Art, Culture & Media Image

San Benito County Art, Culture & Media Digest

Remembering Robert Irwin: Influential Artist Dies at 95


Robert Irwin, an artist and MacArthur genius grant recipient, died in San Diego at 95 on Oct. 25. Michael Govan, who heads the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, offers a colorful retrospective on Irwin's work.

Local artist joins Elections Department


Venecia Prudencio, an artist known for her socially resonant works, will lend her talents to the department with the help of the San Benito County Arts Council and a grant from the Central Coast Creative Corps.

California State Parks and Partners Launch ‘Arts in California Parks’ Program


Through this new program, artists, culture bearers, and California Native American tribes will be eligible to receive funding to create artwork throughout state and local parks.

San Benito County Arts Council Launches 2023-24 Artists in the Schools Program


Every school day, 10 Arts Council teaching artists are deployed to all TK-8 elementary school sites throughout the district.

Teatro Campesino Veteran Stages Thanksgiving Play


Estrella Esparza-Johnson is the first Latina director of a main Western Stage production at Hartnell Community College, “The Thanksgiving Play,” which runs through Oct. 29.

Graphic Novel Illustrates Plight of Mountain Lions


Written by Center for Biological Diversity scientist Tiffany Yap and illustrated by artist Meital Smith, “Tales of the Urban Wild: A Puma’s Journey” takes the reader through diverse habitats, across busy freeways and inside science labs to learn about one mountain lion’s survival story.

Hollister Resident’s Passion for Haunted Houses Comes to Life


Haunt 13 is the brainchild of Eric Garthwait, a Hollister resident who is an application engineer by day and a haunted house creator during Halloween season.

Photography Exhibit Showcases Contemporary Indigenous Culture of California’s South Coast Range


“Indigenous Voices of California’s South Coast Range” is a project showcasing photography and short films of elders and culture-bearers from tribal nations, councils, and communities along California’s Southern Coast Range.

Rancho Maze Band welcomes new music director


Adam Martinez has instructed youth music education in band, orchestra, choir, and K-5 general music.

Community Vision San Benito County Talk Focuses on Recreation


The third in a series of Community Vision San Benito County meetings planned by BenitoLink covered recreation, tourism and arts. Attendees said more recreational activities would improve quality of life in the county and help residents feel more connected.

BenitoLink to Host California Local News Fellow


Full-time general assignment reporter Monserrat Solis is joining the BenitoLink team to help cover the subjects readers have said are most important to them: local government, education, health, transportation and housing.

Indigenous Voices Art Exhibit Showing in Santa Cruz


San Benito County photographer and documentarian Kirti Bassendine unveils “Contemporary Indigenous Voices of California’s South Coast Range,” showcasing elders and culture-bearers from tribal nations, councils, and communities along California’s Southern Coast Range.

San Benito Stage Company Stages New Musical


San Benito Stage Company presents “Footloose the Musical,” directed by Gilroy native and recent Christopher High graduate PJ Crocker.

Hollister 2040 General Plan: Arts and Culture Element


Hollister’s eight-year general plan seeks to enhance the city’s already active arts and cultural scene, stating that people in the community have a “thirst for learning about and participating in the arts.”

Conference Highlights Positive Impact of Local Nonprofit News


BenitoLink’s co-editor and content manager joined more than 400 journalists, funders and civic innovators in Washington, D.C., for a two-day conference on June 8 hosted by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

‘Ranger’ Rescues San Benito County From Drug Cartel


Over the last few weeks, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan known only as “Ranger” has been single handedly fighting off members of a Colombian drug cartel. It is all part of making “Ranger,” a feature film that has been shot at various spots locally.

Arts Council Opens Enrollment for Summer Art Camps


Summer Art Camp allows students to try different artistic styles, mediums and techniques in a condensed workshop format. Art Camps take place at the Art Depot, located in the historic train depot in Hollister.

