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“A Night Under the Stars with the Stars” at FOA and Pageant of the Masters set for Aug 24

The Celebrity Benefit at the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, the most entertaining and star-studded night of the summer art season, will be held in Laguna Beach on Saturday, Aug 24. 

This red carpet one-night affair will offer guests an evening of fine art, entertainment, and a special performance of this summer’s popular Pageant of the Masters, “The Time Machine.”

The event begins at 5 p.m. with a private viewing of the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and re -carpet arrivals walked by attending celebrities, including the evening’s Pageant host actor John O’Hurley. 

A night John

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Photo by Pat Rogers

(L-R) Event host John O’Hurley, Brian Cranston, and Peter Bergman

Other guest celebrities scheduled to appear are Jonathan Adams (Last Man Standing), Ginger Chan (KTLA 5), Shawn Christian (Days of our Lives), Kate Flannery (The Office), Robert Hays (Airplane!), Gregory Itzin (24), Eva LaRue (All My Children), Jerry Mathers (Leave it to Beaver), Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future), McKenzie Westmore (Face Off), Arianne Zucker (Days of our Lives), and many, many others.

“August 24th will be an incredible night,” says Sharbie Higuchi, Director of Marketing and PR for the Festival of Arts. “We can’t wait to share the evening with John O’Hurley, Melissa Manchester, and our celebrity supporters…and we look forward to welcoming our most enthusiastic Festival and Pageant fans!”

Guests will enjoy an intimate concert on the Festival green at 6 p.m., performed by Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester and the Citrus College Blue Note Orchestra. Manchester’s career is remarkable not only for its longevity and accomplishments, but for its versatility. 

A Night Manchester

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Photo by Pat Rogers

Guests will enjoy an intimate concert performed by Grammy-winning Melissa Manchester 

Following her stint as a founding member of Bette Midler’s Harlettes, Manchester’s tremendously successful solo career brought her critical and commercial acclaim. 

The “Midnight Blue” singer received her first Grammy nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance in 1979 for the Peter Allen/Carole Bayer Sager-penned “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” winning the Grammy in that category four years later for “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” 

Two songs she performed, “Through The Eyes Of Love” and “The Promise,” were nominated for Oscars in the same year. She has recorded over twenty albums across her four-decade career, releasing her most recent album, The Fellas, in 2017.

After the concert show, award-winning actor, best-selling author and TV host John O’Hurley will draw the winning ticket for a 2019 Acura RDX ($38,295 value). This is the conclusion of a summer-long raffle. 

Since the Festival season opened on July 5, visitors have been purchasing their raffle tickets in hopes of being the lucky winner. Raffle tickets will continue to be sold right up until 8 p.m. that night: $5 for one ticket, $20 for five tickets (winning ticket holder need not be present to win).

Culminating the evening, guests will enjoy a special performance of the 2019 Pageant of the Masters production of “The Time Machine,” introduced by celebrity host John O’Hurley. He won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role as “J. Peterman” on Seinfeld

O’Hurley has also won season one of Dancing with the Stars and named People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” He has hosted The National Dog Show, Family Feud, and To Tell the Truth and voiced characters on Spongebob Square Pants and Phineas and Ferb. 

Tickets are on sale now and range from $50 - $240. The event is sponsored by Southern California Acura Dealers, KOST 103.5 and Yamaha. 

To purchase tickets, go online, visit

The Festival of Arts is a non-profit organization that produces the Festival of Arts and the Pageant of the Masters.

For general information, call (949) 494-1145 or visit the website at

The event is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Rollicking Reggae

Photos by Scott Brashier

Rollicking Reggae band

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Upstream brings the crowd to its feet at Music in the Park at Bluebird Park

Rollicking Reggae hooping

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Calypso hooping

Rollicking Reggae conga

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Is that a conga line? 

Rollicking Reggae young fans

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Music in the Park continues on August 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. Join Eagles fans for Boys of Summer, an Eagles tribute band. The series is a function of the Laguna Beach Arts Commission and is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. Please do not set up before 3 p.m. to allow children to enjoy the park prior to the concert. Bluebird Park is located at Bluebird Canyon Drive/Cress Street. Free trolley service is available to the park.

For more photos by Scott Brashier, see slideshow below:

Emerging artists showcased at Junior Art Awards ceremony at Festival of Arts 


Photos by Jeff Rovner

On Sunday at the Festival of Arts, the Junior Art Exhibit Awards ceremony proved a young artist’s observation that, “art is the colors and textures of your imagination.” The imagery and creativity of these award winners took varied and unique forms, representing two-dimensional art, three-dimensional art, digital and graphic design, and photography. After touring the Junior Art gallery, it was evident that there are many talented up-and-coming artists in Orange County.

