Author spotlight: Joanne Calitri

Joanne is a professional international photographer and journalist.  Contact her at: artraks@yahoo.com

Rod Rolle’s ‘Spirit of Community’ Exhibit Opens in Santa Barbara
By Joanne Calitri   |   October 26, 2021

Rod Rolle’s commissioned works in a public exhibit entitled “Spirit of Community” at the Santa Barbara County Administration Building Garden Atrium opened on October 15. Rolle is a professional news and public relations photographer with SIPA USA and jazz drummer in his band, The Stiff Pickle Orchestra. This exhibit is commissioned by Sarah York Rubin, […]

Neon Art by Rod Lathim and Chris Gocong — It’s a Gas
By Joanne Calitri   |   October 19, 2021

On October 9, Rod Lathim and Chris Gocong premiered their collab art — large-scale abstract acrylics on canvas with neon light accents — at Commen Unity, a new Funk Zone barbershop and art gallery owned by Isaac Gonzalez.  Lathim, no stranger to our town for his prolific work to establish live theater as the founding […]

Finding Light at Ojai Valley Museum
By Joanne Calitri   |   October 12, 2021

“Finding Light” is an eclectic exhibition featuring artworks by 60 artists from the Ojai Studio Artists (OSA) collective, now on view through October 11 at the Ojai Valley Museum (OVM). The theme of the exhibit was directed by OSA Exhibition chair and artist Richard Amend, based on Amanda Gorman’s 2021 Inaugural poem, “The Hill We […]

Laguna Blanca School Opens New Science Center
By Joanne Calitri   |   October 5, 2021

It’s open – and it’s beautiful. On Monday, September 27, there was a ribbon cutting and VIP guest reception for the new 5,500-square-foot Center for Science and Innovation at Laguna Blanca School’s Hope Ranch campus, which houses the Nakamura STEM Research and Innovation Lab, the updated Jackson Physics Labs, the Mosher Foundation Outdoor classroom, Gainey […]

Grant for Equity & Excellency in Science Applications Open September 2021
By Joanne Calitri   |   September 21, 2021

Attention all stargazing scientists and students, sharpen your galactic pencils to apply for the first equity grant in astrophysics to work with the Rubin Observatory’s LSST (Legacy Survey of Space and Time) Project newly constructed 8.4-meter Simonyi Survey 3-mirror telescope and 3-billion-pixel solid state detector digital camera. The camera records time-evolution 6-color images for both […]

From Fires to Budgets, New LPNF Ranger & LPF Director Dish on Current Obstacles
By Joanne Calitri   |   September 14, 2021

A month into his position as the Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) Santa Barbara District Ranger, Daryl Hodges is now dealing with the statewide Los Padres National Forest closure due to fire prevention and mitigation, with support directed to the Caldor Fire. That, along with decreased staffing and his entire budget focused on fire prevention, […]

A UCSB Concert to Enjoy ‘Under One Sky’
By Joanne Calitri   |   August 26, 2021

On August 28 and 29, the UCSB Department of Music is presenting its annual Summer Music Festival, focusing on cross-cultural world music, “Under One Sky.” The concert is under the artistic direction of graduate student Alie Jones, her first at UCSB. The concert is free and open to everyone via the Department of Music’s YouTube […]

Happy Anniversary!Bristol Farms Celebrating First Year on South Coast
By Joanne Calitri   |   August 24, 2021

Joey Castanon, the Santa Barbara Bristol Farms store director,and his team are celebrating their one-year anniversary on August 21. With a last-minute pivot to adhere to the updated mask protocols, they are proceeding with in-store special events and freebies, like having their chef make your guacamole order with ingredients you select, 40% off meats from […]

Q&A with Earl Warren CEO Ben Sprague: What’s the Future of the Facility?
By Joanne Calitri   |   August 19, 2021

Fourth-generation Californian and Santa Barbara native Ben Sprague has been the CEO of the Earl Warren Showgrounds (EWS) State of California 19th District Agricultural Association since January 2019, appointed by its nine-person, all-volunteer board of directors. His mission is to bring the EWS to financial stability, modernize the facilities, increase community awareness and support, and […]

