Author spotlight: Joanne Calitri

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

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 […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 12 Artist and Art Teacher Paulo Pereira Lima
By Joanne Calitri   |   October 29, 2020

Artist and university teacher Paulo P. Lima has an overtime schedule creating art and teaching online during COVID-19. He has a studio at Fairview Gardens in Goleta where he creates art and pays homage to his ancestors. Works from the series were selected by Sullivan Goss Gallery for their “Summer Salon” group show in August, […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 11: Fashion Forward with Couturier Catherine Gee
By Joanne Calitri   |   October 21, 2020

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak,” the fashion designer Rachel Zoe once said. Yes, indeed, fashion is walking art, and at times, a political statement. From 1940 through 1970, women’s hemlines were an economic indicator. In Los Angeles, the Fashion Mart for Spring/Summer 2021 is on now both […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 10: Finding Your Voice with Heidi Jacobs, Singer-Composer and Vocal Coach
By Joanne Calitri   |   October 13, 2020

Singer, composer, and recording artist Heidi Jacobs is a most talented and respected creative in her field. Her songs “Small Love,” “You Are Light,” and “Up” (written for the Los Olivos Dance Gallery Centre Stage Performance) show the breadth and depth of her vocal range, and her always perfect pitch. The messages in her compelling […]

Montecito Deli’s 19th Anniversary
By Joanne Calitri   |   October 1, 2020

Montecito Deli celebrated 19 years on Friday, September 11, on Coast Village Road. The deli has stayed open throughout the lockdown to keep its regulars and new customers going, with takeout or outdoor patio dining. “Our menu is the same as it’s always been – create it and we will make it,” said owner Jeff […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 9: Al Bello, Getty Images on Sports & Photography
By Joanne Calitri   |   October 1, 2020

I met Al Bello, sports special correspondent photographer for Getty Images, in 2005 when he called me to photo assist his Getty Images Discovery Channel assignment. We were photographing Lance Armstrong and his cycling team practicing for the Tour de France in Santa Ynez Valley.  A consummate and respected professional sports photographer, he started at […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 8: J.J. Kandel, Stage to Screen, NYC to L.A.
By Joanne Calitri   |   September 24, 2020

Multi-talented millennial J.J. Kandel was born in Long Island, New York, and grew up on East Valley Road in Montecito, attended Montecito Union, and decided on acting, film, TV, and theatre for his life’s work. He attended a summer drama program at Yale University prior to his senior year at Santa Barbara High School, briefly […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 7: Rochelle Vincente Von K, From Runway to Rockstar to Reiki n’ Chocolate
By Joanne Calitri   |   September 17, 2020

Currently doing indie work with her band in Los Angeles and creating new health recipes with her organic chocolate line, Lover Organic Chocolate, superstar Rochelle Vincente Von K is a source of inspiration for us in the lockdown. Her natural creative drive moved her through multiple careers that most would be happy to have one […]

Lyle Lovett in Concert
By Joanne Calitri   |   September 16, 2020

Gracing our town with five-part harmonies from heaven, four-time Grammy winner Lyle Lovett made a serious stop here with his all-strings acoustic band called Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group, presented by Arts & Lectures UCSB at Campbell Hall. One of 46 tour dates in a five-month spread across the country, he uses buses and […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 6: Michael DeVorzon, Actor and Writer
By Joanne Calitri   |   September 10, 2020

Michael DeVorzon grew up in Montecito, with a great family lineage in music, and carved his own way in film and TV. Still working actively during the lockdown, he is polished in defining the narrative of the hard work it takes to stay in the game, do it like a pro, and always with kindness. […]

Arts in Lockdown Part 5: Ziyad Marcus, Gen-Y World Music Musician & Teacher
By Joanne Calitri   |   September 3, 2020

Ziyad Marcus is a world music musician with a diverse background and education. Recently appointed as a music educator for the Santa Barbara Charter School, he draws upon Sri Lankan and Jewish cultural roots in order to share an unfiltered view of the world with youth, something he cherishes and takes seriously. At 27, his […]

