Sunday, December 24, 2017

Monterey Museum of Art (MMA) Announces Three-Lecture Series on Women in Arts Management in Early 2018

The Monterey Museum of Art will launch a three-part lecture series in January 2018, about honoring women who have made a difference in the creative arts.

Monterey, CA, December 24, 2017 — The Monterey Museum of Art will launch a three-part lecture series in January 2018, about honoring women who have made a difference in the creative arts.

The series, “Women Who Have Made a Difference in the Creative Arts,” opens Monday, Jan. 22, with “Living the Handmade Artist's Life” with Elizabeth Murray, followed by “Musically Speaking, Leadership in the Arts,” with Nicola Samra, Executive Director of the Monterey Symphony, on Monday, Jan. 29, and finally, in honor of Black History Month, “A Dramatic Presentation of ‘Corn Hollow’ ” with author LaVerne McLeod, on Monday, Feb. 5.

All one-hour lectures will be held from 1-2 p.m. Mondays, at the museum’s 559 Pacific St. location. The lectures are free to museum members and free for non-members with general admission to the museum.

Admission is $10 for adults and free for students and active duty military with I.D. and those 18 years and under. Visitors are welcome to bring food and drinks during this lunchtime lecture series.

The first lecture features painter, photographer, author, international workshop leader, and gardener Murray, who will be sharing the stories of her life as a multi-faceted artist.

Murray’s passion for nature and beauty has taken her around the world — from remote African villages and the Amazon rain forest, to Giverny, France, where she helped restore Monet's Gardens — inspiring her to create a diverse range of art works. Today some of her work resides in permanent installments in corporate collections.

As a popular keynote speaker, she uses the beauty of her photographic images, personal stories, garden metaphors, and humor, to inspire and connect her audience to what has meaning for them. Her goal is to help people express their own creativity in their work and personal lives.

Today, Elizabeth Murray lives in an historic artist colony belonging to painter Charles Rollo Peters in Monterey. She has been restoring the house, cottages and gardens for the last 18 years. The author of nine books, including best-selling “Monet's Passion,” “Living Life in Full Bloom,” and “Cultivating Sacred Space,” Elizabeth Murray finds the garden to be both a life-enriching art form, and a path to intimacy with nature.

Nicola Samra will discuss the role of women in arts management — the challenges and the opportunities. She promises to address favorite topics such as “work/life balance,” and “successful fundraising tips.” She will also give her take on common questions such as “Is classical music is dying? “Can you have it all?” and “What is the role of art in society?. In the process, Samra will share her own path to becoming Executive Director, and the things she learned along the way.

A classically trained violinist, Samra has performed, toured, or recorded with Mastodon, Sky Cries Mary, and Sera Cahoone, in addition to founding the all-female string trio, The Bella Trio.

She previously held positions at the Carmel Bach Festival and California State University Monterey Bay, in the university’s development department. A Seattle native, Samra worked for the Seattle Chamber Music Society, the Women’s Medieval Choir, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Samra holds degrees in Spanish Literature and Music History from the University of Puget Sound, and an advanced degree in Arts Administration from the University of Washington.

In her spare time, Samra, along with her husband, Dr. Todd Samra, enjoy arguing about pronunciation and grammar, and playing Wiffleball with their three children, John (20), Connor (10) and Enzo (6).

Through an interactive performance of her novel, “Corn Hollow,” author LaVerne McLeod will tell the story of a young African American girl living in the heart of Tennessee during the rise of the civil rights movement.

The book is based on McLeod’s own experience with segregation in the American South. Using an innovative performance style, she will choose a chapter from her book, and bring the story to life by engaging the audience as participants.

McLeod has lived in communities in various parts of the country, including Arkansas, Missouri, and Palo Alto. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a Master of Arts degree in Counselor Education from Southeast Missouri State University, with continuing education work from San Jose State University in California.

She has lived in Big Sur since 1979, where she balances life as a wife, mother, educator, artist, and author. McLeod also has a rich history of leadership involvement with our community, including creating and facilitating Bridge Building to Equity workshops.

About the Monterey Museum of Art
The Monterey Museum of Art expands a passion for the visual arts and inspires appreciation of California Art — past, present, and future. The Monterey Museum of Art connects art and community, with an emphasis on participatory experiences built around the Museum’s strong collection of California and regional art. Exhibitions and programs of the highest quality are designed to engage and inspire visitors.

The museum was established in 1959, to uphold the artistic legacy of the region by collecting, preserving and presenting the art of California and the Central Coast. Originally a chapter of the American Federation of the Arts, MMA remains the only nationally accredited museum between San Jose and Santa Barbara.

Visit for additional information on the Museum's exhibitions, programming and events.

