Lara St. John began concert tours of Europe at 12
Lara St. John
Lara St. John

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University will present violinist Lara St. John in concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4.

The Canadian-born musician will present a free concert in Samuelson Chapel as part of CLU’s Artists and Speakers Series. She will perform with Martin Kennedy on piano.

St. John has been described as a “volcanic violinist with a huge, fabulous tone” by the Los Angeles Times, a “high-powered soloist” by The New York Times and “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad magazine. She has performed as a soloist with major orchestras in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia and has given recitals in major music halls in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Prague, Berlin, Toronto, Montreal, and Beijing. She will come to CLU after presenting three concerts in Spain.

A prolific recording artist, St. John runs her own label, Ancalagon, which she founded in 1999. Her first Ancalagon recording, “Bach: the Six Sonatas & Partitas for Violin Solo,” was the best-selling double album on iTunes in 2007. Her“Mozart” recording won the 2011 Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year for Soloist with Large Ensemble.

St. John has been featured on the BBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., CNN’s “Showbiz Today,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a Bravo’s “Live At the Rehearsal Hall.” She has appeared in People and U.S. News and World Report and on the cover of Strings magazine.

She began playing the violin when she was 2. She made her first appearance as soloist with an orchestra at 4 and her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon when she was 10. She toured Spain, France, Portugal and Hungary at ages 12 and 13, entered the Curtis Institute of Music at 13, and spent her first summer at the Marlboro Music chamber music retreat three years later. Her teachers have included Felix Galimir and Joey Corpus.

She performs on the 1779 “Salabue” Guadagnini thanks to an anonymous donor and Heinl & Co. of Toronto.

The 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 callutheran.edu.

 


 

The Ventura County Concert Band, conducted by Ms. Julie Judd, invites you to the second in our Fiftieth Season of great concerts with Ventura County’s own band. The all-volunteer band delivers a wide variety of music and includes special guests. The concerts are free, interactive, entertaining and musically enriching for the whole family.

Our second concert celebrates “Golden Oldies”, including favorite classical treasures through the exciting big band era. We mix in pop favorites, marches and some new compositions to provide something for everyone.

Please join us: Sunday, January 26th, 2014, at 3:00pm in the Ventura High School Auditorium, located at 2 N Catalina, Ventura.

FREE!

 

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KammerMusikere
KammerMusikere
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KammerMusikere comprises strings, winds, brass

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - A chamber orchestra from Pacific Lutheran University will perform an eclectic program of dance music at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, in Samuelson Chapel at California Lutheran University.

KammerMusikere will perform music related to dances from tango to ballet. The program includes a little-known American polonaise by John Philip Sousa. Orchestra director Jeffrey Bell-Hanson will conduct.

The 31-member ensemble comprises strings, winds and brass. KammerMusikere means “chamber musicians” in Norwegian in a nod to PLU’s Norwegian Lutheran founders. The orchestra tours domestically and internationally and recently performed in historic venues in Bavaria and north central France. PLU has a strong music program, with about 200 students majoring in music and more than 600 participating in the department’s programs each year.

Bell-Hanson, director of orchestral activities at PLU, is in his 12th season as conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra and associate professor of music. He has conducted orchestras throughout the United States and in Europe.

Donations will be accepted.

The chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane on the Thousand Oaks campus. Additional parking is available at the corner of Olsen Road and Mountclef Boulevard.

For more information, call the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or visit callutheran.edu.

 


 

The Oxnard College Latino Thought Makers Series is pleased to present "An Evening With Edward James Olmos" on Saturday, January 25, 2014, in the Oxnard College Performing Arts Center Auditorium (OCPA) located at 4000 S. Rose Avenue in Oxnard, CA. Olmos, a Tony Award nominated star of Zoot Suit, Stand and Deliver, Blade Runner, Miami Vice, Battlestar Galactica, and many other film and television productions, will discuss his life and career with host Rick Najera, a Comedian, Writer, Director, and Author. The evening begins with a reception in front of the Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m., followed by the main event at 7 p.m. Sponsored by the Oxnard College Institute for Latino Performing Arts, this event is the third in a series spotlighting influential Latinos in the fields of Performing Arts, Politics, and Social Issues. Admission is free for students, faculty, staff, and the community. Parking is $2.00. For tickets or information, contact Connie Campos at tel. 805-986-5804 or by email at ccampos@vcccd.edu.