Arts Lockdown Series Part 4: From Space with Astrophysicist Andy Howell, PhD
By Joanne Calitri   |   August 27, 2020

Transporting us from science to sci-fi films is astrophysicist Andy Howell, PhD. He is a staff scientist at Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO), where a global network of 23 telescopes operate 24/7. His team co-discovered the first “kiloanova” in 2017, two neutron stars that rotate around each other and release gravitational waves, merging to create a […]

Arts Lockdown Series Part 3: Skye Gwilliam and Dari Mos
By Joanne Calitri   |   August 20, 2020

It’s 2016 and a millennial Santa Barbara gallery owner and multi-medium visual artist is seated writing furiously in his journal at the Café Rendez-Vous des Amis in Montmartre, once home to 19th century artists Gauguin, Monet, Degas, and Cézanne. Also sitting there is a chic femme artist-musician from Belarus studying philosophy at Sorbonne University Paris. […]

The Arts, “Lockdown Series” Part 2: The Formidable Jade Hendrix
By Joanne Calitri   |   August 13, 2020

From performing as a solo artist on the Ojai-Ventura music scene, to opening for Ronnie Spector in Los Angeles and the English Beat in Ojai, to gigs with her band on the main stage at the NAMM show and L.A., one thing sings out clearly: Jade Hendrix is a phenomenal female artist. The thirty-something singer-songwriter […]

Retail Therapy
By Joanne Calitri   |   July 30, 2020

The Montecito Country Mart (MCM), located at 1016 Coast Village Road, is home to 21 boutique shops anchored by the Vons grocery store and Union Bank. MCM owner Jim Rosenfield acquired the mall in 2010, reconstructed its original 1960s façade and added outdoor patios to make it an upscale Montecito shopping destination. “I am so […]

The Arts, “Lockdown Series” Part 1:
By Joanne Calitri   |   July 16, 2020

Toni Scott on Bearing Witness and the Transformative Power of Art For this new “Our Town” series, we are interviewing visual and musical artists in hopes of sparking larger discussions about the inherent value of art and creativity, especially at a time when the arts are playing such a prominent role in contextualizing our experiences […]

Montecito’s Village 4th Parade
By Joanne Calitri   |   July 9, 2020

Our town’s Annual Village 4th Parade was a great success! The Montecito Association went to great efforts to have a car parade whose route included all the Montecito area schools and where most of the students lived, as well as Channel Drive. The parade was well attended all along the parade route, lined with happy […]

Gen X’ers NEXT Tech: Windows That Power Buildings
By Joanne Calitri   |   July 2, 2020

Our town’s innovative business, Next Energy Technologies Inc. (NEXT), a solar technology company with the motto “Windows Power Buildings” is co-founded by Gen-X’ers Corey Hoven PhD, Chief Technology Officer, from Montana and Daniel Emmett CEO from Carpinteria and a Cate School graduate. It was Corey’s research and studies in Materials Science, organic photovoltaics, with a […]

Interview with 5G Free SB
By Joanne Calitri   |   June 25, 2020

5G Free SB is a local grassroots group whose mission is, “To advocate for wired technology known as Fiber Optic To The Premises (FTTP) in Santa Barbara County. To stop unnecessary and excessive densification of wireless microwave radio frequency radiation which science has proven to be harmful to our health and the environment. Wired technology […]

Our Town’s 18th Annual Graduation Issue: Part 1
By Joanne Calitri   |   June 11, 2020

Our community of schools held their 2020 graduation ceremonies through online Zoom graduations, school drive by parades with their teachers, one in-person ceremony with directives from the health department and two schools opted to postpone an in-person ceremony till later this year. The number of graduates are 186: Montecito Union 58, Cold Spring 20, Crane […]

Part 2: 5G Impact Interview with Santa Barbara City Attorneys
By Joanne Calitri   |   June 4, 2020

On Friday, May 22, I held a Zoom meeting with SB City Attorney Ariel Calonne and Assistant City Attorney John Doimas regarding 5G in our town. The focus of this information is where we are at in the process, what the remainder of the process is going to look like, and a few of the […]