Gallery Exhibit: Abstractions Open Fri-Sat-Sun 11 am - 4 PM; ends Sunday, July 21st

The OCA Gallery Committee is pleased to present “Abstractions”, an exhibition of 72 works in a variety of media created by Sonoma County artists.

“Abstractions” runs from Friday, May 31st through Sunday, July 21st. The exhibition gallery is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM to 4 PM and during the intermission of our auditorium events.

This exhibition was juried by the OCA Gallery Committee with award winners selected by Michele Foyer and Patricia Sonnino. First place was awarded to Nancy Kees Dunn for “Torso”; Second Place to Chris Cheek for “Ninety-seven light years away”; with Honorable Mentions given to Andrew Annenberg for “Into Being”, Daniel Celidore for “Emergence”, and Fred Jacobs for “Grass, Water, and Algae”.

Scroll down for a small sample of the exhibit!

“Reminiscence” by Leslie Dalton

“Mostly Black” by River Mortenson



“Into Being” by Andrew Annenberg – Honorable Mention Recipient

“Abstractions” Exhibit June-July 2019

“Abstractions” Exhibit June-July 2019

Gentle Yoga classes at OCA Offered Wednesdays 9 - 10:15 AM and Fridays 3 - 4:15 PM

Experience the skilled and nurturing teachings of Gail Saunders, CYT of Smiling Tree Yoga in OCA’s classroom; ongoing. Drop-ins welcomed. Mats and equipment provided. This is a popular offering!

Four classes for $50 or drop-in at $15 per class.
Classes are Wednesdays from 9 – 10:15 AM and Fridays from 3 – 4:15 PM

For more information, contact



Occidental Fools Parade! First Saturday in April @ 1 PM

Fools_Parade_2006 image 1

2019 Fool’s Parade and Party – A Smash Hit!

As expected, the rain subsided just in time for the fun. Parading through town, more than 100 fools gallavanted and frolicked their way to Occidental Center for the Arts, where more fun awaited.

Psychic ‘Reeda DePalma’ shared her otherworldly knowledge from inside the gypsy caravan; children enjoyed the art contest, crowning of King and Queen of Fools; balloon animals, giant bubbles and playing with Miss Meghan from Big Fun Circus! Crowd pleasing, yummy food from Russottis and Lata Pagare – and great music by Gumbo Variations – along with the Sonoma County Bookmobile and more! This year’s event was amazing and we’re already planning more BIG FUN for 2020!

We are grateful to our event sponsors – their support is so important to the safety and success of this event.

Our 2019 Sponsors

Occidental Arts & Ecology Center
Hand Goods
Hazel Restaurant
Barley & Hops
Bohemian Market
Occidental Lodge
Open Door Insurance
Sonoma Canopy Tours
Osmosis Day Spa
Occidental Community Council

Don’t miss this annual event celebrating community and creativity! Held the first Saturday in April, rain or shine.

Come frolic with us as we parade foolishly through Occidental-town, led by The Hub Bub Club, to wind our silly way to OCA for extreme frivolity and fun! Enjoy the crowning of the King and Queen of Fools presided over by Zero the Clown and more!

After the parade, enjoy free live entertainment, children’s activities and foolish community fun!

This event has been an annual tradition in Occidental for more than a decade. Dance like a fool at this family-friendly event! Meet at 12:30 pm at the Occidental Community Center to join the parade (children must be accompanied by parent/guardian). No fee to participate in the parade and foolish festivities. Refreshments for sale at OCA following the parade, proceeds benefit our art center. Come one, come all!

Summer Sunday Memoir Group Six Sundays 3-5 PM beginning June 23rd


Opening the Treasure Chest,” is a memoir-writing circle that will open at OCA in June. This will be a six week event led by Bev Riverwood, who will begin addressing topics such as “what is this memoir thing anyway” and “why on earth would I want to write one?” We will deal with selecting an approach and begin to learn to silence our inner critics.

Each meeting will include some good old-fashioned reading and writing, as we make our way through the advice offered by such leading lights as Natalie Goldberg and Anne Lamott. This will be a safe place to investigate the bright as well as the dark side. As trust develops we will share some writing, but we will save “criticism” until our skins are thick and we have developed confidence in our new voice. We will learn to follow where our life story is leading. All previous experience is not only useful but required. Beginners are welcome.

This six-week adventure will include research methods and materials, organization, timelines of events and family mythology and memory. So get out those journals, photo albums, letters, emails, (and the book you have hidden in the top drawer of your desk!) Of course, we’ll address creating scenes and characters as well as dialogue, editing and whatever other topics arise. We do not have an official text, but the movable “memoir suitcase” contains a library of memoir books and articles that can be borrowed and studied.

