Orange County Arts Awards

The biggest annual "red carpet" event in our arts and culture community, celebrating the legacies and achievements of our brightest stars

The Annual OC Arts Awards is a benefit evening that recognizes & celebrates the arts organizations, artists, and arts patrons in the OC community whose significant contributions during the past year, or over the course of a lifetime, have notably impacted the arts in Orange County.  This celebratory event brings together the entire arts community for an uplifting evening that includes an honoree and sponsor reception and dinner, an awards ceremony and an after-party for all guests.


Enjoy This Gallery of Images from the 2021 OC Arts Awards

Hover over image for caption, Click on image to view full-size. All pictures by Tony Lattimore Photography.

Our 2021 Honorees


Jonelle Allen PREFERRED from manager

Jonelle Allen

Broadway, Film & TV actress and arts educator
Jonelle made her acting debut in the first of several Broadway productions at age 6 (with Helen Hayes) and tap danced with Sammy Davis Jr. on TV when she was 8. She appeared in the original production of “HAIR” at New York’s Public Theatre, after which her mentor Joseph Papp cast her as Silvia in the 1972 Broadway musical “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” for which she received New York Drama Critics, Drama Desk, Theatre World and Outer Critics Circle Awards as well as a Tony Award nomination. For 6 seasons she played Grace, the restaurant owner, on CBS TV’s “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” She was a series regular on “Palmerstown,” “Berenger’s,” and “Generations” and appeared in guest starring roles on “Cagney and Lacey,” “Hill Street Blues,” and “ER,” among others. In 2021, she starred in an episode of the Fox TV series “9-1-1.” A dedicated arts educator, she taught for 8 years at Saddleback College. Born in Harlem, Jonelle is a 42 year-long resident of Orange County.

Laguna Playhouse

Orange County's oldest theatre company now completing its 100th year
One of the oldest continuously operating theatre companies on the West Coast, founded on October 22, 1920 in a Laguna Beach living room, the Playhouse first began as a community theatre, later evolving into an acclaimed professional theatre company. It has premiered many notable works and produced two national tours (“Copenhagen” and “The Belle of Amherst” starring Julie Harris) which took it to 40 cities around the U.S. Its Youth Theatre has received two national awards. The Playhouse has been a proving ground for many outstanding artists over the years, including Harrison Ford, Mike Farrell and Toni Tennille, and it hosted South Coast Repertory’s productions during SCR’s very first season.
Tom Titus preferred

Tom Titus

Arts journalist & 55-year long theatre critic of the Daily Pilot and Times OC
Tom Titus has been the principal theatre writer and critic for The Daily Pilot (Los Angeles Times) for 55 years, writing insightful articles and reviews—and always using his role to convey his joy of theatre and to champion its importance in our community. During his long tenure, he reviewed every play produced by South Coast Repertory except for one (due to illness). This year, Tom announced his retirement.



Flight at Tustin Legacy Murals

LPC West, Owner/Developer; RIOS, Architects; City of Tustin; Artists: Shag (Josh Agle), Bunnie Reiss, John Park
In 2016, a partnership between the City of Tustin and LPC West (Lincoln Property Company) laid out a plan for the future of the former Tustin Marine Corps Air Station site. Together with the architecture firm RIOS they designed a mixed-use project, FLIGHT, and then offered its large multi-story structural walls as gigantic canvases for murals to three extraordinary artists. The murals were unveiled in 2019.

LPC West
LPC West, a Lincoln Property Company (founded in 1965), is a national real estate firm with a substantial local presence and history. LPC West offers a comprehensive suite of value-added services for its clients who are tenants, investors, lenders and owners of commercial real estate.

Founded in 1985, RIOS is a design firm based in Los Angeles whose talents comprise a wide range of professional skills including architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, graphic, interior, exhibit and product design. Projects include municipal, corporate, retail, hospitality, institutional, and residential commissions.

