Producer to talk following screening at Cal Lutheran
Marilyn Schlitz. Photo Credit: Andrew Holman Photography.
Marilyn Schlitz. Photo Credit: Andrew Holman Photography.

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University is presenting a documentary and talk on the meaning of death from different perspectives at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14.

“Death Makes Life Possible: Transforming the Fear of Death Into an Inspiration for Living” will be shown in the Lundring Events Center on the Thousand Oaks campus. Writer, producer and director Marilyn Schlitz will then discuss the themes of the one-hour film and answer audience questions.

Schlitz collaborated with author Dr. Deepak Chopra on the 2013 documentary, which they funded through a Kickstarter campaign. The film follows Schlitz as she explores the mysteries of life and death in a variety of world traditions.

Interviews with Chopra, mental health experts, cultural and spiritual leaders, and scientists examine how understanding our mortality influences life. Interviews and evidence are interwoven with personal stories of people facing their own death as well as those who report encounters beyond death.

Sparked by her own near-death experience as a teenager, Schlitz has been delving into the nature of consciousness and death as a cultural anthropologist and scientist for three decades. A researcher, writer and leader in the field of consciousness studies, she is president emeritus of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a nonprofit organization founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell to conduct research into the powers of consciousness. Her extensive publications focus on personal and social transformation, cultural pluralism, extended human capacities and mind-body medicine. She holds a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Cal Lutheran’s Religion Department and the United Church of Christ of Simi Valley are sponsoring the free event in the Memorial Just Peace Lecture Series. The church established the series in 2008 in honor of the late James Henry Dekker. As a member of the United Church of Christ in Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley, Dekker was deeply involved in the work of peace and justice. After retiring from Hughes Aircraft Co., Dekker earned a teaching credential from Cal Lutheran and embarked on a second career teaching math and science at Sequoia Middle School in Newbury Park.

Lundring Events Center is located in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center at 130 Overton Court.

For more information, contact the Rev. June Goudey at 310-386-8021 or Julia Fogg at or 805-493-3237.


Musical theater production comes to Cal Lutheran
Denise Estrada
Denise Estrada

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - A free musical theater production based on the lives of three Latin American women will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, at California Lutheran University.

Core Ensemble will present “Tres Vidas” in Samuelson Chapel on the Thousand Oaks campus in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The performance celebrates the lives and work of painter Frida Kahlo of Mexico, peasant activist Rufina Amaya of El Salvador and poet Alfonsina Storni of Argentina. Actress Denise Estrada portrays the roles while interacting with cellist Ju Young Lee, pianist David Berry and percussionist Michael Parola.

The music ranges from traditional Mexican folk and Argentine tango songs sung in Spanish to instrumental works by composers such as Astor Piazzolla. Works by Orlando Garcia, Pablo Ortiz, Alice Gomez, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Michael DeMurga and Osvaldo Golijov round out the musical score.

The script by Chilean poet Marjorie Agosin offers powerful portrayals of each woman. The storylines include Kahlo’s passionate relationship with painter Diego Rivera, Amaya’s astounding survival of the massacre at El Mozote, and Storni’s challenges as her country’s first great feminist poet.

The Core Ensemble has performed throughout the United States and in Australia, England, Russia, Ukraine and the Caribbean. Since its founding in 1993, the ensemble has garnered international recognition for its efforts to commission new works and has been the catalyst in the creation of several works weaving narrative and theater into the chamber music experience. It has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Humanities Council, BankAtlantic Foundation, the A.D. Henderson Foundation and others.

Cal Lutheran hosted Core Ensemble’s production on the lives of three Latin American men in 2013 and another on four African American women in 2009.

The chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane.

Cal Lutheran’s Artists and Speakers Committee is sponsoring the event. For more information, contact Eva Ramirez at 805-493-3349 or


Museum of Ventura County Welcomes 3 New Board Members and Announces Officers for the 2014-2015 year at Annual Meeting

As a result of its Annual Meeting this evening, Monday, September 22, the Museum is pleased to announce that the following have joined the board of directors:

John Orr –John is a fourth generation Ventura County attorney practicing with the firm of Ferguson Case Orr and Paterson, LLP, and manager of a family owned citrus and avocado farm. He has formerly served on the museum’s board of directors, as well as board chair. He serves as president of the board of directors of Del Norte Water Company and as a board member of Index Fresh of California, an avocado handler. John lives on Faria Beach with his wife Stephanie. Their son Nicholas attends Middlebury College where he is a senior.

