ELF: THE MUSICAL Through Jan. 18 online. The Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center’s beloved 2019 holiday production returns for streaming online. Follow Buddy as he leaves the elf community in the North Pole to seek out his human father in New York City. $15-25. www.svvac.org/what-s-happening. Photo by Jon Neftali Photography

Thursday – Dec. 31

STARTING RIGHT FOR 2021 HIKE 8-9 a.m. Get a jump on a healthier year with a hike. Bring a mask and physical distancing is required. Bring water, comfortable shoes and layers are recommended. Space is limited. Led by Pleasant Valley Parks and Recreation department. Register online HERE. 

VC COVID TESTING BY APPOINTMENT | Avoid lines by making an appointment at State operated testing sites in the county: Newbury Park at the Thousand Oaks Library and the other is at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center.  Call  1-888-634-1123 or visit www.lhi.care/covidtesting. HAVE SYMPTOMS? Make an appointment at a County Clinic in Ventura, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and Fillmore. Please call 805-652-7660 to make an appointment. Walk in testing schedule changes daily at other sites, visit www.vcrecovers.com.

VIRTUAL FUN-RAISING NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION 6-7 p.m. Dance out 2020! Be cozy in comfy pajamas, pour the champagne and enjoy music, comedy, silent and live auction. Auctions benefit Senior Concerns programs helping local seniors. FREE online registration HERE. 

Friday – Jan. 1

VENTURA BOTANICAL GARDENS All Day FREE entry in celebration of New Year’s Day! Garden Shop will be open. Leashed dogs welcome. Wear your mask and practice physical distancing. 

Saturday – Jan. 2

HOLIDAYS IN YOUR CAR Last day to see the lights at Ventura County Fairgrounds in this festive, drive through display. Tickets online HERE

Monday – Jan. 4

THE FOUNDATIONS OF OUR REPUBLIC 5:30-6:30 p.m. Online seminar FREE A community seminar covering the founding documents of the United States of America. Complete the readings (available online) and participate in the facilitated discussion on fundamental principles of our Republic and ask questions about whether they change over time. This weeks readings are The Bill of Rights, Amendments VI, VII, VIII. All online HERE.  Hosted by The Agora Foundation. 

ZAPPA Streaming This new, fully authorized by his family, film on the life and talent of Frank Zappa shows the brilliance and irreverence of a man who challenged the status quo, not only in the music industry but in the halls of censorship in the United States. He became the face of the music industry fighting censorship when others didn’t want to speak out for fear of losing money. Known for his musical skill and exacting standards this film offered through the Oxnard Film Festival is insightful, funny and ever so relevant today. Streaming now. $12 for three days. Access the film online HERE

Tuesday – Jan. 5

GUIDED ONLINE MEDITATION FOR VETERANS 10-10:45 a.m. FREE Roger Ford, with Healing in America in partnership with the Gold Coast Veterans Foundation offers this meditation session for veterans and their families who are seeking help on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. Meditation can help those in need to relax, re-energize and rebalance. Details and registration are online HERE

NEW YEAR NUTRITION SERIES 10 – 10:45 a.m. FREE This is the first of two sessions offered by the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging with registered dietitians that will focus on healthy, creative recipes for the new year. To register call 805-406-8332 or email dietitian.realfood@ventura.org. 

Thursday – Jan. 7 

PERSEVERANCE TIME: MARS LANDING CHALLENGE 10 a.m. – noon Part of the Fifty and Better Lecture Series this talk with Luis Velasco, a senior engineer with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will explore the Mars 2020 mission that sent the Perseverance rover to the red planet seeking signs of ancient life. Velasco, originally from Mexico, won JPL’s Bruce Murray Award in 2018. The Fifty and Better program was designed to offer university-level courses without homework or tests and social engagement for older adults. The event is free, but you must register by 5 p.m. Jan. 6, for the Zoom link. For more information, go to CalLutheran.edu/fab or contact Christina Tierney at christinahelm@callutheran.edu or 805-493-3290.

