Published June 13th, 2018
Lamorinda Arts Council hosts first Arts Affair
By Sora O'Doherty
Mina Lim from the Lamorinda Idol competition. Photos Sora O'Doherty
The Lamorinda Arts Council invited the public to join them in an Arts Affair, a party celebrating the arts June 6 at the Orinda library. Cocktails were offered by the Art of Mixology award winner, Portia Battistini from the Cooperage, along with hors d'oeuvres by Genuine Goodness. The Rob Evans Quartet played throughout the event on the upper patio level of the library. Inside, the audience was treated to musical and dance numbers by the Lamorinda Idol singers and Joy in Motion dancers and a poem by Poet Laureate Amy Glynn. According to board member Meredith Friedman, Joy in Motion was one of original arts partners helped by the LAC as a way to support and foster the arts. Guests could also enjoy an exhibition of photographs by the Contra Costa Camera Club on the walls of the library gallery, which is curated by LAC.
The gavel of the presidency was passed from Lawrence Kohl to Jenny Staelin, who presented Kohl with a gift in appreciation of his four and a half years at the helm. Staelin has been with the LAC for seven years, starting as secretary and working her way up to president. Board member Michelle Hoffmann, who organized the event, introduced Kohl with words of high praise for his leadership and as a person. She lauded his integrity, his ability to inspire, his strong communication skills, and his ability to lead or to give someone else the lead, and his strong decision-making abilities.
Kohl used his speech to recognize the many contributions to LAC over the years. He took over the presidency of the Orinda Arts Council from Susan Garrel, and worked in a strategy group including Steve Harwood, organizer of the Lamorinda Idol competition, which led to the creation of the Lamorinda Arts Council that includes Lafayette and Moraga in addition to Orinda. Meredith Friedman crafted the group's mission statement: to ignite and sustain artistic expression and appreciation for all ages. Teresa Onoda brought together people from all three towns voting unanimously to become the Lamorinda Arts Council. Erling Horn gathered 60-year-old documents and filed the state and federal paperwork to effect the change. Michelle Bea designed the logo. The LAC also has some employees, whom Kohl acknowledged: CPA Susan Hurrell and Managing Director Meredith Friedman. He also thanked, among others, Treasurer Sue Farmer, and Neela Pakyel for revising the bylaws. He recognized new projects, ShortDocs, the Poet Laureate program, the Art of Mixology, and the new Arts Affair. Other LAC programs include High School Visual Arts Competition and the Arts in Bloom Festival.
The LAC is a group of volunteers and donors who develop and produce events, partner with professional organizations and artists, give financial support and awards, and advocate for a vibrant, local culture of visual, performing, and literary arts.

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