 
East German poster for "West Side Story"
East German poster for "West Side Story"
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Mike Kaplan’s vintage collection is on display at CLU

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - Film producer Mike Kaplan will be featured in a free Tea and Talk from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, in conjunction with the exhibit “Gotta Dance!” at the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art at California Lutheran University.

Kaplan, an award-winning art director and producer, will give a presentation in Lundring Events Center on the “Gotta Dance!” exhibition, which includes more than 40 vintage film posters from his personal collection. A reception will be held in the Rolland Gallery following the presentation, and Kaplan will lead a guided tour of the exhibit.

When Kaplan was 8, he started coloring the theater ads in The New York Times and was fascinated by how they would change. Later, he began collecting film posters from Hollywood memorabilia shops and then from auctions and the Internet.

During his career as a producer, director and distributor, Kaplan has collaborated on poster campaigns with artists including David Hockney, Don Bachardy, Allen Jones, John Van Hamersveld and André Carrilho. He frequently worked with British airbrush artist Philip Castle, including on a poster for Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” that was voted the All-Time Best Film Poster by patrons of England’s Odeon Cinema Circuit.

“Gotta Dance!” is on exhibit through Feb. 8. The free exhibit spotlights the movie poster as an underappreciated art form and explores the diverse ways in which dance has been used as a dominant image to represent musicals and other films. Kaplan selected the works, which are of varying size and rarity, for their artistic and historical significance. The majority date from between 1930 and 1950, a golden age for movie poster design. Many are from overseas, where designers made extensive use of illustrations rather than photos. There are posters from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Argentina.

Highlights include an original French-release poster for “An American in Paris” that belonged to Gene Kelly, a poster featuring a young James Stewart dancing with Eleanor Powell in “Born to Dance” and an immaculate image of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in elegant evening attire for “Carefree.” The exhibit also features a rare American 40-by-60-inch “Strike Up the Band” poster featuring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in caricaturist Al Hirschfeld’s design. There are several posters from major musicals including the East German “West Side Story.”

Lundring Events Center is located in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center at 130 Overton Court on the Thousand Oaks campus. The Rolland Gallery is located at 160 Overton Court. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, contact curator Jeff Phillips at 805-493-3697.

 
Clarion has performed extensively throughout U.S.
Keith Benjamin
Keith Benjamin

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - An organ and trumpet duo will present a concert at California Lutheran University at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, in Samuelson Chapel.

Clarion, featuring organist Melody Steed and trumpeter Keith Benjamin, will perform “Sonata in D Major” by Arcangelo Corelli, “Clarion Calls” by Samuel Adler, “Four Themes on Paintings of Edward Munch” by Anthony Plog, “Sanctuary” by Gwyneth Walker and works by Oskar F. Lindberg and Petr Eben.

Steed, an associate professor of music at Bethany College in Kansas, and Benjamin, a professor of trumpet at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, formed their duo in 1983. The pair has recorded two compact discs and performed extensively throughout the United States. Focusing their musical endeavors on the promotion of 20th-century literature for trumpet and organ, Steed and Benjamin have premiered works by Adler, Don Freund, Steven David Beck, Peter Hamlin, James Mobberley and Eugene O’Brien.

This is the final concert of the 2013-2014 Orvil and Gloria Franzen Organ Program Series at CLU.

Donations will be accepted.

Samuelson Chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane in Thousand Oaks. Additional parking is available in the lot at the corner of Olsen Road and Mountclef Boulevard.