Attention Venues & Arts: There is More “Stimulus” Available
By Joanne Calitri   |   August 12, 2021

Looking back on Independent Venue Week, there is much to dissect as the National Independent Venues Association (NIVA), formed from #saveourstages, pushed for legislation that resulted in $16 billion in federal funding for venues via the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, currently being sorted and administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). That birthed […]

The Bowl is Nearly Back, and Rick Boller Reveals What to Expect
By Joanne Calitri   |   July 29, 2021

This Our Town series interviews top venues in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Ojai, and Los Angeles about their reopening strategies. Before we dive into the Santa Barbara Bowl’s plan, it’s important to understand the landscape in which larger venues must function. On June 15, the State of California in conjunction with the California Department of Public […]

Mike Gould’s LunchBoxing with Lasers Exhibit at MOXI
By Joanne Calitri   |   July 15, 2021

MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, came out of lockdown this month, featuring its newest interactive sci-art exhibit titled, “LunchBoxing with Lasers,” by veteran laser artist Mike Gould.  Found on the second floor in a darkened room, the lasers are constantly creating a moving visual, with varying brightness, shapes, and speeds. The lasers […]

Riding in Style A Pictorial Journey of the 2021 Village 4th Road Show
By Joanne Calitri   |   July 15, 2021

The roaring sound of 1955 Vintage Beech T-34 Mentors Air Force and Navy planes in a V-formation broke through the cloud cover as they flew over the Montecito Association’s Village 4th Road Show starting gate on San Ysidro Road on Sunday, with 18-year Montecito resident, veteran, and Montecito Association member Michael “Viper” Maloco leading the […]

Wildling Museum Collab with SBC Trails Council & Healthy People Healthy Trails
By Joanne Calitri   |   July 1, 2021

The Wildling Museum’s Valley Oak Gallery current exhibit, “Art from the Trail: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Santa Barbara County,” is a collaboration of Stacey Otte-Demangate (Director of the Wildling Museum), Margaret Weiss (Health Education Director, Sansum Clinic, Steering Committee for Healthy People Healthy Trails SB) and Mark Wilkinson (Executive Director of SBC Trails Council). […]

Our Town’s 19th Annual Graduation Issue: Part II
By Joanne Calitri   |   June 24, 2021

The total local student graduates for this week are 120 — with 74 at Cate School, 11 at Laguna Blanca Lower School, and 35 at Crane Country Day School. For the year, there were 246 graduates at all Montecito schools. We at the Montecito Journal wish all the 2021 graduates success going forward and congratulations […]

The 19th Annual Graduation Issue: Part I
By Joanne Calitri   |   June 17, 2021

Our community of schools held their 2021 graduation ceremonies through a mix of family-only, in-person bubbles at the school’s open-field areas and via live virtual for all attendees. The total number of local student graduates for this week was 126 students, including 24 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, 13 at Montecito YMCA Preschool, […]

Arts In Lockdown #29: Rod Rolle, Photographer and Musician
By Joanne Calitri   |   June 10, 2021

Rod Rolle is both an esteemed professional news and public relations photographer and local jazz drummer with Tom Murray of 30 years in their duo, The Stiff Pickle Orchestra. His motto “Images with A Global View” is most accurate, currently an affiliate with SIPA USA, he has worked as a stringer for Getty Images, Associated […]

Rick Caruso Accepting Bitcoin for Retail, Rentals, and Resorts
By Joanne Calitri   |   June 3, 2021

Rick Caruso — founder and chief executive officer at Caruso, the owner/developer of Montecito’s luxury resort The Rosewood Miramar Beach, philanthropist, and USC Board Chair — is now taking on cryptocurrency in what is being listed as a real estate industry first, with the exception of ManageGo, a cloud-based real estate company in New York […]

Arts in Lockdown #28: Nicole Lamartine, PhD, is the New Sorensen Director of Choral Music at UCSB
By Joanne Calitri   |   May 27, 2021

Nicole Lamartine, PhD, is the new Sorenson Director of Choral Music at UCSB, filling a position vacant since Michel Marc Gervais retired in 2016, and will oversee all UCSB’s choruses and ensembles. Originally from New Mexico, she comes to Santa Barbara from the University of Wyoming Department of Music faculty (2008-2020), where she won the […]

