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Volume 16, Issue 40  |  May 17, 2024



Commission approves Hotel Laguna exterior modifications

After getting stalled, revised and continued multiple times over the past year, a plan for the exterior modifications for Hotel Laguna was unanimously approved this week by the Planning Commission. Read about the proposed changes…

Praying about where to put new affordable housing requirements

According to the Regional Housing Needs Allocation from the State of California, Laguna Beach is required to construct 394 housing units, of which 277 must be affordable. Find out how the Neighborhood Congregational Church is hoping to contribute to the solution…


Local residents reports tar ball incidents, city and county officials respond

A reader shared – “I was in Crescent Cove, surrounded by other beachgoers, local birds and even a seal, and upon sitting down to catch some sun, realized my foot was covered in tar.” Find out what Stu News learned…

Laguna Life & People – Sally Anne and Don Sheridan

Their stories unfold in rapid succession – as told by the Sheridans in a sort of loving sparring match – each filling in details of a long and combined history. It’s soon evident their collaboration in life is one filled with adventures and accomplishments…

Commission approves Hotel Laguna exterior modifications


After getting stalled and revised multiple times over the past year and then continued several times the last few months, a plan for the exterior modifications for Hotel Laguna – including paint trim, awning color and window styles – was unanimously approved this week by the Planning Commission.

Commissioners voted 4-0 (Steve Kellenberg was absent) on Wednesday (May 15) in support of the project. The proposed exterior changes for the hotel, located at 425 S. Coast Highway, include: Repainting of the building with revised paint and trim colors; replacement of guest room doors and windows with fiberglass systems; replacement of the fire escapes and accessways; restore the rooftop spire above the existing cupula that exceeds the maximum building height in the CBD-Central Bluffs District and requires a variance, and facade restoration which includes installing new awnings, restoring archway details, storefront fenestration systems, other historic details and stucco repair/replacement.

While commissioners still worked out some details over the two-hour discussion this week, they were overall appreciative of the applicant team’s efforts to address their previously stated concerns and suggestions.

Commissioner Jorg Dubin appreciates that the applicant took a “deep dive” on this and did nearly everything commissioners were looking for at the last meeting.

The applicant team came back with a highly detailed and thorough plan for the exterior, he said. They listened to commissioner comments from the previous meeting and stepped up the plate. They were promised a comprehensive plan for years, he added, and they never saw it, so it’s commendable that it’s finally been brought forward.

“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Dubin commented.

Now they actually know what they’re going to get when the renovation is complete, he added.

“The community’s been waiting a long time for this, (for) this hotel to come back to life,” Dubin said. “When I look at what’s been presented, I think, generally, the community is going to be very happy with what they see when this is finally done.”

Although commissioners may have pushed a bit beyond their purview at the previous meeting in March with their suggestions and the applicant team might have been taken aback from the level of input, Commission Chair Ken Sadler appreciates the extra effort the applicant team has made to try and incorporate everything they suggested.

“It’s ultimately going to make this project so much better than it would have been if we had just hastily approved your initial plans,” Sadler said. “Hopefully the community appreciates it at all. I’m sure they will when it’s completed.”

They focused on the details, both at prior meetings and this week, because those are the things that make the difference in such an important and iconic building, commissioners agreed.

“It’s the little details that make it all come together,” Sadler said.

Overall, the quality commitment presented is exactly the right level, agreed Commissioner Susan McLintock Whitin.

“There’s a real passion on the part of the team to do a renovation, even though it’s not technically a ‘renovation’ that’s what we see,” she said, adding that the team was very cooperative about every request from the commission.

“It’s going to be a great project, so let’s get going,” Whitin added.

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Art by Oatman Architects/Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

A rendering of the proposed changes to the exterior of Hotel Laguna in the style approved by the Planning Commission

The item was first heard by the Planning Commission on Jan. 4, 2023. During that initial review of the project, a decision was delayed as commissioners agreed they wanted a more complete concept that more accurately represented a specific decade in the building’s “period of significance.” There were a number of issues that still needed to be addressed and they wanted to see more of an overall plan (with a more complete color scheme, including awnings). Also, although the historic preservation consultant determined the period of significance to be a range between 1930 to 1950, commissioners wanted the project to focus on the style of the 1930s to early 1940s, including that the windows appear more wood-like. They also asked that an architectural embellishment (as seen in early postcards) be added above the main entrance of the hotel.

In a letter to the Heritage Committee, Laura Oatman, a principal at Oatman Architects (the applicant for the project), noted that the building qualifies as a “rehabilitation” under the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. That provides flexibility in the interpretation of the period of significance, which is from 1930-1950 for this building.

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Fair Game



Praying about where to put new affordable housing requirements

According to the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) from the State of California, Laguna Beach is required to construct 394 housing units, of which 277 must be affordable. That’s certainly difficult in a town like Laguna Beach that is mostly built out.

One answer might come from SB 4, the Affordable Housing on Faith Lands Act that provides a streamlined process for religious organizations and non-profit colleges to develop affordable housing on their property.

You see, many faith-based organizations and non-profit colleges are located on lands where multifamily housing is expressly prohibited by local zoning codes. Normally, to change such laws, the landowners would have to go through the time-consuming and expensive process of rezoning in order to add affordable housing, while also opening themselves up to litigation.

SB 4 virtually erases all those factors that complicate matters, by completely streamlining the process, therefore allowing 100% approval of affordable housing development on such land. It’s termed “by-right approval.”

So, yesterday, it was no surprise to receive the following statement from Rev. Rod Echols of the Neighborhood Congregational Church.

Neighborhood Congregational Church (NCC) has been part of the fabric of the Laguna Beach community for 80 years. Like many mainline Protestant churches across the country, NCC has experienced declining membership and the underutilization of its facilities. The members of NCC have been on a several-year journey, exploring how to better use our Laguna Beach property to deepen equity and benefit for our community.

“NCC is going through a process to evaluate reducing the size of our space to make way for affordable housing. Laguna Beach needs more affordable housing for limited-income seniors, artists and many others who work in lower-wage jobs in the city. No new 100% affordable developments have been built in Laguna Beach in the past 20 years.

“NCC has entered into an agreement with Related California, to continue the exploration for the financing and the development of a 100% affordable housing project, complete with an onsite spiritual center.

“NCC is still in the very early stages of the planning process. We will keep the community informed of our progress.”

We’ll keep you posted.

• • •

And this morning (8:30 a.m.) is the grand opening of the new Moss Street Beach Access.

Even if you can’t get there for the ceremony, you should really go by at some point soon and check it out, and see what $1,770,000 can do for changes and updates.

It includes the replacement of the existing stairs, walkways, bike racks and the landscaping is enhanced. The design incorporates colored concrete steps, board-formed concrete retaining walls and black anodized aluminum handrails. The newly vegetated bluff consists of a mix of native and drought-tolerant plants. And, the new stairs have been realigned to create new overlook points which enhance the viewing experience of Moss Point while traveling down to the beach. The improvements also include a new enclosed lifeguard tower.

The money for the project included a contribution secured by State Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine) for $1,225,000.

• • •

Mayor Sue Kempf and I sat down this week to discuss the approval of the fire rings in South Laguna, the goats and the job they’re doing cleaning our hillsides and talked about the Local Housing Trust Fund and what the next steps are. Give us a listen.

• • •

Tomorrow (Saturday, May 18), you might like to check out a reenactment with important and iconic Laguna Beach residents at the Laguna Beach Historical Society’s headquarters – The Murphy Smith Bungalow – from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Enjoy the Bungalow, some goodies/refreshments and meet Bette Davis (starlet); Jack Norworth (lyrics to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” Cracker Jack Hall of Fame, promoter of Laguna’s early Little League days); Florence “Pancho” Barnes (first and only airstrip in town, stunt pilot and aviatrix); Frank Cuprien (original plein air artist); the Bungalow’s original resident Vernon Murphy (businessman, bootleg) and its last resident, Blanche Clapp Smith. It’s a chance for family fun and a way to experience Laguna Beach living history through the early 1920s to the late 1950s. The Bungalow is located at 279 Ocean Ave.

• • •

Time to get your tickets and make plans to attend Laguna Playhouse’s “whodunit guessing game,” as they present Holmes & Watson. This final production of the 2023-2024 season begins Wednesday, May 29.

Written by Jeffrey Hatcher and directed by Laguna Playhouse artistic director David Ellenstein, Holmes & Watson is a “fast-paced, thrilling, suspenseful story that will keep you guessing until its final moments,” according to the play’s PR folks.

Ellenstein added, “Before I directed this play, I was not a huge Sherlock Holmes enthusiast, but the play led me to read the Conan Doyle source material and I gained a new understanding for the lasting appeal of the detective. These stories are extremely well written. I became captivated by the detail and specificity of the character and literary style. I became a Sherlock fan. There is a reason Mr. Holmes endures through all sorts of adaptations and across time.”

Sounds like a strong endorsement to me. For performance dates, times and tickets, go to, or call 949.497.2787.

• • •

Finally, join Laguna Beach Live! for bluegrass music and a delicious BBQ, on Sunday, June 9 from 4-7 p.m. on the picturesque grounds of the Laguna College of Art + Design.

Tickets are on sale now.

This year’s music is provided by Wimberley Bluegrass Band with food by Richard Jones Pit BBQ and wines by Bianchi Winery, who will offer a selection of their award-winning Paso Robles wines, along with Costa Mesa’s master beer maker, Salty Bear Brewing Co. 

Concert only is $25 in advance, $30 at the door, Kids 12 and under go free; Concert & BBQ is $52 in advance, $57 at the door; VIP: $110 (incl. concert, BBQ and reserved table seating).

Tickets are available at, or 949.715.9713.

• • •

Just a reminder: The christening and dedication of the new Marine Safety Vessel, Wave Watch is scheduled for Friday, May 24 at Marina Park in Newport Beach, 1600 W. Balboa Blvd. at 9 a.m.

Following the ceremony, a guided tour of the vessel will be available. Parking will be provided.

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Supporters swing for SchoolPower at 8th Annual Three Clubs Barefoot Golf Tournament Hosted by Hobie & The Ranch

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Monday, May 6, marked the eighth annual Three Clubs Barefoot Canyon Classic at The Ranch at Laguna Beach, generously hosted by Hobie and The Ranch. The sold-out event grossed over $50,000 to support Laguna Beach students through SchoolPower.

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Walking to the first hole sans shoes

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Tastings of Comisario Tequila at the first hole

Ninety barefoot golfers kicked off the afternoon’s festivities in full sunshine with a friendly nine-hole, four- or five-person scramble competition. As in past years, players tackled some nontraditional shots like putting with oven mitts and gave it their best shot at games including a pitching competition to win a Patagonia jacket and golf balls from Whittier Trust and playing casino games with Laguna Presbyterian staff members to better (or hinder!) their scores.

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Gorgeous sunny day with a slight breeze

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“Hosts with the Most” men’s team from Hobie and The Ranch included (L-R) Jackson Christy, Kris Carlow, Cameron Heard, Jake Schwaner and Mark Christy

“The Barefoot Classic is an event I look forward to every year. The Classic is the perfect combination of wonderful people, beautiful surroundings, a great cause, and bare feet in the grass. Many thanks to Mark Christy, The Ranch, and the SchoolPower team!” said Caleb Silsby of Whittier Trust.

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The Divot Divas, (L-R) Miki Latimer, Audrey Moy, Jennifer Roop, Erin Carlton and Sarah Wolsey return for the 8th Annual Three Clubs Barefoot Canyon Classic

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(L-R) Exclusive Hole Sponsor Yashaar Amin, Co-Director of Children’s Ministry Gail Onodera, Laguna Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor Steve Sweet, and Preschool Director Anne Herzog on their sponsored hole

Lissa Pallo-Strong’s fivesome was decked out in full 80s attire. “To be in nature at the Ranch, in beautiful Laguna Beach, really makes it easy for us to go all out to support SchoolPower who do so much for our children!” she said. “Another great tournament golfing barefoot, laughing with friends, and raising money for our schools…thank you SchoolPower!” added golfer Chris Sirianni.

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F&M Bank, one of the sponsors, provided cookies

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The Ranch and Hobie Women’s team consisted of (L-R) Leticia Christy, Nicki Heard, Tori Schwaner, Katherine Rickey and Makayla Welfringe

Following golf, the party continued on the patio, where golfers and dinner guests gathered for a cocktail reception that included live music by Zach Churchill followed by a Harvest BBQ buffet dinner. As in past years, lifelong Laguna resident and longtime SchoolPower supporter Mark Christy served as auctioneer for the live auction. Bidders competed for a “stay and play” experience at The Ranch’s exclusive Treehouse, a Lost Pier fire pit experience, Hobie and Tuvalu shopping sprees, OluKai sandals, and signed drum sticks from Green Day drummer, Tre Cool.

