PICTURED: Boris Brott, New West Symphony’s founding music director and Conductor Laureate, died April 5, 2022 in Hamilton, Ontario. Photo submitted
MVC debuts three new exhibits
The Museum of Ventura County is getting its summer underway with a whole slew of new exhibits and programming.
Three separate exhibits open on June 16. The Jazz Age in Ventura County — from Prohibition and the wealth boom to a tide of repression and exclusion — will be thoroughly explored in images and artifacts found in All That Glitters. Get a different glimpse of the past with Chromatic: The Museum in Six Colors, which will feature pieces from the museum’s permanent collection amassed over 100 years. These items, each of which tell a story, go beyond works of art to include rarities, antiques and even everyday items owned by local residents. A retrospective of the work of the late Carol Rosenak (1925-2002) will also be on display, covering 30 years of her creativity, from early printmaking to still lifes and abstract works.
A reception for all three exhibits will be held on Saturday, June 18, 3-5 p.m., and museum members will receive a complimentary ticket for a Bee’s Knees cocktail courtesy of Ventura Spirits Company.
And speaking of bees . . . the Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula will soon debut Save the Pollinators: A Youth-Led Environmental Restoration Project. The exhibit showcases through photography, music and art the work of the Save the Pollinators Project, developed by teens in Ojai with the aim of combatting the dramatic decrease in birds, bees and butterflies through the creation of the Green Valley Project Pollinator Corridor. The exhibit opens Friday, June 17, with a reception 5-7 p.m.
This summer MVC will also host Play-Well TEKnologies summer camps starting June 27. Kids will have the opportunity to learn about science, technology, engineering and math through creative play with LEGOs. Classes take place Monday through Friday, with both morning and afternoon sessions and programs for different age groups available.
For more information on all these activities, visit venturamuseum.org.
OPC debuts legacy fund
On June 4, the Ojai Playwrights Conference celebrated its 25th anniversary with a benefit gala, “Caring and Daring Together,” held at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles. At the event, OPC announced the founding of the Robert H. Egan Legacy Fund. Honoring the work of longtime artistic director and producer Robert Egan, the fund will support New Works Festival playwrights.
It was a bittersweet celebration, as 2022 is the final season for Egan, who is leaving after more than two decades with OPC.
“I’m truly honored that the organization I’ve been involved with for 22 years has decided to create this fund in my name,” said Egan via press release. “My career goal has been to find and nourish playwrights as they build the work that illuminates our world. This fund will help make that continue to happen at OPC.”
Egan will continue to lead OPC through the New Works Festival, taking place Aug. 7-14. Later, he plans to pursue a variety of projects in film, theatre and television, including the creation of a performance workshop “The Ramsdell Project” with his wife, Michelle Joyner, which will take place on the couple’s farm in Massachusetts.
OPC has formed a 12-member committee to facilitate a nationwide search for a new artistic director.
Boris Brott, 1944-2022
Musicians near and far mourn the passing of New West Symphony Founding Music Director and Conductor Laureate Boris Brott, who passed away April 5 in Hamilton, Ontario. He was 78 years old.
In 1992, Brott succeeded Frank Salazar as the music director of the Ventura County Symphony, which later merged with Conejo Symphony Orchestra to become New West Symphony. He would go on to serve as music director for more than 15 years, establishing NWS as one of the most respected orchestras in Southern California, winning rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. He also worked internationally and in his native Canada, where he founded the Brott Music Festival in 1987. He would eventually be named an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of Ontario.
“Those fortunate enough to work with him at New West Symphony enjoyed his infectious sense of humor on many happy occasions,” said Natalia Staneva, NWS CEO, and Michael Christia, music director, via press release. He was a giant of the classical music world. Boris, you will be dearly missed.”
Every Now and Then Theatre takes gold
Every Now and Then Theatre was honored with the International Communitas Gold Award for Excellence for community service volunteerism and social responsibility. The Ventura-based radio drama troupe won for its December 2021 broadcast Finding Christmas Spirit with Grandma, which it co-presented with Conejo Players Theatre. Newstalk 1590 KVTA Radio streamed the one-hour holiday drama nationwide on Dec. 24 and 25, 2021.
The production told the story of a young man who lost his Christmas spirit but regained it while baking cookies and listening to stories told by his grandmother. The drama featured Emmy Award-winning news anchor Tracy Lehr acting as celebrity host. Finding Christmas Spirit with Grandma also picked up a Platinum Award at the 2022 International AVA Digital Awards.
The all-volunteer Every Now and Then Theatre’s productions benefit foster children by providing broadcast copies to cast and crew in trade for their donations to KVTA Radio’s Children Fund. For more information, visit everynowandthentheatre.com.