Emerging artists awards

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Awaiting presentation 

Since its inception in 1947, the Junior Art Exhibit has come to be regarded as one of the highlights of the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show. Selected by art authorities from thousands of submissions representing schools throughout Orange County, works by over 300 students (PK-12) are on display in the Junior Art Gallery.

Emerging artists group

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Junior Art Exhibit winners and presenters

Winners were presented with gold, silver, and bronze medals as well as certificates of appreciation. A jury made up of Mark Porterfield, Steve Chadma, Emma Patton, Pat Sparkuhl, and Stephanie Cunningham selected first, second, and third place winners from the Orange County students’ incredible works of art on display. 

Emerging artists menorah

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Pre-K second place winner Talia Coelrubi for “Menorah” – posing with her mother 

The exhibit has become not only a showcase for new generations of young Orange County student artists, but also a testimonial to the value and importance of continuing arts education in our school systems. The 2019 Junior Art Exhibit is sponsored in part by California First National Bank and Mark Porterfield of Laguna Beach. It is a collaboration of the FOA Board of Directors and the Orange County Department of Education.

Emerging artists Devan

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Devan Brajevich for “Perspective” – Second Place, grade 11 

President of the FOA Board of Directors David Perry welcomed the crowd and congratulated the bright talented artists and artists to be. “Since the first Junior Art Exhibit, it was a hit and continues to be a highlight of the Festival. Thanks to the parents, staff, and teachers and California First National Bank.”

Emerging artists postcards

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(L-R) Winners Molly Manser, First Place, second grade, “The Red Flower,” and Olivia Herrera, Third Place, Pre-K, “Love Pig” were chosen to have their works made into postcards (with Leslie Jewett and David Perry)

Three former Junior Art exhibitors have come full circle: Watercolorist Molly Hutchings, oil painter Anthony Salvo, and photographer Cheyne Walls remember their first showings in the Junior Art Exhibit many years back, and this summer, they’re all featured exhibitors in the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show.

Anthony Salvo, who is in his third year of exhibiting – and still has the wood block print shown in the Junior Art Exhibit – said to the upcoming artists, “Your talent is a gift, not everyone can do what you do.” 

Emerging artists teacher

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(L-R) Mark Porterfield, Leslie Jewett, Bri Harb, and David Perry with two students. A special collaborative award was presented to Bri Harb’s 5th grade class and The Sounds of Color Studio in Irvine for their group piece entitled “Emotions & Feelings.”

In addition to Porterfield and Perry, presenters included Leslie Jewett, who is the Chief Financial officer of California First National Bank and a co-sponsor of Junior Art Exhibition with Porterfield. She is also a Laguna Beach resident. 

The artwork by Orange County students, grades PK-12, never ceases to inspire with its originality and evidence of emerging talents. This year was no exception.

Congratulations to all the winners!

For a complete list of the award winners, click here.

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere”

… Albert Einstein

For more photos by Jeff Rovner, see slideshow below:

Laguna Beach Chamber Singers receive FOA Foundation grant

The Laguna Beach Chamber Singers recently received a $2,000 grant from the Festival of Arts (FOA) Foundation. The choir is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Laguna Beach, performing a spring and holiday concert every year. 

The Laguna Beach Chamber Singers successfully blend historic and anecdotal context into their performances, accomplishing their mission which is to entertain and educate.

Laguna Beach singing

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Courtesy of

The talented Laguna Beach Chamber Singers 

The group’s eclectic repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary, popular to obscure. As venues and outlets for small choral groups continue to dwindle, the Chamber Singers place an emphasis on reviving the classics, resurfacing great yet forgotten pieces, and introducing new compositions. 

The Laguna Beach Chamber Singers is looking for new singers to join the choir by audition. Visit for more information, including rehearsal and performance times.

Laguna Art Museum announces exclusive trip auction for Gala 2019

 On Saturday, Sept 21, Laguna Art Museum will launch its second century with its Gala 2019 event from 5:30 to 11 p.m. at the Festival of Arts grounds. More than 350 guests will enjoy performance art, dancing, exquisite wines, and fine dining. A live auction will add to the excitement of the evening.

The live auction offers a once-in-a-lifetime private art and travel experience hosted by artist Lita Albuquerque and LAM Executive Director Malcolm Warner for four guests to New York from May 6 to May 9, 2020. 

This exclusive trip will include hotel accommodations for three nights and four days of VIP visits personally arranged by Albuquerque and Warner at galleries, artists’ studios, museums, and private collections. 

The trip will also include attendance with Albuquerque and Warner at the invitation-only preview of the Frieze New York art fair, and time for personal exploration. 

The successful bidder will enjoy an exclusive and rare opportunity, while the proceeds from the event ensure operating support for Laguna Art Museum to continue its mission to be the premier museum for California art and a center of culture for Laguna Beach.