Arts in Lockdown #27: Museum of Sensory & Movement Experiences
By Joanne Calitri   |   May 20, 2021

A new media arts x science exhibition launched in March, 2020, and is nested in a retail-shop-turned-museum at La Cumbre Plaza called The Museum of Sensory & Movement Experiences or MSME (“miss me”). This interactive all ages exhibition allows one to get “lost” in time, imagery, sound, and perception of what really can be transmuted […]

Arts in Lockdown #26: Dancing It Out with Harout
By Joanne Calitri   |   April 22, 2021

Professional dancer-choreographer Harout Aristakessian self-describes as being at the intersection of three nationalities – Lebanese, Armenian, and American, as well as a gay-feminist-cisgender Christian, ultimately seeking to break the social constructs of sex, gender, race, nationality, and creed through dance.  He is the founder and artistic director of the Dance with Harout (DWH) Performance Company […]

Read ‘N Post Says Goodbye
By Joanne Calitri   |   April 15, 2021

For 35 years, Read ‘N Post (RnP) has been our town’s local meeting spot for posting your mail and packages, finding the perfect card for any occasion, stationary supplies, and the largest ongoing racks of real glossy high-end magazines from around the world. Due to unforeseen expenses incurred from our over one-year lockdown and other […]

Arts in Lockdown #25: Jana Goldbloom Brody
By Joanne Calitri   |   April 8, 2021

Jana Goldbloom Brody is a multi-faceted artist entrepreneur, owner of Paint Jam USA, and our local community arts outreach expert. This February she started a position at Leading From Within as their Courage to Lead Alumni Community Coordinator, working directly with its Executive Director Ed France serving both its Santa Barbara and Los Angeles chapters. […]

Arts in Lockdown #24: Artist Baret Boisson
By Joanne Calitri   |   April 1, 2021

Baret Boisson is an American artist currently working from her studio in Carpinteria. Her renowned series, “Inspiring Greatness,” which opened at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis in 2016, continues to this day with a new portrait of Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, commissioned by Lisa Loiacono Lloyd. The series began humbly with her passion […]

Arts in Lockdown #23: Sharon Hendrix
By Joanne Calitri   |   March 25, 2021

Sharon Hendrix is an icon. As a black American female singer working in a predominately white-male, music industry since 1978, her vocals, dance routines, stellar stage outfits, nonstop smile, professionalism and business savvy grace the world’s top performing arts venues. She’s played the London O2 Arena, Broadway Theatre, Las Vegas, and Europe, numerous TV specials […]

Arts in Lockdown #22: Bi-Racial Arts Champion Entrepreneur & Mom Ashley Woods Hollister
By Joanne Calitri   |   March 11, 2021

The multi-faceted bi-racial Ashley Woods Hollister is an arts champion and curator, and supporter of the Santa Barbara nonprofit community. She’s served on the boards of Explore Ecology, on the Santa Barbara Mental Wellness Center since 2007, and just joined the board of the Foundation for Climate Change Action. She is the co-founder of T.W. […]

Arts in Lockdown #21: Musician Brayell
By Joanne Calitri   |   March 4, 2021

Brayell is a multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, and music producer in the genres of rap, hip-hop, and alternative. He has recently explored a version of indie pop music in his just-released single titled, “Made Her Feel Good,” a heartfelt song reminiscent of a breakup. He began recording at age 15 and, in 2017, started releasing his […]

Arts in Lockdown #20: The NAMM Show and She Rocks Awards 2021
By Joanne Calitri   |   February 25, 2021

NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) held its annual Los Angeles trade show online this year January 18 through 22, along with the annual She Rocks Awards. The NAMM Foundation’s Believe in Music bravely took to the virtual platform to bring all its usual content to its members across all time zones, using the Swapcard […]

Arts in Lockdown #19: Jacob Tell of Oniracom
By Joanne Calitri   |   February 18, 2021

Millennial entrepreneur Jacob Tell, CEO and founder of Oniracom, is celebrating 20 years as CEO of a small business built during his studies at UCSB, with a mission to provide unique branded services to the arts and music artists, their agencies, and venues. He navigated his business into commercial branding and during lockdown pivoted to […]

