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The Valley Line: New art show at USC Verdugo Hills; Ryssdal named chair of L.A. Children’s Chorus board

USC Verdugo Hills Hospital late last month held the opening of its newest Healing Arts gallery show. Ten artists, all members of Verdugo Hills Art. Assn. were represented in the exhibit that will continue through the end of September. Mediums presented in the show include watercolor, oil, acrylic and photography.

It was a nice turnout for the opening party and the hospital chefs created a beautiful array of food to nibble on and refreshing drinks filled with lots of ice. Co-chairs for the exhibit were Julie Shadpa, hospital art therapist, and Sue Wilder, chair of the hospital foundation’s board.

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“I am so happy to see the growth of our Healing Arts Exhibit program! We’ve had such positive feedback from patients, families and our staff. Having local artwork featured in our hospital has created an atmosphere of beauty, relaxation and inspiration for us all. Our hope is to continue to expand our Healing Arts Program to include additional galleries throughout the hospital,” Shadpa said.

The featured artists include Joseph and Judie Apablaza, Arda Derian, Jay Ewing, Rosina Maize, Cherrie O’Hagan, Kimberly-Ann Talbert, Nikki Thomas, Barbara Thorn-Otto and Jeanne Windoffer.

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Word has reached us that La Cañadan Kai Ryssdal has been named the chairman of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus Board of Directors. Ryssdal, an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, succeeds Cheryl Scheidemantle. Public radio listeners will recognize Ryssdal’s name as he’s the host and senior editor of “Marketplace,” the program on business and the economy. A graduate of both Emory and Georgetown universities, Ryssdal has been active on the LACC board for the past four years.

“Kai Ryssdal’s deep commitment to LACC, forward-thinking leadership, exceptional business acumen, considerable community-building skills and tremendous passion for music and the arts will help propel the chorus forward as it begins an exciting new chapter under the artistic direction of Fernando Malvar-Ruiz,” said Tom Wheatley, LACC’s interim executive director, in a statement released last last week. “We are also extremely grateful to Cheryl Scheidemantle for her outstanding guidance. Among the many highlights of her tenure, she played a key role in the international search for a new artistic director, resulting in Fernando’s appointment. Cheryl also helped facilitate LACC’s smooth artistic leadership transition while championing Anne Tomlinson and her artistic vision during her final seasons with LACC.

Ryssdal said the upcoming year will be an exciting one for the Children’s Chorus. “I’m eager and honored to be able help lead this vital contributor to the Los Angeles cultural landscape into its future. We owe special gratitude to Cheryl, who during her term as board chair steered us up to and through our artistic transition with vision and purpose.”

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In spite of the heat, the beat goes on at La Cañada’s musical venues. Every Sunday at Memorial Park families arrive with picnic baskets, chairs, their kids and the family dog. They stake their claim on a patch of grass and settle in to socialize with neighbors who have also spread out their food and beverages.

Last Sunday’s concert featured one of the most popular musical groups, Woodie & the Longboards, who performed — yep, you guessed it — the sounds of the Beach Boys many of us have loved for decades.

Up for Aug. 12 is Brian Lynn Jones & the Misfit Cowboys. This group promises, according to their website, “Rock ‘n’ Tonk, foot stompin’, boot scootin’, cry in your beer” country music that will be fun. Don’t miss it!

The Music on the Main at Descanso is done for the season but there will be an end-of-summer Celebration on Wednesday, Aug. 29. The gardens will stay open extra late. So grab a cool drink and relax to the tunes of the Flashdance DJs. You can wander through the gardens to the sounds of live music. Enjoy the sunset, then end the night with some stargazing in the Oak Woodland. Call the gardens to reserve a ticket for the event.

On Aug. 18, Michael Feinstein, conductor of the Pasadena POPS summer series at the L.A. Arboretum in Arcadia, will pay homage to Leonard Bernstein.

To celebrate the musical giant’s career, Michael will share first-hand personal stories and a musical program spanning Bernstein’s career from Broadway classics with ”Candide,” “On the Town” and “West Side Story.” Sharing the stage with Feinstein will be soloists Ali McGregor, Julian Ovenden and recent La Cañada High grad Finn Sagal.

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