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Paul Pohoresky, Mike Zingale, Shaun MacGillivray and Jonathon Cohen

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(L-R) Dennis Gaughan, Steven Goodman and Anthony Norelli

Special thanks to hosts and primary sponsors Hobie and The Ranch, as well as event sponsors RNDC, Tequila Comisario, and The Ecology Center. Thank you to hole sponsors A2 Energy Partners, Akers Law, Ballesteros Real Estate Group, the Draper Family, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Laguna Presbyterian, Livel Real Estate, Brady Schwartz Legal, and Whittier Trust.

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Walking uphill

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(L-R) Alan Castillo and Ken Norelli

“Sponsoring and attending the Barefoot Classic is always one of the best events of the year. It is wonderful to see our community come together and raise money for our amazing school system while enjoying a day with friends and golf at one of the true gems in all of Laguna Beach. The countdown has already begun for next year!” concluded SchoolPower Barefoot Chair and sponsor J.J. Ballesteros.

SchoolPower is the parent volunteer-based, nonprofit education foundation that has raised money for Laguna Beach public schools since 1981. SchoolPower’s mission is to enrich the education and support the well-being of all children in the Laguna Beach Unified School District. Through SchoolPower grants, the Family Resource Center, and the After School Program, SchoolPower supports academics, athletics, visual and performing arts, music, student experiences, social and emotional wellness, and community connections. Learn more about SchoolPower at

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Artists Fund: Program that helps Pageant artists hold shows at City Hall, readies for summer showcase


This story is a part of our Arts section. For more arts stories as well as our arts calendars, visit

If The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts had a theme song it would be the Beatles “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

Helping fellow artists who are, or have been, presenters at the Festival of Arts is the mantra of this all-volunteer innovative financial program and each year it gets a boost from the artists themselves. This year is no different.

A show at City Hall this month, Spring Collection, features work by Artists Fund board members and artists who were recognized for their work in last year’s Art to Go program.

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Courtesy of Wendy Wirth

The “Spring Collection” show at City Hall features work by Artists Fund board members and 2023 Art-To-Go winners. Proceeds support the artists and the fund. Artist Wendy Wirth’s piece “Early Moon” (above) is part of the exhibition.

In June, a larger Art-to-Go program will be unveiled at City Hall, and then the pieces will be transported to the pageant grounds, where they will be on sale throughout the summer. Those sales are what generate the majority of the Artists Fund funding.

“We open with 65 pieces on opening night of the Festival of Arts,” said Mike Tauber, Art-To-Go program coordinator. “We have 120 artists (in the pageant) and usually 100 will donate to Art-To- Go throughout the season.”

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Courtesy of Mike Tauber

The June 6 opening night reception of Art-To-Go at City Hall is open to the public and will include complimentary drinks and food. Board members (L-R) Susan Hoehn, Wendy Wirth and Chris Brazelton will be greeting folks who drop by.

Tauber added that artists who may not be able to donate a piece, such as sculptors with massive pieces, or artists who only produce a few big-ticket paintings, will often support the program in other ways – taking pictures, helping to set up, etc.

“Whether donating or volunteering, it’s a community thing,” said Tauber. “It’s a good way to get to know us, working together. It’s a win-win situation.”

The fund started about 20 years ago, when a festival artist encountered a health challenge, and another artist wanted to assist. The Artists Fund has since helped local artists through many of life’s challenges, including the mudslides and fires that ripped through Lagunas. The fund has distributed more than $270,000 in the past 20 years said Wendy Wirth, a long-time board member and supporter of the Artists Fund program.

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Courtesy of Mike Tauber

Chris Brazelton is seen with his hand-painted photo “Heisler Park”

“It’s all voluntary,” she said, from the artists who provide pieces to the people who will be serving food and pouring drinks during the June 6 opening night at City Hall. “It’s a way for the artists to be involved and give back. It’s near and dear to their heart…you never know who you’re going to help. It could be you. You just never know.”

The Artists Fund has helped with emergency expenses, often affiliated with an illness. According to Wirth, distribution is always anonymous, and the group prides itself on being able to help quickly. The red tape that often accompanies other financial programs does not exist in the Artists Fund.

“The people in the arts understand other artists,” said Wirth. “They know how solitary it can be, how you’re sometimes flying without a parachute. Having that safety net is a real consolation. It ties the community together.”

In addition to the hardship grants, the Artists Fund also offers support for artists delving into new formats, such as a photographer who maybe can’t fully afford a new lens for a new body of work, or a painter who wants to attend an educational workshop.

“It’s a way to further explore their career development,” said Wirth. “They’re smaller grants, for turning points in people’s careers.”

The group also has created online webinars that support artists in their career, addressing things such as marketing and development.

“We try and do as much outreach as we can,” said Wirth. “We hope to be career support…because when we can engage and educate, people don’t end up needing the financial support as much.”

But since life and unexpected events do happen, each year the dedicated volunteers are creating the program that will raise money for when it’s needed by their fellow artists.

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Iconic high heel by Alexander McQueen to be re-created as a “Living Picture” in 2024 Pageant of the Masters

This summer in Laguna Beach, The Pageant of the Masters steps into the world of fashion with their new production themed À La Mode: The Art of Fashion. Anticipated to be one of the most exciting seasons yet, audiences will be swept off their feet with this captivating journey through history’s most iconic fashion trends and spectacles. Among the highlights is the re-creation of the famed Angel Shoe from Alexander McQueen’s groundbreaking 2010 Fall Collection.

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Photo by Jaron James/V&A Photography Studio ©Victoria and Albert Museum London

Angel Shoe, a high heel by Alexander McQueen, will be re-created at the Pageant of the Masters’ “À La Mode: The Art of Fashion”

High heels transcend mere footwear – they have become fashion statements, accessories and sometimes, like the Angel Shoe, they evolve into bold pieces of art. This iconic high heel made its debut in the Angels and Demons collection that followed McQueen’s death in February 2010. The shoe features a sculpted resin heel shaped like an angel, complemented by an intricate feather that forms along the sole. Leather wings with silver embroidery gracefully frame the foot, giving a sense of flight.

“I think it illustrates Alexander McQueen’s immense creativity,” said Diane Challis Davy, Pageant of the Masters director. “McQueen drew inspiration from Byzantine art and Old Master paintings. I love the way he reinterprets art history into contemporary fashion. He is a true master of costume, materials and construction.”

The history of high heels traces back to the 10th century when Persian calvary wore them to help keep their shoes in their stirrups. In the 17th century, influenced by the shoes worn by Persian emissaries, European nobility embraced the eye-catching footwear, which were often brightly colored and crafted from luxurious materials. High heels rose to prominence as a symbol of power and status for both men and women. Before undergoing a dramatic shift in the 18th century. As fashion became more gendered and men’s trends began to emphasize practicality, high heels transitioned to primarily women’s footwear. Today, high heels continue to captivate fashion enthusiasts worldwide, serving as both a statement of style and a celebration of individuality.

During the first act of this summer’s Pageant of the Masters, audiences will be treated to a series of works that Challis Davy has dubbed “Fabulous Footwear.” This portion of the production will feature re-created masterpieces showcasing the artistry of footwear through the ages like the “Royal Parisian Wedding” from a 14th century manuscript; “The Swing” by oil painter Jean H. Fragonard and of course, “Angel Shoe” by Alexander McQueen.

“McQueen’s Angel Shoe was the first time I had ever come across a shoe with a sculptured human figure. We knew instantly we needed to include it in the show,” shared Challis Davy. “It should be spectacular to see a much larger-than-life re-creation of the shoe on the Pageant stage.

From the opulent grandeur of royal courts to the contemporary glamor of today’s runways, À La Mode: The Art of Fashion will unravel the narrative of attire through the ages, revealing its inherent power and significance. Presented under Laguna Beach’s starry summer night sky, the 2024 Pageant of the Masters will also feature live, original music and narration, breathtaking theatrical illusions and some surprises. This is all presented in the 2,600-seat amphitheater of the Irvine Bowl.

À La Mode: The Art of Fashion will grace the stage nightly from July 6 through August 30. Early ticket purchase is recommended, as the Pageant is highly sought after and draws art enthusiasts from around the world. A Pageant ticket also serves as a season pass to the 2024 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, taking place from July 3 through August 30 (closed July 4). To stay up to date on all things Pageant of the Masters and Fine Arts Show visit, or follow @FestivalPageant on social media.

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Council OKs fire pits at Aliso Beach, takes steps for permanent system to designate areas, times for skimboarding


City Council this week unanimously agreed to move forward with various management and operation items related to South Laguna beaches, including authorizing seven wood-burning fire pits at Aliso Beach and taking steps to permanently authorize a system allowing skimboarding in designated areas at designated times.

Councilmembers voted 5-0 on Tuesday (May 14) on a plan regarding propane and wood-burning fire pits at Aliso Beach, signage for naturally occurring hazards, marine safety operations and a system for allowing some skimboarding, and public works maintenance.

Most of the discussion revolved around the fire rings, specifically the number to install, location of each ring and allowed use.

Although he voted for the item, Councilmember George Weiss was the most vocal about his concerns for re-installing the wood-burning fire pits.

“I don’t like them myself. I think they’re polluting of the air and of the ocean, but let’s see how they go,” Weiss said.

They’re also “kind of ugly” structures, he pointed out, and suggested only five of the fire pits.

“We don’t necessarily have to have seven. We could have four or five and then decide to increase the number down the road,” Weiss said.

Although a few councilmembers were flexible on the number, a majority ultimately agreed on the recommended seven wood-burning fire pits at Aliso Beach in the same locations where they were placed by the county, as identified by city staff in a 2010 aerial image.

Acting Marine Safety Chief Kai Bond explained that when they looked back through records, staff was able to identify at least seven fire pits. They are placed in appropriate locations, he added, answering a councilmember question.

“We know that they will have to be moved at some point based on continual sand shift at Aliso,” Bond said.

It makes sense to use those locations, agreed Councilmember Bob Whalen.

They can always remove the rings over time based on sand erosion, Mayor Pro Tem Alex Rounaghi pointed out.

“I would rather have more and then have to remove them going forward,” if needed, he said.

Rounaghi supported moving forward with the recommended seven pits and giving staff discretion to remove them over time based on sand conditions and other circumstances on the beach.

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Photo by Kindel Media/Pexels

The city is working on re-installing wood-burning fire pits at Aliso Beach (a similar fire pit is pictured)

On March 1, 2023, the city assumed ownership of and responsibility for South Laguna beaches, including Aliso Beach parking lot and concession facility, from Orange County.

Bond explained that the county previously maintained the fire pits at Aliso Beach for public use on a first-come, first-served basis. Some of the fire pits were removed, taken out of service during COVID, or buried or washed away during storm events before the city took over control. The remaining fire pits were removed by the county during the transition of ownership.

During an update to City Council on May 16, 2023, staff addressed a number of potential services and improvements, including fire pits. Council directed staff to return in October with more information.

On October 24, council unanimously agreed to move forward with the process of installing wood-burning fire pits at Aliso Beach, but highlighted that there are still several issues to work out (rules, management, staff supervision, etc.) before it returned to them for the final decision. Councilmembers directed staff to proceed with the appropriate coastal development permit process for purposes of installing the fire pits.

On January 17, the Planning Commission unanimously approved a coastal development permit for the city to re-install seven wood-burning fire pits in the sand at Aliso Beach.

Answering a commissioner question at the January Planning Commission meeting, Assistant City Attorney Alisha Winterswyk confirmed that despite that the fire pits were removed they are still considered a historic use for the site, in terms of the California Environmental Quality Act exemption for the proposed re-install project.

At both the October meeting and in this week’s item, staff recommended the city allow the use of wood-burning fire pits by the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Although there were some stipulations, including a “responsible person of at least 18 years of age is at least 25 feet from the burning pit.” They also recommended that only natural wood, charcoal and fire logs are used (burning trash or debris is prohibited). The use of the wood-burning fire pits would be prohibited during no burn days or red flag days.

The city currently prohibits building, setting, kindling, making, or maintaining a fire in any public parks or beaches except in city-designated barbecues, picnic stoves and fire pits provided for such purposes.

Staff also recommended, both now and in October, an amendment to the city’s municipal code to allow the continued use of the fire pits at Aliso Beach subject to additional regulations to comply with the South Coast Air Quality Management District regulations and the American with Disabilities Act, as well as to address local conditions at Aliso Beach.

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Going on a journey: A tough situation turns into a love story of acceptance in No Square Theatre’s newest show


This story is a part of our Arts section. For more arts stories as well as our arts calendars, visit

No Square Theatre is continuing its season of presenting shows with an unexpected twist when Dogfight – the Musical begins on May 17.

