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

OCA Reader’s Theatre Group 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, @7pm

readers theaterAll interested in learning, sharing and reading 2-3 short plays, please come!.  A fun opportunity to express yourself. FREE

Readers Theater is readers reading a script adapted from literature, and the audience picturing the action from hearing the script being read aloud. It requires no sets, costumes, props, or memorized lines. Instead of acting literature as in a play, the performer’s goal is to read a script aloud effectively, enabling the audience to visualize the action. Performers bring the text alive by using voice, facial expressions, and some gestures.

Regular READER’S CHOICE nights: Can be play, poetry, story, essay, your own writing,OR ??????

For more information, call Judith Reimuller 707-829-2176 or email Joan at

Meet in the OCA classroom.


Call to All Writers Book Launch Series

All genres will be considered: Prose (Fiction, Non-fiction), Poetry. Preference will be given to local Sonoma County writers or material about Sonoma County. Application Procedure: Send a sampling of 2-3 chapters if prose; 5-10 pages if poetry. Please include brief bio and any writing credits. You can email, and/or hard copy to:

Occidental Center for the Arts
Attention: Book Launch Committee
3850 Doris Murphy Way
Occidental, 95465

This is an on-going series: Submitted work will be reviewed by Book Launch Committee. Writers will be notified as soon as possible. One or two writers will be featured at each reading.

Thursday Night Figure Drawing Thursdays, 7-9 pm

Bill Wheeler Figure Drawing GroupEvery Thursday 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Drop-in, $15 per person

Live models, 5- to 20-minute poses.
All experience & skill levels welcome.
Bring your own drawing or watercolor materials.

Founded by Bill Wheeler, this class continues in his honor and is coordinated by a dedicated group of local artists.


The OCA classroom is at 3820 Doris Murphy Circle. Payment accepted at the door, cash or check only. No minimum requirement of classes.

For information on the class, contact Pieter Myers at or phone 707-953-3535.

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!

Gallery Exhibit: Members’ Show Friday, August 2 - Sunday, September 1

OCA is pleased to present an exhibition of our members’ artwork in a variety of media. The gallery is open to the public Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM to 4 PM.


NEW: Participate in our “Public Choice Award” by casting your vote in person during regular gallery hours.


Artists featured in this exhibition:

Beth Anderson
Galya Bayreuther
Marguerite Brennan
David R. Brown
Sharon Cahn
Daniel Celidore
Eva Gretta Cooper
Pat Engel
Patrick Fanning
Saroj Heron
Barbara Isaksen
Barbara Jacobs
Fred Jacobs
John James
Nancy Kees Dunn
Judith Kinsey
Ed Lark
Melissa McCann
Alexandra McDonald
Su McMurtry
River Mortenson
Courtland Mudge
Emilie Munsch
Annie Springer Murphy
Lesley Pickford
Johanna Regan
Josie Rose
Susan St. Thomas
Carol Swanson
Joel Valbrown
Kenneth Van Cleave
Philip Wilkinson
Laura Williams
Sabina Yates

The Gorgon Medusa: Her Significance for Women of our Time This event is being rescheduled.

Due to unforseen circumstances, we regretfully have to reschedule this event.  A new event date will be posted ASAP. Thank you for your interest.


Who is this frightening female creature with gnashing teeth, lolling tongue, glaring eyes, and writhing serpents for hair? Why has she has haunted the western imagination for more than 2500 years? For the ancient Greeks, the Gorgon was the ultimate female monster. Her decapitation by the Greek hero Perseus and the usurping of her life-giving and death-wielding powers was a central motif throughout the Greek world. Her demonization and decapitation – the ultimate silencing – has continued to the present day. But long before she was demonized, her powers were honored as the source of life itself.

This lavishly illustrated presentation by Archaeomythologist Joan Marler will trace the ancient roots of the Gorgon Medusa’s multi-layered powers, and explore her myths, stories, and iconography that reveal her timeless significance in this present moment, here and now.

The great percussionist Barbara Borden, and friends, will perform for half an hour to get us in the mood to meet Medusa. She will return to play at the end to encourage us all to dance.

Joan Marler is the editor of The Civilization of the Goddess, by Marija Gimbutas and From the Realm of the Ancestors: An Anthology in Honor of Marija Gimbutas. Joan is the Executive Director of the Institute of Archaeomythology.

