The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center will hold its “Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life” annual fall fundraising event on the beautiful Moss Point Estates tennis court on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests are invited to stroll among altar displays dedicated to departed Laguna Beach artists who contributed to its creative spirit. Painter and arts advocate Anna Hills, dancer-choreographer Barbara Stuart, poet John Gardiner, and photographers and BC Space founders Mark Chamberlain and Jerry Burchfield will be among those memorialized. Guests are encouraged to honor their own departed loved ones by bringing photos and mementos to place on a community altar and write a card recalling the person’s memory. Attire for the event is Day of the Dead-inspired costumes and traditional catrina/catrin make-up, worn throughout Mexico during Día de los Muertos celebrations. A costume parade and contest will be held.
Young musician and composer Gerardo “Jerry” Segura, known locally as a one-man street band who sings and plays a dozen instruments, will perform at the party’s outset. Later, the band Mesomash, led by Arte Hernandez, is guaranteed to get the crowd dancing. Tickets are $150 each. A table for 10 is $1,300. All proceeds go to supporting the Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the power of the arts to benefit the community. Tickets: https://bit.ly/3CksNbR
Silent auction items include a custom head-and-shoulders portrait by noted artist Jorg Dubin ($3,500 value) a two-night stay at The Ranch at Laguna Beach with lunch, original works of art, and more. Local musician and raconteur Jason Feddy will emcee the event – and has offered a home concert for a lucky silent auction bidder.
Limited neighborhood parking is free, but guests are encouraged to carpool, walk, or use the trolley, Uber, Lyft, or the free Laguna Beach Local ride service. “I love el Día de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead,” said Rick Conkey, founder and director of the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center. “It’s a holiday that recognizes death as a natural part of the cycle of life. It helps the living celebrate in a loving, festive way their loved ones who have died. The Center’s Oct. 29 event will be immersive, entertaining, and meaningful for Laguna Beach because we’ll remember those who contributed to its artful vibe. We hope to have a strong show of support from our close-knit community of collectors, creatives, and art lovers who want to support – at our sole annual fundraiser – the Center’s ever-growing array of offerings for a diverse audience.”
“Coco” film screening on Oct. 23
On Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m, the Center will screen “Coco,” Pixar’s 2017 award-winning animated family film. In the film, aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer. Note: The 2 pm screening is a free event for families with young children. The 5 pm show is $10 per ticket.
About the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center
In 2022, still recovering from the pandemic, the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center brough to Laguna Beach a women’s History Month film festival with a Zoom talk from Ms. Magazine editor Katherine Spillar, an Earth Day environmental film series, Laguna Beach’s first Juneteenth celebration, and one-night concerts, play and poetry readings by local artists. A dance school has sprung up in the tidily remodeled upstairs space, as has as a music school. Founder and director Rick Conkey says the Center’s mission is to “harness the power of the arts to benefit the community.” The Center is in the former BC Space, a collaborative arts hub started by photographers and educators Jerry Burchfield and Mark Chamberlain. During its existence from 1973 to 1987 ¬– one of the longest-running galleries in the U.S. –– BC Space presented many provocative exhibitions. Recently remodeled and renamed the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center, it is just off Coast Highway at 235 Forest Avenue, upstairs above the Promenade in Laguna Beach, the heart of Southern California’s art colony. lbculturalartscenter.org