Costa Mesa’s Arts on the Green to Boast Wide Cultural Diversity

Times Staff Writer

Sunday’s fifth annual Arts on the Green in Costa Mesa, one of the largest one-day gatherings of arts organizations in Orange County, will again reflect much of the area’s ethnic and cultural diversity.

“We’ve been working on getting as broad a representation as we could,” said Richard Odle, the festival’s executive producer and director.

Among the 47 performing groups and 30 exhibiting organizations will be Latino, Japanese, Indian, black and Middle Eastern groups, as well as such county staples as the Pacific Symphony and the Master Chorale of Orange County.

The free “arts buffet” will be held between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. at Town Center Park.


In addition, Odle said, Tex Beneke and his orchestra will perform a finale on the Centerstage in the south area of the park. Beneke, a Costa Mesa resident and one-time member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, will be joined by the Master Chorale for a medley for chorus and orchestra.

Odle said he hopes people “will become acquainted with the less publicly heralded groups,” especially those behind the 70 information tables set up in the plaza area by local organizations.

“That’s the heart of the festival as far as I’m concerned,” he said--enabling people to learn about local arts organizations that “they maybe heard of but never had any direct contact with.”

Odle said the festival has probably tripled in size since it was established in 1984. He said between 6,000 and 9,000 people are expected, which will make it the largest festival to date.


The $60,000 budget is about $10,000 more than last year’s, according to Bruce R. Hartman, spokesman for Arts on the Green. The city and county business donors provided the money.

This year there are eight stages in and around Town Center Park, including Founders’ Hall inside the adjacent Orange County Performing Arts Center.

Harmony singing by Nickle Beer will be featured at 4 p.m. at the Palm Court Stage between South Coast Repertory Theatre and the Center Tower, and from the North Orange County Sweet Adelines at 1 p.m. at the Plaza Stage, in front of the Imperial Bank Plaza.

Four groups of Japanese performers will appear on various stages at various times.


For the first time at the festival, Odle said, Orange County authors of children’s books will read from their works, at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Grove Stage, the grassy area near the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel.

A full schedule of Sunday’s Arts on the Green events and a map showing their locations appear today on the Digest Page in the Orange County section, Part II.