Esther Wachtell -- Esther is the founder and president of The Wachtell Group, a fundraising and marketing firm specializing in not for profit management throughout the Western United States. She served as Founding Chairman of the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at the University of Southern California, and as president of the Ojai Music Festival, currently serving on its Board of Governors. Esther is a director of the Ojai Community Bank and a managing director of the Wachtell Family Partnership. She has 12 “fabulous grandchildren” and has lived in Ojai for 17 years.

Andrea Pfister -- Andrea Haley Pfister is the manager of Haley Properties LLC and is a past Museum board member, including two years as Chair. Previously, she practiced as a CPA in Orange County and was an officer in the Junior League of Orange County and chairman of the board of New Directions for Women. Andrea is married and is particularly proud of her four grandchildren and her long history with Ventura County.

The board also elected its officers for the 2014-2015 year; they are:

John Orr, Chair
Christine Drucker, Vice-Chair
John Lamb, Treasurer,
Pam Small, Secretary
Jeffrey P. Smith, Past Board Chair.

The board approved the appointment of Sue Chadwick as interim executive director, to replace executive director Myron Freedman, who resigned for personal reasons in a communication to the Museum membership in the recent weeks. Ms. Chadwick most recently was senior vice president of Santa Barbara Bank &Trust and is very active with many nonprofit and community organizations in Ventura County.

The Museum of Ventura County is located at 100 East Main Street in downtown Ventura. Hours are 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Paid events include free admission to the galleries, and the first Sundays of every month are free general admission for the public. For more museum information go to or call 805-653-0323.

Enlarge Photo
‘Inocente’ tells the true story of homeless teen artist

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University’s 2014-2015 Reel Justice Film Series will kick off with an Academy Award-winning documentary on a young artist.

“Inocente” will be shown at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, in Lundring Events Center. A panel discussion will follow.

The 2012 film, which received the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject, follows an undocumented, homeless teenager in San Diego as she finds herself and her purpose with help from a nonprofit arts educator.

Inocente’s colorful paintings slowly reveal her family history. Her father was deported for domestic abuse. Her alcoholic and overwhelmed mother once took her by the hand to jump off a bridge together. Homeless for the last nine years, Inocente has been shuffling through overcrowded shelters with the threat of deportation hanging over her.

The film was a winner at the San Antonio Film Festival, Arizona International Film Festival, Awareness Fest, EBS International Documentary Festival of South Korea, Heartland Film Festival, Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival, and Women + Film VOICES Festival.

The inspiring film speaks to the importance of arts education and provides a snapshot of the current face of homelessness. There are 1.5 million homeless children in the United States today, and undocumented immigrants make up the largest and fastest-growing segment, according to the filmmakers.

The panel discussion will feature John Puglisi, superintendent of the Rio School District; Nema Pierce, principal of Mariposa School of Global Education in Agoura Hills; and Heidi M. Coronado, assistant professor of counseling in Cal Lutheran’s Graduate School of Education. Representatives of Cal Lutheran’s student body and alumni who are involved in art will join them.

The Reel Justice Film Series will continue with “Dallas Buyers Club” on Dec. 2. Cal Lutheran’s Center for Equality and Justice (CEJ) launched the series in 2007 to highlight films that inspire people to address challenging issues of our time.

