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Art Notes: News from the Napa community
Art Notes

Art Notes: News from the Napa community

  • Updated
Nancy Willis

"What About Us," by Nancy Willis, one of the recipients of the 2021 community fund grants. 

Comedy at Lucky Penny 

Lucky Penny presents three comedians on stage for one live show at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14. 

San Francisco Bay Area comic Gina Stahl-Haven has been performing in the comedy and improv world for over 15 years and is the second-place winner of the 2019 San Francisco International Comedy Competition (the first woman in 34 years and the only woman other than Ellen Degeneres to hold this title).

Steve Ausburne produces comedy shows throughout wine country and the Bay Area. 

Jon Lehre has performed throughout Northern California, including at The Punch Line and Cobb’s Comedy Club, and has competed in the 2018 Sacramento Comedy Competition and the 2020 San Diego Comedy Competition.

All seats are $25; more information is at The Lucky Penny Community Arts Center is at 1758 Industrial Way, Napa.

Due to the current Covid surge, Lucky Penny Productions will require proof of vaccination or negative test within 72 hours before admission to this week’s comedy show. Also, masks are required indoors regardless of vaccination status, except for the performers onstage. 

'In Search of Chopin'

The Jarvis Conservatory presents "In Search of Chopin" at 3 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14.

Written and directed by Phil Grabsky, the film attempts to answer the question: Who was this man, who was terrified of public performance, who fled his Polish homeland for Paris and never returned, and who, despite a life of ill-health, wrote deep, powerful and enduring music?

Tickets are $15. Visit for more information. The Jarvis Conservatory is at 1711 Main St., Napa. 

Arts Council Napa Valley announces fund grant recipients

Six local programs will receive between $2,500 and $5,000 each, totaling $20,000 in funds, from Arts Council Napa Valley's summer 2021 Community Fund grants.

Recipients are:

• OpusEd Artist Partnerships & OpusEd Connect, Jennifer Hunt

OpusEd creates an environment for students and artists to come together to create. During the 2021-22 school year at Willow Elementary, there will be 11 different 10-week- long unit residencies covering different styles of music and instruments. Three live evening student performance nights in conjunction with the program that will be made available for online viewing.

• American Canyon’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration, American Canyon Arts Foundation

The American Canyon Arts Foundation will host an evening of dance and music celebrating the Latinx community, as part of the Chamber of Commerce's new "Meet Me in the Street" monthly street fair. Local artists and groups will be performing at this free-to-attend event. To learn more, visit

• "Fire is the Heart," Nancy Willis

Artist Nancy Willis is creating collection of paintings and a sculptural chandelier to commemorate Bay Area fires, with emphasis on the Glass Fire “to honor what was lost and help my community heal.”

• UpStage Napa Valley’s Playwright Festival, UpStage Napa Valley

New plays bring new talent to UpStage Napa Valley’s company from the community. 

• Beyond the Label, Sergio Velazquez

Beyond the Label is a group art show of artists from the Napa Valley and Bay Area, showcasing Chicano art, culture and music.

• Valley Players Ladies Briefs, Valley Players Theater Troupe

“Ladies’ Briefs” will be a two-week performance run of 10 short plays to be produced and performed in Napa at Lucky Penny. "Hallelujah Girls" will be produced in February 2022 in Napa at Lucky Penny or Yountville at the Lincoln Theater.

Made possible through a William and Flora Hewlett Foundation grant, the program funds $40,000 each year to small nonprofits, individual artists and groups of individuals.

If you are interested in supporting the program, contact ACNV’s program manager, Crysta Tim at or 707-257-2117.

Festival Napa Valley's record-breaking season

Festival Napa Valley capped its 15th summer season by raising a record-breaking $2.8 million at its Arts for All Gala, headlined by Jennifer Hudson.

The gala evening at Oakville’s Nickel & Nickel featured dinner by chefs Charles Phan and Nash Cognetti and the team at Tre Posti, with wines  Nickel & Nickel and Far Niente, and a live auction led by John Curley. Tennis legend John McEnroe made a surprise guest appearance on stage to raise $50,000 for a tennis match with him, followed by a rock concert featuring McEnroe and his band at Silverado Resort.

Festival Napa Valley 2022 will be held July 15-24, 2022. A limited number of passes are available as part of Festival Napa Valley’s 2022 pre-sale through Aug. 31.

Nia Imani Franklin awarded the 2021 Khaledi Prize

Nia Imani Franklin is the recipient of Festival Napa Valley's 2021 Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi Prize for excellence and innovation in classical music. It includes a cash grant of $10,000.

Franklin, a composer, singer, and arts education champion, is Festival Napa Valley’s 2021 Composer-in-Residence. Many of her original compositions were performed throughout this year’s festival, including “Chrysalis Extended" and  “Afro-dite”, a work or solo cello that received its world premiere performed by cellist Matt Haimovitz. 

Live on the Lawn

Vista Collina Resort presents Live on the Lawn summer event series, open to guests of the resort and local residents, on most weekends in August, on Fridays, 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, 2 to 5 p.m. In addition, to live music, there is a gourmet food truck, cocktail and wine tastings.

Scheduled performers are: 

• Saturday, Aug. 7: Yuppie Liberation Front

• Sunday, Aug. 8: Ariel Marin

• Friday, Aug. 13: Brian Coutch

• Saturday, Aug. 14: The Sauce

• Sunday, Aug.15: Smorgy

• Sunday, Aug. 22: David Ronconi

• Saturday, Aug. 28: Allen Ellwood

• Sunday, Aug. 29: James Regan

The Meritage and Vista Collina Resorts are working closely with the Napa County and California State authorities to adhere to strict social distancing and sanitization protocols.

Visit for more information. 

A recent survey of 2,000 Americans revealed what songs would be on the ultimate road trip playlist. A quarter of respondents said that ‘On the Road Again’ by Willie Nelson would have to be included in their road trip playlist. ‘Take Me Home Country Roads’ by John Denver was the fourth-most-popular choice. In third place was Tom Cochrane’s ‘Life is a Highway’, with 27% of people including it in their road trip playlist. The Eagles’ classic ‘Hotel California’ came in second place. ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd was the most popular choice, with 39% of people including it in their playlist. Other popular songs that feature in the top 20 list include ‘Drivers License’ by Olivia Rodrigo and ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X

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