For more information, please call the music department at (805) 493-3306 or visit callutheran.edu.

 
The Ralph Mathis Band
The Ralph Mathis Band
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February 15, 2014

The Ralph Mathis Band, appearing at the Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum on Saturday, February 15, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., has appeared with top bands around the world and can play any style of music from rhythm and blues to soul, country or rock and roll. They specialize in stylish popular standards. From their snappy jaunt down “Route 66” to their sweet remembrance of “Sunny,” the band shares tunes from the heart. Admission to the concert is $10 for the general public, $5 for Museum members, and $2 for kids with an adult. Seating is first come, first seated, and all galleries are open during the evening.

Ralph Mathis began singing professionally as a teenager in clubs in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. The brother of Johnny Mathis, Ralph went on to play with Bobby Darin, Sam Cooke, Connie Francis, B.B. King, Don Ho, Dion and the Belmonts, The 5th Dimension, Petula Clark, and Tony Orlando. Mathis played in Hawaii, Japan, Korea, England, Germany, Switzerland, France, Brazil and Mexico, and led the show band on the original “Love Boat,” the Pacific Princess.

The Ralph Mathis Band includes Ralph on guitar and vocals, his wife Irene Mathis on bass and vocals, Tommy Orlando on drums and vocals, and Jimmy King playing keyboards.

The Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum is located in historic downtown Santa Paula at 926 Railroad Avenue. Hours are 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Free for Museum of Ventura County members and children ages 5 and younger. Paid events include free admission to the galleries, and the Second Thursday Gallery Talks are followed by an additional gallery talk at the Santa Paula Art Museum. For more information, go to www.venturamuseum.org or call (805) 525-3100.

 
Eric Kinsley to perform classical masterpieces Jan. 24
Eric Kinsley
Eric Kinsley

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - A California Lutheran University music faculty member will present a piano recital of classical masterpieces at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, in Samuelson Chapel.

Eric Kinsley will perform works by Franz Joseph Haydn, Ludwig von Beethoven, Ignaz Pleyel and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Guest artists include faculty members Daniel Geeting on the clarinet and Heidi Valencia Vas as a vocalist.

Kinsley, who teaches piano at CLU, is a performing artist and writer who earned a doctorate at the Manhattan School of Music. The Thousand Oaks resident has been a member of the New York Contemporary Music Band, Pacific Classical Winds and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. He has received grants in early and contemporary music from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Harpsichord Society and the Sylvia Marlow Foundation.

He performed and recorded at the Discoteca Di Stato in Rome and has broadcast on public radio and television. He has worked with and performed premieres of the music of John Cage, Milton Babbitt, Morton Feldman, Miguel del Aguila and others. His book on the innovative chamber music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was released in 2012.

Samuelson Chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane south of Olsen Road near Campus Drive on the Thousand Oaks campus. Additional parking is available at the corner of Olsen Road and Mountclef Boulevard.

Donations will be accepted. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or visit callutheran.edu.

 
Santa Paula Society of the Arts

On January 12 at 2:00 p.m. the society will invite any and all to a water color art demonstration at our usual monthly meeting in the upper gallery of the Railroad Depot, which is located on the corner of 10th and Santa Barbara Streets in Santa Paula, across from the huge Moreton Bay Fig tree.

The Ventura artist doing the demonstration will be Wendy Lefkowitz who ventures between the realistic and the whimsical.

More of her work can be seen on her Website @ http://wendylefkowitzwaterclorartist.com.

We invite one and all at no cost with light refreshments served at a mid-demo intermission. Feel free to bring a friend.

 
Wana Klasen
Wana Klasen

Fillmore Artist, Wana Klasen was selected by the Santa Paula Society of the Arts to be the first Featured Artist at the Santa Paula Depot Gallery. The feature began in October 2013 and will continue through January 4, 2014.

Select pieces of Klasen's work depict her eclectic style and include watercolor and mixed media presentations.

