Yearly Archives: 2009

The Independent’s Local Heroes, John Blondell: Theatrical Visionary

For 18 years, John Blondell has led the Lit Moon Theatre Company on a worldwide pilgrimage toward fresh theatrical aesthetics and cross-cultural exchange. In addition to producing innovative shows both in Santa Barbara and at theater festivals around the world, Lit Moon has become the sponsor of a series of Shakespeare and world theater festivals that bring to Santa Barbara outstanding examples of physical theater from places as far afield as Belgium, Prague, Finland, and Macedonia. Dozens of European theater artists have made their first trip to the United States thanks to Blondell’s tireless activity on behalf of the global theater community. more

KIDS PLAYING NICELY : Santa Barbara Youth Symphony faces down Bach, Dukas, Elgar and Hanson without blinking

Santa Barbara has supported a training orchestra for gifted young musicians for over 50 years. The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony’s present incarnation celebrates 35 consecutive seasons under the wing of the Santa Barbara Symphony. With a professional musician as its conductor (Andrew Radford, principal bassoon of the Santa Barbara Symphony) the Youth Symphony has carved a permanent niche in the infrastructure of this city’s exuberant arts life. … Rebecca Shasberger (daughter of Westmont College’s Adams Chair of Music and Worship, Michael Shasberger) played two movements from Edward Elgar’s E minor Cello Concerto stylishly and from memory. more

IN BRIEF : Tree lighting features cider and Santa

Westmont College will kick off the Christmas season with its eighth annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Kerrwood Lawn, Dec. 2. The lights on the 150-foot redwood tree, aka the Giant Pickle, will glow at 5 p.m. Flipping the switch and presenting the Pickle Address will be someone selected by the Westmont College Student Association. Their identities are kept secret until the event. Admission is free. The public is invited. more

Westmont Makes List of Top 100 IT Organizations

Westmont College, which is quickly becoming a leader in cloud-based technology, has been named to a prestigious information technology list. The annual InfoWorld 100 Awards chose Westmont as one of 100 IT organizations that have “implemented and integrated technologies in innovative ways in pursuit of concrete business goals,” according to its Web site. more

Coming through in a pinch : Despite, and because of, tough times, Montecito Bank & Trust again donates $1M

For 150 local nonprofit organizations, Christmas came a month early Monday afternoon in the form of a $1 million donation from Montecito Bank & Trust. … The recipients included the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara, Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, Casa Esperanza Homeless Center, Cesar Chavez Charter School, Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Mental Health Association in Santa Barbara County, Pacific Pride Foundation, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing Corp., Sansum Clinic, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Foundation, Solvang Senior Center, State Street Ballet, Transition House, UCSB Arts & Lectures, Unity Shoppe, Westmont College and Women’s Economic Ventures. more

The top 100 IT projects of 2009:2009 InfoWorld 100 Awards: IT remains the lifeblood of forward-thinking organizations, as this year's recipients of InfoWorld's highest honor attest

Every year, the InfoWorld 100 Awards celebrate 100 IT organizations that have implemented and integrated technologies in innovative ways in pursuit of concrete business goals. These 100 real-world projects stand as proof that striking a new path in IT can reap deep organizational rewards. This year has been no exception — especially in light of widespread layoffs and limited resources. … Westmont College www.westmont.edu, Cloud Computing Initiative, Project lead: Reed Sheard, Vice President, CIO, Project description: Westmont College transformed its IT infrastructure to a cloud-centric one, migrating several systems to cloud-based services provided by Meraki, Google, Postini, and Salesforce.com. more

Westmont to Host Christmas Tree Lighting

The public is invited to the Dec. 2 event, featuring carols, cider and Santa Westmont College will kick off the Christmas season with the eighth annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Kerrwood Lawn on Dec. 2. The lights on the 150-foot redwood tree, affectionately known as The Giant Pickle, will glow at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. more

Montecito Bank & Trust Provides $1 Million to Local Nonprofits: Defying economy, bank renews commitment to community for seventh-straight year

Americans are languishing in the Great Recession. Unemployment has more than doubled since this time last year. In such an economy, one might assume a bank would be the last place giving away money. On the contrary, Montecito Bank & Trust did just that Monday at its seventh annual Community Dividends luncheon at the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort. For the seventh straight year, in flush times and in lean, the bank distributed $1 million to local nonprofit organizations. This year, most definitely a lean one, the privately held bank spread its wealth among 150 groups filling critical needs in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Carpinteria, the Santa Ynez Valley and Ventura County. … Recipients of Montecito Bank & Trust’s 2009 Community Dividends include Westmont College. more

4 INSTRUMENTS BLENDING AS 1 : Local violin maker reflects upon 2-year process at Westmont Concert

When cancer took the life of Hubert Schwyzer in 2006, it left a void for many in the community. The longtime UCSB philosophy professor, committed cellist and patron of the arts was widely loved and respected. There are numerous ways to honor those who have passed. Commissioning a set of classical instruments to be crafted under their namesake has to rank pretty high. On Friday, the Hubert Schwyzer Quartet of instruments was unveiled before a captivated audience at Westmont College’s Deane Chapel. more

ON THE TOWN : THE ARTS FUND

This is the 20th anniversary for The Arts Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating, funding and administering programs that foster the arts for the people of Santa Barbara County and nurturing relationships with other art organizations. The Arts Fund gallery is currently exhibiting the works of artist Scott Anderson. He is an art professor at Westmont College, and many guests at the opening exhibit were faculty and students. more