EAT SMART, LIVE STRONG 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. First session in a four week course for those 60 and over wanting to learn more about healthy food choices and ways to exercise more. Classes are stand alone, but participants are encouraged to join the full four-weeks. To register call 805-477-7353 or e-mail Christal.Greenlaw@ventura.org.

GUIDED MEDITATION AND DISTANT HEALING 5:30 p.m. FREE This webinar, on the first Thursday of every month, will join you with others around the world to create a powerful healing vortex, sending group healing to those in need. To add a name to the list of those in need of healing email:  info@healinginamerica.com. Details and registration are online HERE. 

Streaming events online

VIRTUAL FITNESS Pleasant Valley Recreation Department offers a wide array of online classes – from salsa dancing to minecraft to 5K runs. They even have a Jedi training camp for kids! Offerings are online HERE.

OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE Spring semester begins Jan. 25 Registration is open now for class offerings for OLLI at Cal State Channel Islands. These programs are college level for ages 50 and over in a wide range of topics: Magic of Ballet, Morocco and Tunisia, Science Fun and more. All classes are online. Full catalog and registration information are online HERE. 

Current Community Needs and Resources

VOLUNTEER MEAL DELIVERY FOR SENIORS At least 10 volunteer drivers are needed to deliver meals to homebound seniors in the Conejo Valley area (including Oak Park, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park). Delivery takes about one to one and a half hours, meals are picked up in Newbury Park at 11:30 a.m. Mon.-Fri. You pick the day/s you deliver. Volunteer application is online at: www.seniorconcerns.org/volunteer. Email application to: volunteers@seniorconcerns.org. Questions? Email: kfowler@seniorconcerns.org

FREE NUTRITION COUNSELING FOR SENIORS Offered by registered dietitians through the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging this telephone resource can help those over 60 with their questions about high blood pressure, eating better, controlling diabetes and more. To speak with a VCAAA Registered Dietitian, call 805-406-8332 or 805-340-3084 or email dietitian.realfood@ventura.org. 

NEW ROUND OF FUNDING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES Application period Dec. 30 – Jan. 8 The application period for Round 2 funding of the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is now open and the deadline to apply is Jan. 8, 2021. Micro-grants of $5,000 to $25,000 for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic are available. Details and application are online HERE.

MENTAL HEALTH WELLNESS LINE Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. The Turning Point Foundation has established a phone line for anyone to speak with trained staff to offer support, coping strategies and other resources. The number is: 805-653-5045


Many venues remain closed in compliance with public health orders. Some classes, exhibits and events are available exclusively online. All events are subject to change and cancellation; always verify with venue and/or organizer.


OJAI POTTERY AND CLAY SCHOOL Jan. 4-March 14. Join the creative clay community for a series of winter classes for throwers and handbuilders, beginner to advanced, online via Zoom and in the studio. $300-395. 212 Fox Street, Ojai, 805-798-3990, classes@ojaipottery.com, www.ojaipottery.com.

POPPIES ARTS AND GIFTS  Jan. 1-31. Paintings by guest artist Jim Bruce of Ventura. 323 E. Matilija St., Ojai, 805-798-0033, www.poppiesartandgifts.com.


realART SPRING JURIED SHOW Through Feb. 21, 2021. realART is now accepting submissions for its spring show, which will be on exhibit March 3-April 30. Sculpture, painting, photography, furniture, jewelry, functional art and wearable art. For submission guidelines and more information, visit whatisrealart.com/spring-juried-show.


