2018 Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Jaye Hersh

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Jaye Hersh

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Jaye Hersch

The City of Ojai Arts Commission is proud to announce the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts will be awarded to Jaye Hersh on July 10 by the Ojai City Council. Hersh is widely known in the community for her work with the Ojai Shakespeare Festival, Nordhoff High School’s theatre and choral productions, Ojai Performing Arts Theatre, the Ojai Art Center Theatre, and the Ojai Music Festival. She was also voted a 2003- 2004 Ojai Living Treasure by the Ojai Rotary.

“In choosing Jaye for the award we focused on her strong commitment to the arts in Ojai,” said Michael Addison, Ojai Arts Commissioner and the Lifetime Achievement Award Commitee Chair. “The Award is given in recognition of her proven continuous artistic excellence, demonstrated community involvement within the Ojai Valley, and established recognition in her field. She brings it all to the table.”

Besides her involvement as a vocal director in the above Ojai events and institutions, Hersh herself is an accomplished actress and vocal performer. Local audiences may have seen her in roles as diverse as the classic Shakespearean role Ophelia or as Dolly in the Broadway hit “hello Dolly.” As a founder of the Ojai Madrigali she often performs annually strolling through the arcade during the holiday season decked in period costume and giving impromptu concerts to the delight of shoppers and merchants.

According to the Ojai Rotary website, “Jaye Hersh believes that everyone has a voice and nobody should be ashamed to use it. She has made a mission to help people young and old tap into something she thinks is becoming lost in our culture: a connection to music on a personal level.”

Please join us for the Tuesday evening award at the July 10th meeting of the Ojai City Council, 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 401 S. Ventura Street, Ojai, CA.

Arts Commission Accepting Mentor Applications – 2018

Arts Commission Accepting Mentor Applications – 2018

ojai mentor program 2014Applications Due on March 23.

The City of Ojai Arts Commission is accepting applications for artists who wish to participate in the 2018 Artists Mentor Program. This is the fourth year for the successful program, which pairs working artists with students for a summer internship.

“Although this is for a summer internship, we are starting the process earlier this year. This will allow students more time to qualify without interfering with their year-end school activities,” said Ojai Arts Commissioner Michael Addison. “We are currently looking for four Ojai artists for the mentoring program. We are trying to make the process as easy as possible and they can complete their application online.”

Please fill out application below.

Arts Commission Awards $25,000 in Grants to Arts Organizations

$25,000 in grants was awarded among 9 Ojai-based arts organizations, it was announced today by Arts Commission Chairman Michael Addison. “We had 6 recipients last year and this year we’ve awarded 50% more grants for a total of 9. That’s very satisfying,” he said. “The word is getting out to local arts organizations that the City is committed to its artists.”

The nine recipients are: the Ojai Youth Opera, at $6,000, whose goal is to build on the success of their “Brundibar” production in Libbey Bowl last year; the Ojai Art Center at $5,250, which wants to increase production values of its theatrical season’s offerings, including the casting of some professional artists; Focus on the Masters, granted $3,000 to promote a critical thinking initiative they’ve created called Learning to See.

Also, the Ojai Music Festival, at $2,500, to develop its Family Arts Daycare Camp to stimulate children to make art; Performances to Grow On, the recipient of $2,000 which will allow them to created 3 performances especially for children; Ojai Performing Arts Theater at $2,000, which allows the theater-making organization to expand its season to 3 productions while encouraging a conversation between professional actors and those new to theater arts.

Madrigali, Ojai’s legendary early music chamber group, was awarded $1,650 to pay for artistic personnel performing at 6 at senior centers and public schools; and, at $1,500, the visual artist Brian Berman who would continue with his annual Peace Concert.

City Art Grant Program 2017

City Art Grant Program 2017




The City of Ojai Art Grant Program funds non-profit organizations and individual artists whose primary purpose is to produce or present arts and cultural programs, primarily in the City of Ojai. Art Grant Program goals include: encouraging artistic excellence, developing new audiences for the arts, promoting diversity in Ojai’s cultural life, promoting and encouraging arts and cultural activities in the City of Ojai and encouraging community partnerships and artistic collaboration.

Support will be considered for expenses that expand or enrich existing arts programs, fund new programs or promote professional development. General operating support, ongoing programmatic and administrative expenses, endowments, debt reduction and capital improvements are not eligible for funding.

