Gentle Yoga classes by Smiling Tree Yoga Offered Wednesdays 9-10:15 AM and Fridays 3-4:15 PM


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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! First Friday of each month includes Deep Relaxation with Restorative Yoga.

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 Gail by email at or visit



Juanito Pascual: Flamenco Guitar Saturday, July 8th 8 - 10 PM



OCA is pleased to welcome back to our stage the internationally recognized flamenco guitarist Juanito Pascual! His sound is an organic blend of traditional and contemporary flamenco with influences such as Jimi Hendrix to Miles Davis and J.S. Bach. Recognized in both Spain and the U.S. as a unique and creative flamenco and jazz performer, Juanito brings together global audiences through his mesmerizing virtuosity, original composition style, and passion for collaboration. Now based in Los Angeles, Juanito is also an purchase brown paper bag ticketsaccomplished composer, arranger and producer who scored the 2016 Netflix biopic about the Pope (Call Me Francisco). Environmental steward-ship is another of his passions (‘Earth Train’ Panamanian rainforest project) as he uses music to inspire and educate. Juanito regularly hosts flamenco workshops around the world, and has produced a popular method book, “The Total Flamenco Guitarist” (Alfred Press).

“One of the hottest flamenco guitarists to emerge in recent years”. NPR

Juanito appeared on the OCA stage last year with his Juanito Pascual New Flamenco Trio, which merges flamenco with elements of jazz, world music and even rock and soul influences. ( ). Do not miss the mesmerizing virtuosity and warm and evocative playing of this ‘flamenco phenom’ (Boston Globe) ! playing SOLO one night only at OCA’s intimate and acoustically excellent venue! $18 Advance /$20 at the door. Fine Refreshments including wine and beer available for sale. Wheelchair Accessible. Art gallery open for viewing. Reservations advised. Questions?  Email or phone 707-874-9392.

Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands Sunday, July 9th 4 - 6 PM



Grammy Award-winning musician Laurie Lewis is internationally renowned as one of the finest, most diversely talented acoustic folk artists in traditional Americana and bluegrass today. A tremendously gifted songwriter with an exquisite voice who is also a whiz on the fiddle and acoustic bass, Laurie has recorded nearly 20 acclaimed albums in a number of musical formats. Her latest with her band The Right Hands was nominated for the ‘Best Bluegrass Recording’ Grammy this year. Laurie has been twice awarded Female Vocalist purchase brown paper bag ticketsof the Year by The International Bluegrass Association, and she has paved the way for many young women artists even while her music continues to transcend the formal limitations of the genre. In recent years Laurie has produced albums by young Bay Area musicians such as Melody Walker and the T Sisters. She is also a committed music educator, teaching at prestigious camps, festivals and workshops around the U.S. and Canada. Consummate singer, songwriter, fiddler, bandleader, producer and educator…as Utah Phillips says: “ Laurie Lewis’ songs combine passion and sheer craft in a way you don’t hear often. Whatever country music is supposed to be, she’s at the center of it.”

The Right Hands features:

Tom Rozum, who has been Laurie Lewis’s performing companion since 1986. A renowned mandolinist, he is also an accomplished fiddle, mandola, and guitar player; his vocal duets with Laurie call to mind the Louvin Brothers, the Everly Brothers, and other greats. Their 1996 CD, The Oak and the Laurel, was nominated for a Grammy, and Tom has also issued a highly regarded solo album, Jubilee. His crisp musicianship and comic banter add verve and excitement to every Laurie Lewis/Tom Rozum performance.
Patrick Sauber, from Arcadia, CA, has been playing old-time, Cajun, and bluegrass music ever since he can remember. His father, Tom Sauber, is a stalwart of the traditional music scene in Southern California. Under his father’s tutelage, the young Patrick has developed an ear and depth to his playing, a technical expertise, and an encyclopedic knowledge of traditional music forms. Much in demand, he is the perfect “utility man” for any band and can be heard often with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, The John Jorgensen Band, and others.

