judith Vida Spence Collection will open and continue through July 2023. For more than 30 years, the Spences collected and lived with contemporary art in their home in Los Angeles, as well as lending pieces to exhibitions and making significant donations to art museums – most notably LAM.

This major gift by Judy and Stuart Spence to Laguna Art Museum includes artworks from the 1970s to the present spanning California Conceptualism, West Coast Pop and Los Angeles’s Lowbrow art movement.

February brings Mendez

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See Rebeca Mendez’s installation of “The Sea Around Us” through Sunday, Feb. 5

On view through February 5, immerse yourself into the depths of the Pacific Ocean with Rebeca Méndez’s groundbreaking installation of The Sea Around Us. This 360-degree video art installation drops you straight into the depths of the ocean usually untouched by humans. Surrounded by vivid depictions of sea life, oozing barrels of DDT descend around you, creating a sense of ominous calamity and immersing you into the thick of the conflict of environmental wrongdoing. 

This moving experience inspires awe and strengthens the bond between sea and viewer, inspiring the courage to face environmental misconduct, take restorative action and avoid repeating transgressions against our natural resources. 

February brings pyramidion

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Kelly Berg’s “Pyramidion” 

 Pyramidion is an interactive sculptural experience that invites viewers to contemplate the layered history and unique geology of Laguna Beach. The Big One by artist Robert Young is thought to still hold the record as the largest painting ever created in Laguna Beach and is on display in the California Gallery. Pyramidion and The Big One are on view through February 12.

February brings stories

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Visitors have until March 12 to see the “Five Summer Stories” exhibition

Five Summer Stories: The Exhibition, presented in partnership with MacGillivray Freeman Films and Coast Film Festival in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic surf documentary, includes a sneak peek of the film and historic imagery, clothing and items from the era of the film. The exhibition is on view through March 12.

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New art exhibition at City Hall

Continuing through March 10, there is a new artwork display at City Hall, titled 2023andMe.

New art visitors

Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

“Visitors,” 24” x 30” oil on canvas, 2022 by Kevin Yuan

According to the city’s newsletter, “This group exhibition kicks off the 23rd year of this century with recent artwork by Master of Fine Arts students from Laguna College of Art + Design. The new year is a time to reflect on how we got here and make choices on where we are headed. Like the 23 pairs of chromosomes referenced in the title, our future is shaped, but jot determined, tby the past. The arts are a constantly evolving cultural inheritance.”

The artwork is displayed in the first floor hallway gallery and is open to the public during city business hours.

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LBCAC presents Broadway YOUR Way, a musical tribute to a made-up composer on February 6

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) presents Broadway YOUR Way on Monday, Feb. 6 from 7-9 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Broadway YOUR Way Soiree, an improvised musical biography with John Ballinger, Mike McShane and Brian Lohmann, is a tribute to a great American composer who never existed. Two deep-cut fans of A Made-Up American Musical Catalog (played by Lohmann and McShane) improvise the songbook of a fictitious composer with anecdotes, scenes and songs all created on the spot. 

The music is entirely improvised and arranged spontaneously by multi-instrumentalist Ballinger. He also lobs curveballs at the hosts (a random owl hoot, a thunderstorm, a ring tone) that they have to somehow incorporate into the evening.

LBCAC presents Ballinger

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Courtesy of LBCAC

Multi-instrumentalist John Ballinger

Audience suggestions like a job, a knick-knack from grandma’s house, as well as improv stand-bys, such as song titles and music genres, will keep everybody involved in creating the show.

This celebration of creativity and show biz is loony and unpredictable – it’s improvised – but these veterans entertain while taking the audience on a wild ride through a night of seat-of-your-pants songwriting. 