Cal Lutheran’s CEJ, Graduate School of Education, Art Department and Pearson Library are sponsoring the free event. For more information, contact Maureen Lorimer at or the CEJ at 805-493-3694 or

Carlisle Cooper (1919-2013),  renowned in the community, highly collected, and beloved by a legion of students of over 40 years of teaching at Ventura College. The Ventura College Art Department is selling the artwork of the late Carlisle Cooper. Per his request, all sales are in support of the VC Art Department. Some of his paintings are on display at the VC Santa Paula Site.  Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.  The site is located at 957 Faulkner Road, 106, Santa Paula, CA 93060.
Carlisle Cooper (1919-2013), renowned in the community, highly collected, and beloved by a legion of students of over 40 years of teaching at Ventura College. The Ventura College Art Department is selling the artwork of the late Carlisle Cooper. Per his request, all sales are in support of the VC Art Department. Some of his paintings are on display at the VC Santa Paula Site. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The site is located at 957 Faulkner Road, 106, Santa Paula, CA 93060.
Enlarge Photo

WHAT: Ventura Potters' Guild presents: Ceramic Special Effects of Pete Gerard
WHERE: E.P.Foster Library “Topping Room”
651 East Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001 (805) 648-2716
WHEN: Monday, September 22, 2014
Doors open at 7 pm
Program begins at 8pm
Contact: Cecile Gurrola-Faulconer

The Ventura County Potters' Guild is proud to start off their new year with new location and a program featuring
Guild member Bryson H. "Pete" Gerard.

Gerard quotes playwright Thornton Wilder in his biography: “style is but the faintly contemptible vessel in which the bitter liquid is recommended to the world." The styles of Gerard’s ceramic creations do fluctuate slightly in size, shape, color and function. From angled vases tinged in earthen glazes to small “medicine pots” who just might be vessels holding the bitter liquid being quenched by this world’s vanity or on the other hand could be filled with life’s sweet secrets. Beyond ceramics, Gerard’s skillfully crafted assemblages also suggest an element of holding more then the eye can see. The wit, craftsmanship and muses Gerard combines in all of his works captivate and some even flirt with the indulgence of functionality.

Gerard began his higher education in the Fine Arts at Pasadena City College and Cal State Long Beach. He achieved his Masters at Cal State Los Angeles after ceramics and photography independent study for a year in Japan. Gerard spent close to 30 years in the working with special effects, miniatures and props in Hollywood, leaving when technology evolved and computer generated imagery took hold. A member of the Ventura County Potter’s Guild, Gerard is enjoying the return to creating original art, “forever on the look out for the best way to squeeze out the beauty of the moment.”

Clay has always been an integral part of my life, my best most fluent voice. It began when I made a white clay tractor at age 5, that my Dad had glazed and fired.

Gerard's talk will address the artistic process and the techniques he uses to make clay tools. His handmade tools will be available for sale.

The Public is welcome. Free.

Community discussion of new memoir slated Oct. 1
Moderator Jacqueline Lyons
Moderator Jacqueline Lyons

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University is reviving its Books and Brew series with a community discussion of a new memoir.

“The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld,” a memoir by Justin Hocking, will be the focus of the first book club meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, in Ullman Commons 100. Community members and alumni are invited to join Cal Lutheran students, faculty and staff in discussing the book. Jacqueline Lyons, an assistant professor of English, will moderate. Coffee and cookies will be served.

Hocking’s book, which was released in February, relates his experiences as an unemployed transplant to New York City. After he spots a man hauling a surfboard to the subway, the avid skateboarder becomes a member of a surfing community at Far Rockaway in Queens. His obsession with surfing, as well as “Moby-Dick,” grows and helps him as he faces dark times.

In its new format, the free Books and Brew series will also include talks by guest writers. The next event will feature poet Heather Winterer on Nov. 12. Future book club gatherings will focus on “The Way They Say Yes Here” on Dec. 3 and “Claire of the Sea Light” on March 4.

The English Department and the Office of Alumni & Parent Relations are sponsoring the Oct. 1 event.

Ullman Commons is located at 101 Memorial Parkway on the Thousand Oaks campus.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Stephanie Hessemer at or 805-493-3161.

Cal Lutheran to show award-winning ‘7 Boxes’
Celso Franco as Victor
Celso Franco as Victor

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University will open the second season of its International Film Series with a free screening of the Spanish film “7 Boxes” on Wednesday, Oct. 1.

The 2012 film from Paraguay will be shown in Spanish and Guarani with subtitles at 7 p.m. at Carmike Thousand Oaks 14.

