Around Town 11

Fifty-five Years and Counting

Congratulations to the Newport Chapter of National Charity League in hosting its 55th Debutante Ball, held at Hotel Irvine. The mother-daughter philanthropic organization is dedicated to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences, with the 33 debutantes, the largest class to date, volunteering more than 9,000 hours of service in six years to philanthropies supported by the chapter. More than 450 guests attended the formal dinner dance, which included each debutante performing the St. James Bow and waltzing with her father or sponsor. Ball committee chair was Kimberly Prado, with Kelly Stewart serving as assistant chair.

Food Soiree Extraordinaire

Orange County Restaurant Week is upon us. It is scheduled this year for March 6–12. Check its website below to see all the participating restaurants and their fabulous offers. The launch party for food week is scheduled for March 5, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Irvine Marriott. Called “First Bites,” you will indulge in excellent food and libations from top OC restaurants. KFI’s Neil Saavedra, famous for his “The Fork Report,” will be doing a live broadcast, and you should know that an Instagram Photo Contest will be announced. You submit your Instagram photo at whatever restaurant you attend during Restaurant Week, and you can win big prizes! How about dinner and a movie pass for two for a year? Post your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #OC Restaurant Week.

Artist Joan Irving Brandt’s Work is Celebrated

A Centennial Celebration honoring the life, art and civic contributions of California Scene painter Joan Irving Brandt is being held on Saturday, March 5, at Newport Beach Central Library. Hosted by the Newport Beach City Arts Commission, the community is invited to view an exhibition of her paintings and sculpture (through March 31) and to attend the special program at 2 p.m. in the Friends Meeting Room. Most of the paintings selected for the exhibition were inspired by scenic locations in Newport Beach, where Brandt lived for most of her life. The program, lecture and panel will be hosted by the exhibition’s curator, Gordon T. McClelland, an author and art curator specializing in California Scene paintings.

Literacy Program To Test Online Program

Newport/Mesa ProLiteracy, based at the Newport Beach Public Library, is one of 20 programs statewide selected by the California Library Literacy Services to test a new online tutor training course. The current program serves 140 adult learners with free literacy instruction, including one-on-one tutoring, writing workshops, conversation classes, and more. The online tutor training will make it much more convenient and efficient for prospective tutors and staff, which will hopefully attract more tutors and enable a greater number of learners to participate.

Beloved Founder and CEO Retires

Vivian Clecak co-founded Human Options 35 years ago. This dynamo, who, as founding CEO, guided the social services organization to prominence in breaking the cycle of violence by providing a safe haven and life changing programs to help abused women, their children and families rebuild their lives, will certainly be missed. Her annual dissertations at the Serious Fun Gala always brought clarity and compassion to the work of Human Options. After a nation-wide search, Maricela Rios-Faust, who has been associate executive director and COO at Human Options since 2007, was named CEO, effective February 1, 2016.

Kudos to the Barclay!

The National Endowment for the Arts announced its funding for fiscal year 2016, and the Irvine Barclay Theatre received an Arts Works award for $20,000 to support the theatre’s Dance and Movement Portfolio. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields. The Barclay’s Dance and Movement Portfolio features the presentation of extraordinary national and international artists.