Like many arts organization leaders, Rick Conkey was forced to cancel in-person events at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center on Forest Avenue due to the coronavirus.
“It’s like apocalyptic conditions,” he said. “I’ve been making the most of it.”
Three weeks ago, Conkey launched a weekly live stream to pipe information about arts and entertainment into Laguna Beach residents’ homes. “Anything Goes Happy Hour” is broadcasted through a partnership with AlerttheGlobe.com from 5 to 6:30 p.m on Sundays.
“It allows us to shine a lot on some really interesting things that have the ability inspire people here in our town,” Conkey said. “That is the beauty of it.”
Conkey is the former host of KX 93.5’s “Music Matters” radio show.
This past Sunday’s episode features interviews and video performances from Grammy-nominated Reggae legend Pato Banton and Zydeco music star Lisa Haley of Lisa Haley & The Zydecats.
The guests have volunteered their time to appear on the show, Conkey said. However, he promises that an online portal is on the way to monetize the show to support his nonprofit corporation. Conkey said he is still waiting on a letter of determination from the IRS on the Cultural Arts Center’s 501(c)3 nonprofit status.
On Easter Sunday, April 12, Conkey will be interviewing Cory Sparkuhl from “The Canyon,” a retro horror film that takes place in Laguna Canyon. He will also be showcasing a Top 10 countdown of the world’s best COVID-19 music videos, as well as important local updates.
“This Easter Sunday show will be our way of providing a little safe fun into your home and will be another step toward further establishing our town’s new community TV station,” Conkey wrote in an email.
Conkey it is important for Laguna Beach residents to continue supporting local artists while many are out of work because of the mandated closures of bars, full-service restaurants, and galleries.
“Musicians are usually the first ones to show up free of charge and they’re also the first ones to lose their jobs,” he said.
When Conkey isn’t busy running the Cultural Arts Center its broadcast he coaches tennis at Laguna Beach High School and private sessions.
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