Despite cuts to arts funding and threats of cuts, many Ventura County artists and performers are still thriving. Ventura County Ballet Company announced that one of its dancers, 16-year-old Hana Monroe Goldstone, was awarded a whopping $40,000 scholarship to use at the college or university of her choice. The scholarship was awarded by the InnerSpark and Herb Alpert Foundation. She was one of 18 students in six categories to receive one. “This scholarship has made it much more likely that I will be able to fulfill my dream of studying in New York City at Columbia or Barnard,” Goldstone said.

It’s been a big year for film festivals in Ventura with two new festivals launched and one relocating. The Ventura Film Society’s (VFS) Fall Screening Series is well under way and the organization reports that attendance has been strong. The inaugural screening saw the Lodge in Ventura at full capacity as members of the arts community came out in full force for some quality, shared entertainment and edification. The Watermark on Main in Ventura is hosting a benefit brunch for the Ventura Film Festival and its film society projects on Sunday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meanwhile, the Ojai-Ventura International Film Festival, previously known simply as the Ojai Film Festival, is preparing for its inaugural event in Ventura in early November. The festival, which has Mad magazine artist Sergio Aragones on board, will kick off with “A Round of Films, A Round of Golf,” the festival’s second annual celebrity golf classic. For details, visit

The Ventura Music Festival recently announced that it has secured world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman to perform during its 2010 season, next spring. “We are very excited to bring this legendary performer to Ventura County,” said Cheryl Heitmann, executive director of the festival.

Stoneworks Studios has put out a call to artists and others who would like to participate in a community ArtWalk installation “Park and Ride” project. Drop off your old chairs and bicycles on Oct. 5 and 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stoneworks is located at 300 N. Ventura Ave., entrance on West Park Row. Stoneworks’ Michele Chapin, along with other artists, is asking artists and arts advocates to attend a Ventura City Council candidates forum on Oct. 16, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, “to help us ensure a City Council that understands the importance of the arts to our communities.”