National Choreographer's Initiative Goes Dark for the First Time in 17 Years

This week, the 17th season of the National Choreographer's Initiative (NCI) was scheduled to convene on the UC Irvine campus. Alas, like many other things this year, it has been canceled.

Artistic director Molly Lynch recalls the first year of NCI when she thought, "Well, we'll give this a try and see if this sticks." Seventeen years, 56 choreographers and over 100 dancers later, it's safe to say that the annual choreographic workshop has demonstrated its staying power.

But before there was NCI, there was the Pacifica Choreographic Project under Ballet Pacifica. Lynch brought that program to life in 1991 with the intention of fostering the development of new choreography within the ballet vocabulary. When the Irvine-based company closed, supporters urged Lynch to continue the project independently.

Renaming Historic Sites Continues to Ignite Debate in Orange County

This fight over names represents profound changes in culture, demographics and attitudes in a county that used to be majority white, staunchly Republican and conservative but has undergone major demographic shifts in the last generation.

As Orange County's demographics continue to change, with people of color and Democrats now representing the majority, the debate is not going away. It has been intensifying, and lately causing real change and disruption.

"Things are changing actually very rapidly," said Mike Rodriguez, a teacher and activist who lives in Fullerton and teaches history and ethnic studies in the Santa Ana Unified School District. "A lot of changes have happened in Orange County in the last four years. We had the whole blue wave. (Ronald) Reagan said this is where (good) Republicans go to die. We've had a rising population of people of color in Orange County as well.

"People want to address the racism that we've seen in this county. There's a population of people of color rising. We can't live under this veil anymore."

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. 


Instagram LIVE with Sawdust Artists

Meet, chat with, and purchase works from local Sawdust Festival artists during their spotlight interviews on Instagram Live  DETAILS »


Strike a Pose with Tustin Love Birds

The just-unveiled new public art mural "Love Birds" in Laurel Glen Park should turn into a popular photo spot for visitors on a stroll  DETAILS »


Virtual Tours of Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Schedule a special Zoom tour of the beautiful wetlands with scientists and naturalists who will help you "see" this rich, thriving environment like never before  DETAILS »


Art Kits with Bowers Kidseum

Pickup complete kits at curbside and bring them home for fun and educational art projects - this week, the Bowers art kits are inspired by their special exhibit: "Inside the Walt Disney Archives: 50 Years of Preserving the Magic"  DETAILS »


Virtual Book Club @ The Casa

Stimulate your literary muscles with a free discussion organized by Casa Romantica. This edition focuses on the historical book "The King of California"   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.