The PG-13 movie starts on a hot Friday in the labyrinthine markets of Asunción, where a 17-year-old pushcart porter named Victor is promised $100 to transport boxes with unknown contents. He begins his journey accompanied by a hyperactive young woman named Liz and both become involved in a crime without knowing the cause, the victim or the perpetrator.

Directors Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori received the Best Director Award at the Cartagena International Film Festival for “7 Boxes.” The well-reviewed movie also received the Nueva Vision Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Miami Film Festival and Best Dramatic Film 2012 at the Cockatoo Island Film Festival. Filmmakers since the 1980s, the duo began their successful collaboration in 1990 with a TV miniseries and continued with short films, telefilms and TV series. “7 Boxes” is their first feature film.

This was the first feature film appearance for young Paraguayan actors Celso Franco as Victor and Lali Gonzalez as Liz. Both have since appeared in two more movies.

The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Carmike Thousand Oaks 14 is located at 166 W. Hillcrest Drive.

The festival sponsored by the Department of Languages and Cultures will continue with the Italian film “Caesar Must Die” on Nov. 12.

For more information, contact Rafaela Fiore Urizar at

Cal Lutheran concert also features rarely heard pieces
Mark Spraggins
Mark Spraggins

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University will present a faculty concert featuring an original composition on Friday, Sept. 26.

Members of the Cal Lutheran music faculty will present works for piano and winds, including an original composition by faculty composer Mark Spraggins, at 7:30 p.m. in Samuelson Chapel.

The Faculty Wind Quintet will perform Spraggins’ “Sextet” with the Thousand Oaks resident on piano. Spraggins, who has never written for this combination of instruments before, was influenced by mid- to late-20th-century film music in composing it.

Pianist Eric Kinsley and the Faculty Wind Quintet will also play the rarely heard “Sextet” by the late 19th-century composer Ludwig Thuille and Francis Poulenc’s popular “Sextour.” The quintet features Fred Beerstein on oboe, Daniel Geeting on clarinet, Eric Johnson-Tamai on bassoon and Niccole Modell on flute. Jon Titmus will fill in on French horn.

Spraggins is a professor and chairman of the university’s Music Department. He is active as a composer, musician and educator in music technology. His music has been performed throughout the United States and in Norway, Sweden, France and Italy. He is also composes and produces soundtracks, having created music for History Channel and A&E Network programs. Recent projects include the trailer to "Everdawn" and arranging and playing piano on commercial music productions. The director of Cal Lutheran's Music Production program built and maintains multiple state-of-the-art audio workstations for student music production and recording.

Kinsley has been a member of the New York Contemporary Music Band, Pacific Classical Winds and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. Beerstein is a member of the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic and New West Symphony and also has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. Geeting has played on soundtracks for motion pictures and television and has performed extensively as a recitalist. Johnson-Tamai has played with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, California Philharmonic and Cabrillo Music Theatre. Modell performs regularly with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, Westlake Village Symphony and Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra. Titmus is a longtime Ventura County resident who has performed in all the area’s major music groups.

Donations will be accepted. Samuelson Chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane on the Thousand Oaks campus. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or visit

California Lutheran University alumna Essence Barton of Thousand Oaks and student Seta Wainiqolo of Moorpark performing in the spring dance concert.
California Lutheran University alumna Essence Barton of Thousand Oaks and student Seta Wainiqolo of Moorpark performing in the spring dance concert.
Enlarge Photo
Public can perform ‘Thriller,’ take free master classes

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University invites the public to participate in free master classes and a worldwide performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as part of its Day of Dance on Saturday, Oct. 25.

The “Thriller” performance at 3 p.m. in Kingsmen Park on the Thousand Oaks campus is part of “Thrill The World,” an annual simultaneous dance to Jackson’s hit song. People are encouraged to dress as zombies. A dance party will start at 1:30 p.m.

The community is invited to learn the dance from Cal Lutheran students, alumni and faculty from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturdays on Sept. 27, Oct. 4, Oct. 11 and Oct. 18 in Gilbert Arena. Each class is open to the first 55 people who show up.

