News in art and culture from around Ventura County – 3/28/24 | Arts & Culture

MVC, VCB launch collaboration

Ventura County Ballet has found a new partner in its mission to bring the arts into the community. The ballet company has joined forces with the Museum of Ventura County to showcase a wide variety of artists and art forms through unique performances and experiences.

Elena Brokaw, MVC’s executive director, stated via press release, “We’re delighted to collaborate with Ventura County Ballet in showcasing local artists across genres. We look forward to continuing to work together on other initiatives to represent the diversity of arts and cultures in Ventura County.”

The first event to take place will be Dance ART on April 14. The program highlights classical, neo-classical and contemporary ballet styles performed by international guest dancers Hanna Chudinova and Jack Stewart as well as advanced dancers from Ballet Academy Ventura, the official school of Ventura County Ballet, and State Street Ballet’s Professional Track. “Made in Ventura” is the driving theme for Dance ART, and thus will feature music by local pianist Rachel Flowers and choreography by Ventura County residents Marina Fliagina, Brett Weidlich, Meredith Ventura and Emi Pool. Following the performance, attendees can enjoy live music, refreshments and a variety of visual arts in the plaza.

“We’re proud to bring global talent to Ventura County,” said Kathleen Noblin, founder of VBC. “At the same time, we’re committed to giving a stage to local artists, including dancers, choreographers, composers and musicians. With its shared values ​​and beautiful setting, the museum is a perfect partner.”

For tickets and more information, visit .

CSUCI introduces Chumash dictionary

The Chumash dialect spoken by the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians (BVBMI) now has its own online dictionary, hosted by California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI).

Ventureño Chumash, also called mitsqanaqan, is one of six (some say seven) documented Chumashan languages. This is the first and only online dictionary specific to Ventureño Chumash. While the Chumash lived in the area for thousands of years, their language began to disappear when the Spanish missionaries, who arrived in 1769, forced the Indigenous residents to work on the missions.

“The age-old American story is that when Indigenous people went to boarding schools, they were taught their language was savage and not worthy and to not speak it,” said local linguist and Chumash Elder Matthew Vestuto via press release. “That affects people. For a university to say, we hold your language in high esteem — to say it’s something we want to support — also affects us in a good way.”

The mitsqanaqan dictionary was developed by California State University, Fullerton Linguistics Lecturer Timothy Henry-Rodriguez. He began working on the project as a graduate student in 2005 by studying the notes of linguist and ethnologist John Peabody Harrington. The dictionary was originally released in 2019, but Henry-Rodriguez credits Vestuto and the BVBMI with getting the dictionary online. Vestuto and fellow researcher Salvador Tumamait-Ambriz were guests at a recent CSUCI event in which the first phase of the dictionary was rolled out. Updates to the dictionary will be made in future phases of what has become known as the “House of Language” project.

“By calling it the House of Language, we are referring to a living repository,” explained CSUCI Professor of Anthropology and Executive Director of Regional Educational Partnerships Jennifer Perry in the press release. “It’s not intended to preserve a static language, but to keep it alive and in practice and constantly evolving.”

Plans are also underway to incorporate the Chumash language into the CSUCI curriculum as well as signage around campus.

The mitsqanaqan dictionary is available at .

Visit Ventura wins numerous awards

On March 12, local tourism promoter Visit Ventura was named Best Strategic Partnership by the Visit California Poppy Awards Gala, held this year at the Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort and Spa. Visit Ventura won as a result of the organization’s efforts to bring the X Games to Ventura in the summer of 2023.

“Receiving a Poppy Award is a dream come true! “It’s a win not only for our small but mighty Visit Ventura team but also for the entire community,” said Marlyss Auster, president and CEO of Visit Ventura, via press release. “We brought together local business owners, our local transportation partners, city and state officials, leaders from the Chumash tribe, and so many more to make the summer of 2023 a summer no one will forget. I am so proud of our community for dreaming big and collaborating to make it all happen!”

The Poppy Award was not the first award for Visit Ventura in 2024. The organization also took home platinum, presidential, gold and silver awards from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International during its 67th Annual Adrian Awards Celebration held in New York City in February.

More information at .

New board members for Camerata Pacifica

Chamber music collective Camerata Pacifica has appointed three new members to its board of directors. Retired Santa Rosa Valley orthodontist Dr. Paula Levy, Department of Supportive Care Medicine at City of Hope National Comprehensive Cancer Center Executive Director Natalie N. Schnaitmann and West Los Angeles materials engineer Felicia Yang will help guide the music organization throughout 2024. The announcement was made on Feb. 29 via press release by Board Chair Kimberly Valentine.

“We are delighted to welcome Paula Levy, Natalie Schnaitmann and Felicia Yang to Camerata Pacifica’s Board of Directors,” Valentine said in the news release. “Each of them brings a wealth of business experience to the organization. They are also relationship builders and passionate advocates for music and the arts. Their inspired leadership, deep dedication and keen critical thinking will help ensure Camerata Pacifica’s continued fiscal and artistic vigor and propel its forward momentum.”

For information on Camerata Pacifica, please visit .

Carnegie Cornerstones honors student artists

Arts-focused nonprofit Carnegie Art Cornerstones (CAC) held its first student art competition, “Emerging,” in January, with work by students from 10 high schools and four colleges decorating the gallery walls of the Channel Islands Maritime Museum. In addition to showcasing the participants’ talents with oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography and other media, CAC was also awarded a number of prizes. The competition judges included Christine Morla, professor of art at Oxnard College and director of the McNish Gallery; Monica Furmanski, assistant professor of photography at Ventura College; andDr. Michael Pearce, professor of art/figurative drawing and painting at California Lutheran University.

Oxnard College student Lizette Salinas won the $500 Judges’ Choice Award for her graphite work “Midnight Ruse.” Five $250 Artist of Distinction awards went to Makayla May Camberos (Oxnard College), Sydney Straetz (Ventura College), Summer Rose Hayashi (Ventura High School), Davis Jackson (Oxnard College) and Lesie Midence (Oxnard Middle College High School).

— Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer