by Kateri Wozny

Ventura County residents who embrace the arts can celebrate during the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza’s (TOCAP) 25th anniversary community events.

“Curtain Up” will take place on Friday, Oct. 4, 5-10 p.m. while “Timeless Thousand Oaks” will take place on Sunday, Oct. 13, 1-4 p.m.

According to the TOCAP website, the facility opened in October 1994 and sits on three acres consisting of the Fred Kavli Theatre and the Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre. More than 400 performances are held annually between the two theatres.

“[TOCAP] is not just a theatre, this is a gathering place,” said Niki Richardson, development director for Thousand Oaks Alliance for the Arts (TOARTS). “The community truly comes to connect with this cultural crown jewel of Ventura County.”

“Curtain Up” will showcase five decades of food at the Fred Kavli Theatre starting with the 1970s to the present time. As an example, the 1970s decade will be based on the movie Saturday Night Fever and contain a pasta bar with a paired cocktail and a chef in costume.

“We figured we’d pay homage to all of those years with a creative, artistic spin,” Richardson said.

Attendees can also participate in raffle drawings, a live auction that includes a guitar signed by artists who have performed at TOCAP over the past 25 years, listen to keynote speaker Thousand Oaks Police Chief Tim Hagel and witness a donation presentation from TOARTS to support local Title 1 schools. Live performances include jazz musician Herb Alpert and the Don Randi and Quest band.

Autograph wall to be unveiled at anniversary event. Photo by Kateri Wozny

Two permanent art installations, including a wall detailing the venue’s history and performing artist signatures on ceramic tiles, will also be unveiled. 

“It will be available to the public for the very first time,” Richardson said. “It’s a one-of-a-kind event and we are excited to chart the course for the next 25 years.”

“Timeless Thousand Oaks” will include tours of both theatres, live musical performances, food trucks, a family-friendly firefighter agility course where kids can test their endurance, a raffle with gift cards and baskets from The Lakes at Thousand Oaks and touch-a-truck with vehicles from the Conejo Valley Recreation and Park District, Thousand Oaks Public Works Department, Ventura County Fire Department and Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

“Kids can see what these trucks look like up close, learn about them and meet public servants,” said Dusty Russell, assistant analyst for the City of Thousand Oaks.

City department interactive booths will also be on display, including a storm drain demonstration from public works and a virtual reality display with a flying drone from Thousand Oaks Television. Residents will also have the opportunity to share their input for the city’s general plan, which is being updated for the first time in 50 years.

 “It’s the blueprint for the city,” Russell said. “Residents are encouraged to come together and provide their input on what the city’s future will look like.”

For more information or to purchase tickets to “Curtain Up,” visit www.toarts.org/curtainup/. Tickets are $250 per person. For more information about “Timeless Thousand Oaks,” visit shoplakes.com/events/25th-anniversary-celebration-with-city-of-thousand-oaks-civic-arts-plaza/. The event is free to the public.