Laguna Art balls

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“Lita Albuquerque,” Stellar Axis: Antarctica, 2006, photograph by Jean de Pomereu

Lita Albuquerque is Laguna Art Museum’s Wendt Award recipient for 2019. Albuquerque has created an expansive body of work that ranges from painting, sculpture, poetry, and multimedia performances to large-scale ephemeral projects in sites around the globe. 

Active since the early 1970s, and often associated with the Light and Space aand Land Art movements, she has developed a unique visual and conceptual vocabulary using astronomical images, the earth, the body, color, motion, and time to explore human identity in its relation to the universal. 

Albuquerque was the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant for her Stellar Axis: Antarctica project, which culminated in the first ephemeral artwork created on that continent. 

In 2014 her outdoor performance An Elongated Now was the centerpiece of Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature, complementing the installation Particle Horizon inside the museum. Since 2015, Albuquerque has served on the museum’s Board of Trustees.

Malcolm Warner joined Laguna Art Museum as Executive Director in January 2012. Previously he was Deputy Director at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven; and Curator of European Art at the San Diego Museum of Art. 

Warner was born in Aldershot (UK) and pursued both undergraduate and graduate studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He received his Ph.D. from the Courtauld in 1985. His doctoral dissertation was on the British Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. He remains the leading authority on Millais and, as a long-term project, is preparing a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s works.

For more information including tickets to Gala 2019, visit

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

Laguna Art Museum presents two films by Buster Keaton on Aug 15 

On Thursday, Aug 15 at 6 p.m., Laguna Art Museum presents its monthly Film Night. Steven Forry, Ph.D., will introduce two films by Buster Keaton, arguably the greatest actor and director of the 1920s.

One Week, the 1920 two-reel silent comedy film, was the first film to be released made by Keaton on his own. The story involves two newlyweds who receive a build-it-yourself house that can be built, supposedly, in one week. Their construction project becomes both impossible and absurd when a rejected suitor re-numbers the packing crates.

Laguna Art Sherlock Jr

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LAM presents two films by Buster Keaton, including “Sherlock Jr.”

In Sherlock Jr., Keaton plays a film projectionist who longs to be a detective and puts his skills to work when he is framed as a thief by a rival. The 1924 silent comedy film was Keaton’s most complicated for special optical effects and in-camera tricks.

Film Night is generously sponsored by Compass and is included with museum admission. Advance tickets are recommended.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

LagunaTunes receives generous City grant

LagunaTunes Community Chorus, a local non-audition choral singing group, has received a grant of $5,000 from the City of Laguna Beach in support of its musical performances. 

LagunaTunes, a 501(c)(3) organization, accepts everyone who enjoys singing and learning about different musical styles. The chorus will use these grants for facility rental, artist fees, and concert production and promotion. 

The audience for the LagunaTunes June concert – “Ladies and Gentlemen - The Beatles!” – filled the Laguna Beach High School theater to capacity and showed their appreciation with a standing ovation.

LagunaTunes receives group

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LagunaTunes is a community concert band that performs two free concerts per year 

Under the leadership of popular director Bob Gunn, the 70-member group performs two free concerts every year. Fall concert rehearsals are held weekly from September to December, and spring concert rehearsals from February to June. 

LagunaTunes includes schooled musicians as well as non-musicians who just like to sing. Music genres have ranged from serious and traditional to pop, rock, and jazz. The emphasis is on improving skills, learning to perform, and enjoying the experience. There are no auditions, and new members are welcome. 

For more information, contact President Patti Jo Kiraly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

Festival Runway Fashion Show returns to the Festival of Arts on Aug 18

On Sunday, Aug 18, the Festival of Arts will hold its annual Festival Runway Fashion Show from 12 to 3 p.m. Highlighting creativity, sustainability, and innovation, the Festival Runway Fashion Show is a not-to-be missed event.

Now in its 11th year, this runway show features Festival exhibitors who step out of their artistic medium and into the world of fashion. The result will blow audiences away with over-the-top creative couture with the twist of all being made out of recycled, reused, and reclaimed materials. It is a competition, similar to TV’s Project Runway.

Festival artists start months in advance in hopes of taking home the top prize and bragging rights. Competing in this show “where fashion meets art” are Festival exhibitors Bruce Burr, Kate Cohen, David Cooke, Bradley Elsberry, Adam Neeley, Mariana Nelson, and Fabrice Spies. Utilizing reclaimed, reused, or recycled material each artist is encouraged to wow the judges with their talent and originality.