Media Inquiries: or 831.372.5477 x101

Marci Bracco Cain
Chatterbox PR
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 747-7455

Hyatt Carmel Highlands Announces Forks. Corks. Action! 2018

Save the Date for the Firs Winemakers Dinner of the Year with Joyce Vineyards January 26th

Carmel, CA, December 24, 2017 — An experience for all the senses, Hyatt Carmel Highlands’ California Market at Pacific’s Edge pairs unmatched views of the Pacific Ocean and the famed Big Sur coastline with spectacular “California Coastal” cuisine prepared with the freshest locally sourced ingredients.

Celebrate the Hyatt Carmel Highlands’ 100th Anniversary with the Forks.Corks.Action! Winemaker Series in the legendary Wine Room!

Learn, swirl, sip and enjoy! Meet the winemakers and enjoy a four-course dinner with wine paired with each course. During the series, winemakers will discuss the history, culture and qualities of the featured wines from Monterey and Santa Cruz County that will accompany Executive Chef Pancho’s seasonal, locally sourced and plant-based menus.

The Winemakers Series brings guests closer to the producers and personalities that craft the wines we love.

Dates for Winemakers Dinners in 2018:

Jan. 26th Joyce Vineyards
March 15 Twisted Roots
April 19 Winery Partner to be Announced
May 17 Winery Partner to be Announced
June 21 Winery Partner to be Announced

Save the Date: There will be a special winemakers dinner in September in honor of California Wine Month! Details to be announced soon
November 15 Bernardus Wines

The Details:

· The California Market at Pacific’s Edge legendary Wine Room located at 120 Highlands Drive, Carmel Highlands

· Start time 6 p.m.

· $120 per person inclusive

· Reservations required

Purchase Your Tickets Now for Forks. Corks. Action!

· Sip featured wines

· Meet the winemaker

About Hyatt Carmel Highlands
Perched on the hillside of the Carmel Highlands with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, Hyatt Carmel Highlands combines true Carmel luxury with an approachable and sophisticated spirit. A haven for artists and discerning travelers since its opening in 1917, Hyatt Carmel Highlands features 48 luxuriously renovated guestrooms, including 11 suites, 32 ocean view rooms and five garden view rooms.

Situated only 4 miles from downtown Carmel, Hyatt Carmel Highlands’ idyllic setting and personalized service has attracted families, bridal couples, honeymooners, and privileged travelers for a century. Hyatt Carmel Highlands has been recognized among the world’s finest hotels as part of Condé Nast Traveler's Gold List and Travel + Leisure’s “T+L 500” World’s Best Hotels.

Marci Bracco Cain
Chatterbox PR
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 747-7455

Renowned Florist and Floral Designer Teresa Sabankaya to Release Her First Book in Spring 2019

Renowned florist and floral designer Teresa Sabankaya, founder and creative director of Bonny Doon Garden Company, will release her first book in the spring of 2019 on the Countryman Press imprint.

Salinas, CA, December 24, 2017 - Renowned florist and floral designer Teresa Sabankaya, founder and creative director of Bonny Doon Garden Company, will release her first book in the spring of 2019 on the Countryman Press imprint.

Sabankaya’s book, “The Posy Book” (temporary name) explores one of her favorite topics, Posies, or a sentiment nosegay.

Sabankaya's modern invention of a historic nosegay, Bonny Doon Posies, have been a core part of her retail business from the beginning, and have been featured in such media as CBS Sunday Morning, Romantic Homes magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Santa Cruz Sentinel and The New York Times.

Founded in 1999, Bonny Doon Garden Company is a full-service floral design studio, florist, and botanical gift shop located inside New Leaf Community Market in west side Santa Cruz.

Sabankaya holds an influential position as one of the most innovative florists in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her floral designs are highly desirable due to their unique style of arranging and elegant garden appeal. Her wedding florals have been featured in numerous wedding blogs and magazines including Smitten, Sweet Violet Bride, Style Me Pretty, Ruffled Blog, Grey Likes Weddings and Green Wedding Shoes.

She has been featured in Amy Stewart’s “Flower Confidential” book as well as her blog, and was featured “like a florist from 100 years ago” in the PBS documentary “Botany of Desire,” based on Michael Pollen’s bestseller “Botany of Desire.”

She is a Certified Green Gardener; a member of, an online directory of florists who source their materials locally; and

The Countryman Press has a long history as an independent publisher. Now owned by W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., Countryman and its books continue to grow both in scope and number.

Countryman publishes beautiful healthy-living cookbooks and guides to everything from mixing drinks and baking dump cakes to hiking Vermont’s hills and valleys. It continues to build its flagship Explorer’s Guide travel series, and actively pursues the subjects of nature, country-living manuals, narrative non-fiction, fitness and exercise, reference, pets, and humor. Most of their books are illustrated and full color with high-production values.

Teresa Sabankaya & Bonny Doon Garden Company

Marci Bracco Cain
Chatterbox PR
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 747-7455