The Los Angeles Times declared the Open Borders Music and Arts Festival “the most eclectic festival in the southland." The festival has been selling out its big name acts and is shaping up to be one of the more successful arts events in Ventura County this year. The Indie West Fest at the county fairgrounds earlier this month was not as fortunate. Turnout for the event failed to meet organizers’ expectations, though those in attendance found it well-organized and enjoyable. Plans are under way to try again next year with a few changes, contrary to the contents of a phony letter that was sent to event sponsors claiming the fest was a complete flop that will not return. The origins of the mysterious letter are still under investigation but event founder Michael Jones suspected “jealous promoters.” With its biggest crowd yet, the success of the Johnny Cash Music Festival can likely be attributed to bigger headliners, more vendors and three years to build its reputation and work out the kinks.

Curators for the Outlaw Conduit Gallery at Art City announced they will be discontinuing their Fluxus art and music events due to a family illness. The Westside ArtWalk is preparing for an exciting launch on July 23 with some unique exhibitions planned by Focus on the Masters, Bell Arts Factory and others. Contemporary artists Grant Ensminger, Verdell Wright and Andrew Kosum, who are showing at the WAV this weekend for the Hawk Hoops Sports Foundation charity event arts mixer, will also take part in VCReporter’s ArtWalk exhibit at the old California Street location of the Museum of Ventura County. Complaints by residents about noise coming from other residents at the Working Artists Ventura (WAV) complex has created a tense situation causing WAV developer Chris Velasco to close the facility’s gallery space to resident artists until further notice.

Theatre 150 announced the appointment of Michael Addison as its artistic director and Susan Scott as managing director. Addison has a strong background in theater, having worked with several esteemed California theater companies and participated in a variety of festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He has an extensive background in Shakespeare, including nine years as artistic director of the California Shakespeare Festival, and he served as dean of theater at California Institute of the Arts. In addition to her consultative work with Theater 150, Scott has worked for Rubicon Theatre Company and Bell Arts Factory. Expect continued greatness from this cutting-edge theater group in Ojai.

Cabrillo Music Theatre has some unique events planned this summer in order to raise funds for its award-winning stage productions. Beginning Aug. 1, it will launch a Monday Night Concert Series with four concerts planned to tie in with its current mainstage production, The Sound of Music. Cabrillo’s Sundays in the Park will begin July 25, with “A Very Good Place to Start: Cabrillo Music Theatre Presents Yesterday’s Children/Tomorrow’s Stars,” a new series of outdoor family concerts set in Carpenter Park in front of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. For more information, visit www.cabrillomusictheatre.com.

Opportunities
Ojai ACT is seeking eight actors for its production of Never Too Late, which was the inspiration for the 1970s hit TV show All in the Family. The show is scheduled to run from Sept. 9 through Oct. 2. Auditions will be from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, and 7-9 p.m. on Monday, June 27, with callbacks from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29. For details, contact producer Catherine Dain, 640-8623, cathdain@aol.com, or visit www.OjaiACT.org.   

The Deadline for submission to the Elite Theater Company’s one-act play contest is June 30. For details, visit www.elitetheatre.org.

michel@vcreporter.com