Occidental Center for the Arts Hosts Annual Talent Show Fundraiser

The Occidental Center for the Arts held its annual “Sonoma County’s Got Talent” fundraising event Saturday night.

West County Center’s fundraising goal was approximately $2,000. The money raised will be used to pay the center’s property tax and part of its fire insurance bill since both costs have recently increased, said Patrick Fanning, the talent show’s organizer and chairman of the board.

The event, hosted by musician and songwriter David Rosen, featured 11 acts, ranging from folk and rock musical acts to comedy sketches. Fanning himself performed songs on guitar and ukulele with his friend Sue Nosker.

Most of the performers were members of the arts center, although membership was not required to participate. “Everyone is welcome, you don’t need to be a member, but it usually fills up pretty quickly,” Fanning said.

“It’s not exactly like going to a concert, it’s like going to an open mic night or a jam session,” he continued.

During the intermission, participants pieces seen in the center’s art gallery. The theme of the current exhibition is “Spirit” and features art in all different mediums created by local artists.

The talent show confirmed the center’s goal: to promote art.

“We want to be a home for all the arts,” Fanning said. “It’s to inspire, educate and entertain people.”

The center regularly offers drawing and writing classes, theater workshops and performances by local and traveling groups. It is also home to the Western Community Choir and Redwood Arts Council.

“For me, it’s a big party, and it’s about people’s creativity and their type of expression that they don’t do all the time,” Fanning said of the talent show.

For more information about the Occidental Center of the Arts, visit its website occidentalcenterforthearts.org.

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