In The Arts

Flood relief fund for Laguna artists

The recent rainstorm caused much devastation in Laguna Beach and many artists have suffered loss and damages to their homes and studios. In effort to assist these artists, the Festival of Arts is making grant funds available, to help meet their immediate emergency needs to cover expenses for initial clean up and damage assessment of their homes and studios. With the grants, FOA hopes to expedite recovery from this crisis so that artists may continue their work.

The amount per grant is $500. Each artist may apply for up to two grants. For a grant application, call FOA President Fred Sattler at (949) 637-2367.

Sawdust funds available

Working artists living in Laguna Beach who have suffered catastrophic damage to their studio, inventory and/ or supplies due to the recent floods and mudslides may be eligible for a grant from the Sawdust Festival Artists Benevolence Fund. If your primary source of income is from work as an artist, and this natural disaster has destroyed your ability to do your craft, resulting in extreme financial hardship, you may qualify for assistance, according to Cynthia Fung, Sawdust spokeswoman.

To apply, download the "Confidential Application for Assistance" form from the Benevolence Fund link on the Sawdust Art Festival website, Applications are also available for in Tom Klingenmeier's office on the Festival grounds. Mail or drop off a completed application with all necessary documentation to: Artists' Benevolence Fund, 935 Laguna Canyon. Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. For more information, contact Trustees Sue Thompson, (949) 494-6277; Susan Wade, (949) 494-3421; or Mike Kelly (949) 497-1129.

Winter Jazz Series starts Wednesday

Laguna Beach Live will kick off its Winter Jazz series on Wednesday with a performance by Latin Jazz Syndicate Trio. With Bijon Watson on trumpet and flugelhorn, Carlos Ordiano on keys and Ruben Ordiano on drums, it all comes together for some of the hottest Latin jazz sounds.

Held in the Catalina Room of Hotel Laguna, audience members will have a choice of two shows: 6 to 7:15 p.m. and 7:45 to 9 p.m. Cover charge is $10 with food and beverages available off the Lounge's tapas menu or the Terrace's main menu. For reservations, call (949) 494-1151. The series will be on the first and third Wednesday of each month, January through April. For a complete lineup, visit


A creative start to a new year

Get 2011 off to a creative start by attending First Thursdays Art Walk from 6 to 9 p.m. in Laguna Beach. Stroll and take a trolley on a self-guided tour and enjoy gallery openings, artist demonstrations and receptions, live music and other entertainment and refreshments. The free event and trolley service are open to the public. An Art Walk brochure that includes a map and a complete schedule of all the evening's special events is available at any gallery.

"I encourage everyone to experience the Art Walk and be instantly immersed in the cultural art scene of Laguna Beach," said First Thursdays Art Walk president Rebecca Barber. "It's the New Year, why not start it out with new art."

Art patrons are encouraged to visit all the featured galleries from Downtown to Gallery Row to Bluebird to Laguna Canyon Road, enhanced by performances by local musicians and gallery hospitality. Enjoy music and refreshments at SKYLAB Modern Art and the magical sounds of singer-songwriter Sam Curo at The Cottage Gallery.

Laguna Art Museum currently features the work of John Paul Jones, Megan Hart Jones, Edwin Roscoe Shrader and Sean Duffy, or enjoy a yogurt tasting while viewing photography by Stillman F. Sawyer, from the Festival of Arts permanent art collection, at FOASouth.

Additional featured artists include: New works by renowned painter Nancy Bush at Dawson Cole; David Limirite and Gerald Basil Stripling at JoAnne Artman Gallery; Walli Schauer at Quorum Art Gallery; European artist Claudia Meyer at Marion Meyer Contemporary Art; and Andriy Halaashyn and Luis Cornejo at saltfineart.

For more information, including a full listing of First Thursdays Art Walk galleries and featured artists, visit


Maestro comes to the Playhouse

Actor, musician and playwright Hershey Felder will return to The Laguna Playhouse Tuesday through Thursday in his latest production of "Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein," a new work from the creator of "George Gershwin Alone," "Monsieur Chopin" and "Beethoven."

With a story spanning the entire 20th century, Bernstein — America's greatest musician — broke through every artistic ceiling possible to become the world's musical ambassador. Conductor, composer, pianist, author, teacher, librettist, television star — for Bernstein, boundaries simply did not exist. Join acclaimed actor Hershey Felder as he takes audiences on a fascinating journey and brings the composer of "West Side Story" and "Candide" to life.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Tuesdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; 2 p.m. Jan. 6 and 20; and 7 p.m. Jan. 16. Tickets are $35 to $70. For more information, call (949) 497-2787 or visit


Pageant of the Masters seeking volunteer 'actors'

The Pageant of the Masters is looking for men, women and children to volunteer for next summer's show, "Only Make Believe." People of all sizes and ages are needed to be cast members in the world's most famous presentation of tableaux vivants or "living pictures."

Casting calls will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 8; from 2 to 5 p.m. Jan. 9; and 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Irvine Bowl Park, 650 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. Prospective volunteers will be measured and photographed, enjoy refreshments and meet the behind-the-scenes Pageant staff. No theater experience is necessary. The only requirement is the ability to stand still and have fun.

"It takes over 500 volunteers, both onstage and behind-the-scenes, to put on the Pageant," director Diane Challis Davy said. "We wouldn't have a show without our volunteers."

Pageant volunteers are also needed for positions in the wardrobe, make up and headdress departments, as well as cast area coordinators and refreshment servers, among other positions.

The 2011 Pageant will be staged July 7 through August 31. Ticket prices range from $15 to $100. Tickets are on sale now at (800) 487-3378 or online at To volunteer, call (949) 494-3663. Laguna students can volunteer to fulfill community service hours.

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