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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on January 22nd, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 46 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 46

Hobnobbing With Helen

BY HELEN ANN THOMAS


BRAINSTORMS
Dennis Smitherman with the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department shared some ideas with potter Jean Shinn at the Santa Maria Arts Council’s monthly meeting.
PHOTO BY HELEN ANN THOMAS

What better way to start the New Year than to get the skinny on what’s coming up in the wonderful world of the arts in Santa Maria?

With that thought in mind, on Wed., Jan. 15, I trundled off to the Abel Maldonado Community Youth Center, which apparently is not in danger of being renamed the Gov. Abel Maldonado Center, for the first Santa Maria Arts Council meeting of the year.

Craig Shafer and Dennis Smitherman do good jobs of holding their own at a council table filled with ladies, including Sondra Smith of Coastal Voices, Beverly Johnson, Charlotte Ochoa, Karen Trapp, and Judy Frost.

Stefanie Hassert, Sally Holden, and Karen Ransome were there as well.

Craig, president of the Arts Council, heads up publicity and communications at PCPA, a hotbed of artistic activity, while Dennis represents the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department. 

Very much missed was the late Nat Fast, who had been a founding member and a steadfast presence in the group.

Speaking of years, this is the 49th year for the Santa Maria Arts Council!

Speaking of Nat Fast, readers might be interested to know that in honor of this much-beloved arts activist, the Arts Council has received about $18,000 for its Nat Fast Memorial Fund. 

Another member of the Arts Council whose presence was highly missed was Kate Burridge. Everyone, including moi, wants to hear about the Burridges’ adventures in Cuba. Bob and Kate went to Cuba for three weeks for a spiritual and cultural exchange.  

Clare Terrill, major domo-ette of the Santa Maria Civic Theatre, made an announcement that warmed my heart.


THEATER LUMINARIES
PCPA’s director of communications Craig Shafer, also president of the Santa Maria Arts Council, schmoozed with Claire Terrail of the Santa Maria Civic Theatre.
PHOTO BY HELEN ANN THOMAS

The first play of the year for that intrepid group will be Love, Loss, and What I Wore. The late Nora Ephron and her sister, Delia, wrote that play, based on the book by Ilene Beckerman. I cannot wait to see the show and find out how the Ephrons (both fashionistas and the daughters of a very fashionable, chic Hollywood screenwriter from the ’40s) handled the material!

Kudos to the Civic Theatre for taking a risk and producing a show that is not yet dated or old-hat, and that hasn’t made the rounds again and again in the local theater circuit. Not that there is anything wrong with the oldies but goodies, but what a treat to be able to see something that has been on Off-Broadway within recent memory.

Ticket info is available by calling 922-4442. 

Arts Council member Jean Shinn should enjoy this play—she arrived at the meeting in one of her outfits, a straw hat and Indonesian print jacket.

But back to the meeting and back to Nat Fast and his daughter, Marti, an art teacher at Allan Hancock College who has been selected as the honoree for the Arts Council’s upcoming May 14 showcase, where monetary awards are presented to outstanding candidates in the areas of dance, photography, visual arts, and music. 

“Marti was thrilled to be selected,” Craig said. “She considers this a great honor.

So do we. Congratulations Marti! 

The high-energy Ms. Fast was also to serve as a member of the trust board, filling her late father’s now-vacant seat. A five-person board oversees the Arts Council’s trust fund.

If you want to hobnob with Helen, you may contact her at helenthom232@yahoo.com.