“My goal has been to choose shows not done very often, but which have a following,” said Ella Wyatt, artistic director. “I really wanted to present a unique season.”

The plot of Dogfight revolves around three Marines heading to Vietnam in the early days of fighting. Their last night stateside they embrace a cruel challenge to find the ugliest woman. However, the interaction between Eddie Birdlace and Rose takes the plot down a different path.

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Photos by Abby Matossian

Gavin Hamze (above) portrays one of a group of young Marines whose action the night before they deploy to Vietnam is the catalyst that creates the plot in “Dogfight”

“It’s an unexpected love story,” said Wyatt. “They meet under lies and manipulations, and they end up getting to actually know each other. It’s really about this relationship and getting to know each other at a different level.”

Wyatt and Karen Rymar, who is making her No Square directorial debut with this show, were confident they could get the cast they needed – even though it’s traditionally difficult to get men for musicals. The theater is earning a reputation for excellence and producing challenging shows.

“I’m super blessed with who this cast is – they came in with their hearts ablazing,” Rymar said of the auditions. “We had big numbers that showed up to audition and we got to pick from really, really strong people.”

Braxton McGrath, who plays Eddie, was thrilled to be selected for the part.

“Early on, when Dogfight first came out (in 2012) people in the theater community were raving about it, but I never really got into it,” he said. “Then when it came to my college (Cal State Fullerton) I fell in love with how raw the show is – it’s very real. I appreciate that authenticity.”

He played the alternate for Eddie in the college production, and really began to understand the character.

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Braxton McGrath is thrilled to play the lead role of Eddie, a Marine who goes on a journey to discover what he values

“He (Eddie) has one of the biggest arcs in musical theater – he goes from being very abrasive – because of the fact he doesn’t know better – to becoming his own man,” said McGrath. “He’s taking that shift through the show, when he’s discovering himself and having Rose to guide him on that journey…now he has more options for who he can be as a person.”

The timeless story of redemption and growth resonated with Wyatt. The musical, which came out in 2012 is based on the 1991 film, which is set in the early 1960s, on the brink of the Vietnam war. The music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul – they also wrote the score for La La Land – is both funny and insightful.

“It’s so relevant for today,” said Wyatt. “It’s really a love story and about finding yourself. There are trying times in the world and yet you can still find goodness around you.” She cautions the show is not intended for younger audiences because of strong language and an assault scene.

Rymar believes the issues at the heart of Dogfight will likely never fully disappear, but believes the show is educational, as well as entertaining.

“My hope is that our audience is able to find something that resonates with them,” she said, “and (that) prompts continued conversation regarding compassion and the true source of beauty within each of us.”

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Brooklyn Vizcarra has been enamored with the role of Rose ever since the musical “Dogfight” previewed, and is thrilled to portray this main character in the show

Brooklyn Vizcarra, who plays Rose, was drawn to the part ever since one of her favorite actors, Lindsay Mendez, originated the role of Rose in the off-Broadway production.

“I love that this story goes through different people’s interpretations of innocence,” she said. “Not only Rose’s innocence, but Eddie’s innocence and the country’s innocence. The world is about to change completely and everybody’s idea of life…is about to change. It’s about real things that happen…People can relate.”

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Laguna Ocean Foundation celebrates National Ocean Month

The Laguna Ocean Foundation (LOF) is gearing up for National Ocean Month in June. What better time to celebrate the ocean and the amazing life it supports than the start of summer? Events kick off on Saturday, June 8 on World Oceans Day with LOF’s annual event KelpFest and culminate on June 28 with a Pacific Vocal Series recital.

Guided Tidepool Tour – Saturday, June 8, 9-10 a.m.

Join LOF’s biologists for a guided tidepool tour at Heisler Park.

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Photos courtesy of LOF

LOF biologist points out different species found in the tidepools during a guided tidepool tour

Kelpfest* – Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Join LOF and other local organizations as they promote ocean awareness through hands-on educational activities. Stop by the LOF booth to receive free raffle tickets for items donated by KelpFest sponsors. Enjoy live music provided by Mana and the Garden Band as you check out the day’s festivities.

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Participants learn how to do the Kelp song and dance during KelpFest in 2023

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Learn all about cetaceans at the booth of KelpFest exhibitor American Cetacean Society Orange County Chapter

Film ScreeningSaturday, June 8, 6-9 p.m.

Continue celebrating World Oceans Day at the Rivian South Coast Theater where you can catch an ocean-themed movie screening. KelpFest raffle items will be raffled off after the screening. so be sure to stop by the LOF booth at KelpFest to receive your free raffle ticket!

Beach Clean-UpSaturday, June 22, 10-11 a.m.

The Laguna Ocean Foundation is partnering with the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce and The Ritual Refill to host a beach clean-up at Main Beach. Anyone interested in assisting with the clean-up is asked to register ahead of time by visiting

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Beach Clean-up: Group shot of volunteers who participated in the Beach Clean-up at Crescent Bay on Earth Day showing off the amount of trash picked up in just one hour

Pacific Vocal SeriesFriday, June 28, 7-9 p.m.

To round out National Ocean Month, join the Laguna Ocean Foundation and the Pacific Vocal Series for Out of the Sea – Arts & Conservation on Friday, June 28, 7-9 p.m. Hosted at the historic Rivian South Coast Theater in Laguna Beach, this “Art for a Cause” recital invites listeners into a meaningful story of conservation and nature through music, cinematography and curated storytelling, and features Southern California artist Jana McIntyre who has been seen on the stages of the world’s most prestigious opera houses.

Tickets are now available to the public with all proceeds going towards supporting Laguna Beach nonprofits. To learn more about the event and all that is included in this special evening of pure Laguna Beach culture, click here.

*A special thank you to the sponsors of KelpFest who keep the event free for everyone to enjoy: Marc & Rose Hospitality, Laguna Beach County Water District, Laguna Bluebelt, Beach Cities SCUBA, South Coast Water District, Raising Canes Laguna Hills location, Breaking Free Industries, Raw Elements, Alani & the Giant Kelp Elf, KX FM, 12 Tides, Waterlust and Rivian South Coast Theater.

Laguna Ocean Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to preserve and protect the beaches, intertidal zone, watersheds and ocean waters of Laguna Beach by promoting ocean literacy, emphasizing the importance of coastal ecosystems, community involvement, and an interest in nature for all residents and visitors of Laguna Beach.

For more information on upcoming events or how you can help support LOF, contact Alayna Ader at Event details can be found at

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LBPD hosts Annual Road Safety Expo at TOW on May 19 and reminds riders to register their bikes at Garage 529

Join the Laguna Beach Police Department (LBPD) on Sunday, May 19 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for their Annual Road Safety Bike Expo at Top of the World Elementary (TOW). They will be promoting safe and legal operations of bicycles for all ages at this free event.

LBPD wants to remind riders to register their e-bikes, bikes and scooters using Garage 529! This registration helps recover bikes and reduces theft. Find out more information by going to the world’s largest registry by clicking here. Register your bike for free.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Safety demonstrations from a previous Bike Expo

There will be plenty of activities. Bring your bike with you!

BMX riders will perform from 12-1:30 p.m., and the Fire Department will have demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

In addition to the BMX riders, attendees can participate in games, face painting, bounce houses and much more. Lunch will be available. Join the raffle for a chance to win a signed Tony Hawk helmet, a bike and more.

Top of the World Elementary School is located at 21601 Treetop Lane, Laguna Beach.

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Laguna Beach Live! presents Bluegrass & BBQ at LCAD on June 9

Join Laguna Beach Live! for a delightful afternoon of outstanding bluegrass music and delicious BBQ, on Sunday, June 9 from 4-4 p.m. The BBQ takes place from 4-6 p.m., the concert from 5-7 p.m.

A Laguna Live! favorite, Bluegrass & BBQ, returns to the picturesque grounds at Laguna College of Art + Design, 2222 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Beach Live!

The Wimberley Bluegrass Band

This year, music is provided by talented siblings – The Wimberley Bluegrass Band. Richard Jones Pit BBQ will be serving their authentic Texas BBQ which will include – entrees: smoked chicken breast, smoked pulled pork and a veggie option – smoked veggie kabobs; sides: Texas BBQ baked beans, creamy coleslaw and penne pasta salad, along with freshly baked rolls and butter. Bianchi Winery will be offering a selection of award-winning Paso Robles wines, and Costa Mesa’s master beer maker Salty Beer Brewing Co. will be onsite with their most popular brews.

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Bluegrass & BBQ, which drew a crowd last year, returns June 9

Tickets: Concert only $25 in advance, $30 at the door; Kids 12 and under are free. The concert and BBQ is $52 in advance and $57 at the door; VIP is $110 which includes the concert, BBQ and reserved table seating.

Tickets and more information are available at, or call 949.715.9713. Tickets are non-refundable. Sorry, no outside food or beverages.

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Women Supporting Women: Women’s giving circle raises more than $120,000 for MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center’s New Melanoma Program

More than 90 members of Beauty In Grace women’s giving circle collectively raised $120,000 for the development of a new melanoma program at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center. The nonprofit hospital plans to invest in technology such as intraoperative radiation therapy and provide screenings and educational offerings in the community to prevent, detect and treat skin cancer.

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Photos by Paul Bennett

(L-R) Bhavana Pathak, M.D.; MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center Foundation President Christy Ward; Saddleback Medical Center CEO Marcia Manker; Saddleback Medical Center Medical Director of Gynecologic Oncology Priyal Dholakiya, M.D.; Tanya Evans, M.D., and Saddleback Medical Center Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer Brandi Cassingham

Each year, Beauty In Grace members pool their $1,000+ contributions for a specific need at the medical center. Since 2016, Beauty In Grace has raised $682,000 in support of various women’s and children’s services, such as advanced MRI technology for diagnosing and treating breast cancer, and NicView video streaming equipment to allow families to log in and watch their babies from smartphones while newborns are being cared for in the Irma Feldcamp Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

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(L-R) True McMahan, M.D., with Laguna Beach resident Michelle Tom, M.D.

In March, nearly 80 Beauty In Grace members gathered for a luncheon on the Grand Lawn of the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach to celebrate their support of women’s health services at Saddleback Medical Center.

Members were treated to appetizers, Champagne and mocktails while mingling, and then were seated for a three-course lunch, hosted by Saddleback Medical Center Foundation.

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(L-R) Nora Evans, M.D. (Laguna Beach resident) with mother Adeeba Evans and sister Tanya Evans, M.D., who was a guest speaker on the panel

A special guest panel, moderated by Saddleback Medical Center CEO Marcia Manker, discussed the topic of “Beyond Wellness: Prevention, Survivorship and Sexual Health.” The expert physicians specialize in areas related to women’s health, including dermatology, gynecology, oncology, hematology, menopause and sexual health.

Tanya Evans, M.D., spoke about skin protection and early cancer detection with regular examinations. Medical Director of Women’s Health Services Michael Krychman, M.D., talked about survivorship medicine and sexual health in the face of cancer treatments and other diseases.

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(L-R) C.C. Hafner and Shannon Stadelmann, N.P., of Laguna Beach Aesthetics

Priyal Dholakiya, M.D., Medical Director of Gynecologic Oncology at Saddleback Medical Center, discussed the value of whole-person wellness and the importance of physicians considering many factors such as fertility, cosmetic and financial concerns when recommending treatment options.

Emphasizing the importance of integrative oncology and incorporating mindfulness-based practices, Bhavana Pathak, M.D., shared the benefits of using holistic strategies.

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(L-R) Guest speakers Bhavana Pathak, M.D. and Saddleback Medical Center Medical Director of Women’s Health Services Michael Krychman, M.D. (resident of Laguna Beach) at the panel

Manker highlighted Saddleback Medical Center’s focus on women’s health care with the building of the new Women’s Health Pavilion dedicated entirely to state-of-the-art support for women’s health and wellness and scheduled for completion this summer.

“Women are often the ones taking care of everyone else and putting themselves last,” said Manker. “Through our new Women’s Health Pavilion, we have provided the programs to empower women to optimize their health care and live the healthiest lives possible.”

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(L-R) MemorialCare Executive Vice President and CFO Karen Testman (resident of Laguna Beach) and Judy Jones

Christy Ward, president, Saddleback Medical Center Foundation, expressed her deep appreciation for the ladies by stating, “It is a very powerful and moving sight to see such a dynamic group of women coming together to make a profound impact on women’s health care in Orange County. We are so grateful to our Beauty In Grace members for helping to create meaningful change and inspiring others to do the same.”

To learn more about Beauty In Grace or to become a member, contact Saddleback Medical Center Foundation at 949.452.3724 or or visit

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Güneş Çağlarcan presents a new and impressive exhibition, Not Without You

International Artist Güneş Çağlarcan brings together art lovers with a new and impressive exhibition. Çağlarcan’s fourth solo exhibition titled, Not Without You, will open at GGLB Gallery on Saturday, May 18.