City of Tustin
The City of Tustin was incorporated in 1927, and is home to 80,000 residents in its 11 square miles, including the former Marine Corps Air Station Tustin (1942-1999), known for its iconic blimp hangars. The City is the lead agency for the reuse and development of the 1600-acre base property, now known as Tustin Legacy and the site of FLIGHT.

Shag (Josh Agle)
Shag is an Orange County painter, designer and illustrator. His distinctive artistic style draws from commercial illustration from the past five decades, but the work is imbued with an attitude and sly sense of humor which is unmistakably of our time. Solo exhibitions of Shag's work have been held in the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia and South America. The paintings themselves celebrate consumerism and consumption on vividly colored sharply rendered panels; the characters drink, smoke and eat in lavish, stylish surroundings. But Shag sees the visuals of his work as window-dressing or stage scenery. He's more concerned with the themes and narratives in the paintings, and the meanings a viewer might find when he looks at a piece of Shag art. Shag’s distinctive imagery can be found on merchandise and products worldwide. He has created work for Coca Cola, Star Wars, Playboy and Paul Frank Industries. In 2005, he was chosen to be the official artist for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. Additionally, his work has been exhibited in museums worldwide, including the L.A. County Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum and the Naples Museum of Contemporary Art in Italy.

John Park
Bio coming soon

Bunnie Reiss
Bunnie 'Bonnie' Reiss was born in Maryland, but raised mostly with the wide-blue skies of Colorado. Having come from a large Polish/Russian family, eating, loud talking and community shaped her life. She was a tiny rebel with a large imagination, knowing at a young age that she quite didn’t fit in and the world was a much bigger place than the quiet suburban landscape that seemed to endlessly surround her. She moved to rural Colorado, studied literature, and worked for NPR and other various publications, while quietly painting on the side. Magic, mysticism and the stars slowly crept into her conscious, and she began almost obsessively studying anything she could get her hands on. With her need to travel slowly pushing her all over the world, she eventually left Colorado and relocated to San Francisco, which at the time was a hub for creativity and guerrilla art. Her 17-year life in The Bay included an MFA from San Francisco Arts Institute and years of creative incubation in wild streets full of weird art and people painting everywhere. She grew into herself, found a community of artists that she would spend many years building, living and creating many things together. After a small stint in France, and a few other areas around the US, Bunnie relocated to Los Angeles several years ago to pursue larger mural and installation based projects. Her work is heavily influenced by her Eastern European background, with its tradition of folk art, bright colors and community engagement. Her extensive travels have also added an extra layer of conversation, which make her creations unique. She has shown extensively in both the United States and around the world, in galleries, alternative spaces, bookstores, abandoned buildings, fields and forests, or any place that seems to need a little extra magic. Her brightly colored folk murals decorate many countries and can be found all over the world. Los Angeles, Mexico, Italy, Paris, India, Philippines, Detroit, Milwaukee, New York, San Francisco are just a few places you would likely stumble upon one.



Maurizzio Hector Pineda

Director/Curator S/A. Exhibitions at Santa Ana Arts Collective
Maurizzio is the founding director/curator of S/A. Exhibitions, the storefront gallery in the new Santa Ana Arts Collective, an affordable housing residence for previously homeless artists. An emerging leader with a distinctive artistic vision, Maurizzio returned to Santa Ana where he grew up after completing his studies and working in several early-career curatorial positions that gained him attention. The inspired exhibitions he has curated since the gallery opened in 2020 are energizing our community.


Orange County logo

Orange County Board of Supervisors

In appreciation of COVID arts relief funding of $5.8 million to the Orange County arts community
Andrew Do, Chair, Supervisor, District 1
Doug Chaffee, Vice Chair, Supervisor, District 4
Lisa Bartlett, Supervisor, District 5
Katrina Foley, Supervisor, District 2
Donald P. Wagner, Supervisor, District 3

The Board of Supervisors oversees the management of County government and many special districts. Members of the Board are elected by voters in their respective districts. We recognize the Orange County Board of Supervisors for their extraordinary gesture of support for our arts community during the COVID-19 pandemic through the allocation of $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds and nearly $1 million in CARES Act Funds for arts relief grants to artists, nonprofit arts organizations, and arts-related businesses.

