Arts Briefs

Arts Briefs

Awards, grants and a poet laureate

By Michel Miller 02/06/2014


The Ojai Music Festival announced developments in its 2014 program thanks to the “inventive musical mind of music director Jeremy Denk.” Making their Ojai debuts are jazz pianist and composer Uri Caine, the trailblazing string quartet Brooklyn Rider, and solo performers such as violinist Jennifer Frautschi and vocalist Storm Large. A highlight of the upcoming festival is the world premiere of a commissioned opera conceived by Mr. Denk: The Classical Style, based on the eponymous award-winning book by legendary American pianist and scholar Charles Rosen.

The Four Star Theater Alliance
honored its members’ best 2013 productions at an awards gala last month. The most honored productions were Camarillo Skyway Playhouse’s Cabaret, Elite’s The Diviners, High Street ArtsLes Miserables, Ojai ACT’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Conejo PlayersForever Plaid, and Santa Paula Theater Center’s Second Samuel. Congratulations to everyone and thanks for providing Ventura with such top-shelf entertainment.

The Channel Islands Maritime Museum has been awarded a number of grants, including $10,000 from The Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, a $5,000 grant from Union Bank Foundation, a $5,000 grant from the Ventura County Community Foundation’s Heritage Fund, and a $2,500 grant from the Smith-Hobson Foundation Fund.

The Port of Hueneme also awarded the museum a $5,000 grant for the new Port of Hueneme Exhibit being developed and slated to open later this year.

California Lutheran University will hold its Representational Art Conference in Ventura at the Crowne Plaza on March 2-5. Presentations, panel discussions and studio art demonstrations will explore the direction of 21st-century representational art, which portrays recognizable people, places and objects. 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. Single-day passes are available. For more information, go to

Ventura County has its first poet laureate. After 14 months of planning and preparation and selection from an outstanding field of candidates, The Ventura County Arts Council chose Mary Kay Rummel. The CSUCI educator has published seven books of poetry and has an impressive collection of awards and community service accolades. Her two-year service will be largely voluntary, and the laureate, with the help of the arts council, will establish a series of projects to boost appreciation of literary arts in the county. You can connect with her at



The California State Summer School for the Arts is accepting applications. CSSSA is a four-week intensive pre-college program for talented and motivated high school students grades 9-12 held on the campus of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia. Now in its 28th year, CSSSA offers immersion in seven different artistic disciplines: dance, music, theatre, visual arts, creative writing, film and animation. Deadine to apply is Feb. 28. For more information and an application, visit

The Tamima Al-Awar Memorial Scholarships application deadline is Feb. 19. There is $3,800 in scholarships available plus the opportunity for all students applying to exhibit their work at the Ventura County Government Center. For more information and an application, visit

Bell Arts Factory call for submissions. “From Hell to Healing” will be a companion to the national literary project The Big Read, which this year is spotlighting the book The Things They Carried. The art for this exhibition will broadly reflect the physical, emotional and mental experiences of artists who are veterans of the Vietnam War. Outlines of submissions need to be e-mailed by Feb. 18 to with Vietnam art in the subject line. 


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