McShane was in the original cast of Whose Line is it Anyway UK and was in the films Office Space, Richie Rich and Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. He was a series regular in the sitcom, Brotherly Love and was memorable as FDR in Seinfeld. Stage credits include Broadway with Harvey Fierstein and Matthew Broderick and West End shows in London, including Little Shop of Horrors and Assassins

LBCAC presents Lohmann

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Courtesy of LBCAC

Singer songwriter Brian Lohmann

Singer songwriter, Lohmann, has performed at the Laguna Playhouse in Two’s a Crowd, and Tickled Pink, with Rita Rudner. Other theater credits include The Old Globe San Diego, A.C.T., Off-Broadway and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Film work includes, Jack, and He Was a Quiet Man. He sang in the Bay Area for decades as Johnny Lonely, an act that grew out of his work with the seminal comedy troupe, Faultline, which also featured McShane. He recorded and toured with John Wesley Harding and was a part of the vocal jazz sextet, Acapella Gold, who recorded with Tee Carson and hosted the Feather River Jazz Festival, (ala Lambert Hendricks and Ross at Newport). His songs were featured in the Indie film, Thanks, with Rita Rudner and Edi Patterson.

LBCAC presents McShane

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Courtesy of

Television, movie and stage actor Mike McShane 

Ballinger was the guitarist on the Dancing With the Stars national tour, toured with Rufus Wainwright, and composed and performed with O-Lan Jones and Overtone Industries. He has also worked with Van Dyke Parks, Ann Wilson, Grace Jones, Billy Zane, Pato Baton, Tracy Bonham and composed songs for the film Life Support by Larry Clarke. He played multiple instruments on the soundtrack for Flag Day, a film by Sean Penn. He is currently the composer and musical director for the comedy podcast, Live From The Lounge, with Keythe Farley.

LBCAC is located at 235 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach.

For tickets and the LBCAC calendar, go to

LBCAC has installed a Patriot Air Purification System to ensure a virus-free environment. 

Grant funding was made possible by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

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February happenings at The Artists Fund at FOA

Here are two events you won’t want to miss presented by The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts (FOA).

Taking place now and continuing through February 25, Lani Emanuel, a portrait and figurative artist based in Laguna Beach, is having her solo exhibition, Beside Herself on view at the Oceanside Museum of Art.

February happenings Emanuel

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Photos courtesy of The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts

Artist Lani Emanuel in her Laguna Beach studio

The collection, attracting many visitors, features adolescent and teen female figures on large canvases in Emanuel’s signature muted palettes. “The teen years can be the most formative in a woman’s life. My paintings explore the subtleties of this transitional time,” Emanuel said. Her additional upcoming activities include teaching painting for the Saddleback College Emeritus Program, leading a LOCA Art Talks open critiques workshop in May and exhibiting at Festival of Arts in summer 2023. To read more about her exhibition, go here.

February happenings Haron

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Judith Haron offers customized workshop on creating travel journals

Artist Judith Haron is offering customized classes on creating travel journals in watercolor for adults ages 18 and up. Subjects may include architecture, flowers, landscapes and natural scenes, and projects may be in the illuminated letters or illuminated manuscript styles. “We can include calligraphy and metallic gold paint to add some panache!,” Haron said.

Lessons are customized to fit individual needs and goals. Students may choose to book a series of three or more lessons to help build progression of skills. Workshops are two hours. Cost is $100 per individual single and $80 per individual in groups of two to four. Supplies are extra. 

To contact the Judith Haron Studio in Laguna Beach, call 949.306.8090.

For more information about The Artists Fund, visit

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LOCA initiates video series on Public Art with Laguna Honors its Artists, dedicated to Mike Hallinan by Mike Tauber 


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Some of the art one sees around Laguna Beach is the result of two city programs: “Public Art and Murals” and “Art in Public Places.” The goals of the Public Art and Murals and Art in Public Places (adopted in 1986) initiatives are to create diverse art installations of the highest quality that will, over decades, reflect the city itself and its citizens, and improve the quality of life and to be a source of pride to all Laguna Beach residents. 

There are more than 150 pieces of public art in Laguna, and Laguna Honors its Artists, which was installed in November 2022, is the newest mural in the City of Laguna Beach Art in the Public Places collection. Created by local artist Mike Tauber, it is dedicated to beloved artist Mike Hallinan, who made an immeasurable imprint on the city’s art community.

