Live on YouTube: Book Launch: ‘Dark Past Dark Future’ by Jonah Raskin Sunday, February 28th @ 4pm

Into the Dark Heart of Sonoma Noir with recently published “Dark Past Dark Future”. 

Writer Jonah Raskin, author of a series of detective novels that take readers on wild rides into a clandestine world rarely glimpsed, will share selected readings and join in conversation with David Madgalene. Audience questions can be submitted via live chat or by email to during the live event.

Click here to go to OCA’s YouTube Channel.

Use this link to access the livestream @ 4pm on 2/28/21

About Dark Past Dark Future: Sonoma detective Tioga Vignetta finds herself caught up in intrigue that threatens to blow the lid off the city where she lives and works. There’s hidden loot, a band of pornographers who exploit young women and a cast of eccentric characters, who include a Mexican farmworker turned investigator, Jack London fans and members of an old farming family.

Jonah Raskin

Jonah Raskin has lived in Sonoma County since 1976. He taught literature and media at Sonoma State University for 30 years, and he’s
the author of 16 books, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry which he performs locally with musicians. A columnist for The Bohemian and The Pacific Sun, he has been a film critic, a restaurant reviewer and an investigative journalist.


David Madgalene is co-editor of the anthology Sons of Noir: Murder and Mayhem which launched at OCA with co-editor Ed Coletti. He also produced “Spirit Poetry Song Action: the David Randolph New Way Media Festival” and “Call Down the Angel: A Tribute to African American Gospel”, both events were held at OCA.


Book Launch: Elizabeth Herron’s latest poetry collection “Insistent Grace” Sunday, March 21st 4-5 PM

Join us for an online event featuring Elizabeth Herron! Register here.


Like deep breaths drawn effortlessly in, the poems and images of Insistent Grace are satisfying to the core. Filled with the aromas of salt fog, summer grass, redwood creeks, eucalyptus, and bay, they weave together the human and the more-than-human worlds.

~Fernwood Press

‘In the time of global pandemic and climate crisis, Elizabeth Herron evokes Mother Nature’s insistent grace – a power that compels respect and can help us heal ourselves and our planet – if we are resolute.’                   ~Awiakta, poet and author of Selu, the Wisdom of the Corn Mother.


‘…It’s a stunning intersection—buzzing with things I’d almost forgotten and others that were realized only on reading Elizabeth Herron’s words…..“We are always reinventing the world,” she writes. The ripples from these poems carry that power—and reinvent the reader as well.’


~Arthur Dawson, poet, writer, editor and historical ecologist, author of Where the World Begins: Sonoma Mountain Stories and Images.


Elizabeth Herron is the author of four poetry chapbooks and a previous collection of poems, Desire Being Full of Distance, as well as a collection of short fiction. Her poems and articles have appeared in Parabola, Orion, Center for Humans and Nature, Reflections, Free State and Columbia Review. Grants and awards sustaining her work have come from the Foundation for Deep Ecology, The Mesa Refuge for Writers, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Known for her collaborative performances with musicians and movement artists, her book-length poem, The Poet’s House, was written to accompany Bruce Johnson’s Poetry House sculpture. She writes articles centered on art and ecology, imagination and empathy, and the importance of nature in our physical and spiritual well-being. She has been focused on climate since 2003 when the Society for Conservation Biology announced global warming as the greatest threat to all species.


Virtual Variety Show: Celebrating Women’s History Month Saturday, March 27th @ 8 PM

Enjoy a variety of performers on our “virtual” stage for this amazing show featuring songs written by women. Save the date!


Elliott Peck • Jenny Kerr • Essence • Lara Louise • Emily Lois • Ariel Marin • Mariah Parker • Kate Vargas • Rainbow Girls • Solid Air • Nina Gerber & Chris Webster • Tumbleweed Soul • Nagavalli • Lucy Kaplansky • The Musers

Check back for updates!

Literary Event:Charmian Kittredge London by Dr. Iris Jamahl Dunkle REPLAY AVAILABLE on YouTube

This live event occurred on January 17, 2021. You can watch the recording on our YouTube Channel.

Charmian Kittredge London (1871–1955) was the epitome of a modern woman. Free-spirited and adventurous, she defied modern expectations of femininity. Today she is best known as the wife of the famous American author Jack London, yet she was a literary trailblazer in her own right. This biography is the first book to tell the complete story of Charmian’s life—freed from the shadow cast by her famous husband.

“Despite her flaws, or perhaps because of them, Charmian is indeed the kind of woman whom one would love to have known. After reading this comprehensive, carefully researched biography, many Jack London fans will probably feel that they do indeed know Charmian.”—Jack London Society

Iris Jamahl Dunkle is the author four poetry collections, including the forthcoming West : Fire : Archive. She teaches at Napa Valley College and was the 2017–2018 Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, California.



