Angels Luncheon 2015

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – June 3, 2015 our Angels fluttered in to the North Ranch Country Club for their 16th annual Angels of the Alliance Luncheon. Excitement and enthusiasm filled the room as the Angels, volunteers, and staff prepared to raise money for arts education through the Kids and the Arts program.

Co-Chairman of this year’s Angels Luncheon, Julie Blair said, “The volunteers of the Angels of the Alliance and the staff at the Alliance for the Arts of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza have a truly outstanding partnership with one driving commitment, and that is to bring joy to the faces of the young children who are able to experience theater, dance, and music in a world-class venue.”

The luncheon included dining tables unique to their own theme that were elaborately decorated, and draping with exquisite décor. The Angels certainly outdid themselves this year, and for the first time an anonymous judge from the North Ranch Country Club named the winners. "Neptune's Noel" won first place.

The event featured a lovely lunch while Siobhain Hill delivered a powerful presentation invoking a passion for the Title 1 schools and the Kids for the Arts Program. Our guest speaker Maria Costilla, and mother of two daughters moved everyone to tears as she spoke about her daughters’ first trip to the theatre.

“My daughters were very happy, it was like a dream come true,” Costilla said with the assistance of translator Millie Chocano. “Thank you to all of you for giving the blessings that you’re giving us and our family. You guys are amazing.”

The call to donate and sponsor a child raised over $7,000. The boutique, which featured a variety of vendors raised around $5,000. The boutique was featured simultaneous with the luncheon, something that had not been done before and proved to be quite a success.

 “I think that everyone left with a smile in their heart knowing that it was their personal contribution which will send a child to the theater, maybe even for the first time, in the upcoming school year,” Blair said.  

Introducing our newest Intern!

Daniela Abravaya is our newest intern to join our team. She will be working as staff support to our communications director. Abravaya is scheduled to graduate from California Lutheran University in spring of 2016 with a BA in Communication emphasizing in Public Relations and Advertising. She was a staff writer for the university newspaper The Echo and was hired on to be the features news editor this upcoming year. Prior to her education, she spent six years working for a worldwide non-profit company. Her responsibilities included organizing the administrative duties of major annual events, conducting tours of the facility, customer service liaison, and served as the international mailing coordinator for the company. Abravaya's strengths include strong customer service skills, commitment, and an aptitude for learning. Her love for traveling has sent her around the world to places like Brazil, Tahiti, and Costa Rica. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, attending events to support the arts, and in her free time doing bikram yoga or going on a hike.

Over 900 Sponsored at Golf Classic!

Local businesses and philanthropists came together at North Ranch Country Club on Monday to support arts outreach programs for Title 1 schools and other underserved communities with the Alliance for the Arts.

Al Lowe addresses the Golfers

Al Lowe addresses the Golfers

Over 100 Golfers enjoyed 18 holes peppered with special entertainment and treats provided by local businesses, Alliance volunteers, and representatives from Title Sponsor Union Bank.

"I really enjoyed it. We had great weather, great people, and there were a lot of new faces coming out to support a good cause," said Cara Cohen, the Alliance for the Arts Membership Coordinator. 

The annual event supports the Kids and the Arts program at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, an initiative that seeks to provide comprehensive arts education to the county's most needful students. This year, the theme of local community was especially prevalent in Honorees Keets and Hugh Cassar.

At the evening reception which culminated with a live auction, the Cassars were celebrated for their involvement in the performing arts and other local organizations such as Community Conscience, Best Friends, and Casa Pacifica. 

"You're all making such a fuss" said Hugh Cassar. "We just do what we can."

The couple, known throughout the county for their generosity and passion for a variety of local organizations, received a standing ovation of support. "All it takes is a spark," said Siobhain Hill, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Arts. "Keets and Hugh are that spark here tonight."

The proceeds from the auction and pledges made on behalf of the Cassars will sponsor over 900 students to attend professional theatre, music, and dance at the Civic Arts Plaza in the 2015-2016 season. Productions will include Pacific Festival Ballet's The Nutcracker and  Peter Pan, New West Symphony, and more.

Kai Sorenson, Jeff Prince, Robert Bocchi, David Catlin, Chuck Cohen

Kai Sorenson, Jeff Prince, Robert Bocchi, David Catlin, Chuck Cohen

A Theatre Full of Students Step In Time!

The sun shone on a long line of yellow buses Wednesday morning at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Nearly 1800 students and their teachers were invited by the Alliance for the Arts to see a special school-only production of Cabrillo Music Theatre's "Mary Poppins".

The majority of these students were from Title 1 schools throughout Ventura County. Many of them had never been to any live performance, and this was every student's first Broadway Musical. 

"Seeing the kids walk into the theatre is amazing, of course" said Sweta Patel, Director of the Kids and the Arts program. "But my favorite part is hearing the stories about what happens after." Patel receives thank you cards from hundreds of students, and teachers tell her about the amazing changes they see in some of their classrooms.

"One of them burst into song," said Joy Livingstone of Haydock Intermediate. "It is amazing to see your students connect. He had perfect pitch and knew all the words."

Cabrillo Music Theatre presented a special abridged version of the show, and revealed some of the behind the scenes magic during the intermission. With the curtain raised, the candy shop set was replaced with the "Step in Time" rooftop set, all in front of the students' eyes. Two young performers, Brekkan Spens and Maguire Balleweg, taught the entire theatre the dance moves from the "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" scene. Every teacher and student was standing and singing along.