The Depot Gallery is located at the corner of Santa Barbara Street and Tenth Street in Santa Paula and is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 12:00-4PM.

 

The CSU Channel Islands (CI) Choir is now holding auditions for its combination university-community choir. Auditions will be held by appointment up until the first rehearsal of the year on Monday, Jan. 13. At this time, the choir is specifically looking for tenors, baritones and basses. Contact the choir's choral director, Dr. KuanFen Liu, at 805-278-0375 or downbeatplus@gmail.com, to schedule an audition.

The choir is made up of CI students and faculty members, as well as members of the community. Offered as part of the University's Performing Arts Program, the choir is a weekly class that meets every Monday evening from 7 - 9:30 p.m. in Malibu Hall 140. Each semester, the curriculum covers a wide range of musical genres and periods from Medieval to the present time, and offers members the chance to perform publicly throughout Ventura County as well as on the CI campus.

The choir is led by Dr. KuanFen Liu. Dr. Liu holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, a Master of Music in conducting from the Eastman School of Music, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in voice performance from Tunghai University in Taiwan. She has conducted the choir since its inception in 2004.

For 2014, concerts will be performed in late March, early May and December. The highlight of the March concert will be the performance of Brahm's Requiem, accompanied by the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra and professional soloists.

"We chose to perform the Brahms Requiem as an anniversary tribute to the victims of last year's Boston Marathon tragedy on April 15 and as a remembrance of a beloved former choir member, the Rev. William Gutknect,” said Dr. Liu. “Unlike almost all other requiems, which are funeral pieces and very sad, Brahms wrote this music to provide a message of hope and comfort. He specifically put the piece in his own language, German, rather than Latin, so that the public could understand his message of condolences to the living."

To learn more about the class, visit the choir’s website at http://choir.csuci.edu or contact Dr. Liu at 805-278-0375 or downbeatplus@gmail.com.

Channel Islands Choral Association (CICA) is the sponsor of the choir. CICA is a 501 (c)(3) organization that serves Ventura County, bringing music education and performance to the local schools and community. For more information, visit the CICA website at www.cicachoir.org or contact Nina Ruhland at 805-914-4589 or egruhland@aol.com.

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

 
Saturday, January 4th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The Ventura Botanical Gardens invites you to its third annual Sow in the New Year. Celebrate with us and help create our gardens by sowing California native wildflower seeds. This year, we will have three species of lupine seeds.

Sow in the New Year is family-friendly and free. It is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, walk the trail with its gorgeous ocean views and sprinkle the hillsides with California native wildflower seeds. With a bit of rain, the seeds promise beautiful flowers along the trail in the spring. Participants will also have the chance to learn about California native plants and the progress of theVentura Botanical Gardens.

Meet at the Grant Park BBQ area off of Brakey Drive. We will be sowing the seeds along the upper portion of the trail. Parking is available.

We look forward to seeing you there. Happy New Year!

For more information, call (805) 232-3113.

 
Knitters (l-r) Joan Padilla, Kit Willis, Silvia Basich, Sue Dickens, Sally Dunio, Carolejo Adams, Lanae Carter and Alyce Barnwell. Other knitters not pictured are Nancy DeGroot, Marge Hatton and Charlene Hartenstein.
Knitters (l-r) Joan Padilla, Kit Willis, Silvia Basich, Sue Dickens, Sally Dunio, Carolejo Adams, Lanae Carter and Alyce Barnwell. Other knitters not pictured are Nancy DeGroot, Marge Hatton and Charlene Hartenstein.
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(l-r) Carolejo Adams and Lanae Carter
(l-r) Carolejo Adams and Lanae Carter
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Meiners Oaks Library Knitters proudly display a year’s worth of afghans they created and donated to the Linus Project, a nonprofit providing blankets to children in need. See: http://www.projectlinus.org/

The group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, 10 am to 11:45 am at the Meiners Oaks Library, 114 N. Padre Juan Avenue, Ojai, CA.

For more information phone Deb Fletcher, Meiners Oaks Library Supervisor, 805 646-4804. Knitters of all skill levels are welcome, as are donations of acrylic yarn.

 
CLU to host international event in Ventura in March
keynote speaker Juliette Aristides
keynote speaker Juliette Aristides

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - Artists, critics, academics, collectors and curators will return to Ventura in March for the second international conference on representational art presented by California Lutheran University.

The Representational Art Conference 2014 will be held from Sunday, March 2, through Wednesday, March 5, at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach. Presentations, panel discussions and studio art demonstrations will explore the direction of 21st-century representational art, which portrays recognizable people, places and objects. TRAC will include an excursion to CLU’s Thousand Oaks campus to see the “Women by Women” exhibit in the Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture and the “Resonating Images III” show in the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art.

CLU faculty members Michael Pearce and Michael Lynn Adams organized the first conference in 2012 to address the lack of critical appreciation of representational art and explore the new directions it might take.

Distinguished philosopher Roger Scruton will be one of two keynote speakers. He explored what makes an object beautiful in his 2009 book “Beauty” and caused a stir with his BBC Two documentary “Why Beauty Matters” when it was released the same year. Scruton insists that beauty is a real and universal value with an indispensable role to play in shaping the human world. He is a visiting professor and a Blackfriars Hall fellow at the University of Oxford and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Juliette Aristides, a painter and writer dedicated to rebuilding traditional arts education in the United States, will deliver the other keynote address. The author and painter is the founder of the Aristides Atelier at the Gage Academy of Fine Art in Seattle. She teaches workshops throughout the world. In recent years, representational artists have set up ateliers in imitation of the Renaissance workshops where students worked alongside masters to learn the techniques of drawing, painting and sculpture. There are now numerous ateliers in every major city in the United States. CLU has seven faculty members with on-campus studios they are using as ateliers.

Odd Nerdrum, a Norwegian who is regarded by many as one of the greatest living representational painters, will discuss beauty, art and kitsch with Scruton. Nerdrum has written about why representational painting should be called kitsch rather than art because of the way it tugs at the heart and emotionally engages people. Nerdrum is known for his allegorical images of refugees adrift in an inhospitable Icelandic landscape.

Virgil Elliott, Pam Hawkes, Jeremy Lipking, Graydon Parrish, Stephen Perkins, Tony Pro and Alexey Steele will present demonstrations.

Early-bird registration by Jan. 31 is $375. Single-day passes are available. For more information, go to www.trac2014.org.

 
Thru December 31, 2013

Linda Carson's involvement with ceramics began in 1956 at a workshop conducted by Gertrude and Otto Natzler. She studied sculpture while raising her two children, but put her creative activities on hold to pursue a career as a psychotherapist. Children grown, Carson has rediscovered her passion for transforming clay into sculpture and jewelry design. The human foot, in many forms and colors, are central to many of the ceramic designs. Many of her creations have a humorous element to them. Linda will greet guests December 31st, 11 am - 2:30pm.

Irene Estrin's creations come from nature and it's textures and colors. Friends have accepted her obsession to scour the earth for texture to use in clay. Direct transfer of the textures are preferred and she uses the theme "Nature Inspired Texture by Land and Sea". Driftwood and feathers are often added for special effect. Estrin's uses the old pinch pot and Native American method using a puki and coil. Irene will greet guests December 19, 20, 26 from 11 am - 2:30 pm.

Gallery artists are from Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and including Ojai Valley.

 

Ventura, CA – The Ventura Harbor presents the 37th Annual Ventura Harbor Boat Parade of Lights and Fireworks, Friday & Saturday, December 20 & 21, at 7 pm and Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace on Saturday, December 21 from 1- 5 pm. Decorated boats and holiday décor throughout the Harbor kick off this year’s “Seaside Tinsel Town” theme in celebration of the Harbor being open to the public for 50 years!!