The Oct. 25 festivities will also include free master classes in the dance studio. Dana Fukagawa will teach yoga from 8 to 9 a.m., jazz from 9:15 to 10:45 a.m. and contemporary from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Thousand Oaks High School graduate is an assistant choreographer to singer Mandy Moore and choreographer Tony Testa, and her many credits include choreography for “So You Think You Can Dance” and Kylie Minogue’s Les Foiles World Tour and performances on “Wizards of Waverly Place” and in live LXD shows in Beijing, New York and Los Angeles. She is a substitute teacher at EDGE Performing Arts Center in Hollywood.

Dancer and choreographer Damian “Dmoe” Gomez will lead a hip-hop class from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Gomez has worked with many artists including Janet Jackson, Katy Perry and the Black Eyed Peas.

Registration for the master classes is required. Contact Shannon McMillan in the Theatre Arts Department at or 805-493-3452.

Cal Lutheran is expanding its dance program, and its first choreography class presented a concert in May. The university’s Artists and Speakers Committee recently purchased a portable dance floor so that outside groups and students can now perform safely on campus. The Theatre Arts Department received a grant from the university’s Community Leaders Association to present the Day of Dance event.

All the events are free, but donations will be accepted for Santa Barbara-based World Dance for Humanity’s efforts to build a school in Rwanda.

Kingsmen Park is located along Memorial Parkway west of Mountclef Boulevard. Gilbert Arena and the dance studio are inside the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center at 130 Overton Court. Parking is free.

For more information, contact Barbara Wegher-Thompson at 805-241-8515 or


The Santa Paula Society of the Arts is proud to announce that they will host a demonstration by plein air painter Sparkle Taylor. This tradition of painting outdoors – sharing the envelope of light with her subject and painting directly from nature, is a satisfying and immediate way to respond to the rich beauty of our world. The event is open to the public at no charge on Sunday, September 21st from 2 pm till 4 pm, at the SPSA depo gallery, located at 963 Santa Barbara Street, in Santa Paula. Bring your own art supplies and join us outside on the beautiful grounds of the Depot gallery and learn to paint plein air together. For a list of supplies to bring, please call Kaye Ford at 805 861-8023.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Ventura County Rose Society will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at the Ventura County Office of Education Conference Center at 5100 Adolfo Rd., Camarillo.

The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for advice from Consulting Rosarians and refreshments. A little rose celebration will be held at 7:00 pm, and our speaker presentation will begin at 7:30 pm.

The VCRS meeting will feature Clair Martin, past Rose Curator at the Huntington Library Rose Garden in Pasadena for over 30 years, who will speak on "Famous Gardens". Mr. Martin is a very knowledgeable Rosarian and author; we will certainly enjoy seeing and hearing about beautiful gardens.

Visitors are always welcome to our VCRS meetings. For more information contact: Janet Sklar at 818-337-9970 or Dawn-Marie Johnson at 805-523-9003. Our website is


The Santa Paula Society of the Arts is pleased to report that our Summer hiatus is over and our regular meetings will continue starting Sept. 21, 2014. The location is at the S.P. Railroad Depot upper gallery, light refreshments will be offered as well as an art demonstration by plein air artist Sparkle Taylor.

Her extensive experience and varied talents allow her to communicate creativity in many media. She began her professional life as a graphic designer and art director. She has worked with paint, clay, Cloth, fiber and metal. Always an avid camper and hiker, Spark was a natural for plein air painting. Come by to meet the talented artist on Sunday 9/21 from 2 to 4.

Visitors are always welcome. Gallery phone for questions is 525-1104

"False-Killer-Whale" - Photo by Richard Salas
"False-Killer-Whale" - Photo by Richard Salas
Enlarge Photo

"Galapagos-Shark" - Photo by Richard Salas
Enlarge Photo

"Goliath Grouper" - Photo by Richard Salas
Enlarge Photo

"Pacific Seahorse" - Photo by Richard Salas
Enlarge Photo

"Whale-Shark" - Photo by Richard Salas
Enlarge Photo

The Ojai Photography Club welcomes Richard Salas, professional photographer and author,as our September presenter and guest judge. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday September 16, at Help of Ojai’s Kent Hall, 111 Santa Ana Street, Ojai, CA.

