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Several notable Sonoma County musicians will perform virtually next Saturday, Aug. 8 in an online variety show hosted by the Occidental Center for the Arts (OCA).

The show, dubbed “Sonoma County’s Got Talent,” will feature performances from The Musers; Nina Gerber; Andrea Van Dyke & Steve Fowler; Kevin Russell & Candy Girard; Abbie Gabrielson; Patrick Fanning; Sarah Dupre; Daniel Celidore; David Rosen; Stella Heath; Bob Burnett; Doug Jayne; Heartwood Crossing; Phil Lawrence; Dan & Sarah Bates; Lois Pearlman; Conrad Bishop & Elizabeth Fuller; Sonia Tubridy; Chris Riebli; Christian Foley-Beining; and Paul McCandless. Each artist will be performing a song in support of the arts center.

Talent show poster

Lights, camera, action — The Occidental Center for the Arts is hosting a free, virtual variety show, “Sonoma County’s Got Talent,” that will feature performances from several notable local musicians and groups. The show airs Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. on their YouTube page.

Image Occidental Center for the Arts

“This is actually going to be our third virtual show since the COVID shutdown,” said Tina Marchetti, the executive director for the Occidental Center for the Arts. “We were trying to come up with a way to reach our audience and stay in touch with our members and provide entertainment while people are sheltered in place, so this is our third and it’s focused on Sonoma County performers only.” 

The center’s last two online shows featured performers from around the world.

She said the event on Aug. 8, which is slated to air on YouTube at 8 p.m., sort of takes the place of the center’s annual member’s dinner, which typically takes place around this time of year.

“A lot of our members are going to also appear in this video. We have a lot of talented people just within the membership and then also there will be several pretty well-known Sonoma County professional musicians like Nina Gerber, Doug Jayne and Kevin Russell, etc.,” Marchetti said.

In addition to seeing the talent of local musicians, viewers will also get a chance to see the center’s latest art exhibit, a collection of work created by OCA members themselves.

“This show will also have a virtual art exhibit in the middle where we’ll be showing images of the art that’s in our gallery right now, which is our annual member’s art exhibit,” Marchetti said.

While the OCA art gallery is currently open to a limited number of visitors on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m., Marchetti says they want to offer a virtual experience for those who may not feel comfortable visiting in person.

“We understand that most people aren’t out going in the galleries and while we are open once a week we don’t expect many in-person visitors and so we wanted to give the artists a chance to share their work with the greater membership and the public and so we’ll be putting that in the video as well,” she said.

Marchetti said the first two virtual variety shows had good attendance and that members and viewers made good use of the live chat box.

“It’s been nice to see them connect that way,” Marchetti said.

In terms of the Aug. 8 show, Marchetti said she’s excited for folks to see some local, homegrown talent.

“I’m definitely excited for several of our members that are going to be performing. It’s nice for them to get some exposure to a broader audience one song at a time. It also gives people a preview of what it would be like if they were to come see them (the performers) in the future, so it is a nice little variety sampling of what we offer,” she said.

The video will be free to watch, however, donations are welcome. Marchetti said the center’s income is down and they are still looking for grants and donations.

“We keep applying for grants and looking for any help that we can get for our income. Our income is basically down 65% for the year, but we’ve been able to cut expenses as well so we are hanging on,” she said, noting that the community has been generous so far in terms of donations. 

Marchetti said for future online shows, she hopes to highlight the youth in the community and in local schools.

“We are definitely looking to connect more with the Salmon Creek School and the local youth in our community and try to promote them as performers,” she said. “We do have an upcoming art exhibit by our local schools and the Salmon Creek school and by the looks of it, it’s going to be a virtual show as well.”

The Aug. 8 variety show will premiere at 8 p.m. on their YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPUNofdePFwQRU6RVAAEpYQ.

To learn more about the center’s online events, visit: http://www.occidentalcenterforthearts.org/.

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