Ventura County recently lost a great artist and teacher: Sculptor and arts educator Linda Elder has died after a courageous battle with brain cancer. Elder’s teaching career spanned more than three decades, and included California State University, Northridge; the University of California, Santa Barbara; local Boys and Girls Clubs; and Focus on the Masters’ Learning to See program. She also offered private lessons at her Ventura home/studio, Crystal Hawk, which she shared with her husband, sculptor David Elder. Notable works include “Xochitl,” her carving of a Chumash woman that can be seen from Highway 101 near Seaward, and the mace of California State University, Channel Islands, which she and David designed and crafted together. Elder will be remembered for her strength, courage and talent.
Cabrillo Music Theatre has made numerous staff and board changes, coinciding with the newly relaunched 2016-17 season. Veteran actor and director Will North has been named managing director, and the newly expanded board now includes Iona Blackwell, James Engel, Courtney Herring, Paige Loter, Alexis Peraino and Neil Ticktin. Lewis Wilkenfeld, formerly artistic director, has joined the theatre’s Executive Advisory Board.
The Museum of Ventura County has named Elena Brokaw as consultant and interim executive director for the next six months, replacing former CEO Pattie Mullins, who recently resigned to become CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Tri-Counties. Brokaw comes to the museum after 12 years as director of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Partnerships for the city of Ventura.
Congratulations to . . .
The Conejo Players Theatre recently announced its second annual Arts Advocate Award winners. Honorees include Dick Berman (Legacy Advocate Award), Lewis Wilkenfield (Civic Advocate Award) and 10-year-old Westley Umali (Young Advocate Award).
New West Symphony was honored with two grants this summer: a $10,000 grant from the Annenberg Foundation’s Alchemy program and a $3,500 grant from the League of American Orchestras. In addition, NWS’ Harmony Project has been awarded a $7,500 Artists in Schools grant from the California Arts Council as well as a $4,500 grant from Meadowlark Service League.
Nominations are being accepted for the city of Ventura’s 2016 Mayor’s Arts Awards. The awards honor Ventura residents, artists, educators, organizations and business leaders that contribute to the culture of the community. Nominations will be accepted through Sept. 8. For more information, including downloadable nomination forms, visit www.cityofventura.net/maa or call 658-4720.
The Ojai Art Center is putting together its 2017 theater season, and it could use some help. Organizers are inviting “meaningful suggestions from directors, producers or anyone involved in the theater world” for plays and other productions that should be presented. Submissions must be accompanied by a one- or two-paragraph statement outlining why Ojai ACT should consider it. Please NO original, unproduced or unpublished plays. Submissions can be given to Richard Camp at Ojai Art Center Theater, 113 S. Montgomery St., Ojai, or mailed to P. O. Box 331, Ojai, CA, 93023. For more information, email email@example.com.
Over at Ojai ACT’s Literary Branch, there’s still time to submit a 75-word essay for the Dream for Peace contest. The contest is open to all ages, and prose and poem essays will both be accepted. Deadline for submission is Aug. 10. Send your essay with $5 and your contact information to Ojai Art Center Essay Contest, 113 S. Montgomery, Ojai, CA, 93023.
The Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) is seeking donations for its Backpack Campaign in the form of funds, backpacks and school supplies to help local youth prepare for the upcoming school year. For more information and ways to donate, visit mixteco.org/2015/04/backpackcampaign/ or call 612-7568.