The Museum of Ventura County has announced the departure of longtime executive director Tim Schiffer, who left at the end of July to take a position at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa. “I will miss the Museum and the wonderful people I have worked with in Ventura County,” he said. Schiffer played an influential role in raising the museum’s offerings to a new level through diverse programming, a stronger emphasis on local visual artists and a visionary expansion and remodel. Robin Woodworth, formerly the museum’s director of development, will serve as the interim executive director until a search is completed by a professional consulting firm.
Bell Arts Factory has appointed Jim Rice to the newly created position of executive director. Founder Josh Addison told VCReporter that Rice has his “enthusiastic endorsement.” Rice says he’s grateful and excited about the opportunities ahead. “I look forward to expanding our community outreach projects as well as enhancing our art and music programs.”
Addison, meanwhile, is putting the final touches on Connect Ventura, an innovative co-working space in a stunning 6,000 square-foot downtown Ventura building where people can work alone or together and take advantage of superhigh-speed Internet, coffee services, a library, conference room and lots of opportunity for collaboration. To learn more about Connect Ventura and how to be a part of it, visit www.connectventura.com.
In association with the Ventura County Arts Council, Gerd Koch and Carole Milton are awarding two grants in the amount of $3,000 each to qualifying professional artists. In the spirit of paying it forward, they are celebrating their own legacies as professional artists in Ventura County as well as the careers of other important local contributors to the local art community. Last year’s recipients were Monica Furmanski and Misako Inaoka The application deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 4. An awards ceremony and reception to honor deceased and living artists as well as cultural leaders will be held in October. To download an application or learn more about the grant, visit www.venturacountyartscouncil.org. The VCAC has opened the nomination process for its annual Art Stars awards. To look at the categories and nominate someone you believe to be exceptionally important to the arts in Ventura County, visit the Arts Council website.
Thousand Oaks-based Regenerate Films is celebrating 10 years giving young people a venue for expressing their concerns and challenges through creative means. Some of Regenerate’s more notable projects include the innovative Open Borders Summer of Music and Art, plus two films: My Suicide and Archie’s Final Project. The group’s most recent concern is rampant heroin use, for which it has created a public service announcement campaign called “Heroin Sucks.” Chairman of the Board Larry Janss has worked closely with the group and had this to say about the work: “Regenerate Films will continue to play an important role in handing off our troubled world to a much more prepared generation of future leaders.” To learn more about Regenerate, visit www.regenerate.org.
First Friday, the ever-popular monthly art event in Westside and Downtown Ventura will now include wine tasting thanks to Red Brick Gallery. From 6 to 8:30 p.m., every first Friday of the month, visitors to the gallery can “uncork their creative spirits as the pleasurable combinations of wine, painting and fun come together.”
After 10 years at its location across from the Crowne Plaza, Ventura’s Artists Union Gallery has lost its lease. While members attempt to find a new home (negotiations are in progress) they are taking up temporary residence through October on California Street in the old KB Roberts building for their next show, “Art of the Book.”
The Santa Paula Art Museum is accepting submissions for its “Art About Agriculture” themed exhibit. Cash prizes will be awarded and work will be displayed at the Santa Paula Art Museum and the Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula beginning Nov. 10. Deadline for submissions is Sept. 25. For more information and an application, visit www.santapaulaartmuseum.org.
The City of Ventura is offering a grant program for event organizers staging festivals and events in Ventura. Each applicant must be a Ventura-based nonprofit or an agency partnering with a Ventura-based nonprofit, and grants will be used to cover all or a portion of permit fees. Promoters with events taking place March-August 2013 must submit their applications by Jan. 31, 2013. For more information, visit www.cityofventura.net/permits.
Young Artists Ensemble’s Hillcrest Players is holding auditions for Frankenstein Slept Here on Aug. 18 and 19 by appointment. Directed by Victoria Sayeg, auditions are open to performers who are 7-14 years old. For more information, visit www.yaeonline.com or call 381-1246.