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Photos courtesy of GGLB Gallery

From the “Shadow Collection”

For his fourth solo exhibition, Çağlarcan was inspired by Laguna Beach, where he fell in love with the sunrises and sunsets. During the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Çağlarcan will present art lovers with his collection of a series of works that reflect his romantic and sensual nature.

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Another selection from Çağlarcan’s “Shadow Collection”

The opening ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 18 from 3-6 p.m. at GGLB Gallery, 347 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet the artist and examine his works closely.

Not Without You will be on exhibit until May 31.

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LagunaTunes receives FOA Foundation Grant

LagunaTunes Community Chorus gratefully announced a $3,000 grant from the FOA Foundation. The welcome funds will continue to help build membership, provide instrumental support at the group’s concerts, and enable additional community performances such as the Christmas singalong at the Susi Q and the Garden Club mural dedication.

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Courtesy of LagunaTunes

LagunaTunes rehearsals, led by Bob Gunn

This year’s spring concert is entitled Showtunes! It includes songs from Broadway shows to Hollywood movies, with favorites from the 1930s to the present. The free concert will be on June 9 at the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theater.

LagunaTunes, a no-audition chorus, welcomes singers of all training and experience levels. Their purpose is to “creating community through the joy of singing.” The chorus is led by Bob Gunn, past long-time director of Orange County’s Men Alive chorus and current director of Laguna’s St. Mary’s choir. Gunn’s entertaining local, national and international choral productions are well known.

LagunaTunes is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides choral singing to everyone (no auditions) and presents two free concerts per year, in December and June. Funding is provided by the FOA Foundation and the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

For more information, go to

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Best-selling author Amy Tan discusses her new book The Backyard Bird Chronicles in Laguna Beach on May 21

Amy Tan, the critically acclaimed author of The Joy Luck Club, will appear in conversation with Rev. Rodrick Echols, pastor at Neighborhood Congregational Church, UCC in Laguna Beach. The event takes place Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. at the church. They will discuss Tan’s newest book, The Backyard Bird Chronicles, which she also illustrated. The evening is presented by the church and Live Talks Los Angeles. Details and tickets can be found at

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Photos courtesy of Amy Tan

Amy Tan will appear at the Neighborhood Congregational Church on May 21

In 2016, Tan grew overwhelmed by the state of the world. In search of peace, she turned toward the natural world just beyond her window and, specifically, the birds visiting her yard. What began as an attempt to find solace turned into something far greater – an opportunity to savor quiet moments during a volatile time, connect to nature in a meaningful way and imagine the intricate lives of the birds she admired. The Backyard Bird Chronicles maps the passage of time through daily entries, thoughtful questions and beautiful original sketches. With boundless charm and wit, Tan charts her foray into birding and the natural wonders of the world. It is a gorgeous witty account of birding, nature and the beauty around us that hides in plain sight.

Tan is the author of several novels, including the best-selling The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter’s Daughter. She is a co-producer and co-screenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club and is on the board of American Bird Conservancy. She lives in Sausalito, Calif.

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Tan is the author of several novels

Rev. Rodrick Echols serves as pastor at Neighborhood Congregational Church, UCC in Laguna Beach. He is a graduate of both Brown University and the School of Theology at Boston University. With 20 years of professional experience in the religious ecosystem, he is a pastor in transition to a new world where the largest religion in America is now no religion. His insatiable curiosity causes him to wonder about the possibilities of human spirituality untethered from religion.

Ticket prices range from $25-$50 with a signed book option. The Neighborhood Congregational Church is located at 340 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach. Tan will also appear in conversation in Santa Monica the day before, on May 21. Those attendees will have the opportunity to meet the author before the event at a VIP reception. All details for both events are available at

Live Talks Los Angeles curates and produces on-stage conversations featuring writers, filmmakers, actors, musicians, humorists and comedians, chefs and thought leaders in business and science in various venues in Los Angeles. Since its inception, LTLA has presented more than 500 events, and its videos have been seen in 166 countries with more than 17 million views on YouTube.

The series has featured conversations with notable personalities such as Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston, Mindy Kaling, John Cleese, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Scott Turow, Martin Short, Tina Fey, Malcolm Gladwell, Terry Gilliam, John Fogerty, Jeff Bridges, Amy Tan, Jane Smiley, Pete Souza, Nigella Lawson, Yotam Ottolenghi, Alice Waters, Thomas L. Friedman, David Brooks, Adam Grant, Kara Swisher, David Brooks, Rainn Wilson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Maddow, Michael Lewis, Matthew McConaughey, Patrick Stewart, Colson Whitehead, Abraham Verghese, Misty Copeland, Jon Meacham, Salman Rushdie, Ken Burns, Shonda Rhimes, Temple Grandin, John Irving, Simon Sinek, Harry Belafonte, Amy Poehler, Walter Isaacson, Diane von Furstenberg, Yuval Noah Harari, Jane Fonda, Phil Jackson, Penny Marshall and Pico Iyer.

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Laguna Canyon Artists, a one-day-only spring Open Studios event on May 18

Immerse yourself in the bustling creativity of the Laguna Canyon Artists complex during a special one-day-only Open Studios event on Saturday, May 18.

This hidden gem of an arts complex is the creative home to painters, jewelers, sculptors and photographers, many renowned for their contributions at the Festival of Arts, Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Art-A-Fair.

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Courtesy of Wendy Wirth

Wendy Wirth’s “Summer Sun” painting

From 11 a.m.-4 p.m., more than 20 artists will open their doors to offer a behind-the-scenes look at their artistic processes and tools of the trade, providing an opportunity to purchase original works directly from the creator. (Contact individual studios/artists for Sunday participation).

Visitors will have the opportunity to see live demonstrations, engage with the artists to understand their inspirations and get an exclusive preview of their upcoming works slated for this year’s festival season.

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Courtesy of Cheyne Walls

Cheyne Walls’ “The Tree of Life” photography

“The spring event is a chance for all of us artists to connect with the community before the busy festival season begins. We get to share the passion behind our work, and celebrate the diverse creativity that thrives here. I’m thrilled to be part of such a vibrant community and look forward to welcoming everyone into our creative space,” said Studio Jeweler Karin Worden, a long-time tenant of the complex and exhibitor at the Festival of Arts.

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Courtesy of Kelley Mogilka

Kelley Mogilka’s figurative drawing

Participating artists: Lesli Bonanni, Elizabeth Bridy, Cynthia Britain, Bruce Burr, Hedy Buzan, Sandra Jones Campbell, Elaine Cohen, Shelley Evans, Adrienne Fayne, Rick Graves, Fred Hope, LOCA Arts Education select artists, Kelley Mogilka, Pegah Samaie, Betty Shelton, Judi Smolin, Sue Thompson, Cheyne Walls, Mason Williams, Wendy Wirth and Karin Worden.

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Courtesy of Mason Williams

Mason Williams’ landscape painting

Event highlights include: Personal interactions with artists – art demonstrations and talks that delve into the techniques and stories behind the creations; special previews of artworks to be featured in upcoming local festivals, and art sales, offering the chance to acquire unique pieces directly from the creators.

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Photo by Ghazaleh Nasseri

Jewelry by Karin Worden

Admission is free and the event is family friendly. There is plenty of easy, free parking available.

Note: A select number of artists may also be opening their studios on Sunday, May 19.

The Laguna Canyon Artists Open Studios is located at 3251 Laguna Canyon Road. For more information, visit

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LAM offers kids a summer of fun, art and learning

Kids Camp

A Summer of Fun and Learning, begins in June

Throughout summer 2024, LAM will be welcoming kids into the museum for expanded learning and creative opportunities that can be found only at Laguna Art Museum. Starting off with their Summer Camp, they will announce new phases of LAM Kids Summer on this page. Stay tuned and make sure you register!

For classes, click here.

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Courtesy of LAM

Kids Camp runs through July 29

LAM Kids Summer Fridays

Drop in and create masterpieces of your own. From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. every summer Friday, their Studio/Lab is open to all kids who want to explore their creativity and participate in hands-on art projects. Members of the Education Staff will be onsite to help kids find inspiration and create their works of art.

Drop ins are free with museum admission.

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Courtesy of LAM

Adam Neeley, “Modern Alchemy” continues through July 29

–Modern Alchemy: The Fusion of Art and Nature in the Jewelry Designs of Adam Neeley

Adam Neeley is an award-winning artist/jeweler who transforms precious metals and gemstones into wearable art by traditional goldsmith techniques and modern technologies. His unique designs are inspired by the vast variety of shapes and colors found in the natural world. In fact, it was his childhood interest in collecting rocks that eventually drew Neeley to the master goldsmiths in Italy, where he would study the art of jewelry making. Eventually he developed his own style and techniques of goldwork that have won him international acclaim, as well as prestigious awards across the jewelry industry.


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Courtesy of LAM

“Skyward” by Eric Theodore

Reflections of Resilience through August 25

Reflections of Resilience presents a sampling of the artwork from the 2024 Master of Fine Art graduates from Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD). Remarkable artists are attracted to LCAD because of the understanding that time-honored skill joined with personal contemporary concerns can create vital, memorable art.

LAM is delighted to introduce Cara Baxter, Jason Dowd, Amber Foote, Sara Khakpour, Ryanne Phillips, Janaise Sanchez, Eric Theodore and Kevin Yaun.

On the Edge through September 2

Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection

Joan and Jack Quinn represent a crucial moment in art history, as Los Angeles came to symbolize an innovative and prolific brand of creative freedom. On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection, explores the experimental approaches to minimalism and new materials from the 1960s through 2000s, the diversification of practices and makers, and the vital role the Quinns played in both documenting and contributing to the story of Los Angeles art. Revealed is a period of artmaking that is pivotal to understanding current practices and the west coast mentality, and collectively exudes a unique spirit of anti-conformity and the “California Cool” ethos.

Saturday, May 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Art Workshop – Mother’s Day Portraits

This Mother’s Day weekend, join one of LAM’s professional teaching artists to create a non-figurative portrait inspired by artist Greg Colson’s Pie Chart portrait in LAM’s latest exhibit, On The Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection. What are the elements of the pie chart that best illustrate the subject of your portrait? Bring your ideas and create a one-of-a-kind work of art suitable for framing.

Ticket includes all materials. Advance tickets recommended. Museum members: $18, Non-members: $22.

For tickets, click here.

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Courtesy of Facebook

(L-R) Peter Zokosky, Chair of MFA Drawing + Painting), Kevin Yaun, Janaise Sanchez, Ryanne Phillips, Cara Baxter, Eric Theodore and Amber Foote. (Not pictured: Jason Dowd and Sara Khakpour.)

Saturday, May 18, 6 p.m.

Emerging Artists in Conversation: LCAD MFA Graduates Share their Art and Thoughts

Join LAM for a stimulating and enlightening conversation with some of the most promising emerging artists to appear. This informal discussion will explore their diverse roles in the ongoing developments in contemporary art.

Peter Zokosky, moderator and chair of the Masters of Fine Arts program at the Laguna College of Art + Design along with Cara Baxter, Jason Dowd, Amber Foote, Sara Khakpour, Ryanne Phillips, Janaise Sanchez, Eric Theodore and Kevin Yaun.

Advance tickets are recommended. Museum members: $12, Non-members: $18. Students: limited number of tickets available. Please present student ID. For tickets, click here.

Sunday, May 19, 10 a.m.

Jean Stern presents the Life and Art of Millard Sheets

In this lecture, art historian and LAM Curatorial Fellow Jean Stern will discuss the life and art of Millard Sheets (1907-1989) in a slide-illustrated lecture. Sheets was one of the most important American artists of the 20th century. Raised on a ranch in Pomona, he developed a love of the land and of horses, both of which would be manifest in his art. Proficient in oil paints and watercolor, he is also known for his monumental mosaics that once graced Home Savings and Loan buildings throughout California. At Notre Dame University, Sheets produced a large mosaic for the library that the students fondly refer to as “Touchdown Jesus.”

The lecture consists of about 90 slides and lasts approximately 50 minutes with time afterwards for discussion and questions.

Under 12, free. Members $12, non-members $18.

For tickets, click here.

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A glimpse at Crystal Cove in May

Crystal Cove State Park has a variety of events in May. During the spring, the beaches and park are less crowded, providing the perfect opportunity to hike, explore and discover the flora and fauna, and take in picturesque ocean vistas.

Here is a glimpse at a few of the upcoming offerings.

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Photos courtesy of Crystal Cove State Park

Join a park naturalist on a Spring Bird Walk on May 18 and you may spot a gnatcatcher, roadrunner or osprey

Saturday, May 18: Spring Bird Walk from 8-10 a.m.