Salas specializes in underwater nature and commercial photography. His A.S.K. Studio has been based in Santa Barbara since 1980. Upon his move to Santa Barbara he enrolled at the Brooks Institute of Photography and was fortunate to be mentored by Ernie Brooks, then president of the institute and a legend in the world of underwater photography. Salas worked professionally as a commercial photographer after graduation.

In 2004 Salas decided to combine two passions - photography and diving and has dedicated much of his current work to capturing portraits of what he calls “our underwater family.” Salas says, “I am committed to using my art and technique to spark in others both a reverence and a sense of responsibility for the ocean and its creatures. Through photography I expose viewers to new ways of connecting to the underwater world and its inhabitants so that they, like me, may feel the heartbeat of our precious sea life.” His presentation in Ojai will include a selection of his stunning images and a discussion on the relevance of light with underwater photography.

Salas has in print two of a trilogy of books. “Sea of Light” (2009), his first publication is dedicatedto the underwater denizens of his beloved Santa Barbara Channel. His second book, “Blue Visions” (2012), traces sea-life from Mexico to the equator. The third in the series will be “Luminous Sea,” which will explore sea life of the Pacific Ocean - from the Equator to Alaska.

Masterful photography by Salas has lead to speaking engagements and exhibits at the Ty Warner Sea Center in Santa Barbara, The Long Beach Aquarium, The Santa Barbara Natural History Museum and numerous other venues in Southern California. For full information on Salas please refer to his website at:

Monthly presentations are part of the Ojai Photography Club’s community service and education outreach. Visitors are welcome to attend.

The club, which is devoted to education, inspiration, and camaraderie, meets on the third Tuesday of each month, February – November. Only members may submit images for critique. More information is available at:

Free Sept. 20 performance celebrates Moon Festival

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University will present a free Chinese Moon Festival Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, in Samuelson Chapel.

The evening of traditional Chinese and Western music will feature local groups including the Thousand Oaks Folk Ensemble, the Westlake Village Symphony, the Dancing String Chamber, the Yang Sheng Choir and the In-Harmony Chorus. The program is appropriate for ages 8 to adult.

The Chinese Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, is an important holiday that has been celebrated for thousands of years. Tradition holds that the moon is at its roundest and brightest on this day, signaling a time of completeness and abundance. The harvest season celebration is a day of family reunions, much like Thanksgiving in the United States. Family and friends get together to admire the moon and eat moon cakes. The legend associated with the festival recounts the story of a beautiful woman named Chang E who flew to the moon and has lived there ever since.

Samuelson Chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane on the Thousand Oaks campus.

Cal Lutheran’s Department of Languages and Cultures, the Pacific Pearl Music Association and the Center for Asian Performing Arts are sponsoring the concert.

For more information, contact Debby Chang at or 818-309-7254.

The Rose Ensemble
The Rose Ensemble
Enlarge Photo
Jewish, Christian, Muslim history explored at event

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University will present a free concert that blends the music of ancient Jews, Christians and Muslims at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19.

The Rose Ensemble, an award-winning vocal group based in Minnesota, will perform “Land of Three Faiths: Voices of Ancient Mediterranean Jews, Christians and Muslims” in Samuelson Chapel.

The result of intensive research and training in the Hispano-Arabic Middle Ages, “Land of Three Faiths” is at once sacred and secular, folk and classical. Steeped in the histories of the Abrahamic faiths, this exploration of language, spirituality and cultural exchange features a variety of instruments and musical ideas that blur the lines between Arabic and European traditions. Laments of Sephardic Jews mingle with Arab-Andalusian dances and Spanish court songs. Rhythmic cantigas, Hebrew cantillation and Gregorian chant meet the mystical world of Sufi poetry. The mix of edgy improvisation, exotic vocal styles and ancient traditions highlights an important and devastating chapter of shared Judaic, Christian and Islamic history.

Each performance by The Rose Ensemble illuminates centuries of rarely heard repertoire, bringing research from the world’s manuscript libraries and fresh perspectives on history, languages, politics, religion, and world cultures and traditions to modern audiences. The goal is to perform vocal music that stirs the emotions, challenges the mind and lifts the spirit.

The group has thrilled audiences across the United States and Europe with a range of music spanning 1,000 years and more than 25 languages, including new research in Hawaiian, Swedish, Middle Eastern and American vocal traditions.