The grants are made for one year. Please refer to the guidelines for individual artists on page 2 and the guidelines for non-profit organizations on page 3. One grant per artist or per organization will be considered for funding. A dollar for dollar cash match is required for the amount of funding requested. There is limited funding available and some worthy projects, organizations and artists may not be funded or may receive partial funding only.


  • Projects must begin and end within calendar year 2017.
  • All publicity for grant-funded projects must credit the City of Ojai.
  • Organizations or individual artists funded for three consecutive years must take one year off before reapplying for funds.
  • Student projects are not eligible for consideration.
  • A completion report is required at the end of funded projects.


The completed grant application with all requested supporting materials must be received at Ojai City Hall by 5 p.m. on Monday, September 12, 2016. Postmarks are not acceptable. Applications that are incomplete or lack the requested supporting materials will not be considered for funding.

A grant application workshop will be offered at Ojai City Hall on Wednesday, August 10 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Please RSVP by Monday, August 8 to Amber Young, City Managers Office, at 805 646-5581 ext. 103. For help filling out this application, please call Ms. Young at the number listed above.


The Individual Artist Project Grant enables the City to support a specific project or program of an exemplary visual, theatre, dance, literary, film, video or multidisciplinary artist of the Ojai Valley that is of benefit to the residents of Ojai. It also is intended to encourage a creative alliance between an artist and a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization. The purpose of the grant program is not to subsidize on-going expenses related to an artist’s career or already established projects.

Individual Artist Project Grant-Criteria

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be actively working in an artistic discipline.
  • Be either a practicing professional or pursuing professional status.
  • Be a resident of the Ojai Valley for at least one year.
  • Have a fiscal receiver that is an Ojai Valley-based arts or cultural organization, and that has been operating for three years, and that has tax-exempt 50l (c) (3) status.
  • Fiscal receiver must be listed as having an “active” 501 (c) (3) status with the California Secretary of State in order for the grant to be funded. List receiver’s name as recorded with the S.O.S if multiple names are used. Active status can be checked at the S.O.S.’s website: http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/cbs.aspx.
  • Have a signed letter of agreement between the applicant and fiscal receiver.
  • The proposed project must take place within the City of Ojai in a venue accessible to the public. If the event is to be held outside of City limits, the applicant must demonstrate how the event/project would benefit City of Ojai residents.

Review Criteria for Individual Artist Project Grant

All review criteria listed below will be considered in evaluating the proposal. Applications must meet the goals of the City of Ojai Art Grant Program.

  1. Clarity, originality and depth of the idea presented in the proposal.
  2. Quality and originality of the work, based upon the examples provided.
  3. Soundness of the project plan, including budget and timeline.
  4. Strength and appropriateness of fiscal receiver.
  5. Impact upon the quality of life in the City of Ojai and the Ojai Valley.
  6. Impact upon the development of the artist and collaborators.



The Arts Organization Project Grant enables the City to support, stimulate and encourage art and cultural activities that are vital to the economic and social health of the Ojai community. The Arts Organization Project Grant must contribute to a specific project that benefits City of Ojai residents.

Arts Organization Project Grant-Criteria

  • Primary focus must be the exhibiting, performing, producing or presenting of arts and cultural programming accessible to City of Ojai residents.
  • Arts organizations must have an exhibiting, performing, producing or presenting history of at least three years.
  • Public and private schools may seek funding only in collaboration with qualified arts organizations; the arts organization must submit the application. However, student projects are not eligible for consideration.
  • Arts organization must be exempt from federal taxes under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or have an appropriate fiscal receiver.
  • Arts organization or fiscal receiver must be listed as having an “active” 501 (c) (3) status with the California Secretary of State in order for the grant to be funded. Status can be checked at the Secretary of State’s website: http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/cbs.aspx.
  • Arts organization must have an established Board of Directors.
  • Arts organization must have an annual operating budget detailing income and expenses for the proposed project.
  • The activity for which funds are requested must take place in the City of Ojai. If art grant funds are requested for an event that is to be held outside of City limits, the organization must demonstrate how the event/project would benefit City of Ojai residents.


Review Criteria for Arts Organization Project Grant


All review criteria below will be considered in evaluating the proposal. Applications must meet the goals of the City of Ojai Art Grant Program.