Sonoma County Songwriters Series presents Teresa Clark and Bill Chetel Sunday, February 14th 4-5 PM

Sonoma County Songwriters Series presents Teresa Clark and Bill Chetel, live from their living room!

Teresa Clark, a 36 year Sonoma County resident, has been playing guitar well over 50 years and is a long time student of Nina Gerber. Songwriting is a new journey. Under the guidance of Renee Harcourt the adventure began in 2018. The past 10 years Teresa’s living room has been a gathering spot for community and connection through music. 

From a musical family, Bill Chetel played more sports than music until his 40s, when he flip-flopped those interests. After years working backstage, he now finds himself on the stage, playing bass and guitar. Creating original music with friends is the musical path he finds most fulfilling.

For this project Teresa and Bill will bring you a sample of the fun they have at home in the living room. From this living room, thank you for inviting us into yours!

Watch this performance on the Facebook page of Sonoma County Songwriters.

Virtual Book Launch: Joan Frank’s The Outlook for Earthlings REPLAY AVAILABLE on YouTube

On Sunday, November 15th at 4 pm, you are warmly invited to a Zoom Book Party for The Outlook for Earthlings with our friend, Joan Frank, well-known local author and essayist and in conversation with Patrick Fanning, President of OCA’s Board of Directors. Watch a recording of the event on YouTube with this link!

You can purchase the book with this link, and the author will send you a signed copy!

The Outlook for Earthlings tracks the trajectory of a problematic friendship over a lifetime between two women of opposite natures. Their friendship suggests to each a final frontier, a saving sanctuary. Yet at its core each woman takes a secret, moral offense at the other’s inmost nature-and her choices. Against the deadline of the illness which is slowly destroying one of them, a reckoning must occur.

Earthlings considers the limits of friendship-and of witnessing. It asks how we may finally measure a life-and who should do the measuring.

Joan is the author of ten books of literary fiction and nonfiction. WHERE YOU’RE ALL GOING: FOUR NOVELLAS won the 2018 Mary McCarthy Prize for Short Fiction. TRY TO GET LOST: ESSAYS ON TRAVEL AND PLACE, published the same month, won the 2018 River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize. A MacDowell, VCCA, and Vermont Studio Center Fellow, Joan’s work has received many honors and awards, including the Juniper Prize for the Novel and two ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards. Joan also reviews literary fiction and nonfiction for the Washington Post . She lives in Santa Rosa.

 ‘Earthlings offers the gift of Joan Frank’s gorgeous, limpid prose exploring vast and nuanced constellations of human love.  Frank’s characters gracefully reveal how choices are made, accrue to shape and define our lives-yet how forgiveness may also allow us to transcend those very limitations.’

~Elizabeth Rosner, author of Survivor’s Cafe

Joan will share from selected readings, followed by an informal conversation with Patrick Fanning.

Pat’s first career was in publishing. In 1979 he co-founded New Harbinger Publications.  His previous novels are Infidels Abroad, Rejuvenation, and Geoffrey Doover.  His second career is in art. He was one of the founders of the Graton Gallery, paints mostly in watercolor, and has taught watercolor classes in the states and occasionally abroad in Costa Rica or Italy. He often travels with his sketchbook, which resulted in a recent book, “Travel Sketching.” He is the President of OCA’s Board of Directors and has been most recently involved in the construction of the new lobby for the OCA auditorium.

Free admission. Registration required to receive Zoom link to event. Click here to register.

NOTA BENE: Due to fire season, this event may be re-scheduled. Please check our website as the date approaches.

OCA’s Fall Spectacular Variety Show! REPLAY AVAILABLE on YouTube


You can also watch this show on Facebook.

This is the fourth show in our 2020 Virtual Variety Show series.

You don’t want to miss this amazing lineup of talent!
Click here to watch the show!

Enjoy great music and art from the safety of your own home.

All of our virtual shows are available free on our YouTube Channel.

Subscribe to our channel today and don’t miss a show!

Scroll down to read the full lineup of performers.

Musical performances by:

Barbara Higbie
Benjamin Mertz
Danny & Essence
David Luning
Dennis Ludiker & Kaylee Goins
Dirty Cello
Eric Wiley
The Familiar Strangers
Heartwood Crossing Trio
Jenny Kerr Band
Laurie Lewis & Brandon Godman
Meredith Axelrod & Craig Ventresco
Mimi & Gabe Pirard
The Musers
Nina Gerber & Chris Webster
Noah Jeffries, Matt Mefford and Dennis Ludiker
Peppino D’Agostino
Phil Lawrence
Rainbow Girls
Ricky Mier
Scott Law
Stella Heath
Teresa Tudury
T Sisters
Tumbleweed Soul

and featuring artwork from our latest Gallery exhibit
“Treasures From Home” by Sonoma County artists.

