In the summer of 1967, nearly 100,000 people including artists, activists, writers and musicians from across the country, converged on San Francisco, igniting a cultural revolution; the season became known as the Summer of Love. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of this historical movement, the Museum of Ventura County, located at 100 East Main Street, Ventura, 93001, is presenting a summer series of events featuring notable speakers, movies, concerts, lectures and documentaries significant to the time, complimented by exhibits featuring iconic photographs, posters, fashions and rare memorabilia.
July 2: Screening of 1968’s most popular family movie, The Love Bug, at 2 p.m. This fun film about a race car driver becoming a champion driving a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own is a quintessential film of the period. FREE admission.
July 8: Free celebration event kicks off the Summer of Love 50th anniversary. Break out your bell bottoms and come join the party celebrating the Summer of Love, 2- 5 p.m., at the Museum of Ventura County. Groove to the music of the '60s with a live DJ, cruise the VW car show, and enjoy family fun with kid-friendly crafts, tie-dye T-shirt station, food trucks and vendors. Plus, the museum will feature the opening of three new exhibits. Special thanks to event sponsor Pierpont Racquet Club.
Exhibit opening: experience the significance of the times through the community-based Tune in, Turn On, Drop Out pop-up exhibit featuring memorabilia from across Ventura County, including a special collection of cubbies curated by local individuals, each expressing a unique experience of the era.
Exhibit opening: Coping Mechanism: Skateboarding in Ventura County. Museum-goers of all ages will enjoy learning about our local influence on the evolution of this thrilling sport.
Exhibit opening: Suddenly That Summer: Charles Manson and the Crime of the Century. Travel back in time to 1969 and experience the details surrounding the grisly murder of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles by the Manson “family.” Through photographs and newspaper accounts, this exhibit tracks the events that led up to the Tate-LaBianca slayings at the hands of the Manson cult members, law enforcement’s extensive search for the culprits, as well as the family’s connection to Ventura County.
July 8 through Aug. 27: The museum will unveil and present two summer exhibits. The first is a community-based pop-up exhibit, curated to showcase the Ventura County community’s connection to and reality of the Summer of Love, titled Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out: Ventura County and the Summer of Love. The second exhibit, Suddenly That Summer: Charles Manson and the Crime of the Century, details two sets of grisly murders that happened two years after the Summer of Love, just a short distance away in Los Angeles. The montage of photographs and newspaper accounts tracks the events that led up to the Tate-LaBianca slayings at the hands of the Manson Family on Aug. 9 and 10, 1969, law enforcement’s extensive search for the culprits, as well as the family’s connection to Ventura County. Regular museum admission rates apply.
Aug. 10: Drummer Fito de la Parra talks about his life in rock ‘n roll, from his start as a house drummer at the Tom Cat Club in Torrance to joining the up-and-coming blues band Canned Heat, which provided a number of songs that became anthems for the Woodstock generation. The lecture, “Bringing the Heat,” will run from 7–9 p.m. Admission is FREE/members, $5/non-members. No-host bar available.
Aug. 17: Ventura County Poet Laureate, Phil Taggert, will perform readings from the works of writer Charles Bukowski, at a special showing of “Born Into This,” the documentary chronicling the life of Bukowski, who is as well known for his drinking binges as for his poetry and prose. The event is from 6:30-9 p.m. Admission is $10/members, $15/non-members. No-host bar available.
Aug. 26: Grateful Dead Tribute Band Cubensis will pay tribute to the era’s significance as an epoch in the evolution of popular music. Doors open at 4 p.m. The concert runs from 5-8 p.m. Admission is $15/members, $20/non-members. No-host bar available.
In addition to the special Summer of Love exhibits and events, the museum will continue its tradition of offering free admission for featured groups on designated Appreciation Weekends, as well as Free First Sundays.
July 2: Free First Sunday
July 8: Free Summer of Love 50th anniversary event
July 8-9, the museum will welcome all students of any age.
July 22-23, the museum will welcome residents of zip code 93033 (Port Hueneme) & 91319 -91320, 91358-91359 (Thousand Oaks).
August 6: Free First Sunday
Aug. 12-13, the museum will welcome Health Care Workers.
Aug. 26-27, the museum will welcome residents of zip code 93036 (El Rio).
Visit venturamuseum.org for a full schedule of events and exhibits.
The Museum of Ventura County celebrates, preserves and interprets the art, history and culture of Ventura County, the California Channel Islands and the surrounding region through its collections, exhibitions, events, educational programs, publications and its research library, and serves as a gathering place for the community. Located at 100 East Main Street, Ventura, the Museum of Ventura County is open Tuesday - Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Phone 805.653.0323 for more information.