18th Annual OC Arts Awards Honoree Profile:

This is the first in a series of profiles of this year's Orange County Arts Awards honorees. The 2017 OC Arts Awards will take place on Tuesday, October 17 in the Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Tables and tickets are now available for purchase. Complete details may be found here.
Charlie and Ling Zhang have been major supporters of the arts in Orange County for many years. A talented clarinet musician, he came to the U.S. at the age of 23, with $20 in his pocket and acceptance to the Pasadena music conservatory. After one semester, Charlie dropped out because of lack of money, and worked as a dishwasher. A work-related injury caused him to lose his ability to play. Soon afterward, Charlie bought one Chinese restaurant, then another, and then he and Ling created Pick Up Stix, building it to more than 100 locations. They eventually sold the chain, created another food company, a state of the art aseptic food and beverage company, which they sold as well. They currently own a real estate development company, Zion Enterprises LLC in Laguna Niguel.  With their financial success came a strong desire to give back, and as a result, they founded OC Music and Dance to nurture, inspire and empower students of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay for instruction. Charlie serves on the Boards of Pacific Symphony, Bowers Museum and Pacific Chorale. In addition to generously supporting the arts in our community, Charlie and Ling have dedicated their time and treasure to many other local & international causes, and Charlie currently serves on the Boards of Concordia University, Cal State Fullerton, Chapman University as well as other organizations.



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LAST CHANCE TO VOTE FOR This Year's Art for the Newport Beach Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park!

The City of Newport Beach invites the public to vote for their favorite among the works submitted by artists for the 2017-19 Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park.  Deadline:  July 30, 2017. Vote now for your favorite work, and you will be entered into a drawing to receive free tickets to a performance by one of these great Orange County arts organizations: Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society of Orange County, South Coast Repertory, Irvine Barclay Theatre
View the submissions and vote here View prior sculpture exhibitions here.
Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble Wins International Competition in Vienna
Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble,which recently completed a European tour, was awarded first place in the symphonic band division of the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival and Competition in Vienna. The Wind Ensemble, performing under the baton of its Music Director Gregory X. Whitmore, joined 34 other ensembles from around the world for the festival, held July 7-12, and shares the first place award with the Osaka High School Symphonic Band of Japan. Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble was one of only three U.S. ensembles to travel to Austria for the festival and the only ensemble representing the western region of the United States.
Now in its eleventh year, the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival has become one of the most prestigious youth festivals in the world, bringing together the very best youth orchestras, choirs and bands from 13 countries and five continents for five days of fulfilling music-making in Vienna. While at the festival, Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble not only participated in Summa Cum Laude Festival's prestigious competition held in the famed Golden Hall of the Musikverein, but also attended interactive workshops and educational lectures conducted by members of the festival's orchestra jury at the University of Music in Vienna.
OC Register's Varsity Arts "Artists of the Year" Widens Nomination Process
Each year, the Varsity Arts section of the Orange County Register highlights top high school artists in theater, dance, music, film, and visual arts as "Artists of the Year."  For the upcoming school year, they are opening up the nomination process for the first time to instructors in after school programs and to those who give private arts instruction.
A full list of nominees will be published by the Register. Semi-finalists are adjudicated by professional artists and top faculty from Southern California. Finalists and named Artists of the Year are given special coverage by the paper.
And along with being an outlet to honor students, nominating is great, free marketing for the arts programs.
Teacher nominations are due: Fri, Jan 19. Student applications are due Fri, Feb 2.
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Arts Orange County is the leader in building appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County. 
It is a powerhouse in advancing Orange County's arts ecology, a trailblazer in advocating workforce development through arts education, a leader in building future audiences and a trendsetter in the world of nonprofit arts councils.

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