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Virtual Book Launch: A Road Less Paved by Mary Gaffney REPLAY AVAILABLE on YouTube

You can watch the recording of this event on our YouTube Channel.


Local writer and longtime OCA volunteer, Mary Gaffney, takes us on an extraordinary journey from her home in Occidental all the way to Tierra del Fuego, the southern-most tip of South America. Recounting their epic road trips as she traveled with her husband , children and friends, Mary remembers the places and people with great depth and humor.

Mary Gaffney has lived on the sunny side of the Redwoods of Occidental, CA for over 40 years. She is still there writing when she”s not traveling.  Her previous work can be found in two anthologies, Cartwheels on the Faultline and Saltwater Sweetwater. Mary has been a volunteer with OCA since its inception.


Virtual Book Launch: Donna Emerson’s Beside The Well with musical interludes by Jared Emerson-Johnson REPLAY AVAILABLE on YouTube

Join our first Virtual Book Launch via Zoom!

Donna’s poetry collection takes us from the wells, woods, meadows, horses, family and strangers of her family homestead in the New York Finger Lakes, to the music, ocean and earth in her current California. In plainspoken diction, narrative and lyric styles, the poet records memorable, time-stopping moments of intimacy.

This live event features selected readings, musical interludes and audience Q&A. Books will be available for purchase.


This event will take place online via Zoom. There is no charge to attend but you must register to receive the Zoom link.

Registration has closed. If you would still like to participate, please email

To purchase the book please use this link. We will email you to confirm whether you would like the book signed by the author and/or any custom inscription. Books will be shipped within 7 days by USPS.

About the author: Recently retired from teaching at Santa Rosa Jr. College, and private practice as a clinical social worker, Donna Emerson’s award-winning poetry can be seen most recently in the Denver Quarterly, the MacGuffin, Verdad, and anthologies such as Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California. Her publications also include four chapbooks, and two full-length poetry collections, The Place of Our Meeting and Beside the Well. Her recent awards include nominations for a California Book Award, two Pushcarts and Best of the Net nominations, and two Allen Ginsberg awards.


Jared Emerson-Johnson
is an award winning composer, sound designer, and voice director. Since the early 2000s, Jared has also worked as a music instructor in Cinnabar Theater’s education department—coaching chamber music and conducting various operettas and musicals. Since 2017 Jared has performed as front man with the Rivertown Skifflers, a lively jug band well known to Sonoma and Marin County listeners.



Donna and Jared are both featured in the recent OCA Virtual Variety Show “Keeping the Arts in our Hearts” available on our YouTube Channel.

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Sonoma County’s Got Talent! Virtual Variety Show Replay Available on YouTube

OCA proudly presents our third “Virtual Variety Show” featuring Sonoma County musicians, performers and artists!

Enjoy this free broadcast on YouTube with many OCA favorites, a virtual art exhibition of our members’ artwork, music, theater and more!

Click this link to watch the show.

Mark your calendar and enjoy this show from the comfort and safety of your own home. We’re lucky to have a community so rich with talent and generosity! Many thanks to all of the performers who are contributing their talents to this show!

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel or check out our earlier shows! You don’t have to subscribe but it helps us reach more viewers and allows you to “like” our shows!


Arts in our Hearts : A Virtual Variety Show Replay available on YouTube

Our first-ever Virtual Variety Show was a great success and we are blown away to see that in the first 24 hours our video has had nearly 1,000 views! Thank you to all who tuned in to watch and enjoy this great lineup of musicians and artists. We are very appreciative of the 60+ people who participated in the creation of the video.

We’ve also raised $4k of our $10k goal – and we are very grateful to everyone who donated!! What a generous community we have!

In case you missed it, you can watch the replay of the show at this link.

The feedback we’ve received about the show has been so overwhelmingly positive that we are already cooking up round two – stay tuned for more info to be posted soon! In the meantime, please visit the sites of our awesome performers listed below.

Claude Bourbon

Peppino D’Agostino

Emily Lois

Barbara Borden

Meredith Axelrod & Craig Ventresco

Stella Heath & Ian Scherer

Sarah Baker

Mariah Parker

Benjamin Mertz

Danny & Essence

Kevin Russell & Candy Girard

Occidental Community Choir

The Black Brothers Band

Dirty Cello

Laurie Lewis

Teresa Tudury

David Rosen

Patrick & Nancy

Naomi Newman