The two-day celebration features a Parade of Lights Carnival on the Ventura Harbor Village Main Lawn, visits by Santa & Mrs. Claus for last minutes gift requests at the Carousel Stage and delicious waterfront dining. Saturday evening, December 21, 7 pm, watch for Santa and his sleigh fly across the sky above the Harbor, kicking off the boat parade, courtesy of Aspen Helicopters. A fireworks display lights up the night following the Parade of Lights each evening.

Arrive mid-day on Saturday for Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace on Saturday, December 21 from 1- 5 PM. Free visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus and their live reindeer (bring own camera for photos), Victorian Carolers, Toy Soldier Band, faux snowfall, craft stations by Gull Wings Children’s Museum & Macaroni Kid Camarillo, holiday characters, and boutique shopping make Winter Wonderland a fun traditional holiday experience for all ages! Savor seaside at this free event and explore the sixteen seaside boutiques for holiday finds. Harbor restaurants are overflowing with good cheer for lunch and dinner.

At the Parade of Lights stop by the Ventura Harbor Village booth near Coastal Cone Ice Cream to get a pair of 3D glasses to watch the fireworks display. Get up close to the boat parade with public cruises offered by Island Packers (Reservations: 805-642-1393) and Ventura Boat Rentals (Reservations: 805-642-7753) to view the lights from the water (available Friday, December 20 only).

Admission to the Parade of Lights on Friday, December 20 and Saturday, December 21 along with Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace on December 21 is free. Parking is free in Ventura Harbor Village, along Spinnaker Drive, and in the Ventura Harbor beach lots. Arrive early for best parking and shopping throughout the Harbor Village. Dinner reservations are recommended or arrive early to dine in venues throughout Ventura Harbor.

The 2013 Parade of Lights sponsors include Ventura Port District, Four Points by Sheraton Resort and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ventura Harbor, Andria’s Seafood Restaurant & Market, Ventura West Marina, Ventura Harbor Marina & Yacht Yard, Vessel Assist- Channel Watch Marine, Ventura Harbor Boat Yard, Ventura Packers, Ventura Harbor Marine Fuel, Brophy Brothers Restaurant and Clam Bar, Island Packers, Ventura Boat Rentals, Ventura Yacht Club, Ventura Marina Community, The Greek at the Harbor, Milano’s Italian Restaurant, Cumulus Broadcasting, Gold Coast Broadcasting, Ventura County Star, VC Reporter, Ventura Breeze, Aspen Helicopter, and RP Barricade.

Boater Applications are available by calling (805) 477-0470 or online at VenturaHarbor.com and VenturaHarborVillage.com. No charge to enter a decorated watercraft and includes an 8 x10 keepsake photo, awards, prizes, and Boaters Brunch at The Greek at the Harbor Restaurant!

Returning this year is the prestigious People’s Choice Award, voting takes place on Ventura Harbor’s Facebook page. View parade entries on the “2013 People’s Choice Award” album, posted December 21st, and vote.

Visit www.VenturaHarborVillage.com/Parade or call (805) 477-0470 for more information or get updates on Ventura Harbor Facebook and Twitter. Watch past Parade of Lights videos on YouTube Ventura Harbor Village Parade of Lights 2012.

