Got Arts & Culture?
December, 2004 - Issue #3
When you think "art-oriented community," what comes to mind? Probably Los Angeles, with its many theaters, museums and concert venues. Santa Barbara's outdoor art exhibits may pass through your cranium, and you might even rank Pasadena up there, too, for the town's popular playhouse. Did Santa Clarita even make your list?

Take it from two women who grew up in this town: Arts and culture in the SCV has mushroomed over the last decade. Sure, Santa Clarita's hit some roadblocks (no one was thrilled to hear that the Repertory Theatre went belly-up), but it's no longer necessary to endure freeway traffic in order to experience top-notch performances or purchase high-quality art.

Phil Lantis, arts and events administrator with the City of Santa Clarita, not-surprisingly agrees (But with good reason - not because it's his job. Phil's an honest guy.). "Santa Clarita has an internationally renowned arts center in the form of Cal Arts; we have the brand-new Vital Express Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons; the city is taking steps to develop an Arts and Theater District in Newhall... People don't know what's available, but there are many opportunities up here," says Lantis.

And there's more on the way. Over the next year, two new experiential art shows will be added to the list. In June of next year, the city will host Art in the Park; this fine-arts and crafts show will be held at Old Orchard and was created at the request of the fine-artisans that live locally. October 1 and 2, 2005 will be the kick-off weekend for Santa Clarita's first Street Art Festival, another upcoming arts and culture event. Combining elements of Bella Via (serious artistry with chalk on concrete) with art programs, vendors and performing arts, the Street Art Festival should draw (no pun intended) a large crowd of families and aficionados.

What's that, you say? You don't want to wait until June 2005 to experience great art and culture in Santa Clarita? Well, read on, our friends. Fun and enriching opportunities await you.

Performance Art

Canyon Theatre Guild
The Guild may be made up of amateur actors, but that doesn't lessen the fun and energy associated with their many productions. CTG is very family-friendly, so bring the kids.

Upcoming Performance: Miracle on 34th Street will play from November 26 through December 22. A mysterious Santa Claus is hired at Macy's and unleashes waves of good will in NYC. 799-2702 for reservations

Santa Clarita Repertory Theatre
Formerly the home of SC's only professional theatre-group, the Rep now houses 42 Smack Classic, an improv troupe made up of six of the freshest faces in comedy. These kids are local, funny and PG-13, so leave the littlest ones at home.

Upcoming Performances: Every Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. Admission is $10. 433-6853 for reservations

The Mecca of art schools is right in our backyard, giving the SCV a first-glance at some of the most cutting-edge performances around.

Upcoming Performances:
CalArts Percussion Ensemble - December 1, CalArts Roy O. Disney Music Hall, 8 p.m. "Slavey" - Guest artist Bart di Lorenzo directs a staged reading of the darkly comedic work by playwright Sigrid Gilmer. The piece imagines a future bedeviled by widespread slavery, a world in which one slave's refusal to work is fraught with consequences. December 3 and 4, CalArts Theater E407, 8 p.m. 253-7800 or for tickets
CalArts Dance Ensemble - The resident professional ensemble of The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance celebrates its 25-year anniversary. This year's program looks back at a quarter-century of innovation while, at the same time, casting an eye on bold new directions in dance. Date TBA, CalArts Walt Disney Modular Theater, 8 p.m. 253-7800 or for tickets
Shakespeare's Hamlet - Graduate directing student Josh Chambers offers a reconstruction of the famous work. December 9 through 11, CalArts Theater E400, 8 p.m. 253-7800 or for tickets
CAP/Santa Clarita Valley Arts Partnership Music Recital - Students in the CAP/Santa Clarita Valley Arts Partnership World Music and Chamber Music Program are joined by CalArts School of Music student instructors in a recital of various music works. Date TBA, CalArts Main Gallery. 253-7800 or for tickets

Vital Express Performing Arts Center
Melissa Manchester will perform at the Vital Express Performing Arts Center on December 4
Melissa Manchester will perform at the Vital Express Performing Arts Center on December 4
The Best of Holiday Voices - Students and Holiday Voices Alumni celebrate the holidays through storytelling, music and dance. December 3, 10 and 11 at 8 p.m.; December 4 at 2 p.m.; December 5 and 12 at 7 p.m. 362-5304 for tickets, prices start at $8
Melissa Manchester in Concert - The Grammy winning artist is back with a combination of hit classics and new material from her new album, "When I Look Down That Road." December 4, 8 p.m. 362-5304 for tickets, prices range from $60 to $95
A Dance Retrospective - Dance performance presented by College of the Canyons Dance Department. December 9 and 10, 8 p.m. 362-5304 for tickets, prices range from $8 to $10
Holiday Choral Concert - Opening concert for COC Choral program featuring Voices of the Canyons, Les Chanteuses, the Chamber Singers and Just Jazz. December 11, 7:30 p.m. 362-5304 for tickets, prices range from $10 to $12
SCV Youth Orchestra - The SCV Youth Philharmonic, SCV Youth Symphony and the Prelude Strings combine efforts in this opening season concert. December 12, 2:30 p.m. 362-5304 for tickets, prices range from $10 to $12

Santa Clarita Symphony
A dream in the making for over three years, the Santa Clarita Symphony has finally come to life with the announcement of their 2004-2005 season. Visit for concert dates and information.

The Santa Clarita Ballet Company will perform "The Nutcracker" at the Vital Express Center on December 18 and 19
The Santa Clarita Ballet Company will perform "The Nutcracker" at the Vital Express Center on December 18 and 19
Santa Clarita Ballet Presents
"The Nutcracker" - The accomplished dancers from the Santa Clarita Ballet will be joined by Russian dancers in this holiday classic. December 18 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; December 19 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. 251-6844 for tickets for Special Holiday Chorale Performances

Santa Clarita Master Chorale Presents
"Holiday Splendor" - Listeners of all ages will be thrilled by traditional season favorites, the magic of brass and bells and the joyful voices of the chorale. Valencia United Methodist Church, December 11 at 7 p.m. and December 12 at 3:30 p.m. 254-8886 for tickets

The Master's College Presents
"Come Christmas Sing!" - This year, experience John Rutter's "Magnificat" as well as Handbell Choirs, Piano Ensembles, Women's Chamber Choir, Majesty, The Master's Chorale and The Master's College Orchestra. December 1 through 4. 800-568-6248 Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for tickets

For more information on arts and culture, listen to KHTS 1220 AM, Santa Clarita's hometown station, every Thursday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. The "Thursday Matinee" show features up-to-date information on the arts and culture in our valley.
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