The birds are twitterpated and spring is an invigorating time to see “birds in love!” Crystal Cove State Park is a great spot to identify new species as well as seeing and hearing their resident avian friends like California Gnatcatchers, Greater Roadrunners and Osprey. Come join a park naturalist for an easy Spring Bird Walk along Moro Canyon. Meet at the Berns Amphitheater (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow signs towards the campground). $15 day use fee.

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Explore the coastal section of the park during a Beach Geology Tour on May 19

Sunday, May 19: Beachfront Geology Tour from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Crystal Cove State Park is hosting a Beachfront Geology Tour along the coastal section of the park to explore 125,000-year-old deposits of elevated beach sand, cobbles and hundreds of fossil clams which can be observed in place 80 ft. up near the top of the sea cliff or as broken rocks on the beach below. You’ll also talk about the huge boulders strewn across the beach which reveal evidence of a different geologic time. Meet at the Los Trancos lot at the trailer (PCH turn inland at stoplight “Los Trancos”). $15 day use fee.

Friday, May 24: Full Moon Hike from 7:45-10 p.m.

Explore the Park After Dark, on a guided interpretive two-hour, four-mile Full Moon Hike at Crystal Cove State Park. A park naturalist will lead hikers on this moderate to difficult loop trail with uneven terrain and a steep uphill climb, elevation gain of 600 ft. This hike is suitable for ages 10 and up. Hikers must wear sturdy shoes, bring water, a snack and dress in layers. Bring a red flashlight, but if you don’t have one, they will have plenty to share. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs to the Ranger Station). $5 entrance fee. Please RSVP to Lets Go Outside at

Speaker event with Rich German, founder of Project O: Tuesday, May 28 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

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Rich German, founder of Project O

Join Crystal Cove Conservancy as they fall even more in love with the ocean during a special speaker event featuring marine conservation advocate and founder of Project O, Rich German.

Guests will enjoy a special presentation and Q&A conversation with German, as he highlights the ocean’s beauty and its marine life as seen through his eyes, while also sharing about the perils our planet faces that impact humans. A post-event reception will be held for guests to mingle, as they enjoy complimentary lights bites and drinks on the Cottage Check-in Deck #35.

The event is free to attend, but RSVP is required, so register here.

For a complete calendar of events, go to

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May gray layer cake pre-sunset over  North Laguna

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Sunset seems electrically charged

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Laguna Live! presents Live! at the Museum with ACE Trio on June 2

Tuesdays through May, 11:30 a.m.

Live! Music Matters, free children’s program returns

Laguna Beach Live! is delighted to announce another series of their free, children’s program “Live! Music Matters.” An interactive music class for ages up to 6 years old, with caregiver involvement. Local musician Zach Churchill leads the sessions while attendees sing, dance, and play child friendly percussion instruments.

​The Tuesday morning sessions are held at Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St.

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Live!

Zach Churchill at Laguna Beach Library – every Tuesday

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ACE Trio – June 2

Sunday, June 2, 1 p.m.

Live at the Museum presents the ACE Trio

Laguna Art Museum

Shannon Canchola (flute), Micah Wright (clarinet) and Leon Thomasian (piano)

Coined a “Musical Tour de Force” by the Mountaineer Progress newspaper, ACE Trio is a Los Angeles-based classical modern ensemble rapidly distinguishing itself as one of the newest leading groups of its generation.

For tickets, click here.

Sunday, June 9, 4-7 p.m.

Annual Bluegrass & BBQ

Laguna Beach Live! Annual Bluegrass & BBQ is taking place on Sunday, June 9, 4-7 p.m. This Laguna Live! favorite returns to the picturesque grounds at Laguna College of Art and Design, 2222 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Rain or shine. Chairs are provided.

This year’s Bluegrass and BBQ entertainment is the Wimberley Bluegrass Band. They are comprised entirely of four siblings based in Southern California and were named one of Los Angeles’ Top Five Bluegrass Bands by CBS-LA. They provide fun and wholesome musical entertainment and strive to keep the traditional sounds of bluegrass music alive and well by taking it to new audiences.

Tickets: Concert only $25 in advance $30 at the door, kids 12 and under are free; Concert and BBQ $52 in advance, $57 at the door; VIP $110 (incl. concert, BBQ and reserved table seating).

Tickets are non-refundable: Thank you for your understanding.

Sorry, no outside food or beverages.

Barbeque is provided by Richard Jones Pit BBQ with beverages by Bianchi Winery, offering a selection of their award-winning Paso Robles wines, plus, Costa Mesa’s master beer maker, Salty Bear Brewing Co. will be serving their most popular brews.

For tickets, click here.

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This is as close as we can come to actually singing to our readers on their birthdays!

We’d love to include yours – and/or your children’s birthdays here.

Just email to:

Celebrate and enjoy your birthday!

May 14: Brian Wisely, Kurt Bjorkman, Mary Church, Vance Luedtke

May 15: Brad Bright, Michael Avila, Susan Campbell

May 16: Cheryl Kosky, Christian Marriner, Connor Fink, Drew Fink, Jennifer Keil, Joshua Kovalscik, Mark Binder

May 17: Bailon Arabe, Cora Campbell, Kaira Rouda, Nancy Pauley, Richard Cirelli, Steve “Ranger” Powers

May 18: Amy Hubbard, Doug McCombs, George Poulos, Glenda Leutwyler, Jeannette Morck, Justine Amodeo, Peggy Keegan

May 19: Denyee Matthews, Jeff Nixon, Jen Engevik, Kim Zepezauer

May 20: Andrea Deerheart, Ari Grayson, Jim Galligan, Lisa Farber, Melissa Denoff, Peggy Sanchez

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Sawdust Festival looks forward to more exciting classes

Sawdust Art Classes has many expressive and informative classes offered every week that the Sawdust Art Festival wants to share with you (far too many to mention here!). For more information, click here.

Photos courtesy of Sawdust

Intro to Mosaic Art – May 18

Saturday, May 18, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Intro to Mosaic Art

A two-day workshop over two weekends.

The ancient art of mosaics is one of the most beautiful and oldest in the history of mankind. Working closely with Ron Shearer, you will create a mosaic that you will be proud to display. It will open a whole new world of creativity that you can easily continue your own. Step-by-step, he will take you through the process of design, materials, cutting techniques and then carefully guide you through the application, initially using glue for positioning. You’ll have a little bit of fun “homework” to do between classes. When you return to the second workshop, you can really home in on the fine details and finishing your artwork. A wonderful, informative and creative workshop and one that they have had many requests for. This workshop is suitable for absolute beginners or those who want to fine-tune their skills. All materials are provided including supplies from WitsEnd Mosaics.

Cost: $350 per student which is fully inclusive of six hours of intensive instruction over two weekends, and all materials including a pair of nippers that you can keep, mosaic glass tiles, design and backing board. Maximum 10 students per class – if you are a larger group, contact them directly at

Women’s Retreat Workshop – May 18

Saturday, May 18, 1-5 p.m.

Women’s Retreat Workshop – Michelle Burt

For a while now, Michelle Burt has been wanting to create a safe space for women to come together, reduce stress and create together. She has a process where participants can transform the stress of their lives into something beautiful.

Join in the adventure of creating abstract art by sheer intuition. Like dancing, you’ll find your own rhythm utilizing different textures, materials, colorful mediums and tools. You will explore oil pastels, acrylic paint, specialty papers, graphite, charcoal and inks. There are so many different items to choose from.

Women will share a lovely afternoon exploring and creating an abstract piece of art that will inspire them every day.

Note: This workshop is held off-site, but within Laguna Beach. Exact location address details will be provided upon registration.

Cost: $298.

Sunday, May 19 and 26, 11 a.m.

Fused Glass – Reactions and Metals

In this class, you’ll learn about the alchemy of glass types and how they react with each other. The magic of copper and silver foil will surprise and delight you. Create abstract ideas in glass and transform it into a wall pocket vase using frit (small pieces of glass), glass powder and sheet glass. Step-by-step, Barbara Lolli will guide you on how to design, assemble and prepare your glass for firing. Create a piece of art that will truly be unique to you.

Please note: The firing of your pieces will be done offsite and will be available for pickup at the Sawdust or mailed to you by USPS priority mail at a small extra cost depending on the size of the piece.

Cost: $125.

Art Meets Technology – May 22

Wednesday, May 22, 10 a.m.

Art Meets Technology

A brand-new pop-up class where you can really let your imagination fly. With AI technology, you will create a computerized image using your ideas. This printed image will be the basis for your painting. You’ll transfer this image onto paper using a printing plate.
The process is simple with really satisfying results. You will learn to use different types of medium in this fun class, including gelli plates, posca markers, acrylic paints, and other mixed media including Mica powder and stencils. This is a great way to loosen up those creative juices.

Suitable for both adults and children over 10 years of age.
Cost is inclusive of all materials, a colored digital print and a finished acrylic painting that will be framed in a mat board for you to take home.

Once you have registered for this class, they will ask you for a few short sentences to best describe what you would like to paint so that they can prepare your digital image. If you wish, you may bring your own image or design.

Cost: $50.

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LBCAC adds new events for May

Through May 25 

Exhibition: Climate: Air, Earth and Water

April is Earth Month, an extension of the annually recognized Earth Day on April 22. In the 34 years since Earth Day went global, environmental awareness has improved. Our situation has not.

Climate: Air, Earth and Water is on display at LBCAC through May 25. Photographers Jacques Garnier and Tom Lamb are joined by artist Roberto Salas in this special exhibition.

Photos courtesy of LBCAC

Opera Re-Imagined – May 19

Saturday, May 18, 8 p.m.

Opera Re-Imagined: for the Mammas

In this event, LBCAC will be celebrating all “The Mammas” the Saturday after Mother’s Day. International piano sensation Lyena Atonyicq, pianist Mateo Weber and Laguna Tenor Rick Weber join LBCAC in memorializing Laguna Beach activist, mother and mentor Eileen Algaze.

Hailing from the cultural heart of Kiev, Ukraine, Lyena Atonyica is not just a concert pianist and music coach, but a maestro whose talents have graced prestigious stages across the U.S. and Europe, leaving audiences spellbound with her enchanting and harmonious performances.

Mateo Weber is making his second appearance at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center to share his love of piano, while drawn to music created by the French composers. In this performance, Mateo will open with the classic “Claire de Lune” by Debussy.

Step into the enchanting world of music with Rick Weber, the extraordinary “Laguna Tenor” whose voice embodies a fusion of classical training and boundless inspiration from the legendary tenors of our time. Join LBCAC in honoring the essence of motherhood with soul-stirring renditions of “Memory” and “All I Ask of You,” as they celebrate the legacy of those who shape our lives with love and grace.

For tickets, click here.

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Laguna Piano Lover’s Soireé – May 19

Sunday, May 19, 4-7 p.m.

Laguna Piano Lover’s Soireé – A Songbird’s Summit

Celebrating Laguna’s Piano Community

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) has stepped up to provide an exceptional space for Laguna’s piano-playing community. LBCAC is a preeminent venue for performing artists of both local and international renown. Join us for this gathering of like-minded musicians.

Oscar-winning Director and Producer Barry Levinson graciously donated his exquisite baby grand piano to the Center, ensuring a memorable event.

Special Guest Performances by:

Steve Wood Former member of the 1970s Southern California rock band Honk.

Norman Beede is well known as a musician in the ballet and modern dance world in L.A., Houston and New York as well as in the improvisation scene in Orange County and L.A.

Lyena Atonyicq: LBCAC’s own pianist and opera/piano coach Atonyicq is a concert pianist/coach with a masters in music.

For tickets, click here.

Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 p.m.

SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy

Filmed over 12 years, SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy dramatically chronicles how Southern California residents came together to force the shutdown of an aging nuclear power plant only to be confronted by an alarming reality: tons of nuclear waste left near a popular beach, only 100 feet from the rising sea, that – with radioactivity lasting millions of years – menaces present and future generations.

The film portrays San Onofre as a microcosm of this national problem – the mismanagement of lethal radioactive waste. This is a syndrome shared by all 55 nuclear reactor sites across the United States.

SOS spotlights the essential role citizens must play to ensure public safety is the top priority. Told largely from the perspective of five main characters, the film shows how they mobilize their communities as they become experts on the issues and tactically wiser in the face of adversity.

SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome is a critical warning that America’s 55 nuclear power plants, each with their own tons of intensely radioactive waste lasting millennia – in inadequate temporary containers with no plans to repair them – are putting their local communities and national security at grave risk.

SOS is an urgent call to action. Will viewers rally to embrace this lifeline in time?

Directed by James Heddle, Mary Beth Brangan and Morgan Peterson, and produced by Mary Beth Brangan, the film is a production of EON – The Ecological Options Network, features nuclear experts Donna Gilmore, Dan Hirsch, Gordon Edwards, activists Karen Hadden, Rose Gardner, Torgen Johnson, Gary and Laurie Headrick and key whistleblowers.