Festival Runway group

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Fashion and fun return to FOA on Sunday, Aug 18 

The Festival Runway Fashion Show offers cash prizes of $1,000 in four categories: Most Creative Concept, Most Exciting ensemble inspired by Pageant of the Masters theme “The Time Machine,” Most Innovative Use of Materials, and Most Glamorous and Elegant “Red Carpet” worthy creation. There will also be a “People’s Choice Award” to be voted on at the event.

Patrons will be amazed by this fully produced runway show, including a celebrity host and panel of fashion experts. The fashion show will be hosted by film production designer Nelson Coates. He has worked on such films as Crazy Rich Asians, Fifty Shades Freed, Flight, and The Proposal. 

Coates was nominated for an Emmy for the TV mini-series The Stand and currently serves as president of the Art Directors Guild. Selecting the winners will be a panel of judges including Pageant of the Masters Director Diane Challis Davy, costume designer Alex Jaeger, and Radar Online Entertainment Editor Alexis Tereszcuk.

For more information and tickets, visit or call (800) 487-3378.

The Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Jazz Summer International 2019 presented by LB Live!

continues with Teka on August 30 

Jazz Summer International, presented by Laguna Beach Live!, has been a tremendous success, proving to meet the music needs of the community this summer. 

The next concert on August 13, with Adonis Puentes and the Voice of Cuba Orquesta, is sold out. Contact Laguna Beach Live! to be put on the wait list for this performance.

Limited tickets are still available for the final concert in the series on August 30, with Brazilian singer and guitarist Teka, who fuses the sensual rhythms and harmonies of Brazil with the sophistication and improvisation of jazz – a fascinating musical blend she calls New Bossa. 

Jazz Summer Teka

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Brazilian singer and guitarist Teka will perform on Aug 30 

The concert is from 6 - 8 p.m. and doors open at 5 for drinks, food, and social time. Laguna Beach Live! is teaming up with Wine Gallery Laguna, who will be serving a selection of wine, beer, and soft drinks. Mixologist Tyler will also be crafting a unique signature cocktail for each concert. 

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Early purchase is recommended and can be made at or by calling (800) 595-4849. Seating is assigned according to date of purchase, season ticket holders, and Laguna Beach Live! membership.

The Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach is located at 286 St. Ann’s Dr.

Passport to the Arts and Bank America offer Glennwood residents free festival access

Residents of Glennwood House in Laguna Beach recently received complimentary Passports to the Arts to enjoy summer-long festival access. This is the second year in a row that passports for the 30 young adults with special needs were made possible as part of Bank of America’s grants to the Laguna Art-A-Fair, Festival of the Arts, and Sawdust Art Festival.

The Passport committee, comprised of representatives from Laguna Art-A-Fair, Festival of Arts, and Sawdust Art Festival, in collaboration with Visit Laguna Beach and the City of Laguna Beach, provided the passports which allow unlimited admission to all three Laguna Beach art festivals, art workshops, music, and special events all summer long.

Passport to group

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Residents enjoy a day at the Festival of Arts

“The festival passports donated to Glennwood House make it possible for all of our residents to view and appreciate the many art experiences offered here in Laguna Beach,” said Katie Flores, Community Engagement Director at Glennwood House. “They eagerly await the opening of the festivals each year and feel proud of the beautiful town and art community we live in! We just want to say thanks to Bank of America and the Passport to the Arts Committee.”

“Bank of America believes the arts are for everyone, especially the magnificent summer festivals in Laguna Canyon that we have proudly supported for decades. By subsidizing entry, the Glennwood House residents can be inspired by and find joy in the beauty on display at the local festivals,” said Allen Staff, Orange County market president, Bank of America.

Passport to paintings

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Glennwood House residents taking in the splendor at Laguna Art-A-Fair

Bank of America has been recognized for its diversity and inclusion workplace practices for employees with disabilities as a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion by the US Business Leadership Network’s Disability Equality Index, and by Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) for its ongoing commitment to disability rights. 

The Glennwood Housing Foundation was founded in 2009 by a group of hopeful individuals who have children or friends with physical and developmental disabilities as a 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation.

Glennwood Housing Foundation, Inc. spun off of the original Glennwood Foundation, Inc., also known as The Lighthouse Group, which began in 2003. The purpose of this uniquely formed assembly was to move beyond the interaction provided by recreational sports and address the social, spiritual, and financial needs of this distinctive group of young adults as they mature beyond their teenage years. 

In August of 2013, the Glennwood Housing Foundation, Inc. opened the doors to a 42-room adult residential facility in Laguna Beach, which houses 50 young adults with development disabilities. 

The 2019 Passport to the Arts, which includes unlimited admission all summer long to the Festival of Arts, Sawdust Art Festival, and Laguna Art-A-Fair, may be purchased online at or on-site at each festival location. The Festival of Arts ends on August 31 and the Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Art-A-Fair’s last day is September 1.

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