A recent graduate of Hampshire College, Tatiana “Hoss” Hargreaves has what can only be described as an amazing career in music ahead of her. Raised in a musical family in Corvallis, OR, Tatiana is the younger sister of Alex Hargreaves. His musicality and fiery command of the fiddle has made him one of the most sought-after musicians of his generation. Tatiana has that same possibly-genetic drive toward excellence and a real ear for old-time fiddling in particular. Playing with Laurie and the band gives Tatiana a chance to really delve into bluegrass fiddling, and she has proved to have a real knack and ear for the genre. She is a person to keep your eyes and ears on.

Max Schwartz, of Berkeley, CA, has been playing in the Right Hands since he was 16 years old. Max grew up playing banjo in his family’s bluegrass band, and is a serious student of the string bass. In high school, he played in the award-winning Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble, and has won himself a four-year full scholarship to the University of Miami, where he will be starting this Fall. His mastery of the instrument gives real depth to the band sound, and his solos are always entertaining and inspiring. The band will be sorry to see him go, but look forward to being able to say they knew him when…

It doesn’t get much better than Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands! ! $25 Advance/$30 at the door. Reservations advised. Fine refreshments for sale. Art Gallery open during events. Wheelchair Accessible. . 707-874-9392.

Gallery Exhibit: Sea Creatures August 4th through October 1st

Sea Creatures are coming to OCA!
Our future exhibit will surprise you with real or imagined life in the sea.
Scroll down for entry information.

suCreaturesoft sculpture by Su McMurtry

Artist Entry Information

Entries for this juried show must be presented in person on Tuesday, August 1st between 3:30 and 7:30 PM. We do not take online submissions. Open exclusively to Sonoma County artists, this exhibit will include all media: ceramic, glass, photography, soft sculpture, sculpture, fiber arts, etching, painting, drawing, mixed media, wood, metal, etc. All works, however altered or enhanced, may only include the artist’s original created imagery.

Entries may not have appeared previously in any OCA Gallery Exhibit.

This is a juried show. Works are limited to 5’ high and 4’ wide. Two-dimensional works are to be framed, or with gallery wrapped edges, wired on the back for hanging. Three dimensional works must weigh less than 50 lbs. Accepted pieces will be listed on the OCA website within 3 days.

All items are to be for sale.  Up to four submissions per artist will be accepted for consideration. Fee for first submission is $15, $10 for each additional entry. 40% gallery commission per sale. Payment of entry fees can be made by cash, check or credit card.

Unframed prints of accepted works are also welcome for our print rack.

Questions? Contact us! or phone 707-874-9392

Hohlax Trio: Greece! Friday, August 18th 8 - 10 PM


Occidental Center for the Arts is pleased to welcome back the Hohlax Trio!

Formed in 2007 on the Greek island of Amorgos by native Californian and classical violinist Jaime Smith, this talented trio of professional musicians and educators is embarking on their seventh tour of Californian festivals and concert venues.Violinist Jaime Smith is joined by her husband, celebrated singer/songwriter and bouzouki player Orestis Koletsos, who has a new CD featuring acclaimed Greek singers. Giorgos on guitar and vocals joins them this tour, and they will bring five of their recordings including Greek dance music for sale. purchase brown paper bag

Greekophiles and dancers do not miss this magical musical journey to Greece at OCA’s acoustic sweet spot in Occidental! $18 Advance/$20 at the door. Fine refreshments and dance space available. Wheelchair Accessible. Art Gallery open for viewing. 707-874-9392.

Odd Sundays Singing Sunday, August 20th 4 - 6 PM

This will be an opportunity to come together with fellow singers and make a joyful noise in a casual choral setting; all levels of experience welcome. Each class will include warm-ups, exercises and games to improve our musical fluency and expand our ease and confidence with our own vocal expression. The ongoing repertoire will center on “Twenty-Five Anthems for Interfaith and Community Choirs,” by Peter and Mary Amidon, along with some other rounds and songs from a variety of sources.

