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Our Laguna: 'HeART of Laguna' will raise money for artists' fund

February 23, 2012|By Barbara Diamond
  • The HeART of Laguna presents musician Jason Feddy and “Shakespeare's Fool,” a theatrical production of songs and speeches inspired by William Shakespeare on March 3.
The HeART of Laguna presents musician Jason Feddy and… (Courtesy JasonFeddy.com )

The 2010 floods took a dreadful toll, but many local artists were hit with a double whammy.

Not only were their homes in Laguna Canyon damaged, their studios and art were also swamped by the Dec. 22, 2010, deluge.

The Artists' Benevolence Fund, from the Sawdust Art Festival, came to the rescue, distributing $30,000 in grants to 20 artists.

"I can't even tell you how important that grant was," said sculptor Louis Longi, one of the recipients. "My home and my studio were gone. My income just stopped, and the insurance money hadn't come in yet. The grant was a lifesaver."

A substantial amount of money was raised last summer at the annual live art auction to replenish the Benevolence Fund, but the total did not cover all the grants to the devastated artists.

Fund Trustees Susan Thompson, Larry Gill, Susan Wade and Mike Kelly, all Sawdust exhibitors, will host a fundraiser March 3 on the Festival of Arts grounds to help recoup the expenditures.

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"The HeART of Laguna" will feature a performance of Jason Feddy's "Shakespeare's Fool" concert by the band and live actors. Described as energetic and dynamic, the concert features rock 'n' roll songs and monologues from William Shakespeare's plays.

Hors d'oeuvres and champagne will be served at 7 p.m., compliments of Tivoli Terrace. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in the Forum Theatre. Seating is limited.

Tickets are $50, available online at www.sawdustartfestival.org/heart-of-laguna-tickets. They can also be purchased the night of the event at the Festival of Arts grounds.

"One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the 'HeART of Laguna' will go directly to artists," Thompson said. "Any Laguna Beach artist who has suffered a catastrophic event that prevents them from working is eligible. That is why we brought [Festival of Arts coordinator] Susan Davis on board to serve on the event committee."

Thompson continued, "We are kind of stepping out to the community. A lot of people think we only help Sawdust artists, but we offer assistance to all local artists of all persuasions — painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers or actors.

"History has shown that when artists, who may already be walking a financial tightrope, find they are in a situation where they are unable to create their art, their survival may very well depend on the goodwill of others."

Recipients' names are not made public, unless the artist allows it.

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