  1. Clarity, originality and depth of idea presented in the proposal.
  2. Qualifications of the artists, collaborators, and other key people involved in the project.
  3. Project’s potential effectiveness in addressing a specific community need.
  4. Soundness of the project plan, including budget and timeline.
  5. Consistency with the organization’s mission and goals.
  6. Organization’s demonstrated ability to successfully carry out past projects.
  7. Organization’s strength and role in the community, including its financial health and ability to raise funds, as needed.
  8. Strength and stability of the organization’s management and leadership, or strength and appropriateness of fiscal receiver, if applicable.



7/18/16 Advertise availability of grant applications; begin distribution of the grant application to interested parties; post application on City website.

8/10/16 Optional grant application workshop at City Hall. (6:30-7:30 p.m.)

9/12/16 Completed applications due at City Hall by 5 p.m.

9/15/16 Arts grant applications distributed to Arts Commissioners and applications pre-assigned to individual Commissioners.

10/20/16 Art Grant applicants appear (optional) before Arts Commission for presentations and questions; the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

11/17/16 Commission finalizes funding recommendations to City Council.

12/13/16 Funding recommendations submitted to Council for ratification.

1/9/17 All grant applicants to receive notification of application approval or denial.

Please note projects must begin and end within calendar year 2017. Grant recipients must notify the City, upon completion of the funded activity, with a brief written report. An optional presentation before the Arts Commission is also encouraged.





Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend Awarded the Hope Frazier Award

Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend Awarded the Hope Frazier Award

Hope Frazier Award 2015The City of Ojai Arts Commission is proud to announce a Hope Frazier Award was awarded to Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend at the January 15 meeting of the commission for her community service. The award, named in honor of former Arts Commissioner Hope Frazier, is only given in special recognition of the social and cultural benefits of an individual’s work in or for the arts. The award recognizes the recipient for their social contribution to our community, either by increasing participation in or expanding the avenues of the arts, and thereby increasing our sensitivity to the human condition.

“Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend has been a formative leader not only in the Ojai Arts Community but in the art world at large,” said Art Commissioner and Awards Committee Chair Michael Addison in nominating her for the award. “Her 13 years of service to the Commission and continuing artistic passion make her a perfect candidate for this award. As Chair, Susan was an integral part of updating our Ojai Pubic Arts Ordinance. Under her tenure she maintained the City’s prominent role in the arts community despite years of tough budget shortages and the temporary cessation of the City Grant Program. When the City budget crisis eased, the Commission was able to reinstate the Grant program and even add an arts education program which will continue to enlarge the public’s access to the arts in Ojai.”

According to former Arts Commissioner Barbara Hirsch, “Susan carried the collective memory of public art and the it’s ordinance from the beginning and trained all of us, commission and community, on what is public art.”

As a professional glass artist, Stinsmuehlen-Amend’s credentials are myriad. A retrospective held at The Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts featured Stinsmuehlen-Amend along with her husband, fellow artist Richard Amend. The brochure called the two “internationally recognized artists” with “periods of tremendous artistic growth and output,” calling her work that of “a rebellious spirit aimed at traditional craft (glass) and a combining of ideas about painting.”

“I have shared some very poignant times with all my fellow commissioners through the years,” said Stinsmuehlen-Amend. “We have inched through some very important changes for the arts in Ojai… I am grateful to be recognized by my peers, especially in the name of Hope Frazier. We served together right up until she passed away working on the public arts ordinance up until a few weeks before she left us. Wow. So many memories.” Locally, Stinsmuehlen-Amend recently donated two glass panels to the Matilija Auditorium renovation project and completed several large commissioned works at The Collection, an Oxnard shopping plaza. An Honorary Life Member of the Glass Art Society, she served as the President of its Board from 1984-86.

Stinsmuehlen-Amend has been a visiting artist at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design in the U.S. and has also taught at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA, RIT, Tyler School of Art, CA College of the Arts, CA State Universities San Bernardino and Fullerton, Massachusetts College of Art, Ohio and Illinois Universities, the Pittsburgh Glass Center, North Lands Creative Glass (Scotland) and numerous other glass and public art conferences. A trustee emeritus of the American Craft Council, she was recently appointed to the Pilchuck Board of Directors. She is a past recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pilchuck Glass School Hauberg Fellowships (2001 and 2012), the 2007 Libensky Award and 2006 Artist Residencies at Pilchuck and the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA.

Her work in glass, mixed media, and public art is included in private collections and public institutions including the LA County Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, the Museum of Arts and Design NY, and the City of Los Angeles.