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OC Arts Awards Event Celebrated Our Arts Community's Reopening & Renaissance

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Star of Broadway, film, and television and arts educator Jonelle Allen (top left) receives Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award from ArtsOC Former Board Chair Mary Lyons. The Laguna Playhouse (top right) receives Modjeska Award for its 100th Anniversary from ArtsOC Board Chair Rick M. Smetanka (right). A special award was presented to the Orange County Board of Supervisors--pictured (center left, left to right) Jessica Guerrero representing Vice Chair Doug Chaffee, Supervisor Katrina Foley and Supervisor Donald P. Wagner. Emerging Arts Leader Award was presented to Maurizzio Hector Pineda (center, right) by ArtsOC Board Member Cheer Pan. The FLIGHT at Tustin Legacy Murals received the achievement award for outstanding public art project (lower left, from left) from ArtsOC Board Secretary Susan K. Hori: LPC West, artist John Park, RIOS Architecture, and City of Tustin. The Modjeska Award was presented to Tom Titus, longtime arts journalist and theatre critic by SCR Managing Director and ArtsOC Board Member Paula Tomei (lower right).

Watch for our full gallery of photos from last Tuesday evening's celebration which will be posted later this week here.

All OC Arts Awards images by Tony Lattimore Photography.

ArtsOC news...

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Arts Orange County is pleased to welcome to its Board of Directors P. Alberto Sandoval. Alberto is Senior Director of Community and Government Relations for the University of California, Irvine. In this role, Alberto is responsible for leading, planning and managing UCI’s community and government relations programs that foster increased awareness, understanding and support for UC Irvine’s mission, vision and accomplishments.

Before joining the Anteater team, Alberto worked for The Boeing Company representing the company before the U.S. Congress and state and local governments on key federal defense programs, as well as legislative, regulatory and land use issues affecting the company.

"I first met Alberto when he was with Boeing, a major donor to Arts Orange County, and he provided invaluable advice to us in our arts advocacy work and opened doors to help us to get our message across," commented ArtsOC President & CEO Richard Stein.

His turn in the private sector followed 20 years of service working in the United States House of Representatives. In that capacity he served Congressman Dana Rohrabacher as his Deputy District Director in Huntington Beach, California where his focus areas were the aerospace/defense industry, cyberspace and immigration policy. Prior to his service with Congressman Rohrabacher, Alberto served as a Senior Field Representative to former Congressman Robert K. Dornan.

In November 2009, Alberto traveled to his parent’s native Honduras in Central America to join the Washington Senior Observer Group to participate as international election observers. The group was invited by the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal to observe and support the democratic process and ensure the free, fair and transparent voting process.

Alberto received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from California State University, Fullerton and a Master of Science Degree at the National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, DC.

Alberto is married to Rachel Sandoval and they have four children and reside in Rossmoor, California.


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The nearly 300 attendees representing more than 70 different arts organizations at the 21st Orange County Arts Awards experienced a spectrum of emotions as they honored their own on Tuesday evening in the Samueli Theater at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Beginning with a beautiful and inspiring ceremonial Native American performance by Jacque Tahuka Nunez, a member of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians-Acjachemen Nation, the event welcomed to the community new and returning arts leaders, paid respects to over 50 members of the arts community who had passed during the last two years as well as the more than 5,000 Orange County residents lost to COVID. Attendees were encouraged to "let it go" as vocalist and arts & disabilities advocate Marleena Barber delivered a powerful rendition of the famous song from "Frozen," and they were uplifted in a finale by Broadway performer Pamela Winslow Kashani that featured Stephen Sondheim's song "Back in Business" from the film "Dick Tracy." Major sponsors enjoyed a pre-ceremonies reception featuring classical guitarist Eric Brenton, generously underwritten by Phil and Mary Lyons, on the Argyros Terrace of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall overlooking the Argyros Plaza below--and the new Orange County Museum of Art under construction next door, and dinner in Leatherby's Cafe Rouge. Following the ceremonies, an after-party took place outdoors on the patio sponsored by OC Music & Dance thanks to the generosity of Charlie & Ling Zhang and Zion Enterprises, featuring the multi-Grammy winning Ellas.

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What is "NFT Art"?

Save the Date! Free Webinar!

Thursday, November 18, 4 pm

Curious about or mystified by “NFT art”? So are we! That’s why we will present a free Intro to NFT webinar in November by experts in the field. For artists, creatives in all media, art collectors, nonprofit fundraisers, arts leaders. A chance to learn about this rapidly growing new marketplace to sell & buy art. Watch for details soon!

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OC arts community news...

Comings & Goings

Fox Theatre Fullerton has appointed Steven Forry as Executive Director. He is a longtime local nonprofit consultant whose most recent client was The Muckenthaler Cultural Center. The Fox Theatre is a long-planned mixed-use redevelopment centered around the historic theatre in the heart of downtown Fullerton. It was built in 1925 and closed in 1987.

MUZEO has appointed Kelly Chidester as Interim Director. She served as Curator of the Fullerton Museum Center for more than seven years and has a masters degree in exhibition design from California State University, Fullerton.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts has appointed Elizabeth Kurila as Principal Gifts Officer. She comes to the Center from Discovery Cube where she was Director of Development, and previously served as Vice President of Development at PBS SoCal.

South Coast Repertory has appointed Brian Robin as Media & Public Relations Director. He is a writer and editor from the field of sports, and is a Communications & Broadcast Journalism graduate of California State University, Fullerton.

Employment Opportunities

Our website carries listings for jobs, auditions, calls for artists, and volunteer opportunities.

Here is a sampling of the positions currently posted:

Executive Director - Men Alive! Orange County's Gay Men's Chorus

Director of Education Programs - Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Associate Director of Development - UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts

Accountant - Bowers Museum

Instructor - Instrumental Band/Strings - Arts & Learning Conservatory

Communications and Development Assistant - The Wooden Floor

Sales Assistant - Sherman Library and Gardens

Details on these and more here.

Grants & Other Opportunities...

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Grants of up to $250,000 will be made to eligible independent live performance venues in the new California Venues Grant Program funded by the State of California and administered by CalOSBA. Applications open on October 29th with a deadline of November 19th.

"This program is the direct result of our arts community's collective advocacy efforts last spring as the State's budget was being developed," commented ArtsOC President & CEO Richard Stein. "We have been eagerly awaiting its arrival, and encourage all Orange County venues that are eligible to apply."

Free CA Venues Grant Webinar offered by Californians for the Arts on Wednesday, October 27 at 1 pm. Register here.

Full program details may be found here.



Registration is now open for Americans for the Arts' National Arts Marketing Project Conference which will take place virtually this year. The conference offers two days of programming led by field professionals in social media, email marketing, audience development, fundraising, research, and much more.

More details may be found here.

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Congratulations to the more than 75 nonprofit arts organizations and arts-related businesses that received grants from the District 5 Arts Relief Program! ArtsOC vigorously advocated for this program. A complete list of grant recipients may be found here.


OC's go-to arts resource

Arts & culture calendar - live & virtual events

Public art directory - hundreds of works displayed countywide

Employment opportunities in the arts

Grants to arts organizations & artists

Calls for artists

Performer auditions

We acknowledge with respect our presence on the ancestral lands of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians - Acjachemen Nation and the Tongva People.

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