The Rose Ensemble has made nine critically acclaimed recordings. It received the 2005 Chorus America Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and first prize in both sacred and secular music categories at the 2012 Tolosa Choral Contest in Spain. Artistic Director Jordan Sramek, who founded The Rose Ensemble in 1996, received the 2010 Louis Botto Award from Chorus America “for entrepreneurial zeal.”

The ensemble can be heard regularly on American Public Media and the European Broadcasting Union and has been featured live on Radio France, Chicago Public Radio, Vermont Public Radio and National Public Radio’s Performance Today.

Samuelson Chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane on the Thousand Oaks campus.

CLU’s Artists and Speakers Committee is sponsoring the concert. Donations will be accepted. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or visit


Camarillo, CA - An exhibition by CSU Channel Islands (CI) students at the Palm Gallery in Camarillo will showcase the intersection of Japanese art and ecology and the value of study abroad. Running Tuesday, Sept. 2, through Wednesday, Sept. 24, “Art and Ecology in Japan: Satoyama and Echizen,” displays traditional ceramic and sustainable land-use techniques from the village of Echizen, Japan, as presented by the 15 CI students who traveled there with their instructors in May for an innovative course.

At a free public reception on Thursday, Sept. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m., students will exhibit their own ceramic work alongside that of contemporary Echizen ceramicists, share posters and presentations highlighting the area’s venerated pottery and agricultural techniques, and answer questions about their travel and learning experiences.

The exhibition is the culmination of an UNIV 392 international experience course, Art and Ecology in Japan: Satoyama and Echizen, conceived and co-taught by English Professor Brad Monsma and Art Lecturer Amiko Matsuo. The two-week interdisciplinary course led students to Japan’s Fukui Prefecture for in-depth study of a centuries-old ceramic technique unique to Echizen and “satoyama,” an ancient, sustainable Japanese land-use concept linking village to mountain.

The students worked with clay under the guidance of expert Echizen ceramists, visited 800-year-old historic kiln sites, learned the workings of an organic rice farm, participated in Echizen’s renowned annual Pottery Festival, toured historical, spiritual and cultural sites, performed service activities, and experienced the area’s cuisine, scenery and exceptional hospitality. They were warmly welcomed by town dignitaries, artists, farmers, students, and even interviewed by the local media.

“This trip was my first international travel experience and being immersed in a different culture was very eye opening,” said senior Art major Meghan Sheetz. “I admire how the Japanese incorporate and embrace the arts in their everyday lives, whether through the ceramic bowl they use to eat food or taking grade-school children to the Kanazawa Contemporary Museum. There is a place in their culture for the arts and people honor those who dedicate their lives to an art form.”

Funded by CI’s Instructionally Related Activities Committee, the trip brought together a diverse group of students majoring in subjects including Art, English, History, Environmental Science & Resource Management, Psychology, and Political Science.

“One primary message of this exhibition is the importance of international travel as part of college curriculum,” said Monsma. “These experiences transform students' lives by expanding their worldview and what they see as possible in life. They return to their other college classes with more curiosity and confidence.”

“This show reflects the history of Echizen and provides a clear window into the revival and reclaiming of historical techniques and narratives as essential aspects of tradition,” said Matsuo. “Students were inspired by how the town has used its strong tradition of arts and farming to create a sustainable, collaborative economic and creative model.”

The CI Palm Gallery is located at 92 Palm Avenue, Camarillo, inside the Camarillo Smiles Dental building. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. The gallery is closed Saturday and Sunday. For further information, visit, call 805-437-2772, or email

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI’s Social Media.


Camarillo, CA - The CSU Channel Islands (CI) Art program is pleased to present “Destination Out: Photographic Explorations Into the Unknown,” an experimental photography exhibition that blurs the lines between real and abstract by Los Angeles-based photographer and editor Dean Brierly. The work will be on display in CI’s Napa Hall Gallery from Tuesday, Sept. 2 through Friday, Sept. 26. The public is invited to a free opening reception with the artist on Thursday, Sept. 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gallery.