 
Historic Ranches Exhibit. Photographer: Roger Conrad.
Historic Ranches Exhibit. Photographer: Roger Conrad.
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Ojai Museum Exhibit Now Extended By Popular Demand
Ranches Exhibit Overview. Photographer: Roger Conrad.
Ranches Exhibit Overview. Photographer: Roger Conrad.
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Tony Thacher at Friends Ranches Packing House – 2006. Photographer: Emily Ayala.
Tony Thacher at Friends Ranches Packing House – 2006. Photographer: Emily Ayala.
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Tony Thacher at Hollywood Farmers’ Market – 2012. Photo courtesy of Thacher Family Archive.
Tony Thacher at Hollywood Farmers’ Market – 2012. Photo courtesy of Thacher Family Archive.
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Tony and Anne Thacher and Family members at Friends Packing House. Photo courtesy of Thacher Family Archive.
Tony and Anne Thacher and Family members at Friends Packing House. Photo courtesy of Thacher Family Archive.
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Original organizers of Ojai Pixie Growers Association (left to right: Bob Davis, Tony Thacher, Mike Shore, and Jim Churchill. Photo courtesy of Thacher Family Archive.
Original organizers of Ojai Pixie Growers Association (left to right: Bob Davis, Tony Thacher, Mike Shore, and Jim Churchill. Photo courtesy of Thacher Family Archive.
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Oliver Ayala (Grandson) and Tony Thacher, Pixie Growers Picnic 2009. Photo courtesy of Thacher Family Archive.
Oliver Ayala (Grandson) and Tony Thacher, Pixie Growers Picnic 2009. Photo courtesy of Thacher Family Archive.
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Boccali Wine Tasting Panorama – Ranch Adjunct Event. Photographer: Les Dublin.
Boccali Wine Tasting Panorama – Ranch Adjunct Event. Photographer: Les Dublin.
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The Ojai Valley Museum is continuing its popular exhibit, “Historic Ranching Families of the Ojai Valley,” for an additional two weeks. The groundbreaking exhibit will now be open through January 12th, 2014, giving visitors a rare look at six of the pioneering ranching families who created the iconic landscape of the Ojai Valley.

This exhibit began, appropriately, with a member of one of Ojai’s oldest ranching families, Tony Thacher, who is on the museum board. Like a true farmer, he started with a seed of an idea for the exhibit and grew it carefully. Planted in the rich soil of the Ojai Valley Museum’s resources, it flourished under the curating expertise of Museum Director Michele Ellis Pracy. During visits to each ranch, she selected heirloom furnishings, family photographs, and historic ranch equipment for the exhibition. In the museum, she designed a space for each family, where these treasures could speak in visual language about the realities of ranch life.

Growing beyond the museum walls, the exhibit branched out into sold-out events at the ranches, involving the entire community in a celebration of Ojai’s agricultural heritage. Thacher brought the idea for the events to the museum, and with the individual ranch owners, organized picnics, barbecues, wine tasting, as well as a 100-year anniversary party at the Haley Ranch. Finally, thanks to Thacher’s suggestion and to the generous pro bono work of local videographer Chris Ritke, there is now a feature length documentary of interviews with the ranching families playing looped in the gallery for visitors to enjoy.

Taking a break before unloading a truck at his ranch, Thacher sat down in the library of the Ojai Valley Museum and talked about how the exhibit came into being. With a heritage from a family that defined Ojai’s unique combination of education and ranching, Thacher is well qualified both to teach us about the past and to speak of the dynamic changes of the present. Edward Thacher, his great-uncle, came to Ojai in 1887 and worked as a manager for the Topa Topa Ranch. Sherman Day Thacher, his grandfather, followed soon after and eventually founded Thacher School. His wife, Anne, nee Friend, is the daughter of another pioneering Ojai family, and with husband Tony, rebuilt the family citrus business after the disastrous flood of 1969.

LG: How did you get the idea for the exhibit?

THACHER: I think the CONTINUED »

 

What was Ojai’s most notorious shoot-out? Where did the old Ventura and Ojai railroad engineers stop for rest and relaxation? What giant Washington lobby got its start on Grand Avenue and Montgomery Street? Where did Meditation Mount get its name?

It’s true that few local residents, and even fewer visitors, could answer most of these questions. All that will soon change with the release of “Ojai á la Car,” an audio driving tour of the Ojai Valley on compact disc that takes tourists and locals to the nooks and crannies of our valley that folks almost never see.

The disc was created and produced by Ojai resident Don Anderson to benefit the Ojai Valley Museum. It features professional narrations by actors Peter Bellwood and Laurie Walters. Anderson, a museum supporter, paid for all costs associated with producing the disc.

