The Board of the Ventura Music Festival is pleased to announce its 2020 Honorees for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts and Community. Speaking for the Board, its president Richard Reisman said: “These two prominent individuals – Barbara Meister and Jordan Laby, together with their late spouses – have made culture- and community-changing contributions that literally created the arts landscape in Ventura and beyond, to say nothing of their important contributions to health (CMH) and education (VUSD).”
The Laby and Meister cultural legacies include founding and ongoing support for the New West Symphony, Ventura Music Festival, Rubicon Theatre, Focus on the Masters, Laby Harmony Project, Ventura County Ballet and more. Each of these institutions is now celebrating a 20th or 25th anniversary which means the number of people impacted, including the youngest members of the community, is in the hundreds of thousands.
“I’m always struck by their humility,” said “Festival Executive Director Susan Scott. “Each has accomplished so much, both professionally and philanthropically, yet neither seeks the limelight and talks instead about ‘giving back’ and the importance of arts and music education for children and recognition of local artists as cultural assets.”
The 2020 VMF Honorees will be honored with a video, dinner and live music performance at the annual VMF Honoree Awards and Cabaret Fundraiser on Thursday, April 30th, at the Ventura Beach Marriott hotel.
Past honorees include Betsy Blanchard Chess, Doug Halter, Nancy and Spencer Garrett, Justice Steven Z. Perren, Micheline Sakharoff, Freddie Contarino, the Limoneira Company and E. J. Harrison.