A CHRISTMAS CAROL Opened Dec. 20 online. A podcast featuring an all-new musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, put together by the actors from the High Street Broadcast Audio Theater. Free. www.svvac.org/what-s-happening.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Through Jan. 3, 2021 online. Jefferson Mays inhabits several characters in this one-man version of the Charles Dickens holiday classic. Available to stream as video on demand through the Rubicon Theatre Company. $50. www.onthestage.com/show/rubicon-theatre-company/a-christmas-carol-85170/tickets/5fb413ac08c47100038bbaf7

ESTELLA SCROOGE Through Jan. 3, 2021 streamed online. A mashup of Charles Dickens classics with a modern musical twist that’s perfect for the whole family. $29.99-$49.99. www.rubicontheatre.org/estella-scrooge. Also streaming online through Jan. 31 courtesy of the Ojai Art Center Theater. ojaiact.org.

STAY AT HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Through Jan. 10 online. A virtual cabaret from the Simi Valley Virtual Arts Center, featuring some of the center’s “all stars” singing a collection of holiday hits. Streamed online. Free. www.svvac.org/what-s-happening.

STROKE OF LUCK Streaming now. The Simi Valley Virtual Arts Center presents the first in its online cabaret series featuring a musical dramedy about one woman’s stroke and recovery. Starring Farley Cadena. www.svvac.org/virtual-cabaret-series

VOICES NOT HEARD Through Dec. 31 via YouTube. Camarillo Skyway Playhouse presents two pre-recorded productions from its Voices Not Heard project, available for viewing on YouTube. <em>Subtle Permission</em> focuses on a college student trying to navigate her family, issues facing the BIPOC community and police brutality. In <em>Meetings</em>, a man and his husband arrange a Zoom meeting with an estranged parent to introduce her to their newborn child. Pay what you can. skywayplayhouse.org.


AGRICULTURE MUSEUM Through Dec. 31 online: Throwing Shade, featuring the coast live oak tree and its woodland community. Ongoing: Exhibits dedicated to Ventura County’s farming and ranching legacy, with antique tractors, farming implements, a living beehive, outdoor gardens and more. 926 Railroad Ave., Santa Paula, 805-525-3100, venturamuseum.org/visit-agriculture-museum/.

ATRIUM GALLERY Opened Oct. 26. Origin, a virtual exhibition whereby artists reflect on creative beginnings, family history and more. vcartscouncil.org/atrium-gallery/origin/.

BEATRICE WOOD CENTER FOR THE ARTS Through Jan. 16 online: Ventura County Handweavers and Spinners Guild 50th Anniversary Exhibition. Through Dec. 31: John Keenan: Ceramic Journeys. 805-646-3381, www.beatricewood.com.

CALIFORNIA MUSEUM OF ART THOUSAND OAKS Through Dec. 31: Life Interrupted, a virtual exhibit of work by young local artists, with paintings, illustrations, digital art and mixed media exploring life during quarantine, social distancing and uncertainty. Ongoing: Virtual exhibit: Empathy: Beneath the Surface, multidisciplinary perspectives on the idea of empathy, personal agency and the universal bonds that connect us. 350 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, 805-405-5240, cmato.org.

CALIFORNIA OIL MUSEUM Ongoing. Museum from Home” resources, including Mineral Mondays, Women in STEM Wednesdays and Fossil Fridays. Kids’ educational giveaways every month. 1001 E. Main St., Santa Paula, 805-933-0076 or www.caoilmuseum.org or @caoilmuseum.

FOCUS ON THE MASTERS Ongoing. The Learning to See Student Art Showcase online, featuring work by students from Anacapa, Cabrillo, De Anza Academy of Technology; the Arts and Rio del Valle middle schools; and Montalvo, Pierpont and Sierra Linda elementary schools. focusonthemasters.com

HARBOR VILLAGE GALLERY AND GIFTS Through Jan. 11, 2021: Members Choice Seaside, with works by several BAA artists depicting local sights and sentiments. 1559 Spinnaker Drive #106, Ventura Harbor Village, 805-644-2750, www.facebook.com/HarborVillageGalleryGifts.

