Orange County Writers of Color Rise to the Moment

Writer and literary activist Marytza Rubio has never felt out of place in her hometown of Santa Ana. Spanish was her first language, and she grew up surrounded by people who looked and sounded like her.

But she recalls visiting Laguna Beach two to three years ago with her in-laws, who are white. They were waiting to get dinner at Eva's Caribbean Kitchen (now closed), walking casually around the neighborhood beforehand.

Rubio is not the only writer of color in Orange County who has felt discrimination and the awkwardness of feeling out of place in a town that’s still 90.8% white, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics.

Vietnamese American Violinist is a Proud Mariachi Musician

Kurt To picked up the violin when he was five years old. Little did the 22-year-old know that his classical training would lead him to play weekend gigs as a violinist with Mariachi Nuevo Capistrano, a mariachi band based in Orange County.

The Vietnamese American musician grew up in San Juan Capistrano, in what he describes as "not your traditional Vietnamese family." Though he was largely influenced by Mexican culture growing up, the love and talent for music was genetic. His father and grandfather were musicians themselves, and both of them showed Kurt unwavering support in his pursuit of mariachi music.

While the majority of Orange County's arts and culture organizations and venues remain physically closed; virtual/streaming offerings are thriving, and some outdoor venues are beginning their phased re-openings. Arts Orange County is pleased to combine its recommendations for online enrichment with some good news about places you can now visit personally. ArtsOC and Voice of OC continue to urge everyone to follow the State and County's current precautionary guidelines as they venture out. Masks and distancing save lives. 


Self-Drive Art Tour: Art Along the Coast

Download a customized map and go at your own pace as over dozens of South Orange County artists give you a glimpse inside their work spaces and creative process; with a chance to purchase their works directly  DETAILS »


Gente Night Market in DTSA

Food, a live DJ, and local arts & crafts will all be featured at a socially-distanced, family-friendly pop up marketplace on Bush Street in DTSA  DETAILS »


Festival of Arts foaVIRTUAL Exhibit

Tour the works of over 120 exhibitors from the comfort of home in this specially-created virtual festival; every kind of visual art represented  DETAILS »


Little Stars: Early Childhood Program

The OC Music & Dance Center is now enrolling for the next 12-week session, starting September 15th, of this special program for parents and their toddlers to start adding music and movement into their education  DETAILS »

Editor's Note: This email newsletter is provided in partnership from Voice of OC, Orange County's nonprofit newsroom, and Arts OC, the officially designated nonprofit arts agency for the County of Orange, CA. Together we are proud to share the latest arts and culture news and curated events listings. Our readers can rely upon stories by established arts journalists and events from the largest Orange County database of arts and cultural events, workshops, jobs, individual artists, organizations and venues.

Voice of OC is Orange County's nonprofit newsroom with a mission to consistently deliver fair, focused and thorough journalism on critical quality of life and local issues for Orange County communities.

Arts Orange County builds appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County. Event information provided by SparkOC, an Arts OC program.