LOCA initiates group and mural

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(L-R) Julian Hakim, Greg MacGillivray, Mike Tauber, Barbara MacGillivray, Catherine Hallinan, Lisa Hall, Louis Weil and Marshall Innins

The new LOCA video series will be part of their Arts for Schools Program for both adults and youth to learn about public art. Laguna Honors its Artists will be the first in the series explaining the process behind public art, from inspiration to final installation. 

Laguna Honors its Artists, which is located on the Cleo Street side of the Taco Stand on PCH, has a unique and inspiring background and seems the perfect piece of public art to kick off the video series. 

The mural project was funded by development fees, as required by the city’s Art in Public Places ordinance and supplemented by cash from the Cleo Street Beautification Committee. 

LOCA initiates Mike and Greg

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(L-R) Mike Tauber and Greg MacGillivray

As The Taco Stand (formerly Taco Bell) was being proposed for re-development, a plan was needed to fulfill the art requirement. With the help of the Cleo Street Neighbors group, all the elements soon came together.                      

The group, led by Greg and Barbara MacGillivray, along with architect Marshall Innins, contacted the new owner, Julian Hakim, and succeeded with their proposal to raise funds and oversee a tile mural by Tauber. 

“When Julian decided to remodel, we thought a mural was a good idea,” said Greg MacGillivray. 

The project soon took off and gained momentum.

“The city wholeheartedly embraced the idea right away,” Tauber said. 

“We are so happy to be connected with a community where residents are so welcoming,” said Hakim. “We wanted to do anything we could to contribute.”

The MacGillivrays rallied the members of the neighborhood to contribute, and Travis Fidel, representing his family who are in close proximity to restaurant, said, “When the MacGillivrays approached us, we were more than happy to contribute. We all love the mural and the new Taco Stand.”

LOCA initiates Fidel

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Travis Fidel, representing his family who contributed to the mural

The MacGillivrays requested that Tauber find visual inspiration from a past Laguna Beach artist, thus illustrating the connection between generations of artists and reinforcing the legacy of Laguna Beach as an arts colony. 

“I was very honored and said, ‘yes’ immediately,” Tauber said. “The MacGillivrays offered me several names of past artists to take inspiration from, and Michael Hallinan stood out to me right away,” said Tauber. “I knew Mike and so many people enjoyed taking his classes. Catherine, his wife, gave me some of Mike’s work. I found two that worked together and combined them into a 5 x 10-foot rectangle. The left side is a eucalyptus and the horizon and the right side is palms and the horizon. It’s both tropical and reflective of our coast. A fun fact is that Greg requested that it have a curling wave, so he drew it and got what he wanted.” 

LOCA initiates Mike, Greg, Julian, Marshall

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(L-R) Tauber, MacGillivray, Hakim and Innins 

Architect Marshall Innins, who designed the new Taco Stand, had a special perspective. “I used to come to Taco Bell in the 1970s. It was a challenge to change it and upgrade it, yet make it more iconic. Julian jumped right on the band wagon.”

“It was so exciting to watch the whole mural project that honored Mike Hallinan,’ said Barbara MacGillivray.

 “It was great to see the neighborhood and business partner for this,” Lisa Hall, Hallinan’s daughter, said. “It’s nice to watch all the folks stop and take it (the mural) in. Thank you for the partnership.”

LOCA initiates Barbara Catherine Lisa

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(L-R) Barbara MacGillivray, Catherine Hallinan and Lisa Hall

“It is hard to put into words what this means. It’s overwhelming, it’s such a tribute,” said Catherine Hallinan.

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February is just around the corner, join LOCA’s workshops and Art Talks

LOCA is offering Art Talks and several workshops in February. Here’s what’s coming up.

–Wednesday, Feb. 1 from 1-4 p.m.

One-Day Workshop, Make a Valentine Card with Joy Vansell

Joy Vansell will show how to use collage cuttings from dictionaries, music books and photos to make Valentine cards. Vansell will have her wonderful collection of cuttings, but you should also bring anything that you would like to incorporate into your personal design. This class is held in the Art Room of the Susi Q Senior Center in the Laguna Beach Community Center. Members are $25; Non-members $50. To register, click here

february is valentine

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Photos courtesy of LOCA

Make your own Valentine’s Day cards

–Tuesday, Feb. 7, 9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Contemporary Landscapes with Cydette Vikander, Feb. 7 and 8 

Laguna Beach Community Center, 380 Third St., Laguna Beach. 