KWAN FONG GALLERY Ongoing. Virtual exhibits: Common Ground: Artists Reimagining Community; Thinh Nguyen: Reorient, Thingamajig VI: A Printmaking Exploration and Documenting History Through Art: The Work of David Labkovski. California Lutheran University, 120 Memorial Parkway, Thousand Oaks, 805-493-3697, blogs.callutheran.edu/kwanfong/

MULLIN AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM Ongoing. Boasting one of the best collections of French automobiles in the world, as well as vehicles, artwork, sculpture and furniture from renowned designer Bugatti. 1421 Emerson Ave., Oxnard, 805-385-5400, mullinautomotivemuseum.com.

MUSEUM OF VENTURA COUNTY Available online now: The MVC Gallery Marketplace has been created to help regional artists sell their works. Through Dec. 31 online: Amendment 19: Votes for Women, stories of Ventura County suffragists and the suffrage movement, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Ongoing: Several virtual exhibits, George Stuart Historical Figures® and more. 100 E. Main St., Ventura, 805-653-0323 or venturamuseum.org

OJAI VALLEY MUSEUM Ongoing. While the museum remains closed, it offers a virtual video featuring talented guests such as Perla Batalla, MAD Magazine cartoonist Sergio Aragones, a talk by Bill Weirick and more. Virtual exhibits are also viewable online at www.ojaivalleymuseum.org.

realART Opened Nov. 8. Annual Winter Juried Show with over 50 artists from across the country will be on exhibit in the gallery’s new space. The original gallery will also host artwork by artists such as Lynne Deutch, Diane Williams and John White. Whizin Market Square, 28873 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills, 310-452-4000, whatisrealart.com.

SANTA PAULA ART MUSEUM Ongoing virtual exhibits. The First Decade: Celebrating Ten Years of Acquisitions, an exhibition of works from the museum’s permanent collection in celebration of its 10-year anniversary. 117   N. 10th St., Santa Paula, 805-525-5554 or www.santapaulaartmuseum.org.

SIMI VALLEY VIRTUAL ARTS CENTER Ongoing. 25th Anniversary Photography Collection, photography by Jon Neftali and Worth Living For, a suicide prevention art campaign organized by the Simi Valley Youth Council. The Simi Valley Cultural Arts Centers has created an online presence to showcase work from both local and regional artists, theater and performing arts events and more. www.svvac.org.

SPICETOPIA Through Jan. 3, 2021. The Buenaventura Art Association debuts its newest exhibit space — on the walls of the gourmet spice and tea shop in Downtown Ventura — with a small image show, featuring modestly sized works that are perfect for gift giving. 576 E. Main St., Ventura. www.spice-topia.com.

STUDIO CHANNEL ISLANDS Through Jan. 16 online: Elemental Dreams, jewelry and sculpture crafted in ceramic, glass, metal and wood. Ongoing: Virtual art exhibits include Gallery Virgins, Richard Barnett Portraits, Magical Realism, The Illusionists and Illuminated, as well as artist video talks, online art  classes and children’s educational resources. 2222 E. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, 805-383-1368, studiochannelislands.org.

VITA ART CENTER Through Jan. 14, 2021: Viewing Ventura: A Group Exhibit and First Responders by Ray Harris. Opened Nov. 14: Pulp Gallery (drawing and other works on paper). 28 W. Main St., Ventura, 805-644-9214, www.vitaartcenter.com.

WILLIAM ROLLAND GALLERY Ongoing. Virtual exhibits: Common Ground: Artists Reimagining Community; Meleko Mokgosi: Acts of Resistance, examining formal and informal forms of resistance through figurative paintings that confront the politics and histories of representation; Documenting History Through Art: The Work of David Labkovski, autobiographical paintings and drawings from the artist’s experiences of World War II, the Holocaust and their aftermath; Passionate Perspectives senior art exhibit; and Thingamajig VI: A Printmaking Exploration. California Lutheran University, 160 Overton Court, Thousand Oaks, 805-493-3697, rollandgallery.callutheran.edu.