Full House for Festive 20th Annual OC Arts Awards
From left: Renee Bodie, John Spiak, Jerry Mandel, Tracy Gayer, James Dinh, Carl St.Clair, Cherie Kerr, Ernesto and Socorro Vasquez, Rick Stein
The Orange County arts community gathered on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 in the Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, to honor its stars at the 20th Annual Orange County Arts Awards, hosted by the county's non-profit arts agency, Arts Orange County. It was attended by 250. This year's Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award for lifetime contributions to the Orange County arts community recognized: Socorro and Ernesto Vasquez, arts patrons and philanthropists; dynamic improv artist and Founder of OC Crazies and LA Groundlings, Cherie Kerr; visionary arts leader Jerry Mandel, President of the Irvine Barclay Theatre and former President, Orange County Performing Arts Center (now Segerstrom Center for the Arts); with Special Recognition given to Carl St.Clair on his 30th anniversary as Music Director of Orange County's Pacific Symphony. An Achievement Award for Outstanding Arts Organization was given to the ground-breaking art incubator and hub for social exchange: Grand Central Art Center, California State University, Fullerton in Santa Ana. The award was accepted by its Director John Spiak and Associate Director Tracy Gayer. The Outstanding Artist/Arts Leader Award was presented to: landscape architect, sculptor, and cultural advocate James Dinh. Emcees for the event were Renee Bodie, General Manager of Soka Performing Arts Center and ArtsOC President & CEO Rick Stein. SAVE THE DATE FOR THE NEXT ARTS AWARDS! WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2020.  More photos of the event here.
New Lecture Hall/Performance Space for Newport Beach Library
From LA Times: "Newport Beach is headlong into the planning for a new $7.6-million standalone lecture and performance hall to round out its Civic Center campus by 2023. The 7,000-square-foot single-story building, with fixed seating for 275 people and room for 50 portable overflow seats, would be immediately southwest of the Central Library and City Hall, at the edge of the library parking lot. Its funding is from a mix of public and privately raised dollars." More info here.
Public Art Installations in Progress at New Irvine Neighborhood
Eight site-specific sculptures, including "View Finder" (above left) by Urban Rock artist team Jeanine Centuori and Russell Rock, are in the process of being installed to join several murals in Cadence Park, a new home development that is part of the Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine. More info here.



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Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Appoints New President

Segerstrom Center for the Arts has announced the appointment of Casey Reitz as its new President, the fifth in its history. Reitz has served for more than 9 years as Executive Director of New York's Second Stage, a respected nonprofit theater company in Manhattan that owns and operates a Broadway theatre, the Helen Hayes, and is known for having produced the major hit shows "Next to Normal," which won Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, and "Dear Evan Hansen," also a multi-Tony Award-winner. Read more here.
Marleena Barber Taking VSA Reins at OCDE Upon Retirement of Phyllis Berenbeim

Marleena Barber, a professional singer who has been active in promoting positive disability awareness through education and performance, and is legally blind from a genetic condition, will become the Coordinator of VSA (formerly called Very Special Arts) for Orange County Department of Education. She will take over from Phyllis Berenbeim, who has been with OCDE for 42 years and is also a former Board Member of Arts Orange County. OCDE and VSA provide arts, education, and cultural opportunities by, with, and for people with disabilities, making the arts accessible to people of all abilities. Among them is the annual VSA Festival which is part of the Imagination Celebration each year.
Stephanie Bachiero Appointed to John Wayne Airport Arts Commission
Laguna Beach sculptor Stephanie Bachiero has been appointed to serve on the John Wayne Airport Arts Commission by Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel. Bachiero currently has a work on display in the Sculpture Exhibition in Newport Beach Civic Center Park.

Emerging Arts Leaders Salon
October 24 at OC Museum of Art
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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