Two Day Workshop: Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb.7 and 8 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Working from photo references, students will learn what makes a strong composition and how to arrange it on their canvas. Participants will be using water mixable oil colors. Participants may bring their own supplies if they choose. Members: $50; Non-members $100. To register, click here.

february is Vikander

Vikander’s work 

–Wednesday, Feb. 8, 9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Contemporary Landscapes with Cydette Vikander 

Laguna Beach Community Center 380 Third St., Laguna Beach.

Two Day Workshop: Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 7 and 8 from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Working from photo references, students will learn what makes a strong composition and how to arrange it on their canvas. Participants will be using water mixable oil colors. Participants may bring their own supplies if they choose. Members: $50; Non-members $100. To register, click here

–Thursday, Feb. 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m. 

Art Talk, Open Studio, Joy Vansell 

LCAD Gallery, 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

Love is in the air at the Art Talks “open studio” event where everyone gets to create a valentine card to take home. Visitors may select from an amazing array of specialty decorative papers provided by Joy Vansell, who will be on hand to show how to arrange the cuttings and affix them to a card using glue stick. Plastic templates will be available, to create fitted envelope liners. The casual, “open studio” format allows everyone to work at their own pace, and come and go as desired. Members are free; non-members, $20. Fee: Advance registration is required, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

february is Boller

Carole Boller 

–Saturday, Feb. 25, 9-11 a.m.

LPAPA and LOCA - Carole Boller: Laguna Plein Air Paint Together 

Heisler Park 375 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. 

Register to join LPAPA Artist Member Carole Boller for this fun and informative LPAPA+LOCA in-person Mentor Paint Together session on “Boller’s Bloomers: The Value of Plein Air Painting.” In this mentor session, Boller will demonstrate her oil painting process, brush stroke by brush stroke, of a lovely garden scene at Heisler Park in Laguna Beach. LPAPA and LOCA Members $25; Non-members $50. To register, click here

Cost: Advance registration is required, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LOCA Art Talks are for anyone and everyone who loves the visual arts. Their events, offered monthly in Laguna Beach and surrounding areas, are educational and informative, yet casual and fun. Attendees get to meet fascinating artists and industry leaders, and learn about their work and careers. 

For more information about LOCA, go to

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Laguna Community Concert Band celebrates 23rd season with “Songs from the Heart” at the Artists Theater

The Laguna Community Concert Band opens its 23rd season at the Artists Theater on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. with a mix of vocal and instrumental music, “Songs from the Heart,” that tugs at our very heartstrings.

Lush orchestrations and thrilling vocals transport us to other times and places. “Moonriver,” sung by Laguna Beach baritone Gary Greene returns us to the ‘60s and Breakfast at Tiffanys. Lyric soprano Candice Carvalho’s “When I Fall in Love,” reminds us of the ‘90s and Sleepless in Seattle. Emcee and principal vocalist Lisa Morrice riffs on George Gershwin’s “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” harking back to the ‘40s and the magic of Fred Astaire.

Laguna Community Concert Band Carvalho

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Courtesy of Laguna Community Concert Band

Candice Carvalho

The concert band plays the hauntingly beautiful “Bring Him Home,” from Les Miserables, as well as lilting pieces from England and Ireland, and “God’s Country,” a majestic work that takes listeners on a journey of picturesque landscapes – from beautiful mountain ranges to breathtaking waterfalls.

As with all of the band’s performances, this concert is free. “As a group, we continue to evolve and enlarge our repertoire,” said Mark Lowery, co-conductor of the Laguna Community Concert Band. “Especially now, many musicals and concerts remain financially out of reach for so many. These free performances bring the joy of live music to everyone in the community.”