“Destination Out” is a collection of documentary photographs, urban scenes, and images from around the world that have been manipulated in the darkroom in untraditional, experimental ways. Using labor-intensive techniques like photograms, multiple negatives, reverse-tone printing, chemical painting, staining, bleaching and toning, Brierly blurs the boundaries between representational and abstract subject matter and adds visual and emotional complexity to the original images. His intent is to create open-ended meanings and an intuitive, emotional and analytical response among viewers.

Based in Studio City and raised in Detroit, Brierly is a photographer, writer and the editor of Black & White, the fine art photography magazine. He was formerly editor of B&W+COLOR, creative director/associate publisher of Photo Work and managing editor of Camera & Darkroom. His fine art photography has been featured in numerous exhibitions. He also publishes

The Napa Hall Art Gallery, the University’s premier art exhibition venue, is located on Ventura Street on the CI campus. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, contact the CI Art program at 805-437-2772, email, or visit

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI’s Social Media.

October 11, 2014
Jim Messina
Jim Messina

Ojai, CA - Singer-guitarist Jim Messina, a member of the 1960’s folk rock group Buffalo Springfieldand half of the 1970’s rock duo Loggins and Messina, will perform at a special fundraising event at Ojai’s Libbey Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 11.

Joining Messina on stage will be Rusty Young a singer and celebrated pedal steel guitarist who was a member with Messina in the seminal country rock band Poco.

“An Evening with Jim Messina with Rusty Young Sittin’ In” begins at 7 p.m. and is being co-sponsored by the Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation and Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation. Proceeds benefit Community Memorial Health System’s construction projects: the building of a new Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, and the building of a new skilled nursing facility adjacent to the Ojai Valley Community Hospital.

General admission tickets and special seating packages, some featuring a pre-concert dinner with cocktails, can be purchased online at For more information, call 805/652-4253.

Messina, who began playing the guitar when he was 5, has enjoyed a career in rock and country music that has spanned close to 50 years. He spent two years with the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame band Buffalo Springfield, best known for its 1967 anti-Vietnam War song “For What It’s Worth.”

After Buffalo Springfield disbanded in 1968, Messina was a founding member with Rusty Young of Poco, a band that was part of the first wave of the West Coast country rock genre.Messina played lead guitar and supplied vocals and some songwriting to the band. After recording two studio albums and one live album, he left Pocoin 1970.

Messina enjoyed his greatest commercial success with Kenny Loggins, from 1971-1976. Loggins and Messina sold more than 16 million records and had a number of Top 10 hits, including "Danny's Song," "House at Pooh Corner,” and "Your Mama Don't Dance.”

After a few years off for the rest, Messina made three solo albums in the '80s, as well as recording and touring with the original, reunited Poco– best known for its 1978 hits “Heart of the Night” and “Crazy Love” – when the band released the album Legacy in 1989.
Community Memorial Health System is a not-for-profit health system, which is comprised of Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, and 12 family-practice health centers entitled Centers for Family Health. The health system is located in Ventura County, California.

Ethel Percy Andrus at her Ojai Headquarters, Circa 1960
Ethel Percy Andrus at her Ojai Headquarters, Circa 1960
Enlarge Photo

The Ojai valley Museum and the Gables of Ojai are delighted to co-host a special presentation held in conjunction with the Ojai Valley Museum’s current exhibition on social innovator, Ethel Percy Andrus. Visiting AARP historian, Lily Liu, will give an enlightening power point focused on Andrus who founded Grey Gables and AARP in Ojai during the 1950s. The talk, “AARP and You: Our Shared Story,” will be held at The Gables of Ojai, 701 N. Montgomery Street, Ojai at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, September 9,2014. The public is invited to attend this free presentation.

Visiting lecturer Liu will be accompanied by Robert Hodder, VP Executive Communications & Public Outreach for AARP. They are traveling from Washington D.C. to visit the Ojai Valley Museum’s exhibit on Andrus because AARP is both an underwriter of the current exhibit and the company has loaned objects for the show. The museum exhibit, “Ethel Percy Andrus: How One Woman Changed America,” is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. and closes Sept. 14.

Seating is limited, so please call The Gables of Ojai to confirm your seat. (805) 646-1446.