Barbara Borden –  drummer, percussionist, teacher – performs solo and in collaboration with other musicians, artists & healers. She has been playing drums for 60 years and teaching private lessons and drumming groups for 30 years. Barbara is the subject of David L. Brown’s documentary Keeper of the Beat and dedicates her life to keeping the heartbeat of joy, compassion, understanding, and creativity alive.

Tickets to this event are $15. OCA is wheelchair accessible.

Call to artists – “Barriers” Art Exhibition Submit Entries on Wednesday, September 4th - Exhibit runs Sept 6th - Oct 27th

OCA is pleased to present “Barriers” – a juried exhibition of artwork created by Sonoma County artists.

Imagine! Something that stands in the way. They can stop progress, prevent approach, or can contain and protect. Barriers are obstacles or impediments to the flow that can stop it completely – or allow some things to flow through. They make the journey more challenging and interesting. Barriers encourage and demand creativity and growth!

Artists may submit up to three pieces for this show. Entry fee is $20 for first piece, $10 for each additional piece. Please refer to our entry guidelines for additional requirements, or email with any questions.

Our standard entry guidelines apply and can be accessed here.

Download the contract with the link below:


If you have any additional questions please email




The Dream Farmers Friday, September 6th 8 PM


First Friday Live!’ OCA’s local talent showcase is pleased to present The Dream Farmers. Founded and led by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Randall Sequeira, who was a teacher at the former Harmony (Alternative School ), this versatile band features mostly original and highly danceable roots, blues, soul, jazz, funk and world music with thoughtful lyrics and a positive attitude. Expect acoustic and electric guitars, keys, flute, harp and horns along with tasty electronics. Lovely chanteuse Amanda Kirkland delivers the vocals. $15 at the door. Fine refreshments include wine and beer.


Paul McCandless/Christian Foley-Beining Collaboration Sunday, September 8th 4 PM


Enjoy a Sunday afternoon jazz concert! OCA is pleased to bring back to our stage the Paul McCandless/Christian Foley-Beining Collaboration. This stellar quartet of Sonoma County based musicians features Grammy winner Paul McCandless and renowned guitarist Christian Foley-Beining, joined by bass player extraordinaire Tom Shader with another local favorite, Tom Hayashi on drums. They will be playing original compositions by McCandless and Foley-Beining.


Paul McCandless is a gifted multi-instrumentalist (oboe, bass clarinet, saxophone, woodwinds) and composer whose soaring lyricism and grounding in both classical and jazz disciplines has been integral to the sound of the original Paul Winter Consort as well as the innovative quartet OREGON. His 1996 Grammy with Bela Fleck & The Flecktones was followed by two nominations in 2001 for a CD featuring OREGON and the Moscow Tchaikovsky Orchestra. .


Christian Foley-Beining is a German native who studied at Swiss Jazz School and Berklee School of Music as well as being on the faculty of Musician’s Institute in Hollywood for eight years. He has taught and played guitar with Joe Pass, Pat Metheny, Ted Greene, Larry Carlton and others and is now based in Sonoma County.


Enjoy this exciting collaboration of gifted jazz musicians at OCA’s acoustic sweet spot with cabaret seating and fine refreshments for sale.

$18 Adv/$22 at the door. Wheelchair Accessible. Art Gallery open for viewing.






Watercolor Class Six Thursdays beginning September 12th, 9 AM - Noon

All levels of watercolor experience are welcome.

We will work from sketches and photographs, learning how to build up a watercolor in three transparent layers. Stress will be put on a strong value composition, limited color scheme, step-by-step painting plan, and fairly quick, bold execution. To see samples of Patrick’s work, go to

Each class includes a brief lecture, a one hour full sheet painting demonstration, and about two hours of time to work on your own painting with individual coaching.

Materials: chairs and flat tables are provided to work on. Patrick uses tube colors on rough Arches paper. A full materials list will be circulated prior to the first class.

Cost to participate is $100 for all six classes, payable at first class. Drop in rate is $25 per class.

To reserve a space, email Patrick at, or phone him at (707)478-5538.

The Musers & Late for the Train Saturday, September 14th 7:30 PM

The Musers – Tom Kuhn on vocals/bass/percussion plus singer/songwriters Megan Mclaughlin and Anita Bear Sandwina make up this high energy multi-instrumental trio who can make you laugh, cry or stomp your feet with pure joy. 
Late for the Train is a San Francisco-based 4-piece modern string band that weaves folk, funk and bluegrass into powerful arrangements of original/traditional music that feels both fresh and familiar.
$15 Adv/$19 at door. Fine refreshments, dance space. OCA is wheelchair accessible.