Every first and third Sunday of the month from 4:00-6:00. $10 per class, plus a one-time $20 materials fee. For more information and to register, please contact Sarah Saulsbury:


West County Film Society Readers Group Wednesday, August 30th 7 - 9 PM

The West County Film Society (WCFS) is proud to present a reading series for our pilot project:


Readings will take place every other Wednesday beginning on August 30 and continuing on September 13, September 27 and beyond in the OCA Classroom.

We invite actors or those with a theatrical flair to join us in a live reading of the script for the pilot of THE MEDICINE SHOW, an episodic series about the old time medicine shows. Come and read or just to listen and offer feedback.

The audio for these readings will be recorded and edited together with storyboard illustrations that give a idea of the project’s look and feel. The end result will be a simple animated version of the project’s pilot.

We are inviting both members and non-members of the WCFS to participate in these readings so please help spread the word!

Priority will be given to participants with the most experience and who contact the organizers directly at:

Please indicate in your email your level of acting experience and how many readings you would like to participate in. The most suitable candidates will be sent copies of the script in advance and be given assigned parts. All others will be invited to read smaller parts (which there are a large number of) and these will be assigned on the night of the readings.

Refreshments will be served and the readings will be followed by discussions so that participants and audience members have a chance to ask questions and offer their thoughts and reactions.

Poetry Launch: ‘50 cent Poems’ by Stephen Fowler Friday, September 22, 7 - 9 PM

Steve Fowler is a well known and respected Sonoma County volunteer, gardener, peace activist, artist and poet, among many other talents. He is also President of the Board at Occidental Center for the Arts, and an inspiring and thoughtful leader.

Steve is giving his second poetry reading at O.C.A., this time offering a ‘book’ of poems entitled ’50 Cent Poems’ one page, one poem at a time….for 50 cents each. He also provides a unique album to put them in, adorned with one of his drawings.

Steve’s interactive ‘Breath Activated Poetry Turbine’ will be on display for your enjoyment!

Refreshments will be available, possibly some musical offerings and all proceeds benefit O.C.A. Donations appreciated. OCA is wheelchair accessible and staffed by friendly volunteers.

Storytelling Workshop and Book Launch: The Right Story at the Right Time by Marianna deCroes Sunday, September 24th 2 - 4 PM

Occidental Center for the Arts is thrilled to host a Book Launch for Sebastopol author, Marianna deCroes’ book, The Right Story at the Right Time.

Stories mirror the inner dilemmas, fears, and doubts common to the process of growing up.

This book launch includes a reading from the book and a 90-minute workshop that will teach the practical skills of selecting, learning and telling a story by heart. Participants will walk away with a story they have chosen, learned to tell, and told to others. This book explains how to choose the most appropriate and effective stories to help children overcome specific challenges.

Marianna deCroes

Marianna deCroes began her career as a professional storyteller when she was a teacher in Waldorf schools in America. She told and worked with stories on a daily basis with her students. She found that stories had multiple purposes that include: changing challenging behavior, inspiring students to persevere, strengthening students’ writing skills and vocabulary, and fostering independent thinking and self-confidence.

Following this career she attended the International School of Storytelling in the UK and later taught courses there based on her knowledge of child development. She teaches storytelling workshops for teachers, counselors, parents and child care providers in the UK, Spain, Portugal, India and the US.

Her book, The Right Story at the Right Time: Changing the Lives of Children and Adolescents One Story at a Time, teaches methods for learning a story by heart and offers a plethora of stories by age group and by behavioral issues, that address the challenges of growing up and nurture the imagination.

Admission to this event is free but donations are gratefully accepted. There will be selected readings, a Q&A, and a 90-minute workshop, followed by book sales and signing. Refreshments will be offered for sale.




Simrit Live In Concert!** Sunday, September 24th 7:30 PM

Her sound is hailed worldwide as haunting, hypnotic, healing and majestic, and it has topped World Music Charts including iTunes at #1. She is a renaissance woman who is known for her revolutionary innovation in chant and world music and her undeniable ability to transmit a potent level of humanity, healing, and pure love through her sound and music.