The 121st Annual SB Audubon Christmas Bird Count
By Joanne Calitri   |   February 11, 2021

All things bright, beautiful, and birds are well noted even during our cold winter lockdown, thanks to the Santa Barbara Audubon Society, who decided to hold its annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) after weighing in on all the variants. The team organized the count with proper precautions and rules in place, including masking, distancing, and […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 18: Producer and Director Steve Binder
By Joanne Calitri   |   January 28, 2021

As you are reading this, it’s the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birthday (January 8) and I’ve been talking to Steve Binder, an American producer and director born in Los Angeles. Steve, who just celebrated his 88th birthday last month, is currently working as a creative consultant on Baz Luhrmann’s film Elvis, where Dacre Montgomery is […]

A Rocking Roundup of School Holiday Events
By Joanne Calitri   |   January 7, 2021

Montecito schools held a new format for their holiday concerts and winter sings, given the new state lockdown restrictions announced on December 6. Through careful planning many schools conjured up a new direction for the holidays, including virtual concerts sent out exclusively to each student’s family, new charity funding initiatives and holiday Zoom singalongs for […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 17 – David Barr and The Moon Kids
By Joanne Calitri   |   December 25, 2020

The Moon Kids rock band is taking on new steam with a local film contract and music videos. But these working class heroes from Scotland wouldn’t have been known in the U.S. without the magic of the legendary Rodney Bingenheimer, who is renowned for discovering numerous bands. He came across The Moon Kids when he was […]

A Virtual Vessel Contest for the Ages
By Joanne Calitri   |   December 24, 2020

You’ve got to hand it to Christopher Bell, the administrative analyst and public information officer for the Santa Barbara Waterfront Department. Instead of tossing a bilge pump into the harbor when city holiday events were cancelled due to the new lockdown orders, Bell turned the beloved annual holiday Parade of Lights into a virtual contest […]

Richie’s Barber Shop Annual Toy Drive Adds a Twist
By Joanne Calitri   |   December 10, 2020

Richie’s Barber Shop has held its annual toy drive for kids for nine years and this time it has added an element for our lockdown times: adopting a pet from the local animal shelter. The shop’s annual Christmas tree is decorated with photos of the pets for adoption, and the American Flag stands proudly at […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 16 George Pendergast, Drummer and Co-Founder of Dishwalla
By Joanne Calitri   |   December 3, 2020

Prodigious drummer George Pendergast picked up his first drum kit at the age of five after watching The Merv Griffin Show, and at 21 went on to live the dream as a professional musician recording in Los Angeles. He was born and raised in Santa Barbara, which remains his home base to this day no […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 15: Film Director and Producer Ivan Reitman
By Joanne Calitri   |   November 26, 2020

Epically known as the one director who can harvest the funniest talent for his movies, Ivan Reitman continues his film making legend during lockdown with eight screenplays in the works, a sequel to Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, and the next installment of the Ghostbuster series, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, to be released in theaters in June […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 15: Producer and Musician Brian Hardgroove
By Joanne Calitri   |   November 19, 2020

Music output is a good way to assess a society’s health, and right now we are unhealthy, so it’s a good time to talk about it.” – Brian Hardgroove Record producer, bassist, and former bandleader of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Public Enemy, Brian Hardgroove has been there, done that, and continues to […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 14: Musician Keith St. John
By Joanne Calitri   |   November 12, 2020

Artist Keith St. John is the true representation of the American dream: love it, work at it, keep it fresh, and it’s yours. And true to his nature, he has remained prolific in creating music throughout the lockdown, with virtual concerts, recording, composing, and some outdoor live shows with COVID-19 guidelines. Here with sage advice […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 13 Multi-instrumentalist Musician Elle Archer
By Joanne Calitri   |   November 5, 2020

Musicians are here to provide wisdom and comfort for a traumatized world, and to uplift the voices of the downtrodden,” says Elle Archer, a Portland-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Managed by Seth Loeser at Silver Morning Management, and recently signed with Kill Rock Stars, Elle’s band Shaylee is a project aimed at conveying youthful queer exuberance […]