A weekend for supporting the arts

If you’re looking for a good cause to support, you won’t have any problems finding one this weekend. I’m highlighting three charity events: the annual “Toasting the Arts” dinner and celebration at Fresno City College; the “Shinzen Stroll” fundraising brunch at Woodward Park; and the Edward O. Lund Foundation’s art auction and Scotch tasting at the Mad Duck restaurant.

Here’s a rundown:


Beautiful setting: Last year’s “Toasting the Arts” event at Fresno City College.

‘Toasting the Arts’

When: 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, Fresno City College Old Administration Building courtyard.

This venerable fundraiser is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a dinner, live music and entertainment, and both live and silent auctions. Friends of the Arts (FOTA), founded in 1985, sponsors the event. Money raised provides scholarships for students in Theater Arts, Music, Dance, Fine Arts and Communication. FOTA also assists with the costs associated with Fresno City College theater, dance and music productions, literary journals and fine arts gallery events.


And get this: One of the live auction items you’ll be able to bid on is a dinner with me. I’ll be co-hosting a dinner gathering with local arts legend Joyce Aiken, and the winning bid will be an evening for six people to join us.

Details: Tickets are $45; couple tickets are $85, and tables of eight are $325. You can buy them through the Fresno City College Box Office at 559-442-8221.

eva scow

Japanese gardens: Eva Scow is part of the entertainment at Sunday’s Shinzen Stroll.

‘Shinzen Stroll’

When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, Shinzen Friendship Garden, Woodward Park.

You can enjoy a champagne brunch in a beautiful setting in a joint fundraiser that benefits the Shinzen Garden and the Cultural Arts Rotary Club youth and educational grant program. Here’s a description from event organizers:

Music will waft from the Koi Deck and outside the Bonsai Garden with saxophonist Tim Shagoian-bassist Richard Giddens and the Eva Scow-Mike Taylor Duo, a mandolin and guitar duo. Three student groups recognized as some of the best in California will also provide music at Ume Grove. Artists providing live demonstrations include Marilyn Torchin, Plein Aire Artists Judith Pierrot, Arnimee Shihsmainian, Karlene Ryan, and Edith Erikson. A Bonsai pottery demonstration will also occur by April Grigsby. cultural presentations will be found throughout, with secrets of the Tea House and Tea Garden, Japanese dancers, and Koto music by Kyoko Nosker. Learn how to design bonsai by Mike Saul.

Details: Tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the event. Info at, and 559-905-9118.


Lund Foundation

When: 4-7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, Mad Duck, 3085 E. Campus Pointe Dr.

The Edward O. Lund Foundation, named in memory of a beloved Fresno artist and curator, raises scholarship money for art students at Fresno State. A fundraising event titled “A Scotch, Brew & Art Affair” includes a “few of Ed’s favorite things including fine Scotch, brilliant brews and artworks at auction from some of the valley’s premier artists.”

You can view the auction catalog here. It’s chock full of well-known names.

The Eva Scow Band will provide entertainment.

Details: Tickets are $35 and are available at

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Comments (1)

  • Jackie Ryle

    Great promos, Donald. Thank you!! I’m getting to at least two of these – you make them all sound very attractive! As is the idea of dinner with you and Joyce!


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