“Ojai á la Car” will be available at the Ojai Valley Museum Store, as well as local retail venues in time for Christmas. The disc is competitively priced at $15, tax included. Proceeds from its sale will go to the museum.

The guided audio tour gives visitors and locals some new and entertaining insights into the qualities that make Ojai unique. Ann Scanlin, President of Ojai Valley Museum’s Board of Trustees, said, “I’ve lived here for more than 30 years, and I was not aware of many of these places and their history. I think everyone will find something new.”

“Ojai á la Car” takes the listener to fifteen local venues in the Ojai Valley and Upper Ojai, with Bellwood giving descriptions at each stop and Walters providing logistical support. Included with the disc is a colorful tour map that will give specific driving directions to the fifteen locations.

Anderson, a former Los Angeles Times and Sports Illustrated writer and editor, developed the concept and wrote the narration based on historical records and local lore. “I am indebted to the writers and amateur historians like David Mason who have captured Ojai’s past in books, articles and oral recordings,” Anderson said. “They left rich and often amusing accounts of our valley over the last 150 years. I was fortunate to draw upon those.”

Anderson credits several local film and recording professionals who assisted in the production of the disc. Foremost among these were Steve Grumette of the Ojai Film Festival, television producer-director Stuart Crowner, and film sound engineer Paul Massey. All involved provided their time and expertise without charge.

Call the Ojai Valley Museum at (805) 640-1390, ext. 203, for additional information, purchase and distribution opportunities for “Ojai á la Car.”

The Ojai Valley Museum, established in 1967, is generously supported in part by museum members, private donors, business sponsors and underwriters, the Smith-Hobson Foundation, Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, City of Ojai, Ojai Community Bank, Rotary Club of Ojai, Ojai Civic Association and a grant from the Heritage Fund of Ventura County Community Foundation.

The museum is located at 130 W. Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA. Admission: free for current 2013 members, adults - $5.00, children 6–18 - $1.00 and children 5 and under – free. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday, noon to 4 pm. Tours are available by appointment. Free parking is available off Blanche Street at back of museum.

For more information, call the museum at (805) 640-1390, ext. 203, e-mail ojaimuseum@sbcglobal.net or visit the museum website at: Ojai Valley Museum.org Find us on Facebook Ojai Valley Museum.

 

The Oxnard College Latino Thought Makers Series is pleased to present “An Almost White Christmas” with Rick Najera on Friday, December 13, 2013, in the Oxnard College Performing Arts Center Black Box Theatre located at 4000 S. Rose Avenue in Oxnard, CA. Najera, a Comedian, Writer, Director, and Author, will perform an evening of stand-up comedy based on his new book, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood. The evening begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the main event at 7 p.m. Sponsored by the Oxnard College Institute for Latino Performing Arts, this event is the second in a series spotlighting influential Latinos in the fields of Performing Arts, Politics, and Social Issues. Admission is free for students, faculty, staff, and the community. Parking is $2.00. For tickets or information, contact Connie Campos at tel. 805-986-5804 or by email at ccampos@vcccd.edu.

 
December 8, 2013

SANTA PAULA, CA – In celebration of the community’s inspiring support throughout the year, the Santa Paula Art Museum will host a holiday party on Sunday, December 8 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Guests will enjoy holiday treats and refreshments around the Museum Christmas Tree as well as a holiday musical program performed by the amazing local group “Half-Notes”. Admission to the event is free for everyone.

“We have a lot to be thankful for here at the Museum, and we are especially thankful for all of our wonderful supporters, volunteers and visitors,” says Museum Director Jennifer Heighton. “This event is a wonderful opportunity for us to say thank you and to celebrate the holidays with all of our friends and neighbors.”

For an invitation to the event, please call the Museum at (805) 525-5554 or email info@santapaulaartmuseum.org. The Museum is located at 117 North 10th Street in downtown Santa Paula. The Museum’s regular hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Regular admission to the Museum is $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, and free for students and museum members.