And Your Hosts For the Evening


Richard Stein
ArtsOC President & CEO

Marleena Barber 1o

Marleena Barber
VSA Director & Visual and Performing Arts Consultant

We Gratefully Acknowledge Our Early Arts Awards Sponsors

VIP Reception Sponsor

Phil & Mary Lyons

After-Party Sponsors

Thanks to the generosity of

Charlie & Ling Zhang

Shakespeare Circle

Da Vinci Circle

The Laguna Playhouse

Richard and Elizabeth Steele Fund of Orange County Community Foundation

Diaghilev Circle

Chapman University, College of the Arts
Margaret Gates

Hemingway Circle

Sally Anderson and Tom Rogers
Ellen Breitman & Brien Amspoker
Faubel Public Affairs
Jan and Mark Hilbert
Susan K. Hori

Carl Neisser


Sheila & Jim Peterson
Judith Posnikoff
Janet and James "Walkie" Ray

Elizabeth Stahr & Walter Stahr
The Steele Fund at Orange County Community Foundation
Ernesto & Socorro Vasquez

Rembrandt Circle

Anaheim Ballet
Mike Anderson, RYTMO
Arts & Learning Conservatory
Bowers Museum
Andrew Brown
CSUF College of the Arts
Vance & Gloria Coulston
Thúy Võ Đặng
Janet Owen Driggs
John Evans
The Frida Cinema
G. Patrick Gandy
Heritage Future
Huntington Beach Art Center
Irvine Barclay Theatre
Cherie Kerr
Laguna Art Museum
Laguna College of Art + Design
Laguna Dance Festival
Amy Larson & Jake Smith
Joseph S. Lewis III
LPC West
Molly Lynch & Alan Andrews
Media Arts Santa Ana
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Harish Murthy & Ramya Harishankar
Greta K. Nagel
Newport Beach Film Festival
Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center
Orange County Fine Arts, Inc.
Orange County School of the Arts
OC Fair & Event Center
Pacific Symphony
Jose H. Pineda
Karen Raab, Chemers Gallery
Saddleback College
Tim Shaw
Soka Performing Arts Center
South Coast Repertory
Christopher Trela
UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts
Voice of OC
VSA Orange County

Statuette Sponsor

Festival Ballet Theatre
The Frida Cinema - in honor of FLIGHT at Tustin Legacy Murals
Margaret Gates – in honor of Ellen K. Lee, biographer of Helena Modjeska
Susan K. Hori – in honor of FLIGHT at Tustin Legacy Murals
Joseph S. Lewis III – in honor of Maurizzio Hector Pineda
Barbara Roberts – in honor of Tom Titus
Tina Van Dam
The Wooden Floor

Other Gifts

Susan Condrey
Sara Guerrero
Susan Heiligman
Hidden Truths Project
Mary & Bill Langsdorf
Kim Le, Pacific Conservatory
Mindy Mills
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
Orange County Musicians Union, Local 7, American Federation of Musicians
Christopher Peterson
Relámpago de Cielo Grupo Folklorico
Karin Schnell
South Coast Symphony
Barbara Steck
Voice of OC
Karen Wood
Carmen Zella


Past Arts Awards Honorees

Since 2000, we've honored an incredible array of organizations and individuals who have had a legacy-level impact on the artistic and cultural landscape of Orange County

(Listed in Alphabetical Order)

