Town Crier: Week of Jan. 12


Laguna Beach Business Club 2024 Speaker Series: January 

Laguna resident and artistic director of Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Tommy Phillips. Submitted photo

The Laguna Beach Business Club Jan. 18 meeting speaker is Laguna resident and artistic director of Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Tommy Phillips. The LBBC holds monthly breakfast meetings starting at 7:30 a.m., hosting speakers that discuss topics valuable to achieving success in your personal and professional lives.

Phillips will discuss the upcoming Laguna Beach Music Festival.

For over twenty years, Phillips has held artistic positions and programming consultancies at orchestras across the country, including the San Diego Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Mainly Mozart Festival, among others, Phillips has guided music directors, helped build strong artistic foundations, and has worked to connect institutions with their respective communities.

Following his passion for cultural exchange and musical ambassadorship, Phillips is also the co-founder of Black Cats Production Company, an international touring and performing arts organization bringing performing ensembles to China and Chinese ensembles to the United States. His past clients include violinist Joshua Bell, the Shanghai Quartet, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and France’s Malandain Ballet Biarritz.

During his eight years with the San Diego Symphony, Phillips oversaw the strategy and implementation for all artistic programs, festivals, recording sessions, commissioning projects and national and international tours. He also developed and produced large-scale multi-media concerts (including the first-ever Live-to-Film world premiere of a major motion picture with live orchestra) and built key relationships with major brands such as Disney, Paramount and Comic-Con.

Club meetings begin with a buffet breakfast and networking roundtable. Meetings are hosted at Nirvana Grille, 303 Broadway St., #101, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. Non-members are welcome. The non-member guest fee is $30, payable by check to the Laguna Beach Business Club or by cash on the day of the meeting. Space is limited. Guests be sure you receive RSVP confirmation. For more information about the LBBC or to register to attend the meeting, please visit the website at or [email protected].

Laguna Craft Guild starts new season this Sunday

The Laguna Craft Guild will have a show on Main Beach’s cobblestones on Jan. 14 from 9 a.m. until dusk. This is the guild’s first show of 2024. 

The group invites the public to come meet local artists and find great gifts.

Pruning for healthy and beautiful plants

Is pruning judged by the number of branches chopped off and hauled away or by the beautiful and safe tree form resulting at the end of the day?

Gilbert Briseño, master tree artist and landscape contractor (far right), will teach gardeners how to prune on Jan. 20 at the South Laguna Community Garden Park. Photo courtesy of the Garden Park

You will learn the beautiful and safe approach at the next South Laguna Community Garden Park workshop on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 9 a.m. Participation is free. Reservations are requested. RSVP at [email protected].

Gilbert Briseño, master tree artist and landscape contractor, will demonstrate pruning for the health and beauty of trees and shrubs while considering each plant’s role in the total landscape. He will demonstrate and give you an opportunity for hands-on learning while making the Garden Park more lovely. Bring your gloves, loppers and clippers. The garden park is located on 31610 Coast Highway.

‘All Pride, No Ego’: A book party in Laguna Beach

Jim Fielding, a former Laguna Beach resident and author of “All Pride, No Ego: A Queer Executive’s Journey to Living & Leading Authentically,” is having a book tour party on Thursday, Jan. 25, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Chris Tebbutt is co-hosting the evening, along with Michael Fullen and Sue Greenwood. The book party will be held at Sue Greenwood Fine Art, 330 N. Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach.

In “All Pride, No Ego: A Queer Executive’s Journey to Living and Leading Authentically,” celebrated corporate leader James Fielding delivers an inspirational leadership story told from the perspective of an out and proud LGBTQ+ executive. In the book, readers explore a call to action for authentic servant leadership that encourages people to own their truth and bring out the best in themselves and their communities.

3rd Annual LPAPA Signature Showcase Exhibition at the LPAPA Gallery

The LPAPA Gallery is pleased to present its third Annual “Signature Showcase” gallery exhibition featuring original plein air and studio works created by LPAPA Signature Artist Members. The show can be seen online at and in person at the LPAPA Gallery through Monday March 4.

LPAPA Gallery hours are Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment, with extended hours to 9 p.m. the first Thursday of each month.

The gallery is located on Gallery Row at 414 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, between Jasmine and Myrtle Streets (there is a trolley stop on the corner of North Coast Highway & Jasmine).

Tickets Available for LBHS Theater Boosters January fundraising gala 

Laguna Beach High School Theater Boosters are hosting a gala on Jan. 20 at the Woman’s Club called A Night at the Copacabana, featuring former Laguna locals and special guests, Mark Waters, Director of Mean Girls, along with his wife, renowned actress, Dina Waters and a plethora of high school talent. Mark will conduct a Q&A session with the audience about his experience directing Mean Girls. The play adaptation of the movie is this school year’s theater spring musical, which has just been cast and will premiere in March 2024. At the gala, dinner will be included, and a silent auction will be part of the festivities, along with some surprises. The gala promises to be a fun and memorable evening, with the feel of “A Night at the Copacabana” driving the decor and vibe. Please note that The Woman’s Club’s capacity is limited. Ticket information can be found at

The LBHS Theater Boosters is on a quest to raise funds for the theater program this year. Not since before COVID have they had any major fundraising efforts. They hope this year’s gala raises enough money to help supplement the costs of our theater director, Meghan Marshall’s wish for her students to attend three thespian festivals while bringing awareness of the program back to the community. As many may know, the high school theater program has a rich history of great entertainment and widespread community support. The Boosters are trying to restore the program to its former glory.

Laguna Art Museum events

Self Help Graphics & Art: Special Event and Celebration – Jan. 13 at 6 p.m.

Join us for a panel discussion with artists and administrators who will discuss the past, present, and future of Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG) as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Self Help Graphics & Art at a special closing reception for the exhibition. Discussion will include SHG’s support of artists and its role in the evolution of Chicano practices. Speakers are: Cultural leader and former director of Self Help Graphics Tomas J. Benitez; artist Alex Donis whose work is included in the exhibition; SHG Director of Artistic Programs and Education Marvella Muro, and artist Patssi Valdez whose work is also included in the exhibition. The panel will be moderated by Rochelle Steiner, LAM Curatorial Fellow and Guest Curator of Marking an Era: Celebrating Self Help Graphics & Art at 50, which is on view at Laguna Art Museum.

Jean Stern Presents Genre: Painting Everyday Life – Jan. 14 at 10 a.m.

In this lecture, art historian and LAM Curatorial Fellow Jean Stern will discuss and share approximately 100 slides of works of art showing the history of Genre from ancient times to works of today. Afterward, Stern will take questions from the audience. Genre painting is defined as art representing everyday life, as opposed to religious subjects, formal portraits, and history paintings. Genre dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, and even earlier, where many public buildings and homes of the wealthy were decorated with murals and mosaic floors of ordinary everyday events. In the fifth century, with the advent of the Middle Ages, art of Western Civilization turned to religious subjects, usually murals and paintings of biblical stories that adorned church walls. This continued until the 17th century when a reappearance of the genre began in Northern Europe and continues to this day. 

Art Workshop: Figure Drawing – Friday, Jan. 19 at 4 p.m.

Join Peter Zokosky, Chair of MFA Drawing + Painting at LCAD, for a figure drawing workshop. Learn the basics and build on your knowledge of how to draw the human form with a live model. Supplies included with purchase of ticket. Class Dates: Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, Jan. 19 and Feb. 16. Please note that the model will be nude.

More information about LAM events can be found at


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