The Artists Theater is located at Laguna Beach High School at 625 Park Ave., Laguna Beach. No ticket is necessary to attend the band’s free concerts. The Laguna Community Concert Band rehearses at the Laguna Beach High School band room on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

For the latest news about the band and a calendar of concerts, go to

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Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts to be featured guest at 13th Creative Edge Lecture

Arts Orange County recently announced that they will present a live, in-person talk by Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson at its 13th Creative Edge Lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 10 a.m., in the Irvine Barclay Theatre. Admission to the lecture is free of charge thanks to the generosity of sponsors, but reservations are required through the Irvine Barclay Theatre ticket office. 

The Creative Edge Lecture is presented in partnership with the Orange County Department of Education and the 4th District PTA.

For more than 25 years, Dr. Jackson’s work has focused on understanding and elevating arts, culture and design as critical elements of healthy communities. Her work blends social science and arts and humanities-based approaches to comprehensive community revitalization, systems change, the dynamics of race and ethnicity, and the roles of arts and culture in communities.

Chair of National Endowment Rosario Jackson

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Photo by David K. Riddick

Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, will present a live talk at 13th Creative Edge Lecture in February

After confirmation by the U.S. Senate in December 2021, Dr. Jackson became the 13th chair of the National Endowment for the Arts last January. With this historic appointment, Dr. Jackson is the nation’s first NEA chair to be an African American and Mexican American woman. 

“When she was nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dr. Jackson was already a longtime leading voice on the importance of arts and culture in our nation,” said Richard Stein, president and CEO of Arts Orange County. “In her role as head of our federal government’s arts agency, she is well-positioned to observe the role creativity plays in the life of American communities. We are exceptionally pleased that she will spend time with us to share her observations and to inspire artists, arts leaders, arts patrons and students at our much-anticipated annual Creative Edge Lecture. Adding special importance to her appearance, this will be the first visit to Orange County by a National Endowment for the Arts Chair since 1988 – a period during which our arts community has grown tremendously in vitality and diversity.”

Ticket reservations may be made here.

Past Creative Edge Lecture speakers have included thought-leaders and best-selling authors on creativity, innovation and arts education, as well as two U.S. Poets Laureate: Daniel K. Pink (2010), Sir Ken Robinson (2011), Randy Nelson (2012), Tom Kelley (2013), John Maeda (2014), Sarah Lewis (2015), Dr. Charles Limb (2016), Juan Felipe Herrera (2017), Dr. Robert Duke (2018), Vijay Gupta (2019), Joy Harjo (2020) and Donn K. Harris (2022).

Arts Orange County (ArtsOC) is the independent nonprofit arts council for Orange County and is dedicated to sustaining, strengthening and advancing its creative ecology.

Irvine Barclay Theatre is located at 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine.

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“Art in Public Places” – Water Wall by Francesca Zobeck


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Some of the art you see around Laguna Beach is the result of two city programs: “Public Art and Murals” and “Art in Public Places.” The goals of the Public Art and Murals and Art in Public Places (adopted in 1986) initiatives are to create diverse art installations of the highest quality that will, over decades, reflect the city itself and its citizens, and improve the quality of life; and to be a source of pride to all Laguna Beach residents. 

art in closeup water wall

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Ceramic tile mural depicting ocean and marine life

Water Wall, a ceramic tile mural by Francesca Zobeck, was installed in 2005 at the top of the Anita Street Beach Access stairway. It was funded through city lodging establishments, the City of Laguna Beach and a donation by Zobeck. In creating the piece, Zobeck wished to celebrate the arts in the city with an abstract representation of the ocean and its marine wildlife off our shores.

The installation has been covered for months due to a Laguna Beach water quality department project that replaced an aging sewer lift station at Anita Street and improved coastal access at that location. Now it’s on view again for visitors and residents to enjoy.

art in ocean view water wall

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The mural, which was installed in 2005, was unveiled after the city project was completed

The lift station, which collected wastewater between St. Ann’s and Calliope streets, up to Temple Terrace, had been in its current location since 1950, when it replaced the original lift station built in 1932.

This is the 89th article in our weekly series featuring Art in Public Places. Since there are more than 100 pieces of public art scattered throughout Laguna, it will take a while to cover them all.

For a map of Art in Public Places (not every piece is listed), click here.

To apply for the Arts in Public Places program, click here.

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