It won’t take very long after the music begins for you to realize that this isn’t your average concert. From the transporting sounds, the hypnotic groove, world-class musicians, and Simrit’s mesmerizing VOICE…Get ready for lift off!

“Hypnotic, Haunting, and Brimming with Mystery and Groove”

“For Simrit, singing is not a performance; it is a sacred worship of the Divine. Her voice, her music, and her teaching reflect this devotion which seems to come from her so effortlessly. This devotion is a gift, a talent beyond any, that will lead thousands into the lightness of being and awareness that is so vital to humanity in this day and age.”- Snatam Kaur

“Some artists can bring true commitment to age-old meditations, urging everyone from pop stars to theater audiences to fall in love with the words of South Asian sages. Some artists have that presence that both highly engages and soothes, an ear that can hear the resonances that bridge continents and souls. Vocalist and songwriter Simrit, born in Athens, Greece, adopted and raised in the American South, is one of these artists.” ~Rock Paper Scissors

“First of all, I’m such a fan of Simrit. The first time I saw her live I thought – wow she’s kind of punk rock. I don’t know why I thought that, but that’s the element that drew me to explore her music. Her sense of melody, her energy, and her musicality set her apart. Simrit, to me, is the voice of this new day and age.” – Belinda Carlisle


Tickets for this event are $25-$40 and available through this link.

This event is not eligible for OCA member benefits.

OCA is wheelchair accessible.

Onye & The Messengers Saturday, September 30th 8 - 10 PM


O.C.A. is pleased to present an inspiring evening of Afro world beat music and dance performed by renowned Nigerian percussionist Onye Onyemaechi and his band The Messengers ! Onye is a celebrated virtuoso of African rhythm music who creates original compositions that blend tribal rhythms with contemporary music influences. His multicultural blend of hypnotic trance-dance music inspires and uplifts audiences around the world to celebrate diversity and awaken the native joy of the soul. Onye has a rich background world-wide as a performing musician, educator, inspirational speaker and author who pioneered the popular ‘drum circles’, using drum and ethnic dance to bring communities together.

The band consists of powerhouse musicians Mark Escalera (drums, vocals) John Kadyk (vocals, sax and steelpan), multi-instrumentalist Cricket Seagull, Gregg Dessen on guitar, Joel Bennett, founder of Batacha Latin band on keyboards, and bass guitarist Wendall Rand. You will not want to miss this electrifying Afro world beat band that will move your body and soul with authentic tribal beats and spirit!! $12 Advance/$15 at the door. Dance space! Fine refreshments for sale including beer and wine. Art Gallery open for viewing. 707-874-9392.


Book Launch: Nevertheless, They Persisted: Stories from the Left Coast Sunday, October 22nd 2 - 4 PM

The nine women writers who contributed to this book grew up in Twentieth Century America. Coming as we do from careers in education, journalism, law, science, construction, community organizing, music and art – we have over 700 years of aggregated experience in facing all the cultural issues – the childhood brainwashing, skewed socialization, institutionalized discrimination, sexism and misogyny. We are no strangers to discouragement, limited opportunity, glass ceilings, uneven playing fields and even physical attacks. We have faced all those challenges in our struggle to make authentic lives, to find our truth and employ our skills to benefit people who seek the same goals. Our memoir, fiction and poetry selections share the tactics and strategies we have employed to come to consciousness, to meet adversity and thrive in spite of it all.

Four years ago we created a writers’ sanctuary of freedom, acceptance, and encouragement. It was a beautiful surprise. Out came notebooks of writing and poetry to be employed in further meditation, creative exploration and discovery. We faced down our internal and external critics. We urge you to do the same. Start your group!

Join us for this inspiring event! Free admission, all donations gratefully accepted. Selected readings, book sales and signing. Refreshments for sale.

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 by Bill Wheeler 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.

Hosted by Bill Wheeler.


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

OCA is located at 3850 Doris Murphy Ct. in Occidental, CA 95465
Phone: 707.874.9392 Email:
Open every Friday & Saturday 11 – 4 pm, by appointment and during events. Facilities are accessible to people with disabilities.