Book Launch: Living On The Fringe: A Memoir by Abraham Entin Sunday, September 15th 3 - 5 PM

When Ed Entin decided to torch his draft card, everything about his life changed. He had his whole life mapped out. It was 1966 and Eddie had just been accepted into Yale Law School — his ticket out of the Army and Vietnam and into a life of secure prosperity. It only took one day, one decision to change the course of his life. What follows is a sometimes harrowing, often hilarious, and always illuminating ten-year journey through the social, political, and spiritual turmoil of the era.

For anyone wondering how it was back then — or how to get through right now— Living on the Fringe provides a look at how one person who waded into the turbulent waters of his time came out whole, dry, and ready to face the future. And with a new name to match the person he had become.

Join us on Sunday, September 15th from 3 – 5 PM for music and song, selected readings, Q&A, book sales and signing. Refreshments are available by donation, beer and wine for sale. Admission is free, but all donations happily accepted!

About the Author: After the events described in this memoir, Abraham and his wife Rachael Flug went on to create Diaperaps Ltd., a business that helped revitalize cloth diapering for the benefit of babies and the environment. He founded the Sonoma County affiliate of Move to Amend and has written extensively about corporate personhood, money and debt. He is very proud to have received a certificate of appreciation from Occupy Santa Rosa for his “tireless support of the Occupy Movement and his work to end corporate greed and corruption”.

At seventy-four, Abraham Entin is still out rousing the rabble.

Abraham is a singer, a songwriter and a storyteller, and dances at every opportunity. He is a long-time student of Rudolf Steiner’s social ideas and is particularly interested in how spiritual perspectives influence and help bring about positive social change.

Abraham’s website is where you can hear his music, read other work and find out how to bring him to your community for a performance.


Jim Kweskin & Meredith Axelrod Sunday, September 22nd 4 PM

We are pleased to welcome back Jug Band legend Jim Kweskin in duo with rising Americana star Meredith Axelrod for a Sunday afternoon performance at OCA’s acoustic sweet spot! Founder of the 1960s Jim Kweskin Jug band with musical cohorts Geoff and Maria Muldaur among others, Jim is well known as a singer and bandleader who also created one of the bedrock guitar styles of the folk revival, adapting the ragtime-blues fingerpicking of artists like Mississippi John Hurt to the more complex chords of pop and jazz. He has maintained a remarkably consistent musical vision since his jug band days, continuing to explore traditional folk and blues with the sophisticated sensibility of a jazz musician. He continues to tour solo as well as with many well known musicians, offering an endearing good humor that makes his shows a delight.


Chicago native and Bay Area transplant Meredith Axelrod, who last appeared as a soloist on our stage in 2018, is an authentic and engaging multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who delivers heartfelt renditions of ragtime, music hall, minstrel, pop standards, boogie woogie, jugtime, jazz, country, and old time blues from times gone by; bringing her own charm and humor with a large dose of devotion to these American cultural treasures. .


Don’t miss this delightful co-bill of talent representing Vintage Americana past and present! $25Advance/$30 at the door. Fine Refreshments include wine and beer. Wheelchair Accessible. Art Gallery open.

 $25 Adv/$30 at the door.











SonoMusette! Saturday, September 28th 8 - 10 PM

Occidental Center for the Arts is pleased to bring back to our stage the talented musicians of SonoMusette! Led by Parisian born singer Mimi Pirard, this exciting Sonoma County-based ensemble authentically recreates the moody, evocative sound of the Paris cafe scene of the mid 1900s, music made famous by Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Charles Trenet, Django Reinhardt and other iconic performers of the era.

This music has retained it’s power to enchant and transport audiences, and SonoMusette taps into that nostalgia with artistry in both vocals and instrumentation.

SonoMusette’s renditions of these timeless French classics provide a freshness and excitement that is contemporary, yet faithful to the spirit and tradition of the original versions. Few singers are capable of doing justice to Piaf and Brel, and even fewer can match Mimi Pirard’s mesmerizing interpretation and delivery. The band features: Mimi Pirard – vocals; Robert Lunceford – accordion; Jan Martinelli – piano & bass; Isaac Vandeveer – guitar & bass, and Richard Andrews – drums.

   SonoMusette will charm and transport you as they expertly recapture the moody and melancholic sound and spirit of mid twentieth-century Paris in OCA’s acoustic sweet spot with cabaret and concert seating. $20 Ad/$23 at the door. Fine refreshments including wine and beer available. Art gallery open for viewing during events. ; 707-874-9392. OCA is accessible to people with disabilities.





