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Solo Show Lifts Backhaus Into Prestige Company

  This evening’s performance by Backhausdance at the Laguna Playhouse marks the opening of the anticipated three-day Laguna Dance Festival. It’s even more for choreographer Jennifer Backhaus and her dancers, cheering their 10th anniversary and their first full-evening solo...

Stars Turn Out for Pageant Gala

  Festival of Arts board member Anita Mengels with noted lawyer Gloria Allred. Nearly 3,000 fans swarmed the Festival of Arts’ grounds to hear award-winning performer Christopher Cross in concert last Saturday, the capstone special event of the summer season. Special guests,...

Recycled Materials Reworked By an Artist’s Touch

Artists made the runway their canvas at Laguna Beach’s Festival of Arts this past Saturday, Aug. 18, competing to create the most imaginative and unique designs using reclaimed, reused or recycled materials. A three-panel judge chose the top looks in four categories and...

The Queen of Textile Pandemonium

By Tracy Middleton, Special to the Independent   “Low Clouds and Fog Along the Coast” may sound like a typical Laguna Beach weather report. In this case, it’s the title of a work of art you’d want to snuggle up with on a June-gloomy day. Nancy Gasparotti, a Laguna resident...

Laguna’s Market Targets Educated, Healthy Consumers

With raw energy bars on display at her Healthy Cowboy Kitchen booth, Katie Burtino said she’s often first mistaken as a vegan or raw foodie at the Laguna Beach farmers market. “No way!” she insists. Dispel that notion with a glance at the chalkboard listings of...

A Natural Eye for Art

Photos and text by Danielle Robbins Festival of Arts exhibitor Casey Parlette spends daylight hours as a fulltime Laguna Beach lifeguard, dispensing first aid, advising beach-goers and grabbing a float buoy and fins for rescues and preventative contacts. At night, he takes up...

Sawdust Memorial: An Eternal Flame With a Twist

Festival glass artists cooperatively created a glass flame last week to serve as a memorial for exhibitors who have died. Installation of the completed work is planned for Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m. near the waterfall.   Photos by Mary Hurlbut          

The Vic Keeps Getting Better

If you slept in, you missed it. Last Sunday at Aliso Creek Beach, SoLag native Sam Stinnett won Victoria Skimboards’ World Championship of Skimboarding a second time in a closely contested men’s pro final that got underway early to take advantage of optimal surf conditions at low...

The Vic Keeps Getting Better

If you slept in, you missed it. Last Sunday at Aliso Creek Beach, Laguna Beach native Sam Stinnett won Victoria Skimboards’ World Championship of Skimboarding a second time in a closely contested men’s pro final that got underway early to take advantage of optimal surf conditions...

Vacation Tales

Take the Indy on the road and be sure to send us a photo from your favorite landmark along the way. Africa Sandra Gibson visits a hippo pool in Tanzania’s Serengeti. Taking her photo was  tour companion Sheila Judah. Boston Jane Bening, center, and daughters Marisa and Kim at the...

Honing in on the Horizon

By Justin Swanson, Special to the Independent   Laguna Beach High School’s graduating class of 2012 reveled in their commencement where some 239 students met the end of their high school careers. The air last Thursday, June 21, in the Festival of Arts’ Irvine Bowl was...

Spring Recruits Become Summer’s Guardians

Photography and Story By Mitch Ridder With local schools out this week, city lifeguard towers will be fully staffed starting Saturday, but few know what’s involved to become a Laguna Beach lifeguard. Hopefuls had to first successfully place in the top half of a field that tried...

Donors Make a Game-Changing Difference

If it takes a village to raise a child, this town takes the maxim a step further. An estimated $283,000 in scholarships was bestowed on 120 students at the high school’s Honors Convocation last Friday, supporting their aspirations for college and the future. Thanks to the Laguna...

Pageant Spotlights ‘The Genius’ of Art and Science

The Festival of Arts turns 80 this summer and shows no signs of aging. It seems to have its own fountain of youth, flowing most likely from its wine bars or the new bar about to serve up beer and pretzels during its upcoming event TGIF@Foa, as in T.G.I.F at the Festival of Arts....

Cub Car Culture

Photos and text by Marilynn Young Wolfs, Bears and Webelos in Laguna Beach Cub Scouts Pack 38 transformed rough blocks of wood by shaving, painting and precisely adding spinning tiny wheels to create aerodynamic machines. Their inaugural race, the annual Pinewood Derby, was held...