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LOCA offers new classes and a pop-up art studio weekend

Art lovers will meet Laguna Beach’s most fascinating artists and industry professionals at LOCA Art Talks. Events are Thursday evenings through May in Downtown Laguna Beach. Attendees will receive a post-event coupon for 15% off dining at nearby restaurants.

LOCA’s New Teaching Location:

LOCA’s newest teaching location is in the south end of Laguna Beach, easily reached from Downtown, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and San Clemente.

The expansion allows LOCA to offer “extended learning” series of classes whereby students, both adults and families, can build a “toolbox of skills” over several weeks.

LOCA students will enjoy the hilltop location, panoramic ocean views and free onsite parking. Laguna Beach Community and Recreation Center, 30516 S. Coast Highway. Enter on Cardinal Drive, just south of Nyes Place.

Know someone who loves art and Laguna Beach? Surprise them with a LOCA 2024 membership and they’ll enjoy a full year of art experiences of their choice! Your $50 purchase ensures them a bounty of benefits including free admission to six LOCA Art Talks lectures, an exclusive Membership Sunday Brunch and Art Talk, a shout-out feature in their eNewsletter, half-priced registration to LOCA’s workshops taught by well-known Laguna Beach artists throughout the town – and much more.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Give the gift of art experiences for a full year

What they’ll get:

Your thoughtfully chosen gift will be presented as a charming reusable box, topped with a LOCA pencil, and elegantly wrapped with a bow. Inside is a 2024 membership card listing the fantastic benefits. A $250 value!

Buy it now for $50:

Use LOCA’s secure and easy “Gift a Membership” red checkout button on their membership page by clicking here. Your package will arrive by mail in 4-7 business days.

Courtesy of LOCA

(L-R) LOCA teachers Allison Keefe and Elizabeth McGhee

–Thursday, May 23, 30, 4-5 p.m.

Art Classes for Kids at the Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach.

“Art Classes for Kids” held in the Children’s Wing of the Laguna Beach Library – Thursdays at 4 p.m. through June 6. Classes are free and no registration is required, but space is limited on a first come, first served basis for children 5 and up. Please gather at 3:45 p.m.

Families Love LOCA at the Library

LOCA’s Family Art Classes at Laguna Beach Public Library have been a smashing success. The “happy hour” 4-5 p.m. timeslot has made it convenient for parents and kids to enjoy a creative learning space, led by Allison Keefe. “We encourage parents and kids to work together,” Keefe said.

LOCA Arts Education has provided top quality visual arts education to all ages in Laguna Beach, and beyond, for more than 30 years. LOCA’s unique strength is its ability to be mobile, providing free and affordable lectures, demonstrations, and classes throughout the city at commercial spaces, community centers, galleries, parks, resorts and studios.

Courtesy of LOCA

Student loves art

Laguna Beach Public Library is among LOCA’s many institutional partners. Here, in the children’s wing, LOCA conducts a series of art classes, free to the public, each season. Spring 2024 brought “Family Art Day,” where parents and their children do an art project together and “Art Classes for Kids” which begin with a librarian reading a book, followed by an art project that ties to the theme. The drop-in classes offer a new creative project each week for up to 20 children at a time. Students may attend one, several, or all, and many do.

LOCA and Me, The Teachers

LOCA hires local professional artists to teach their classes, who assist and complement their full-time careers as artists. Library classes are taught by Allison Keefe and Elizabeth McGhee, both accomplished exhibitors at local festivals. According to McGhee, “I enjoy teaching at the library because not only do local Laguna Beach kids attend, but children from throughout Orange County come to learn new art techniques and stories. These classes not only help the students and parents who attend, but also engage and retain teachers like me in the community, and for that I am so grateful.”

Courtesy of LOCA

Paint Together with Rick J. Delanty – May 18

Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Paint Together with Rick J. Delanty

Outdoor on location

Rick Delanty will demonstrate how to paint a Laguna Beach landscape, with an emphasis on composition. Everyone may follow along step-by-step, using oils, acrylics, or other media, and beginners and all levels are invited. LOCA or LPAPA members $60/$75 non-members.

Courtesy of LOCA

LOCA Studio Art Sale – May 18-19

Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

LOCA Studio Art Sale, Laguna Canyon

LOCA invites the public to a pop-up art show and sale by LOCA board members and teachers including Donna Ballard, Lesli Bonanni, Sherry Bullard, Sherry Salito-Forsen and others. Purchase directly from the artists. Free onsite parking. Laguna Canyon Art Studios, LOCA Unit #E, 3251 Laguna Canyon Road. (Between Jeeps and Dels Upholstery.)

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Laguna Beach Master Community Calendar

The following are calendar links for regularly scheduled meetings and events in Laguna Beach:

City of Laguna Beach meetings & events calendar

Laguna Beach Public Library – everything at the library calendar

Laguna Beach Unified School District news & events calendar

Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce community events calendar

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Festival of Arts brings art, music and more to Laguna Beach July 3 through August 30

One of Southern California’s most beloved summer attractions, the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, returns July 3 through August 30. Set in the vibrant arts destination of Laguna Beach, this annual event continues to captivate and inspire audiences with a stunning showcase of creativity and talent from local artists. In addition to the artwork on display, guests can enjoy daily live entertainment, art classes, special events and more. The Festival of Arts is sponsored in part by Volvo Cars, City of Hope Orange County, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club and KOST Radio 103.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Festival of Arts features 120 exhibiting artists

Taking center stage at the Festival of Arts are the 120 exhibiting artists, showcasing their talents at the fine art show during its two-month summer season. This professionally juried art exhibit features a diverse selection of artwork, including paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry and more, all crafted by artists from across Orange County. Since its inception in 1932, the Festival has served as a platform for thousands of artists to showcase and sell their creations, with many pieces finding their way into the private collections of esteemed art collectors, celebrities and museums worldwide.

Festival attendees will also have the opportunity to engage directly with the artists, gaining insight into their inspirations, techniques and creative processes. Interactive art classes (sponsored by Bank of America), live demonstrations and guided art tours (sponsored by PBS SoCal) further enrich the visitor experience, fostering a deeper connection between the creators and their audience. For a comprehensive list of the 2024 participating artists, click here.

During the two-month summer season, the Festival of Arts hosts daily live concerts and a variety of event series, sponsored by City of Hope Orange County and Yamaha. After making their debut at South Coast Plaza, The Music of Hope continues at the Festival of Arts all summer long. City of Hope’s blue “Hope” piano will be prominently featured on the Festival’s stage, honoring everyone whose lives have been touched by cancer. As part of this partnership, the Festival introduces Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano on select Saturday nights, showcasing talented musicians who will enrich the lives of community members through this uplifting concert series.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Attendees mingle at FOA 2023

On Sunday, July 14, the ever-popular Family Art Day returns with an exciting new animal theme featuring creature-inspired art projects as well as furry and feathered special guests! For the adults, Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate (sponsored by Charles Schwab and Cambria Estate Winery) provides the perfect atmosphere to pair wine, chocolate and smooth jazz amongst an unmatched gallery setting.

According to Sharbie Higuchi, Festival of Arts marketing and PR director, “The Festival of Arts Fine Art Show has something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re an art aficionado, a music lover, or simply looking for a fun artful experience – the Festival has it all.”

Event Information:

Special Events:

For a complete list of special events, click here.

Free with admission unless otherwise noted.

Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate

Thursdays, July 8 – August 26, 5:30 p.m.

$25 additional fee for tastings

Sponsored by Charles Schwab & Cambria Estate Winery

Tremendous Tributes Music Series

Fridays, July 12 – Aug 29, 5:30 p.m.

Concerts on the Green

Saturdays, July 6 – Aug 17, 1 p.m.

Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano

Saturdays, July 6 – Aug 10, 5:30 p.m.

Sponsored by City of Hope Orange County

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Courtesy of FOA

Festival of Arts features a variety of art experiences

Wow…That Girl Can Sing! Music Series

Sundays, July 7 – Aug. 25, 5:30 p.m.

Family Art Day

Sunday, July 14, 12 p.m.

Festival Runway Fashion Show

Sunday, August 18, 12 p.m.

Art & Fashion Affair Gala

Saturday, Aug. 24

Separate ticket required

Art Workshops for Everyone (Presented by Bank of America)

For schedule and reservations, click here.

Creativity runs wild at the Festival’s Teen and Adult Art Classes where students will make their own masterpieces under the instruction of professional artists. ($45)

Uncork your creativity Thursday nights at Prints and Pinots or Friday nights at Paint and Sip Classes. Create a work of art with easy-to-follow instruction by Festival artists and enjoy complimentary wine or beverage. Must be 21 and up. ($50)

Friday through Sunday, the Festival hosts Youth Art Classes, art classes for children ages 5-12. Classes include sculpture, mixed media, painting and much more. ($25)

The Festival Art Center will be open weekdays from 4-8 p.m. and weekends from 12-8 p.m. for hands-on artistic fun. Reservations are not required, so drop in anytime.

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Foremost Tibetan artist and teacher Yeshi Dorjee and Drepung Loseling monks will visit Neighborhood Congregational Church

An artistic and spiritual experience is set for May 30 through June 2 at the Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann’s Drive. Artists of all skill levels are invited to learn about geometry and mandala creation from the world’s acknowledged authority on the art of painting thangkas, the wall hangings that serve as magnificent art pieces, as well as tools during meditation. Four visiting Drepung Loseling monks will make colorful sand mandalas in the sanctuary and invite the community to help build the mandalas, ask questions, take photos and then help disperse the sand creations at the end of each day as a lesson in understanding the temporary nature of all earthly things.

The event will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions over the first three days.

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Photos courtesy of Yeshi Dorjee

Artist monk Yeshi Dorjee works on a thangka, a decorative wall hanging that serves as a meditation and contemplation tool. He will lead a class for those wishing to learn about and make their own thangkas; guests may audit the classes.

On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings, May 30-June 1, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Bridge Hall, Tibetan artist and scholar Yeshi Dorjee will teach up to 12 students in the appreciation and creation of thangkas, or wall hangings. More than a mere decoration, a thangka holds great meaning as a tool for meditation. Yeshi will instruct students on the basics of geometry and its role in contemplation. Many of the geometry principles of the human body and of ancient architecture were compiled into the Vitruvian Man drawing by Leonardo da Vinci.

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Yeshi Dorjee made and gifted to the Neighborhood Congregational Church the colorful Tibetan prayer wheel that graces the sanctuary

Artists may sign up for the three-day experience, which includes supplies for $200 at Visitors may sit in on Yeshi’s teachings and observe the thangkas being created for an admission fee of $15 per day.

In the church sanctuary in the afternoons from 1:30-4:30 p.m., guests may help create a colorful sand mandala with four visiting Drepung Loseling monks, who are scholars dedicated to the study of traditional Buddhist arts and sciences. The church doors will be open each afternoon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the public to watch and help create a different colorful sand mandala – and then destroy it. Photography is welcome. Participating in the sand mandala sessions is free, but donations to the monks are encouraged. The suggested donation is $15. Their visit is one of goodwill and cultural sharing that helps them support the 3,000 Tibetan monks at their home monastery in India.

A mandala is a geometric pattern characterized by a central point or motif, often symmetrical and radiating outward in a circular form. The mandala’s intricate geometric design holds profound spiritual significance in Buddhism. Its geometry can be created with intentions for healing, compassion and universal peace. Like a thangka, a mandala’s symbolic representation is not merely a piece of art but also a powerful tool for meditation, spiritual growth and understanding the cosmos.

The event concludes on Sunday, June 2 at the 10 a.m. church service. The monks will decorate NCC’s sanctuary altar and chant a morning blessing. The thangka art created during the weekend classes will be displayed, and some students will speak about their experiences. Yeshi Dorjee will talk about the background of NCC’s prayer wheel, which he made with his own hands. At 12 p.m., a Tibetan lunch will be served, prepared with the help of Tenpa Dorjee, owner of the Laguna Beach retail shop Tibet Handicrafts, 384 Forest Ave. Lunch is $20. Please make a reservation by clicking here.

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The thangka, visible in the center of the altar, is typically the centerpiece for Buddhist meditators

During their four-day visit, the Drepung Loseling monks will offer house blessings by appointment. The traditional monetary request for a home or office blessing is $108, the number of beads on a mala keeps count of one’s mantra repetitions, or Japa, during meditation. Information can be found by clicking here.

Yeshi has a long and warm association with the Neighborhood Congregational Church.