All this for just $100 tuition, which is to be split with the OCA as a donation. This fee is due at the first meeting. If you have questions, please email or call Bev Riverwood, the instigator, who is still working on her own memoir. 707-823-0974.

Bev is a local artist and writer who has a long history of facilitating creative work for people of all ages. A teacher since 1961, she has taught writing to every age from kindergarten to college, and has also taught horsepersonship and stone carving on the side. Most recently, she was one of the founders of the West County Writers’ Circle, a memoir group which began at OCA in 2013 and still persists. Their first book, Stories from the Left Coast: Nevertheless They Persisted, was published in 2017.


*Not eligible for OCA member discounts.

Claude Bourbon: Medieval & Spanish Blues Sunday, June 23rd 5 - 7 PM


Born in France, classically trained in Switzerland and now based in the U.K, this unique finger-picking guitar master travels the world with his trusty Gibson J-45, offering up a compelling acoustic fusion of blues, jazz, folk, classical, Spanish/Latin, Middle Eastern and even Russian guitar stylings, accentuated by his own soulful vocals. From his beautiful rendition of Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’ to his atmospheric classical openings which fuse into a whole continent of cultural roots and influences, Claude Bourbon offers a sensory experience that should not be missed.


…”This accomplished artist offers tender, compelling performance through highly developed precision. His sound instantly creates ambience- from haunting Spanish moods to lyrical, romantic jazz. Claude Bourbon provides both a rich evening of music for lovers, and a real treat for music lovers..”, BBC (U.K.)


Experience the unique musical ambiance of ‘The Thumb’ at O.C.A.’s acoustic sweet spot! $18 Adv/$22 at door. Cabaret & concert seating. Fine wine, beer and fine refreshments available. Wheelchair Accessible. OCA Art Gallery is open for viewing.

Zipline Improv! Saturday, July 13th 7 pm

ZipLine Improv returns! Following packed houses for their improv at Spreckels Theater, they are pleased as Punch to be returning to OCA’s acoustic sweet spot. ZL founder and Occidental native Laura Wachtel has put together a new combo of talented actors from around the Bay Area for this next rollicking installment of made-up-in-the-moment stories.Their focus is on narrative improv featuring both short scenes and full-length improvised “movies.” It might be funny, it might be emotional, it might be ridiculous — audience suggestions will point the way! ‘Furthering the cause of improv in Sonoma County’.

Zulu Spear Band –Nelson Mandela Birthday Tribute! Friday, July 19th 7:30 PM

Award-winning Zulu Spear Band’s vibrant South African music comes to our stage in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s Birthday! A pioneer of the 80’s World Beat scene (Capital Records hit ‘Welcome to the USA’), the group was created by South African musician /composer Sechaba Mokeoena and Soweto-born Gideon Bendile to play traditional South African rhythms and harmonies using modern electric instruments and dancers in costume. Singer/dancer Bendile, who worked with Hugh Masekela and Paul Simon and was featured in ‘The Lion King’, is still Zulu Spear’s leader along with original members Morgan-Nhlapo, Ron van Leeuwaarde, Jerome Leonard Sr., Jennifer Jolly, Scott Vento, Patrick Owens plus dancer/vocalists Piwa, Kemi, and Moekitse. The current San Francisco based band merges Mbaganga rhythms with pop, reggae, blues, jazz, world music genres and incorporates electric guitars, bass, keyboard and drums with vocal harmonies and mesmerizing dance in an exciting performance


Do NOT miss this inspiring and uplifting performance in honor of the great Nelson Mandela and the on going fight against oppression in all of our lands! Dance space, fine refreshments including wine and beer, wheelchair accessible.

2nd Annual Prasada Festival Saturday, July 27 - Sunday, July 28

OCA welcomes back Prasada Festival with expanded offerings this year!

This two-day ‘feast for the soul’ features a stellar lineup of musicians and performers of kirtan, traditional Indian dance and sacred ceremony. Prasada Festival is a production of Bhakti Arts Collective: committed to supporting devotional arts of India with a focus on honoring source tradition, inclusivity and cultural exchange. 

Scroll down or visit the prasada-festival website for more information and for tickets.

This event will sell out so get your tickets now! Please note: this event is not eligible for OCA member discounts.


Nagavalli – Mayapuris – Sheela Bringi – Jai Uttal – Prajna Vieira & the Mukti Kirtan Ensemble – Śekhar Boddupalli – David Estes & Ananda Rasa Kirtan – Acharya Mangalananda – Revital Carroll – Radica Giri – Ganga Sheth – Shambhavi Dandekar’s Kathak Dancers & more!