Students from Rio Plaza try their hand at some choreography

Students from Rio Plaza try their hand at some choreography



The Alliance for the Arts provides children from underserved schools with transportation and tickets to productions at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. The next Kids and the Arts performance will be Pacific Festival Ballet's "Cinderella" in May.

Isn't it Early for Christmas?

The classroom was quiet as representatives of Premier America Credit Union and the Alliance for the Arts walked through the door Monday morning. Thirty faces looked up expectantly. Somebody whispered "What's happening?"

"Hello hello hello!" says Siobhain Hill, executive director of the Alliance for the Arts. A dozen faces grin and the students respond "Hello" in unison. This is a familiar pattern in an elementary school, and Hill, as a former elementary school principal, gets right into the swing of things. 



"I heard that there's a really amazing class of students around here... can you help me find them?" Hill walks around the room, making contact with each student, sitting at their tables, and drawing every eye. The next three minutes are filled with call and response, clapping, singing, and, of course, the gift of a brand new book. 

These are 5th graders at some of the most impacted schools in Ventura County. At Art Haycox Elementary, over 800 of the 1005 students are learning English as a second language. Students at Rio Del Mar have books on their desks barely held together with library tape and gumption.

The Alliance for the Arts brings students from Title 1 schools to professional performances at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Over 1500 students will get to see Cabrillo Music Theatre's produciton of Mary Poppins on Wednesday as part of the organization's Kids and the Arts Program. This year, they are seeking to augment the arts program with greater Common Core support, like providing much-needed texts for literature units. 



Kelly Karren is a wealth advisor with Premier America, one of the sponsoring partners for the book delivery this week. "All these administrators are very invested in giving these children the best opportunities for their education. It is really gratifying to be a part of that." 

Karren walks around the classroom giving a wrapped book to each student. The grins are infectious and a young man from Mr. Castillo's class at Rio Plaza Elementary sums up the day perfectly, "Isn't it early for Christmas?"


Arts Advocacy Day!

March 24, 2015. Feels like a normal Tuesday, doesn't it?

Think again! In Washington, DC,  hundreds of civic and cultural representatives are gathering together to advocate for the arts at the Federal level. Here in Thousand Oaks, we are advocating for the Arts on a local level. 

Why are the Arts Important? 

Check out our favorites from the ARTSblog in celebration of Arts Advocacy Day, sponsored by Americans for the Arts.

1.  Arts promote true prosperity. The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. When times are tough, art is salve for the ache.
4.  Arts are good for local merchants. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters. Attendees who live outside the county in which the arts event takes place spend twice as much as their local counterparts ($39.96 vs. $17.42)—valuable revenue for local businesses and the community.
9.  Arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78 percent deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.

These are just a few reasons we LOVE the arts, and spend so much time making sure each and every individual in Ventura county has access to professional and community theatre and dance. To get involved in Arts Advocacy Day, why not Become an Alliance Member at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza?

2015 Alliance Golf Classic is Open for Registration!

Did you know that you sent over 1,500 Title 1 Students to see The Nutcracker this winter? And you provided the means for hundreds of young performers to take to the Fred Kavli and Scherr Forum stages!

None of this is possible without amazing donors like you.

Your participation at this year’s Golf Classic will help provide free transportation and tickets for underprivileged children and families who would otherwise have no opportunity to attend live theatre. You will also bring community programming to your theatre, and help ensure the arts have a home in the Conejo Valley. We are eager and excited for this program to continue its success and you can be a part of that excitement.
Thank you for all you do, and we can’t wait to see you on the green!

What:
Four-person “Texas Scramble” golf tournament
Celebratory Tournament Dinner with Live Auction

Trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place low gross. Trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place low net based on team handicap system.

Hole-in-One Prizes on Par 3 holes including luxury cars provided by O’Gara Coach

Additional Prizes throughout the day:
Longest Drive
Closest to Pins
Fabulous Raffles
Buy a Drive
More to be announced!
Tee Package for every golfer includes wine and champagne from Opolo Vineyards, one dozen commemorative Titleist Golf Balls, gourmet coffee, footwear and much more!

Where:
North Ranch Country Club
4761 Valley Spring Dr, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

When:
May 4, 2015
8:30 am    Registration and morning events
11:00 am    Shotgun Start
4:15 pm     Cocktail Lounge
5:30 pm    Tournament Dinner and Live Auction!


Premier America Arrives In Style!

Thousand Oaks, California- The Alliance for the Arts is thrilled to announce Premier America will officially unveil the Premier America Walkway at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on February 7, 2015, followed by a cocktail reception and concert.

The ribbon cutting represents an extended commitment to the performing arts with a $250,000 gift, and will help support expanded theatre programming at the Civic Arts Plaza.  The walkway leads from the Civic Arts Plaza to the adjacent Lakes restaurants where many theatre goers stop by for pre- or post-show meals.

“We are part of this community, and what better way of showing that than creating a gift to the Alliance for the Arts and supporting the performing arts in this beautiful theatre” says Donna McNeely, Senior Vice President of Corporate Services at Premier America.

Alliance for the Arts Executive Director Siobhain Hill adds, “Premier America have been one of our biggest supporters, including sponsoring the 1 millionth child to attend a show here at the Plaza last spring. This gift makes them part of the family.” 

Over 130 Premier America employees and guests will be joining Mayor Al Adam, Chairman of the Board Richard Williams, and theatre representatives for the evening. The ceremony will commence at 5:30 pm. Guests will then retire for a pre-show cocktail reception prior to entering the theatre for a show by famed pianist Jim Brickman.