Born in Bhutan to Tibetan parents, Yeshi is a U.S. citizen. He was ordained as a novice monk in 1970 and received full ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1980. He completed his final examinations in 1996 in Lama Tsongkhapa’s Great Exposition of the Stages of the Path of Tantra and Buddhist Sacred Art. He received his Ngagrampa degree from Gyudmed Tantric University in South India.

His work has been published and displayed at the Smithsonian Museum and in countless collections around the world, including the Neighborhood Congregational Church.

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Catmosphere Laguna Foundation and Gelson’s Rancho Mission Viejo Adoption Event scheduled for May 18

On Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Catmosphere Laguna cats and kittens will be featured for adoption at their new location at Gelson’s Rancho Mission Viejo Store, 30731 Gateway Plaza, Rancho Mission Viejo.

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Photos courtesy of Catmosphere

Volunteer with one of the cats up for adoption at a previous event

Catmosphere Laguna Foundation introduced Orange County’s first Cat Café & Lounge. Catmosphere Laguna Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit feline rescue which serves Laguna Beach and the surrounding communities every day of the week and is dedicated to finding forever homes for homeless, relinquished, abandoned and special-needs cats and kittens.

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Cats waiting for adoption

Laguna Beach has long been known and loved for its artistic community and embrace of nature in all its forms. Catmosphere Laguna Foundation enhances and strengthens that reputation in its mission to prevent cruelty to animals by rescuing, fostering and assisting in public adoptions and awareness of the plight of homeless felines. Their adoption events are fun for the whole family with snacks and giveaways for all, and volunteer opportunities are available.

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Volunteer opportunities are available

Future Adoption Event dates continue monthly throughout 2024.

–Laguna Beach Animal Shelter and Catmosphere Laguna Adoption Event Dates 2024: Saturdays June 15, August 17, October 26 (Halloween event) and year-end holiday events.

–Gelson’s Rancho Mission Viejo and Catmosphere Laguna Adoption Event Dates 2024: Saturdays May 18, July 20, September 21, November 16 and year-end holiday events.

For details, contact Catmosphere Laguna Foundation at 949.619.MEOW (6369) or

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No Square Theatre holding auditions for Legally Blonde on May 18-19

On May 18 and 19, No Square Theatre will be holding auditions for Legally Blonde. Initial auditions are by appointment on Sunday, May 19 from 12-3 p.m. and Monday, May 20 from 6-9 p.m. Audition appointments can be made via email to

The callbacks will be by invitation on Thursday, May 23 beginning at 6 p.m.

Courtesy of No Square Theatre

Auditions take place on May 18 and 19

Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture, Legally Blonde has music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and book by Heather Hach. It is directed by Ella Wyatt, musically directed by Roxanna Ward and choreographed by Sabrina Harper.

Produced by No Square Theatre, the Artistic Director is Ella Wyatt and the Managing Director is Rob Harryman.

Rehearsals begin June 1, and will be scheduled weekday evenings and weekend days. Final rehearsal schedule will be determined based on cast availability within those options. Cast will not be called seven days a week.

Tech rehearsals will begin on Saturday, July 27.

Performances are Friday-Sunday, August 2-11 with a possible extension through August 18.

What to prepare and bring for the audition: Please prepare a contemporary musical theater song (not from the show) under three minutes to demonstrate range, musicality and storytelling abilities. Please bring headshot, resume and sheet music in the appropriate key; an accompanist will be provided. Also bring a list of all conflicts from June 1 through August 18.

For more information on the audition and character breakdown, click here.

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Meet Pet of the Week Ruby

Ruby is a red Chihuahua Doxie mix who is 4 years old and spayed. She is a bit shy at first, as she’s been in an abusive situation, but once she is comfortable her personality shines through. Ruby really enjoys being around other friendly dogs and is playful with them. She’ll be a loving addition to your home.

Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, is hoping to have Ruby adopted as soon as possible.

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Courtesy of the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter

Ruby is a cute mix who is shy at first, but then becomes playful

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter adoption procedures are designed to make sure that both the potential family and the animal adopted are in the very best situation possible. Due to their approach to adoption, their return rate is 5% as compared to the national return rate of 50%.

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road. Call 949.497.3552, or go to the website for information on adoption procedures,

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Tickets going fast for Susi Q’s “Evening with an Author” featuring novelist Michelle Huneven

Tickets are going fast for Susi Q’s fifth “Evening with an Author” featuring popular author Michelle Huneven, several of whose books are book-club staples. The event takes place on Monday, June 3. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for mingling, with the program beginning at 5:15 p.m.

To reserve your seat(s), click here.

Huneven is the author of five novels, most recently Search, which the New York Times Book Review calls “a wicked pleasure” and which was also selected as an NPR Best Book of the Year. Search is described as a sharp and funny novel of a congregational search committee, told as a memoir with recipes.

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Courtesy of Susi Q

Michelle Huneven discusses her new novel with Marrie Stone on June 3 at Susi Q

Huneven will be in conversation with podcaster and arts columnist Marrie Stone.

“We typically try to bring a bit of fun buoyancy to our summer event, and Michelle proved the perfect fit,” Stone said. “She’s funny, she’s a little irreverent and her writings about food will make people salivate. Even readers who come from an utterly secular background (as I do) will relate to these characters and enjoy Michelle’s humor.”

Huneven’s first two books, Round Rock (Knopf 1997) and Jamesland (Knopf 2003), were both New York Times notable books and also finalists for the LA Times Book Award. Her third, Blame, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and also a finalist for the LA Times Book Award. Her fourth novel, Off Course, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice.

Huneven is currently teaching creative writing to undergraduates at UCLA, working on her next novel and writing the occasional article about food.

The program runs from 5:15-7:30 p.m. and includes light appetizers, beverages and book signings. Attendees also receive a copy of the book. Fee is $40. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

Susi Q is located at 380 Third St., Laguna Beach.

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Mozart Classical Orchestra to present “Spring Blossoms” concert

Music Director Ami Porat of the Mozart Classical Orchestra (MCO) announced the program of the concert “Spring Blossoms” is scheduled for Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m. in the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theater.

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Courtesy of MCO

Music Director Ami Porat conducting the Mozart Classical Orchestra

Kicking off the program is the almost-never performed work, the C minor Allegro, written for String Orchestra. They are graciously indebted to young Franz Schubert for their opener. From the wonderful lines of the stormy Allegro, they move on to Papa Haydn, the only “live-in” composer who served the Eszterhazy Family for decades, and wrote more than 100 symphonies, including the rarely performed No. 80, a delightful musical gem, presented on this concert. Of his two Violoncello Concerti, the audience is fortunate to hear MCO’s own principal perform the exquisite Concerto in C major, originally written for Haydn’s “live-in” principal cellist Anton Kraft, a distinguished member of the “live-in” orchestra.

Featured solo cellist László Mezö was born in Budapest, Hungary, and gained national recognition upon winning first prize in the Kertész Ottó Memorial Competition in 1998. International recognition followed after winning first prize in the Ima Hogg International Competition in Houston, Texas.

To purchase reserved seats online, go here.

For more information on the Mozart Classical Orchestra, visit

Laguna Beach High School Artists Theater is located at 625 Park Ave., Laguna Beach.

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American Legion and VFW to conduct Memorial Day ceremony

On Monday, May 27, Laguna Beach American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars will conduct their Memorial Day ceremony in remembrance of all their comrades who died in all the wars and conflicts, protecting our country. The ceremony will take place at Monument Point in Heisler Park beginning at 11 a.m. sharp.

The keynote speaker will be Carla Hogan, Gold Star Mom. Music will begin at 10:30 a.m. The public is invited to come early, as seating is limited.

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Laying of wreaths in honor of our veterans at a previous Memorial Day ceremony

Many organizations place floral offerings on the Heisler Park Memorial Monument during the ceremony. If you send or bring floral arrangements, please make sure your organization’s name is attached. It is suggested that those having flowers to have them delivered by 9:30 am. If you intend to send or bring floral arrangements, call Sandi Werthe at 949.494.6016. No glass containers please.

For more information, contact Richard Moore at 949.637.4437.

Heisler Park is located at 375 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

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Laguna Beach Books features local author Tim Turner on May 18

Laguna Beach Books, Orange County’s premier book retailer, will host a book signing for long-time Laguna Beach resident Tim Turner’s recently published, debut novel entitled The Reluctant Conductor.

Breaking a multi-year hiatus, the signing will be held on Saturday, May 18 at 5 p.m. in the store located in The Old Pottery Place at 1200 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

Photos courtesy of Tim Turner

Local author Tim Turner

The novel, which won first place for historical fiction in the Spring 2024 BookFest Awards, is about a Jewish merchant of World War II-era USSR who employs music to sustain family, find love and survive in a world besieged with bombs, bigotry and hate.

Turner’s ties to Laguna Beach go back to 1990 when he met his now-husband Dr. Joseph Carberry who was then in design on their home in Arch Beach Heights working with architect Mark Singer. They spent their first night in the home on Christmas Eve 1992.

Since, they have hosted many events and parties in their residence and have supported ASF Orange County – now Radiant Health Centers – as well as Laguna Art Museum, Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach, and many local art dealers and restaurants.

Turner’s novel won first place for historical fiction in the Spring 2024 BookFest Awards

The writer of six plays including the critically acclaimed Out Late, Turner has also written an original screenplay, a libretto, adapted two of his plays into screenplays and written many short plays. He has three photographs in the permanent collection of The New Orleans Museum of Art.

Moisey Gorbaty, with whom he co-wrote the novel, is a prolific composer and the proprietor of Moisey’s Piano Service, where he tunes and restores pianos, and also teaches piano, guitar, music theory and Russian Language. Born in Chisinau, Moldova, the novel was loosely based on the life of his maternal grandfather.

The Reluctant Conductor has received widespread critical acclaim. According to Kirkus Reviews: “A scene involving the family member fighting typhus is beautiful and poignant (Dickens would approve)…A moving family tale with a strong cast that readers will love.”

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Laguna Playhouse presents the final production of the season, Holmes & Watson, starting on May 29

Laguna Playhouse presents Holmes & Watson, written by Jeffrey Hatcher and directed by Laguna Playhouse artistic director David Ellenstein. Holmes & Watson will begin previews on Wednesday, May 29 (with a press opening on Sunday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m.) and run through Sunday, June 16 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

Prepare for a fast-paced, thrilling, suspenseful story that will keep you guessing until its final moments. In this worthwhile addition to the Sherlock Holmes canon, there are more twists and turns than a rollercoaster! The legendary Sherlock Holmes is dead. Or so it is assumed. When a telegram arrives informing his loyal companion Dr. Watson that there are three men who each claim to be Holmes, it’s left up to the famous sidekick to take on the case and try to discover if one of the mad men is actually the real Sherlock Holmes.

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Courtesy of Laguna Playhouse

“Holmes & Watson” runs from May 29-June 16

Commented David Ellenstein, “Some years back, I had a great time directing Jeffrey Hatcher’s Holmes & Watson. It is a thrilling mystery that keeps you guessing right up until the last moment. It was as exhilarating for those of us that worked on the production as it was for the audience that experienced it and overwhelmingly cheered for the wild ride that they had. Years later, audiences that saw that show still tell me what a great time they had.

Before I directed this play, I was not a huge Sherlock Holmes enthusiast, but the play led me to read the Conan Doyle source material and I gained a new understanding for the lasting appeal of the detective. These stories are extremely well written. I became captivated by the detail and specificity of the character and literary style. I became a Sherlock fan. There is a reason Mr. Holmes endures through all sorts of adaptations and across time.

“Jeffrey Hatcher is such an accomplished and skillful playwright. His specialty is exactly this genre – so this play bristles with intrigue, humor and verve. It truly captures the Holmesian style and mystery. The idea of a new production of Holmes & Watson at Laguna Playhouse fills me with eager anticipation. I am so excited by the exemplary cast we have assembled and the amazing design plans that will lift this play to its full potential. I believe Laguna Playhouse audiences are going to have a great time with this one.”

David Ellenstein (Director). Born into a theatrical family, Ellenstein has been working in professional theater for the better part of five decades. In May 2023, he was named artistic director of Laguna Playhouse, after filling the role in an interim capacity since September 2023. In addition, he has been the artistic director of North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach since 2003.

Jeffrey Hatcher (Playwright). His Broadway, off-Broadway, theater and film/television credits are varied and numerous. Grants and awards he has received: NEA, TCG, Lila Wallace Fund, Rosenthal New Play Prize, Frankel Award, Charles MacArthur Fellowship Award, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Barrymore Award (Best New Play) and the 2013 Ivey Lifetime Achievement Award.

The cast of Holmes & Watson features (in alphabetical order): Richard Baird as “Watson,” Matt Koenig as “Holmes #2,” Matthew Floyd Miller as “Holmes #1,” Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper as “Dr. Evans,” Mike Peebler as “Orderly/Moriarty/Inspector,” Alice Sherman as “The Matron/The Woman” and Christopher M.  Williams as “Holmes #3.”

