Volume 14, Issue 95  |  November 29, 2022

Laguna Art Museum celebrates new Philanthropic Giving Group with inaugural dinner and awards night

Expanding support efforts and enhancing its mission to take the museum to greater heights, Laguna Art Museum (LAM) recently created the Directors Circle, a new high-level patron group of museum members whose philanthropic support will allow the museum’s mission to flourish. 

The Directors Circle giving directly supports the museum’s major initiatives, education programs, exhibitions and community engagement. Members of this special group have access to unique opportunities and connect with other patrons to learn about museum initiatives and help the organization continue to grow as a sustainable and dynamic institution. 

Laguna Art group

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Courtesy of Laguna Art Museum

(L-R) LAM Board Chair Joe Hanauer, Anna Hills Award Recipient Ranney Draper, LAM Trustee Rick Balzer and LAM Executive Director Julie Perlin Lee

“While we have a strong staff and Board of Trustees at the museum to guide us, it will take individual members of our community to achieve our goals and vision of being a locally loved and nationally recognized organization,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum. “In the past year, we have developed several programs, public and private, and among the most important is the establishment of the Directors Circle.”

On September 15, the museum celebrated the newest giving group with an inaugural dinner and awards night held at the beautiful Montage Laguna Beach, a major sponsor of the evening. The event was filled with energy and excitement, as Haddy Music provided entertainment, with florals from Cargo Creative, and delicious food and cocktails. Guests were also treated to limited-edition Electro Florals created by the 2022 Directors Circle featured artist Baldemar Fierro, and joined by artist John Sonsini, whose work is currently on display at the museum, and the forthcoming 2022 featured Art & Nature artist Rebeca Méndez.

Laguna Art building

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Art Museum 

The evening also toasted California Art Historian Nancy Dustin Wall Moure for receiving the Wendt Award for her contribution to the arts and honored Ranney and Priscilla Draper with the Anna Hills Award for their generous support of the Laguna Art Museum and establishing a $1 million museum endowment fund, as well as their dedication to supporting the arts, environmental and educational causes that strengthen the local community.

“One of the highlights of the night was the presentation of the Anna Hills Award to Ranney and Priscilla Draper for their generous gift of $1 million to the museum’s endowment,” said Perlin Lee. “After the event, the museum received word that the Draper family’s generosity inspired not one, but two, individuals to pledge $100,000 gifts to ensure the longevity of Laguna Art Museum in our beautiful city.”

The museum offers a variety of support groups and membership levels that help keep art access alive and thriving. To stay connected and learn about upcoming events, follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Laguna Art Museum is the museum of California art. It collects, cares for, and exhibits works of art that were created by California artists or represent the life and history of the state. Through its permanent collection, its special loan exhibitions, its educational programs, and its library and archive, the museum enhances the public’s knowledge and appreciation of California art of all periods and styles and encourages art-historical scholarship in this field. 

For more information, visit

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

New hours as of September 12 are Tuesday-Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Mondays, except Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth and Labor Day. Closed Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.


Shaena Stabler, President & CEO -

Lana Johnson, Editor -

Tom Johnson, Publisher -

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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