Get ArtSmart

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In April 2011, the City of Ventura Office of Cultural Affairs launched a new CAPS arts show called "Get ArtSmart" which airs on VTV Channel 15 with new segments produced each month. Hosted by Cultural Affairs Supervisor (and theatre director) Georgeanne Lees and co-host City Marketing Specialist (and poet) Richard Newsham, the show will highlight the creative people behind our city's vibrant art scene.

"The arts reflect the heart and soul of our Community, and we want to give the community the opportunity to meet the artists, musicians, producers, directors, writers, art organization executive directors, financiers, volunteers: the people who work tirelessly to enrich Ventura's cultural life," says Lees. Watch “Get ArtSmart” on VTV Channel 15  or online from the CAPS-TV streaming media page.  Get the full viewing schedule for future episodes at For more information contact Office of Cultural Affairs Supervisor Georgeanne Lees at 658-4720 or

2015 Episodes
Episode 34: Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta discusses the Ventura Music Festival's in the schools program; founder and director Taylor Kasch discusses the new Flying H Group Theatre Co.

Episode 35: Arts entrepreneur Dave Armstrong and artist Catherine Day Barroca discuss the new Ventura Makerspace & ArtLab partnership; Executive/Artistic Director Rebecca Pillsberry and Costumer Erin Heulitt discuss the topsy-turvy world of the Ventura County Gilbert & Sullivan Repertoire Company.

Episode 36: Consultant to the Ventura Music Festival Susan Scott and Board President Betsy Chess discuss the festival’s 21st season.

Episode 37: Conejo Recreation & Parks District Supervisor Scott Buchanan and Coordinator Megan McDonnough discuss the Hillcrest Center for the Arts and the Young Artists Ensemble.

Episode 38: Ventura Public Art Project Manager Tobie Roach discusses temporary public art installations around our city with Michelle Stevens, team leader of a PLACE ArtWalk project and with artist John Bacoy, featured at the Coastal Communities Cancer Center.

2014 Episodes
Episode 27: Kay Giles and Kathy Asher discuss the Ventura Education Project (VEP) and its Festival of Student Talent on February 22; Ventura County’s first Poet Laureate Mary Kay Rummel discusses her career and reads. 

Episode 28  Big Read returns to Ventura as Denise Sindelar and Senior City Librarian Sara Roberts cover this bold NEA initiative to get our entire community reading; artist/curator Moses Mora and filmmaker Lorenzo DeStefano discuss the March 7th opening event art exhibit and screening.

Episode 29: Ventura’s Big Read continues with Michael Arndt discussing the world premiere of his play “Under Fire: Stories of Combat Veterans Across Generations” with one of the play’s actors, Seta Wainiqolo and the play’s original music composer Christopher Hoag.

Episode 30: Words or music? Executive Directors Ellen Pasternak reviews the 20th Ventura Music Festival season and Brian Bemel the Ojai Storytelling Festival in early May.

Episode 31: Summer Camps! Kathryn Dippong-Lawson, program coordinator for Ventura’s Creative Summer Camps chats with PEAK Adventures instructors Angela and Scott Bartholomew, Freshi Media instructor Tyler Shoemaker and actor/puppeteeer Doug Friedlander about their offerings among the City of Ventura’s 120 summer camps for kids 4 to 18.

Episode 32: Lisbet Frey as Executive Director of The Green Art People and Pam Pilkenton, heading the new NAMBA project, both aim to provide exciting art, dance performance spaces and programs that put the power to create into the hands of our community.

Episode 33: Helle Scharling Todd, “Artist in the Community” recipient of this year’s Mayor’s Arts Awards discusses her public art projects; Marie Lakin and Katrina Makimuk discuss the recent launch of the new website for Ventura’s arts and entertainment scene

2011-2013 Episodes

Episode 1 (April, 2011) - features Cheryl Heitmann, Executive Director of the Ventura Music Festival; Eric Wallner, Creative Economy Specialist with the City of Ventura who is organizing “Ventura Music Week”; and Brian Perra, creator of “Local Rock Picnic: A Free Music Community Event.

Episode 2 (May 2011) - features Denise Sindelar, Manager of the Parks/Recreation & Community Partnerships Department for the City of Ventura, and local artist MB Hanrahan.

Episode 3 (June 2011) - guests are Marie Lakin, publicist  for the Westside ArtWalk and renowned artist, Hiroko Yoshimoto who is a featured artist for the Westside ArtWalk.  Additional guests include Chris Jay from the band  "Army of Freshmen" and Jodi Farrell from the band "Front Street Prophets" -- both groups are featured performers at the city's signature summer concert series, Music Under the Stars at the Olivas Adobe.

Episode 4 (July 2011) - discussion about the poetry scene in Ventura with four people instrumental in promoting literary activities for adults and children in our city.  Guests include Phil Taggart and Friday Lubina from the Artists' Union Gallery, as well as Marsha de la O and Margaret Travers who organize Ventura County's annual competitions for "Poetry Out Loud," the National Recitation Contest for youth presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation.

Episode 5 (August 2011)  topics include the California International Theatre Festival, Sept 13-15 at the Museum of Ventura County and the benefit concert for the Ventura Unified School District Arts Education Master Plan on September 10 plus the second plein air Paint Ventura event Sept 9-11.

