Short List

A selective preview of local happenings.

Containers, Topiaries, and Wetlands
April 4–26 | Vita Art Center, Ventura
Hugh Margerum’s abstract works on paper and canvas reflect his interest in exploring relationships of scale, figure, and ground – and most of all, color. Practicing his art in Santa Barbara since 1978, he has been a printmaking instructor, a landscaper/designer, a concrete artisan, a curator, and the co-author of two books on local plants. Opening reception April 4 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 432 Ventura Ave., Studio 30, Ventura. For more information, visit

Cottontail Day
April 12 | Ventura Harbor Village
Cottontail Day, presented by the Ventura Port District, will include egg hunts, a petting zoo, kids’ crafts, and children’s entertainment. The Cottontail Bunny will be there to hand out hugs and pose for pictures. Children ages 1-7 will be able to join in a $2 egg hunt, held every 15-30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a village scavenger hunt, pony rides, henna, glitter tattoos, face painting, tumbling fun, live music, and more. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit

April 12 | Aspen Grove Ranch, Ojai
The Ojai Playwrights Conference will launch its 17th season with a Farm to Stable: Feast of the Imagination-themed soiree. Festivities will include a cocktail reception, a star-studded show featuring acclaimed actors and performers, a live auction with celebrity auctioneers, and a farm-to-table dinner showcasing local chefs and farmers. Jazz vocalist and songwriter Billy Valentine will be among the featured performers, and the benefit will honor three members of the OPC and the national artistic community: Catherine Kimmel, Sarah Treem, and Noah Wyle. Tickets $250. 1 p.m. Aspen Grove Ranch, Ojai. For more information visit

Snow White and the Seven Dwarf
April 13 | Oxnard Performing Arts Center
Guests will take a magical journey into the world of a timeless fairytale during Ventura County Ballet Company’s spring production of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Ballet professionals will perform alongside VCBC’s accomplished young dancers, including the company’s elite traveling ensemble DAnce ART. This will be a single-show event. 2 p.m. 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard. For more information, visit

Love, Loss, and What I Wore
April 16 – May 11| Rubicon Theatre, Ventura
Witty and wise, this play from the brilliant sisters who created such mega-hits as “When Harry Met Sally,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “Silkwood” proves that great storytelling is always in fashion. Each week will feature a different rotating cast of actors; see website for details. 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Information online at

6th Annual Spring Garden Tour
April 26 | Ventura
Six of Ventura’s most fascinating gardens – ranging from contemporary-styled to tropical and water-wise – will be opened to supporters of Ventura Botanical Gardens during the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser. Many homes will host educational talks and demonstrations. An artist will paint in one of the gardens. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an Oz-themed after-party from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Admission to all seven gardens, $30; after-party, $55; gardens and party, $80. For more information, visit

Ventura Earth Day Eco Fest
April 26 | Promenade Park, Ventura
The award-winning Ventura Earth Day Eco Fest will bring fun, entertainment, children’s activities, exhibitors, and earth-wise education to Promenade Park. Some 5,000 attendees will join around 80 exhibitors during the free, family-friendly event. For detailed information, log on to

Chicken with Plums
April 30 | Muvico Thousand Oaks 14
Since his beloved violin was broken, Nasser Ali Khan, one of the most renowned musicians of his day, has lost all taste for life. Finding no instrument worthy of replacing it, he decides to confine himself to bed to await death. He plunges into deep reveries that take him back to his youth, and even to a conversation with Azraël, the Angel of Death, who reveals the future of his children. This French film will be part of the International Film Festival, organized by the Department of Languages and Cultures with support from the CLU Community Leaders Association. Admission is free. 7 p.m. 166 W. Hillcrest Dr. For information, call 805.493.3434.


20th Annual Ventura Music Festival
May 2–10 | Ventura
The Ventura Music Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary season with a diverse mix of concerts from May 2 to May 10. World-class jazz, classical, and popular music will be presented at venues throughout Ventura. Founded in 1994, the Ventura Music Festival is one of the county’s signature arts events. For tickets and detailed information, visit

Kentucky Derby Gala
May 3 | Hummingbird Nest Ranch, Simi Valley
Guests will enjoy mint juleps, bourbon sours, traditional Southern cuisine, casino/gaming tables, entertainment, a hat contest, and silent and live auctions during this benefit for the Loving Heart Hospice Foundation. There will also be direct satellite coverage from Churchill Downs, “The Running of the Roses,” arguably the greatest two minutes in sports. The Loving Heart Hospice Foundation provides financial support to improve quality of life – at the end of life. The Foundation supports patients and families in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and West LA counties. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Hummingbird Nest Ranch, 2940 Kuehner Dr., Santa Susana. For more information, visit

Ventura Beach Festival
May 3 | San Buenaventura State Beach
The 2014 Ventura Beach Festival will benefit Friends of Channel Coast State Parks (FCCSP). There will be local food and beverages, vendors, and displays related to healthy outdoor pursuits, as well as live entertainment from bands including Dirty Rice, Rey Fresco, Spencer the Gardener, and Barley Legal. Headlining the event will be Martha Davis and the Motels. FCCSP partners with the California State Parks along the coast in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, providing educational programs, fundraising for improvement and beautification projects, leading volunteer service efforts, and advocating for the Parks. For more information, visit

31st Annual California Strawberry Festival
May 17 & 18 | Strawberry Meadows, Oxnard
Ranking among the top festivals in the nation, this fruitful fete boasts strawberries every way imaginable – think strawberry kabobs, strawberry nachos, and strawberry beer. There will be all-day fun for the whole family, with concert performances, arts and crafts booths, celebrity cooking demonstrations, Strawberryland for kids, contests, special appearances, and more. Proceeds will benefit more than 20 Southland charities. Strawberry Meadows of College Park in Oxnard, 3250 S. Rose Ave. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit


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