Culture Karma


Can We Talk?


By Randy Kraft

We are surrounded by art. Galleries line the streets. Laguna Art Museum sits on the hill as if presiding over its flock. Laguna College of Art & Design exhorts budding artists to go forth and make art. Summer festivals attract huge crowds. Arts groups dole out funding and awards and classes are plentiful for those who seek their inner artist. I often wonder if the making of art is required for citizenship in Laguna Beach. (That would make me an illegal immigrant.)

Yet, amidst all that art-making, we don’t often talk about art. I want to hear people talk about what drives creativity and what decisions an artist makes as they paint or sculpt, compose music, choreograph a dance, or write a play. It is the decisions artists make as much as the talent that produces great art.

We have book groups and gardening groups and wine groups, and a host of special events. However, compared to the sheer number of people engaged with the arts, there seems a paucity of dialogue. Or perhaps I’m just not on the right mailing lists.

Sean McCracken, one of the founding promoters of Transition Laguna, believes that mutual interests are the foundation for community building, so he appreciates the importance of dialogue. Transition Laguna was the 10th of the Transition cities popping up across the world to foster sustainable communities and has now spawned an offspring – Laguna Friends – which launched with a Food Group. In the first three months, families in the Oak Street neighborhood cultivated 15 gardens, gathering together to learn and rolling up their sleeves to establish a network and share their crops. You can read more at

A Friends of Architecture event, hosted by McCracken, featured two presentations by architect David Parker on the iconic John Lautner. At the DeBilzan Gallery, an SRO crowd enjoyed Parker’s history and images of Lautner’s organic approach to the creation of one-of-a-kind houses that emanate from the earth, or in some cases seemingly to have landed like an extraterrestrial. A Q&A engaged other architects, designers, filmmakers and fans in a lively discussion of architecture as art. More about Friends of Architecture at

McCracken, who is a real estate broker, also plans a Friends of Real Estate and hopes to facilitate the start-up of many more special interest groups. “We are social and emotional animals; people yearn for a sense of community.”

Parker by the way founded Sonatasia to gather musicians, dancers, and poets to perform in the intimate setting of a private home, with programs orchestrated to match the architecture. He says he too would like to see more dialogue on creativity in all its forms.

I discovered recently a Mexican expression: Cada cabeza es un mundo. Each individual head is a world. Seems to me we are blessed with many great minds with much to share, so let’s talk.


Randy Kraft is a freelance writer who previously covered City Hall for the Indy and pens the OC BookBlog for

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