Allen Adham, Michael Morhaime, and Frank Pearce (Artistic Visionary, 2010)
Wylie & Bette Aitken (Arts Patrons, 2015)
John Alexander (Artistic Visionary, 2003)
Jonelle Allen (Artist, 2021)
Roger Armstrong (Artist, 2003)
Bob Bassett (Artistic Visionary, 2006)
Martin Benson & David Emmes (Artistic Visionary, 2000)
Peter Blake (Artistic Visionary, 2013)
Rex Brandt (Artist, 2000)
Beth Burns (Artistic Visionary, 2004)
Mark Chamberlain (Artistic Visionary, 2014)
Arlene Cheng (Community Visionary, 2005)
Dean Corey (Artistic Visionary, 2011)
Dick Dale (Artist, 2010)
Tony DeLap (Artist, 2000)
Richard Doyle (Artist, 2009)
John Forsyte (Arts Visionary, 2016)
Rod Gilfry (Artist, 2011)
William Gillespie (Community Visionary, 2006)
Marie Gray (Artistic Visionary, 2009)
William Hall (Artist, 2005)
Don Ed Hardy (Artist, 2014)
Ramya Harishankar (Artist, 2007)
Mark and Janet Hilbert (Art Collectors, 2018)
Hans & Valerie Imhof (Patron, 2014)
Chuck Jones (Artist, 2001)
Damien and Yvonne Jordan (Arts Philanthropists, 2016)
Peter Keller (Artistic Visionary, 2013)
Dorothy & Donald Kennedy (Community Visionary, 2004)
Cherie Kerr (Artistic Visionary, 2019)
John Koshak (Artistic Visionary, 2008)
Don Laffoon & Victoria Bryan (Artistic Visionary, 2001)
Laguna Art Museum (Arts Organization, 2018)
Laguna Playhouse (Arts Organization, 2021)
Hal Landon Jr. (Artist, 2009)
James Luna (Artist, 2017)
Molly Lynch (Arts Visionary, 2017)
Phil & Mary Lyons (Community Visionary, 2008)
Greg MacGillvray (Artist, 2008)
Jerry Mandel (Visionary Arts Leader, 2019)
Eric Marienthal (Artist, 2010)
Mike McGee (Arts Visionary, 2016)
Donald McKayle (Artist, 2002)
Mission San Juan Capistrano (Community Visionary, 2011)
Judith O’Dea Morr (Artistic Visionary, 2002)
Marcelina Arroues Mulville (Community Visionary, 2000)
Marybelle & S. Paul Musco (Arts Philanthropist, 2013)
Mary Muth (Community Visionary, 2001)
Founders of the Newport Harbor Art Museum - Joan Irving Brandt, Thelma Chastain, Em Crary, Dorothe Curtis, Kay Farwell, Allene Hays, Judy Hurndall, Gloria Irvine, Jane Lawson, Betty Mickle, Flo Stoddard, Dottie Ahmanson Sullivan, and Betty Winckler (Community Visionary, 2000)
Tom & Marilyn Nielsen (Community Visionary, 2003)
Dwight Richard Odle (Artist, 2006)
Ralph Opacic (Artistic Visionary, 2007)
Orange County Community Foundation (Community Visionary, 2010)
Douglas C. Rankin (Artistic Visionary, 2012)
Elaine Redfield (Community Visionary, 2000)
Relámpago del Cielo (Arts Organization, 2015)
Cathy Rigby (Artist, 2015)
Salwa Rizkalla (Artistic Visionary, 2014)
William & Barbara Roberts (Community Visionary, 2012)
Carol Saindon (Artist, 2018)
Jerry Samuelson (Community Visionary, 2009)
Floss Schumacher (Community Visionary, 2000)
Henry Segerstrom (Community Visionary, 2000)
Helen & Edward Shanbrom (Community Visionary, 2004)
Gordon Shaw (Community Visionary, 2005)
Joan Irvine Smith (Community Visionary, 2007)
Carl St.Clair (Artistic Visionary, 2009)
John & Elizabeth Stahr (Community Visionary, 2002)
The Harry & Grace Steele Foundation (Community Visionary, 2001)
Beulah Strickler (Community Visionary, 2013)
Tom Titus (Arts Journalist, 2021)
Paula Tomei (Community Visionary, 2018)
Elizabeth Turk (Artist, 2012)
Ernesto and Socorro Vasquez (Visionary Arts Patrons, 2019)
Carol Wilken (Community Visionary, 2010)
David Young (Community Visionary, 2004)
James Young (Artist, 2005)
Charlie & Ling Zhang (Arts Philanthropists, 2017)
Gloria Zigner (Community Visionary, 2012)

