Author: Karen Lindell

ORAL TRADITION | The Ojai Storytelling Festival returns in September

“No, no! The adventures first; explanations take such a dreadful time.” Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Nothing ruins a story like excess exegesis. Bring on the oral storytellers, who aren’t burdened with reciting scholarly footnotes. The 17th Ojai Storytelling Festival, after taking a year off while founder Brian Bemel lived in Spain to learn Spanish (ask him to share his adventures), has returned. Several storytellers who make a career out of their narrative skills, without pontificating, will keep audiences chuckling, weeping and pondering from Sept. 7 to 10. Any lessons learned tend to wind themselves into hearts rather...

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STEWARD OF THE ARTS | Teri Mettala’s 37 years at the Ojai Art Center

The people of Ojai have shared a one-of-a-kind insurance policy since 1939: a building at 113 S. Montgomery St. called the Ojai Art Center. During the dedication ceremony for the Community Art Center of the Ojai Valley (the center’s original name) nearly 80 years ago, founding member Charles Butler told attendees, “You, who have made this center possible, must keep it alive, vital and a force for good. This is a permanent insurance policy you have written for yourselves — an insurance against the improper use of leisure time.” The policy’s current steward is Teri Mettala, executive director of...

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CRAZY STYLE | Oxnard designer Robert Quiroz finds success with Fifty150

The California Welfare and Institutions Code likely ranks low on a list of inspiring reading material. Yet a section of the code’s legalese has inspired a line of Oxnard-based street apparel: the Fifty150 Brand. Section 5150 (pronounced “fifty-one-fifty”) of the code refers to the involuntary psychiatric hold placed on mentally ill people in California. Robert Quiroz, founder of Fifty150, a downtown Oxnard clothing store and online retailer, is redefining the term and its association with “crazy.” “The message is about being crazy chasing your dreams and overcoming obstacles,” Quiroz said. “It’s about being passionate.” Actor-comedian George Lopez has given...

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ART IN THE PARK | Ojai’s outdoor art festival celebrates 40 years

Ojai’s Libbey Park is a picturesque but finite space. More than 20 years ago, painters, potters and musicians (and patrons of each) crowded together among the oaks when Art in the Park, the Ojai Music Festival and a Ventura County Potters Guild show took place the same weekend in June at the downtown park. “We used to get this flood of people flying through to the band shell in a rush for the music festival — it was crazy,” said Bonnie Caruk, an Ojai resident and painter who has been participating in Art in the Park for two decades....

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ON THE BOOKSHELF | Labor pains in higher education

Inevitable roadblocks arise when trying to open an institution of public higher education in California: space, funding, parking, environmental concerns. And if that institution is run jointly by the University of California and California State University systems, another thorny problem arises: quarters or semesters? “We just called them ‘quarmesters,’ ” said Joyce Kennedy, laughing, as she talked about scheduling conflicts when the UC/CSU Ventura Learning Center opened at 3585 Maple St. in Ventura in 1974. Kennedy is the author of Conflict of Visions: The Birthing of a University. Yes, at the end of the book, California State University, Channel...

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COMMUNITY EVENTS

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Lunchtime Organ Recital Series

    September 8 @ 12:30 pm - December 8 @ 1:30 pm
  2. Rubicon Theatre Company’s Fall Acting Classes

    September 25 @ 4:00 pm - November 11 @ 6:00 pm
  3. Vulnerability inVisibility

    October 5 @ 8:00 am - November 11 @ 8:00 pm
  4. World War I and America

    October 11 @ 8:00 pm - November 14 @ 10:00 pm
  5. Theatre Arts Student Black Box

    October 19 @ 8:00 pm - October 22 @ 10:00 pm