Furor Erupts Over 30-Year-Old Sculpture


Amid complaints that a granite sculpture in front of the county building resembles “male genitalia,” the San Benito County Board of Supervisors created an ad hoc committee to come up with a solution that may include removing the artworks completely or installing an informational plaque.

Locals Join Poppy Jasper Film Festival Lineup


The Poppy Jasper International Film Festival has been entertaining audiences across San Benito and Santa Clara counties since 2003. This year, running April 12-19, the festival will show work by four local filmmakers: Alfredo Avila, Anita Reyes, David Butterfield and Eugenia Renteria Vargas.

Caltrans Seeking Input on Hollister Project


Caltrans is engaging with the public on the sculptural concept to be installed at Hwy 25 and Meridian Street. Titled “Woven,” the geometric sculpture interlaces painted aluminum panels.

Poppy Jasper Film Festival Inspires New Beers


Five local breweries are joining in the production of variations of a Hazy IPA created to celebrate the 2023 Poppy Jasper International Film Festival. With base ingredients developed by Sean Fitzharris of San Juan Bautista’s Brewery 25 and Alex DeLeon of Hollister’s Mad Pursuit Brewing Company, each brewer will add their own touches.

Nonprofit Gives Youths a Voice Through the Arts


The children of San Benito County will have a new opportunity to express their creativity as the Silicon Valley-based nonprofit Audacity Performing Arts Project opens its doors in Hollister.

Despite Voters’ Support, Police Shortage Makes Hollister Biker Rally Unlikely


The Hollister City Council held its first discussion on Dec. 19 concerning re-establishing the July motorcycle rally after residents voted overwhelmingly last month to continue holding the rally, while also voting against changing its date.

Community Radio Station KSQD in Santa Cruz Seeks Signal Expansion


KSQD's current frequency contour stretches from Santa Cruz to Aptos. The expansion could reach audiences in Watsonville, Hollister, Prunedale, Monterey, Carmel, Salinas and beyond.

California Hall of Fame 15th Class Selected


Gov. Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom recently joined the California Museum in announcing the 15th class of inductees into the California Hall of Fame. They join 138 Californians previously inducted for embodying the state’s innovative spirit.

Music, Cannabis Festival at Laguna Seca Taking Shape


One possible feature will be a “silent disco” where attendees will wear headphones and the music will be streamed to them so the sounds won’t impact the areas surrounding Laguna Seca.

KGO 810 News-Talk Radio Replaced by Sports-Gambling Station


The 810 frequency on the AM radio dial, where, regional residents tuned in for the news of the day, has begun a new era: coverage of gambling on sports. Station owner Cumulus Media unveiled the new station on Oct. 10, with 810 AM now called “The Spread.”

Native American Activist Sacheen Littlefeather Dies at 75


Sacheen Littlefeather, the Native American actress who declined Marlon Brandon’s Oscar in 1973, has died. Littlefeather, who was Apache and Yaqui and born Nov. 14, 1946 in Salinas, died “peacefully at home” in Marin County.

Clean California Initiative to Bring Public Art to San Benito Roadways


At the Aug. 18 meeting of the Council of San Benito County Governments, directors listened to updates on Caltrans projects—one in Hollister and two in San Juan Bautista—that seek to beautify the towns through public art installations and upgraded scenery.

San Juan Bautista Library to Celebrate Local Artists and Community


Since 2018, Library Technician Lead Rochelle Eagen has been reimagining how the Carl Martin Luck Memorial Library can serve the San Juan Bautista community of 2,089 people.

Luis Valdez Talks about His New Book, and His Legacy


At home in San Juan Bautista, where he’s lived for the better part of his life, playwright Luis Valdez is working on his autobiography just after publishing the first book he’s written to describe the philosophy behind El Teatro Campesino.

Arts Council Seeking Grant Applicants


The San Benito County Arts Council welcomes artists and arts organizations to apply for the Arts Express Grant Program. Application deadline is June 17.


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