(Listed in Alphabetical Order)

Roberta & Howard Ahmanson (Patron, 2010)
John Alexander (Artist, 2000)
The All-American Boys Chorus (Arts Organization, 2011)
Anaheim Ballet (Organization, 2008)
Darrel Anderson (Volunteer, 2003)
Marsha Anderson (Volunteer, 2008)
Art & Creativity for Healing (Educator, 2003)
Arts & Learning Conservatory (Organization, 2014)
Assistance League of Irvine (Volunteer, 2007)
Backhausdance (Organization, 2012)
Ballet Pacifica (Organization, 2001, 2000)
Donald & Joan Beall (Patron, 2001)
Robert Becker (Artist, 2009)
Phyllis Berenbeim (Educator, 2000)
Suki Berg (Artist, 2008)
The Boeing Company (Patron, 2006)
Troy Botello (Educator, 2002)
Bowers Museum of Cultural Art (Organization, 2007, 2001)
City of Brea (Patron, 2008)
Brea, Blackstone 2017 (Outstanding Contribution to the Built Environment, 2018)
Brethren Christian Junior & Senior High School (Arts Organization, 2011)
Laurie Brown (Artist, 2002)
Austin Buffum (Educator, 2006)
Jerry Burchfield (Artist, 2001)
California State University, Fullerton Performing Arts Center (Built Environment, 2006)
Capistrano Unified School District (Educator, 2003)
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, San Clemente (Arts Organization, 2017)
Beverly Chaffee (Educator, 2002)
The Chance Theater (Organization, 2009, 2004)
Children’s Museum at La Habra (Educator, 2001)
Joshua Colover (Artist, 2004)
Vesta Curry (Volunteer, 2002)
John & Sandy Daniels (Patron, 2002)
James Dinh (Artist/Arts Leader, 2019)
Jane & Jim Driscoll (Patron, 2008)
Leslie Feibleman (Volunteer, 2006)
Eliot Feld/Ballet Tech (Artist, 2000)
Festival Ballet Theatre (Organization, 2002)
Festival of Arts Laguna Beach (Organization, 2008)
FLIGHT at Tustin Legacy Murals (Public Art, 2021)
Paul Folino (Patron, 2003)
Robin Follman (Artist, 2008)
Robert Frelly (Artist, 2011)
JoAnn Fuerbringer (Educator, 2004)
Fullerton Museum Center (Organization, 2003)
Fullerton School District Foundation For the Arts (Volunteer, 2000)
Fulton Middle School (Educator, 2000)
Sarah Rafael Garcia (Emerging Arts Leader, 2018)
Garden Grove Unified School District (Educator, 2000)
Michael & Eleanor Gordon (Patron, 2005)
Grand Central Art Center (Organization, 2019, 2000)
Guilds of the Orange County Performing Arts Center (Volunteer, 2005)
Ramya Harishankar (Artist, 2003)
Kathleen Harris (Educator, 2005)
Martin Hubbard (Volunteer, 2001)
Huntington Beach Art Center (Organization, 2006)
Irvine Barclay Theatre (Organization, 2006, 2002)
Irvine Unified School District (Educator, 2008)
Janice Johnson (Volunteer, 2004)
Richard Kaufman (Artist, 2006)
Raymond Kobler (Artist, 2003)
Laguna Art Museum (Organization, 2002)
City of Laguna Beach (Patron, 2002)
Laguna College of Art & Design (Organization, 2013)
Laguna Dance Festival (Organization, 2015)
Laguna Playhouse (Organization, 2008, 2000)
Timothy Landauer (Artist, 2005)
Jan Landstrom (Volunteer, 2007)
The Legacy Project (Artist, 2007)
Phil & Mary Lyons (Patron, 2000)
