Applications are now open for 15 grants offered by the California Arts Council. More than $21 million is available for youth programs, creative projects and operating support. Throughout October and November, the council will also host a series of workshops and online webinars to provide more information and aid in the application process. For a list of grants available, workshop schedule and more information, visit arts.ca.gov/news/prdetail.php?id=271.

The Ventura County Writers Club is still accepting entries for its 18th Annual Short Story Contest. Unpublished, family-friendly short stories of 2,500 words or less will be accepted via submittable.com as word or pdf files through Oct. 31. Reading fees range from $12 to $30. Cash prizes from $50 to $500 will be awarded in both adult and high school divisions during a ceremony in January. For more information, visit venturacountywriters.com, email shortstorycontest@venturacountywriters.com or call Sheli Ellsworth at 805-300-1365.

California Lutheran University’s TV and Cinema Club will host a free screening of It’s Just a Game on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m., at the Preus-Brandt Forum. The award-winning action comedy centers on a group of children letting their imaginations run wild during a Nerf gun battle. The film was created over the course of a year and produced by CLU communication major Charlotte “Charlie” Biegalski, who will answer questions following the screening.


Congratulations to Unique Shehee, who was recently named the Ventura County Youth Poet Laureate, an inaugural position created by the Ventura County Arts Council. The 15-year-old Oxnard High School student will help promote the literary arts and humanities through workshops and other public functions throughout her one-year term.

The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks has named Four Friends Gallery owner Larry Janss and art therapist Susan Kelly to its board of directors.

The Ojai Film Festival will honor renowned film industry professionals Malcom McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Mozart in the Jungle) and Ellen Kuras, ASC (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Blow) with Lifetime Achievement Awards in Acting and Cinematography, respectively, during an awards brunch at the Ojai Art Center on Nov. 4. The 19th annual film festival takes place Nov. 1-11.