Danny & Essence: Dynamic Americana Duo Saturday, October 12th 8 - 10 PM


Don’t miss the Sonoma County debut of this amazing duo!

Each seasoned musicians and vocalists in their own right, Danny Uzilevsky and Essence Goldman have joined musical forces to create a dynamic, soulful, sentimental and sometimes humorous performance. Envoking the spirits of Johnny and June with a rapport similar to Loretta and Conway, this pair brings a crowd pleasing evening of Americana, blues, country and toe-tapping originals.

Danny and Essence have been captivating audiences in San Francisco and Marin County with their impressive and heartening performances, and we are thrilled to welcome them to West County’s acoustic sweet spot.

Tickets are $18/adv and $23 at the door. OCA is wheelchair accessible.

About the artists:

Danny Uzilevsky has been called “a canny stylist and musical chameleon” by Allegiant Records. His musical career spans several decades, and his experience includes performing, engineering and producing. He’s shared the stage with legends such as Link Wray, Dick Dale, Taj Mahal, Bill Kirtchen, Leo Nocentelli and many more. Considered a local treasure in West Marin, Danny brings great talent, charisma and passion to the stage in every performance.

Essense Goldman is an award-winning singer and songwriter who has been immersed in art and music since childhood. After winning the Grand Prize in the National Lilith Fair Talent Search, Essence was signed to RCA Records and other labels. Her songs have been prominently featured on Nash Bridges, Lifetime’s The Division, Access Hollywood, and NPR’s Art of the Song. Shape of You, an emotional song about loss and healing, was the theme song in the film Motherland, which won the SXSW Audience Choice Award.

Essence received a national spotlight for her work with Bernie and the Believers, using her voice to support tragically ALS-stricken vocal student and friend Bernie Dalton. Essence helped Bernie produce an album of his music after he lost the ability to speak or move. Bernie and the Believers was featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, and Bernie’s music lives on providing inspiration for people around the world. Learn more about Essence’s musical career including her work with Bernie and the Believers at



Halloween Bash with The THUGZ Thursday, October 31st 7:30 - 10 PM

Put on your dancin’ shoes and costume, open your ears and join the Halloween party! A fun-filled evening of dancing and frolicking awaits featuring West County favorites The THUGZ (Tribal Hippie Underground Zone).

The THUGZ are purveyors of cosmic Americana and old-time psychedelic music, providing a fun time for all with their brand of original and classic jam rock.

Based in western Sonoma County this multi-faceted band has delighted music fans of all ages and tastes for many years. Rock, blues, country, psychedelic and various world music styles blend together at a Thugz show to bring the “positive vibes” of the “60’s into the 21st century. Informed by the music of Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Miles Davis and others the Thugz’ original songs and cosmic jams help to create a fun, communal spirit between band and audience.

No two Thugz shows are exactly the same but the spirit and love of music making are always present.

AND …. We’re giving a $250 cash prize for best Halloween costume!

Tickets are $15 advance/$18 at the door. OCA is wheelchair accessible.

Come shake your bones with us on Halloween!

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!


Zulu Spear Band –Nelson Mandela Birthday Tribute! Friday, July 19, 2019

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.

Moonalice! Friday, May 24, 2019

Photo © Bob Minkin Photography

OCA is pleased to present an evening with Moonalice!

Moonalice is a band of seasoned musicians who feel that live music should be a communal experience where the listener and musicians feed and derive inspiration from each other. Their songs try to speak to everyone, mixing a variety of genres with extended musical improvisations that evoke a sense of adventure and exploration. They invented Twittercast concerts, which are free broadcasts to fans over social networks. Their single, “It’s 4:20 Somewhere” has been downloaded more than 5 million times. They broadcast every show live via satellite in HD, so that fans can enjoy them on their iPhone, iPad or Android without an app.



Moonalice is:
* John Molo: Drums, Vocals. (Bruce Hornsby & The Range, John Fogerty, Phil Lesh & Friends, The Other Ones, David Nelson Band).

* Barry Sless: Lead Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Bass. (Phil Lesh & Friends, David Nelson Band, Kingfish, Cowboy Jazz).

* Roger McNamee: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Bass. (Guff, The Engineers, Random Axes, Flying Other Brothers) 
Special guest bassist Hutch Hutchinson will be joining the group at this performance!
* Big Steve Parish: Road Scholar/Medicine Man/Storyteller. (Grateful Dead crew for 26 years, co-founder of Jerry Garcia Band).