Episode 6 (September 2011) features the Ventura Hillsides Music Festival on September 25, interviews with instructors of dance and theater Pam Cohen and Jeff Wallach, respectively, and Pier under the Stars Oct. 1 and the Designers Fashion Show & Costuming Marketplace on October 1-2.

Episode 7 (November 2011) features 2 great events celebrating the joys of reading and writing—the 5th annual Young Reader’s StoryFest on November 19 and the 4th annual Art Tales poetry and short story contest—with guests Patricia Lopez Ramos, Kay Giles and Tim Pompey.

Episode 8 (December 2011) Interviewed are two winners of the prestigious 2011 Mayor’s Arts Awards: Arts Educator Mary Perez, co-owner and founder of VITA Art Center, and Arts Leader Tim Schiffer, Executive Director of the Museum of Ventura County; both discussing their organizations’ outreach to the community.


Episode 9 Board members Bill Hendricks and Jane Peterson of the Ventura Film Society discuss its third season and move to the Urban Encore Center at 420 East Santa Clara Street. Music Director Miriam Arichea and VEP Board Member Adela Trainer talk about the VUSD student Festival of Talent on Feb 25.

Episode 10 City of Ventura Creative Economy Specialist Eric Wallner co-hosts with Office of Cultural Affairs Supervisor Georgeanne Lees as they discuss “Ventura’s creative economy” with guests Josh Addison, owner of Bell Arts Factory and Addison Ventura, and Dave Armstrong, executive director of Urban Encore and another non-profit, Cultivate Ventura.

Episode 11: City of Ventura Cultural Affairs Coordinator Kathryn Dippong-Lawson and dancer/singer/teacher Jackie Ringof discuss the Barranca Vista Family Festival in the Park event, the upcoming free Day of Dance workshops and the cultural summer camps opportunities. Rubicon’s actor/director Brian McDonald discusses the upcoming Rubicon season of theatre, and the Rubicon’ summer programs for youth.

Episode 12: Ceramists Cecile Gurrola-Faulconer and Richard Franklin discuss their art and the history of the Ventura County Potters Guild; Dawn Fowkes Cushing talks about the process of creating her high-fire porcelain and white stone works in her studio at the Bell Arts Factory.

Episode 13: Mary Perez and Sue Pollack discuss the upcoming July 21-22 West ArtWalk; Sharon Taylor talks about the Buenaventura Arts Association and her new role as Executive Director of the BAA.

Episode 14: Local historians Richard Senate and Glenda Jackson join discuss the Olivas Adobe and their MC hosting of its “Music Under the Stars” summer concert series.

Episode 15: Marketing expert Leroy Becker discusses the George Stuart Historical Figures Foundation (GSHFF) and costume expert Angel Jones cover Carnevale Ventura followed by special guests Robert Lamarche and Jennifer Ridgway portraying GSHFs Juan and Lucrezia Borgia.

Episode 16: VUSD music specialist Heidi House talks about the elementary school music programs. The All High School Chorus “Company” performs a musical number.

Episodes after 16 are now in vimeo format:


Episode 17:President of the Ventura County Arts Council and artist Todd Collart discusses the groundbreaking VCAC “Installation Show” at the Ventura County Government Center followed by artists Catlin Blair Harvey and Pete Ippel, whose “Mending Space, A Linear Narrative in Yarn” was an installation highlight.

Episode 18: Cultural journalist Tracy Hudak covers the local scene for KCET’s “Artbound” blog site; poet/publisher Tree Bernstein discusses the local impact of California Poets in the Schools with poet/professor Shelly Savren, who will also talk about her prestigious Oxnard College Literature, Arts & Lecture series

Episode 19: Ventura County Ballet founder Kathleen Noblin discusses her company and spring special events and Airrelistic Circus and Flying cofounder Carmen Curtis talks about her school, upcoming City summer camps and her life as a performer.

To view the following programs, click either the Vimeo of WMV icons below for your preferred video format:

Episode 20: Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta and Executive Director Ellen Pasternack discuss the 19th Ventura Music Festival; and Barranca Vista Center Director Kathryn Dippong Lawson and Play-Well TEKnologies instructor Ben Pfister cover upcoming City of Ventura creative summer camps.

Episode 21: Head Librarian Sara Roberts talks about new outreach programs and services at EP Foster Library; Michael Arndt covers the upcoming Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival at California Lutheran University.

Episode 22: ArtWalk 2013 is the topic with guests Mary Perez from VITA Art Center, Executive Director of the Downtown Ventura Partners Kevin Clerici and Andrew Cummins of Work Artists Ventura on WAV’s Street Festival during ArtWalk in July.

Episode 23: covers City Hall’s Centennial Finale on July 25 including the unveiling of the centenary sculpture with Community Partnerships Manager Denise Sindelar as guest.

Episode 24: Becky Haycox of the Ventura Improv Company and Francisca Beach of the Senga Classic Stage Company are guests discussing upcoming productions, including Senga’s “The Importance of Being Ernest.”

Episode 25: Poets Phil Taggart and Tree Bernstein and actor/playwright John Slade are guests discussing the new laureate project, library reading series and writing workshops for teens, California Poets in the Schools and its upcoming fundraiser featuring a portrayal of Walt Whitman.

Episode 26: It’s Art Tales and Photography Contests and Mayor’s Arts Awards season! Recipient artist, conservator, exhibitor and nonprofits organizer Gerald Zwers will discuss his multi-faceted career. 


For 2014 Get Art episodes - please scroll to the top of this web page.

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