“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Holiday Concerts in Ojai November 30, December 1

Ojai Performing Arts Theater (OPAT) proudly announces “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” two concerts of your favorite holiday music this Thanksgiving weekend. Along with the singing of many classics, the captivating backstories of how each song was created will be given by hosts George Ball and Amanda McBroom. All proceeds from the concerts benefit the Nordhoff High School Music Department. What better way to kick off the holiday season than two performances of great music at Matilija Auditorium, Saturday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 1 at 2:00 p.m.

Executive Producer and OPAT CEO Joan Kemper said, “We had such a great reaction from two sold-out performances last year, we decided to produce another version this year to the Nordhoff Music Department. There’s lots of Christmas music left so, who knows what we may do next year!”

Hosts George Ball and Amanda McBroom will accompany five local but professional singers to delight the crowds. The cast includes Scott White, Betsy Randle, Anna Wagner, JB White, and Alexander Schottky. Directing the ensemble, writer of the musical arrangements, and leading the 10-piece professional orchestra is the head of the Nordhoff High music department Bill Wagner.

In between songs, the hosts will tell entertaining backstories about the song’s creation and how it got into the “Language of Christmas.” Peter Fox, local authorand director who conceived of the show last year, wrote this year’s script and researched the songs for their backstories. For example, did you know that Andy Williams had a hit record with this year’s title tune in not only 1971, but 2018 as well? It’s pretty amazing how holiday music can stand the test of time.

That’s just one of the delicious little tidbits featured in the upcoming holiday concert. As Amanda McBroom and George Ball host, ­“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” a fascinating and entertaining “behind the scenes” look at the history of some of our favorite holiday songs.

“What’s especially great for me,” said Kemper, “is that the first-rate singers from last year are all returning. And Ojai’s favorite leading man Scott White is joining the cast. Our superb hosts Amanda McBroom and George Ball, are on board again and will be showcasing their vocal talents with our orchestra, too. A great lineup of songs and talent to usher in the holiday season. I’m thrilled.”

The concert runs for just two performances at Matilija Auditorium, Saturday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 1, at 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $35 for general admission; $30 for seniors; and $25 for students under 18. Tickets will be available November 5 online at www.ojaitheater.org.

18th Annual Ojai Film Festival to Take Place November 2-12, 2017


The 18th Ojai Film Festival has selected the submissions for this year’s event. Each year the submissions grow creating an outstanding variety of features, documentaries and animated films for Festival attendees. The number of entries totaled 420 films from over 43 countries. The screenings and other Festival activities are held between the Ojai Art Center and Chaparral Auditorium. Kickoff night is November 2 with a free film at the Libbey Bowl and film screenings continue through November 12.
The 10-day Ojai Film Festival has a reputation for showcasing the best new films from emerging and established filmmakers, and has helped launch a number of careers over the last decade. Since 2000, fifteen alumni have received Academy Award nominations, two have won an Oscar, and numerous others have gone on to gain distribution and win prestigious awards.

Along with screenings, the Festival hosts workshops and special events. and host regional filmmakers with a special day of screenings. Two lifetime achievement awards are being given out his year, one to famed cinematographer Johnny E Jensen and another to film and TV actor, Ed Asner.

The Ojai Film Festival gives filmmakers access to a highly appreciative audience of savvy and informed film fans. Ojai's growing importance on the festival circuit is reflected in the fact that legendary Hollywood producer Peter Guber told the audience at a recent Toronto International Film Festival that "Ojai is the next Telluride."

Tickets are on sale now. People can purchase a VIP pass to all films, a ticket 6-pack or 4-pack, or individual tickets on the website. Trailers from the entries under consideration can be viewed on the Festival’s website: www.OjaiFilmFestival.com

"Inventing Ojai: Celebrating the Libbey Centennial" at Ojai Valley Museum Jan 7 to Apr 9 2017

Check out the Ojai Valley Museum's new exhibit "Inventing Ojai: Celebrating the Libbey Centennial 1917-2017" from January 7 - April 9, 2017. 

Free opening reception on Saturday, January 7, 2017 from 5-7 pm with a no host wine bar.
Nordhoff became Ojai and many of the city's iconic buildings were built in 1917. Learn more about Edward Libbey, the City Beautiful movement and how it transformed Ojai in this centennial celebration exhibit.


Ventura Plein Air Invitational on September 26, 2016

On Sept. 26, 2016 17 regional artists will compete in the Ventura Community Bank’s "Ventura Plein Air Invitational" for Best of Show and other prizes jurored by California Art Club Vice-President David Gallup. The artists will be painting as a group and on their own in locations throughout Ventura and Ojai. The culmination of their efforts will be available for public viewing at Gallery V, 540 E. Main St. in Ventura.

The artists will also be competing in a “Quick-Draw” on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9 am to 11 am on the sidewalks and corners around Gallery V. The artists have 2 hours to complete a painting from start to finish. The public is invited to vote for their favorite through Sunday, Oct. 2 at Gallery V. The artist will be awarded a cash prize.

The artists competing and painting in these events are Virginia Beale, Christine Apostolina Beirne, Pam D’Ambrosio, Marion Fortunati, Ray Harris, Kathy Ikerd, Mary-Gail King, Gina Niebergall, Anette Power, Laura Rosenkranz, George Scribner, Sparkle Taylor, Sharon Weaver, Sonja Weber, Kay Zetlmaier, Ron Zolkover and Gerald Zwers.

For more information, visit their website at VenturaPleinAirInvitational.com.