The design team for Holmes & Watson is as follows: scenic design by Stephen Gifford; costume design by Kate Bergh; lighting design by Jared A. Sayeg; sound design by Ian Scot; props design by Kevin Williams, and hair and wig design by Peter Herman. Casting is by Michael Donovan, CSA & Richie Ferris, CSA.

The Production Stage Manager is Vernon Willet.

Schedule and Pricing:

Holmes & Watson will preview on Wednesday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, May 30 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Friday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 1 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; (with a press opening on Sunday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m.) and run through Sunday, June 16.

Performances are Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. There will be added performances on Thursday, May 30 at 2 p.m.; Thursday, June 6 at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. There will be no performance on Sunday, June 16 at 5:30 p.m. There will be a post-show talkback following the Friday, June 7 performance.

Tickets range from $45-$84 and can be purchased online at, or by calling 949.497.2787. Group discounts are available by calling 949.497.2787 ext. 229. Prices subject to change.

The box office is open Tuesdays through Sundays: 12-4 p.m.; On Mondays it is open two hours prior to show time and until 15 minutes after curtain. It is open until showtime on all performance days.

For more information on all shows and programming, visit

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Artists Fund celebrates Art-To-Go Head-To-Toe on June 6

April – May 2024

Spring Collection at City Hall – View 40 originals by Artists Fund Board Members and Art-To-Go winning artists. Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Viewing is available during regular business hours.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of Artists Fund

“Early Moon” by Wendy Wirth, part of Spring Collection

Special Sale Gallery

Now through May 2024, view the Artists Fund “Special Sale Gallery” collection of affordable originals. Proceeds from sales support their Hardship Grant fund.

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“Botanical” by Natalia Eremeyeva-Duarte, 17” ceramic platter

All works are originals donated by past and present Festival exhibitors. Prices shown are reduced – to support their Hardship Grant fund for artists in need. Works may be collected in Laguna Beach or shipped at an additional cost.

To purchase artwork, contact curator Mike Tauber, call or text at 949.497.3597.

Thursday, June 6, 6-7 p.m.

Art-To-Go Head-To-Toe, Reception Event at City Hall

First Thursdays Art Walk

The public is invited to an opening reception of Art-To-Go Head-To-Toe at Laguna Beach City Hall, June 6, 6-7 p.m. The event is free.

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Susan Hoehn, Wendy Wirth and Chris Brazelton

On view will be 35 originals donated by Festival of Arts exhibitors. Viewers will enjoy seeing how various artists interpreted the theme Head-To-Toe, which is inspired by the Pageant of the Masters A’ La Mode: The Art of Fashion program.

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“Anemone” by FOA exhibitor Sharon Williams

Among the Head-To-Toe subjects are those covered in spots, fur and even tentacles. Refreshments will be provided, and live music by Felicia Dunne will add to the fun. Attendees are encouraged to wear festive or creative attire. The event is presented by The Artists Fund in collaboration with the City of Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Department, and First Thursdays Art Walk. Takes place at 505 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach.

Coming Up

Through May 30: Spring Collection at Laguna Beach City Hall and Online.

June 3-28: Art-To-Go Preview Show at Laguna Beach City Hall.

June 6, 6-7 p.m.: Reception Event, Art-To-Go at City Hall, free to public.

June 15:  FOA Exhibitor Yearbook (digital) launches.

July 2, 5-9 p.m.: Art-To-Go opens at FOA Preview Night Invitational.

July 2-5: Vote for People’s Choice Art-To-Go piece at the displays.

July 6, 5:15 p.m.: Awards Presentation to winning Art-To-Go exhibitors.

To view them online, click here.

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Cultural Arts presents Circus Bella on June 8

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Courtesy of

Circus Bella performs at Bluebird Park on June 8

Saturday, June 8, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Circus Bella

The Arts Commission invites kids of all ages to a free performance of Circus Bella’s “WOW!” – a captivating blend of circus enchantment and madcap mayhem. Circus Bella offers a modern twist on a one-ring circus overflowing with heart and soul. This exhilarating family event promises to delight and astonish you.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. Free.

Sunset Serenades

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

The 2024 Sunset Serenades concert season starts the first Friday in May at the Heisler Park Amphitheater

Free Admission, click here for more information.

Friday May 17, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Steve Wade

Friday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Uncanny Valley (Rock)

World Music

Friday, May 31, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Caro Pierotto (Brazilian samba)

Friday, June 7, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Quarteto Nuevo (Western classical, eastern European folk, Latin and jazz mix)

Friday, June 14, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Jessica Fichot (Multilingual fusion of French chanson, Shanghai jazz, gypsy swing and international folk music)

Low-back beach chairs are encouraged. Alcohol is permitted for guests 21 or older but must be accompanied by a full meal. Solicitation of any kind is not permitted at city events.

For full details, click here.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and city of Laguna Beach.

Music in the Park

Sundays, July 7 – August 18, 5-7 p.m.

Bluebird Park, 772 Cress St.

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Courtesy of

Great North Special performs at Bluebird Park on July 7

Music in the Park is a free public concert series held Sunday evenings in July and August, at Bluebird Park. Concerts start at 5 p.m. Set-up is not permitted before 3 p.m. No dogs are allowed at Bluebird Park (LBMC 6.16.020). No smoking (LBMC 7.40.030). No display or sale of merchandise (LBMC 18.04.015). Low-seating beach chairs are encouraged. Alcohol is permitted for guests 21 or older, but must be accompanied by a full meal. Solicitation of any kind is not permitted at city events.


–July 7 – The Great North Special

(Psych-rock, Country, Blues and Funk-soul)

–July 14 – TABU


–July 21 – The Shagwells

(‘60s and ‘70s hits)

–July 28 – Upstream

(Caribbean, Reggae, Calypso, Steel Drum)

–August 4 – 133 Band

–August 11 – Betamaxx

(1980s cover)

–August 18 – The Tina Turner Tribute featuring Debby Holiday


This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

For questions, contact Cultural Arts at 949.497.3311.

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LCAD presents MFA Exhibition opening reception at LAM on May 17

Reflections of Resilience: MFA Exhibition at Laguna Art Museum will hold its opening reception on Friday, May 17, from 5:30-9:30 p.m.

This exhibition features artwork by the 2024 Master of Fine Art graduates from Laguna College of Art + Design. It will be on display until August 25.

The quality, creativity and individuality of these featured artists are testaments to their dedication and independence. Remarkable artists are attracted to LCAD because of the understanding that time-honored skill joined with personal contemporary concerns can create vital, memorable art.

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Photos courtesy of LCAD

Eric Theodore, “Skyward,” oil on panel, 42×28, 2023

These artists share an earnest, hopeful sensibility amid unsettling times. As we emerge from a pandemic, they reflect upon what is most meaningful and how to navigate an often distant and uncertain world. There is optimism behind the urge to create and contribute. A shared sense of resilience resonates beneath the surface, reflecting honesty while avoiding cynicism.

Through carefully considered paintings and drawings, these artists represent how mindful reflection of the outer world builds personal insights, expressing appearances as well as emotions. In Reflections of Resilience, the rational and the poetic are made apparent to the viewer, who takes time to observe, consider, and reflect.

This exhibition is presented in partnership with Laguna Art Museum (LAM).

Exhibiting Artists: Cara Baxter, Jason Dowd,Amber Foote, Sara Khakpour, Ryanne Phillips, Janaise Sanchez, Eric Theodore and Kevin Yaun.

Tickets are available by clicking here.

For questions, contact Peter Zokosky, Chair of MFA Drawing + Painting.

Saturday, May 18, 6 p.m.

Emerging Artists in Conversation: LCAD MFA Graduates Share their Art and Thoughts: Location, Laguna Art Museum

Join LAM for a stimulating and enlightening conversation with some of the most promising emerging artists to appear. This informal discussion will explore their diverse roles in the ongoing developments in contemporary art.

Peter Zokosky, moderator and chair of the Master of Fine Arts program at the Laguna College of Art + Design along with Cara Baxter, Jason Dowd, Amber Foote, Sara Khakpour, Ryanne Phillips, Janaise Sanchez, Eric Theodore and Kevin Yaun.

Advance tickets are recommended. Museum members: $12, Non-members: $18. Students: limited number of tickets available. Please present student ID. For tickets, click here.

LCAD BFA Fine Arts Exhibition 2024

Laguna College of Art + Design’s (LCAD) BFA Fine Arts exhibition 2024 is now on display at LCAD Gallery.

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Piper Bangs, “The Garden (Detail),” 2023, Oil on Linen, 59” x 39”

LCAD undergraduate Fine Arts department is thrilled to showcase the outstanding talents of its senior BFA students with the 2024 BFA Fine Arts Exhibition. This group exhibition features paintings, drawings, and sculptures, each one a testament to the dedication and creativity of our graduating seniors in the Drawing + Painting program.

The exhibition presents a carefully curated selection of works that represent the culmination of LCAD’s Senior Thesis project. This project serves as a guiding force, empowering our seniors to develop a cohesive and meaningful body of work that demonstrates both their individual conceptual growth and mastery of academic skillsets.

LCAD is proud to present the following exceptional artists, whose works will be on display at the exhibition. Gabrielle Anievas, Piper Bangs, Kyra Beal, Rylee Cook, Emma Crespo, Lauren Duplissey, Anna Eisen, Anne Goldman, Chase Heindel, Carly Mann, Amber Jodoin, Rachel Joy, Julianna Lazio, Xochitl Leal-Bailon, Rafael Mejia, Kat O’Brien, Arely Sojo, Isabella Stockbridge, Jenna Swerdfeger and Luke Silverthorne.

LCAD Gallery is located at 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

LCAD Gallery admission is always free.

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LPAPA looks forward to Less is More” show

Annual Waterworks Juried Art Show

Notifications for Artwork Entries for the 8th Annual “Waterworks” Juried Art Show, a celebration of paintings created by LPAPA members using transparent watercolors were sent out when the jurying was complete. This show is made possible with the support of the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation.

This show is made possible with the support of the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation.

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Photos courtesy of LPAPA

“Waterworks” Juried Art Show

Show Overview & Timeline:

Online Art Catalog Exhibition (Finalists and Semi-Finalists): through Monday, June 3.

LPAPA Gallery Show (Finalists): through Monday, June 3.

Pick Up of Unsold Artwork at the Gallery: Tuesday, June 4, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Paint Together with Rick J. Delanty

Outdoor on location

Rick Delanty will demonstrate how to paint a Laguna Beach landscape, with an emphasis on composition. Everyone may follow along step-by-step, using oils, acrylics, or other media. Beginners and all levels are invited. LOCA or LPAPA members $60/$75 non-members.

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Less is More – Deadline May 20

18th Annual Less is More

Entry Deadline is Monday, May 20 by 11:59 p.m.

Online submissions are open for LPAPA’s 18th Annual “Less is More” Juried Small Works Art Show. Submit your entries any time before the deadline but no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 20. The show opens with an online Art Catalog and Preview Auction on Monday, July 1, followed by the LPAPA Gallery opening for First Thursdays Art Walk on Thursday July 11, 6-9 p.m. (a week after the first Thursday due to July 4th holiday).

Four cash awards to be presented.

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John Cosby – Art Walk Opening Reception

John Cosby, Artist in Residence

Online Preview & Auction June 3-6

LPAPA Gallery Exhibition June 6 through July 1

John Cosby “Artist in Residence” LPAPA Gallery Solo Exhibition

Looking West, a Portrait of the Places I Love

“Plein Talk with John Cosby,” Save the date: Saturday, June 8

The LPAPA Gallery is proud to present a special “Artist in Residence” Solo Exhibition featuring major works, and plein air studies, created by Signature Artist and Founding Member John Cosby on June 6 through July 1.

Looking West, a Portrait of the Places I Love will open online with a preview auction on Monday, June 3, followed by the LPAPA Gallery opening on Thursday, June 6 with a special First Thursdays Art Walk Opening Reception with the Artist (6-9 p.m.; free entry); the exhibition will continue through Monday, July 1.

In addition, Cosby is leading a three-day Laguna Plein Air Painting Workshop on June 10-12.

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association/LPAPA Gallery is located at 414 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

For more information, go to

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Low tide

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Photo by David Powers

You can certainly enjoy the trail more when the tide is out

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Compiled by Suzie Harrison

Police Beat derives from information in the daily police and arrest logs published on the City of Laguna Beach’s website and required under CA Government Code Section 6254 (f). Additional information is obtained through communication with the Laguna Beach Police Department’s Public Information Officer.

Information in the logs is deemed reliable and Stu News Laguna is not responsible for any mistakes made available as public record by the Laguna Beach Police Department.

Any person arrested is innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

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