Madison Elementary School (Educator, 2003)
Jim & Suzanne Mellor (Patron, 2006)
Yevgeniya Mikhailik (Emerging Artist, 2016)
Todd Miller (Artist, 2010)
Mission Viejo High School (Educator, 2001)
Allen Moon (Impresario, 2016)
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center (Organization, 2010)
Paul & Marybelle Musco (Patron, 2006)
MUZEO (Built Environment, 2008)
National Choreographers Initiative (Organization, 2007)
City of Newport Beach (Public Art Program, 2014)
Newport Beach Film Festival (Organization, 2001)
New Swan Theater, UCI - Claire Trevor School of the Arts (Outstanding Contribution to the Built Environment, 2013)
Oanh Nguyen (Artist, 2007)
Noelle Corporate Communications (Patron, 2005)
Northwood High School Performing Arts Department (Educator, 2005)
Orange County Board of Supervisors (Special Award, 2021)
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (Organization, 2001)
Orange County High School of the Arts Foundation (Volunteer, 2001)
Orange County Museum of Art (Organization, 2005)
Orange County Performing Arts Center (Built Environment, 2007)
Orange County Register (Patron, 2000)
Orange County Women's Chorus (Organziation, 2014)
Orange County Youth Symphony (Educator, 2005)
Pacific Chorale (Organization, 2002)
Pacific Symphony League (Volunteer, 2008)
Pacific Life Foundation (Patron, 2001)
Pacific Symphony (Organization, 2004, 2002, 2001)
PBS SoCal (Organization, 2016)
Brian Peterson (Emerging Artist, 2018)
Philharmonic Society of Orange County (Organization, 2000)
Committees of the Philharmonic Society (Volunteer, 2002)
Maurizzio Hector Pineda (Emerging Artist, 2021)
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (Educator, 2001)
Patricia Poss (Patron, 2011)
Teri Ralston (Artist, 2002)
Jerry Rothman (Artist, 2004)
Rude Guerrilla Productions (Organization, 2002)
Susan & Henry Samueli (Patron, 2004)
City of Santa Ana (Patron, 2002, 2000)
David Schramm (Volunteer, 2006)
Gregg Schwenk (Volunteer, 2004)
The Hal & Jeanette Segerstrom Family (Patron, 2009)
Helen Seigel (Educator, 2002)
Shakespeare Orange County (Organization, 2005)
Anne Shih (Volunteer, 2001)
Doris Shields (Volunteer, 2000)
Kevin Staniec (Emerging Arts Leader, 2017)
Soka Performing Arts Center (Built Environment, 2012)
South Coast Repertory (Organization, 2003)
South Coast Plaza (Patron, 2009)
South Orange County High School of the Arts (Educator, 2007)
STAGEStheatre (Organization, 2002)
Carl St.Clair (Special Recognition, 2019; Artist, 2001)
STOP-GAP (Organization, 2001)
Alan Terricciano (Artist, 2006)
Jim Thomas (Educator, 2004)
Catherine Thyen (Volunteer, 2005)
Peter Tiner (Educator, 2004)
Tom Titus (Artist, 2005)
Trio Céleste (Emerging Artists, 2017)
Richard Turner (Artist, 2001)
University of California, Irvine Arts Plaza (Built Environment, 2006)
Sister Madeleva Williams, C.S.J. (Artist, 2011)
Wells Fargo Bank (Patron, 2007)
Kurt Weston (Artist, 2010)
The Wooden Floor (Educator, 2010)
Andre Woodward (Artist, 2013)