We’re gearing up for another busy season of arts related fun in Humboldt County. To get the creativity ball rolling, SPARC has launched and runs to April, vendors have a looming deadline and the county music festival is offering early bird memberships. Here’s the full rundown of arts notes this week:


The Mateel Community Center board meeting location has changed this month. The venue for the March edition of the Mateel Community Center Board of Directors meeting will be the Garberville Civic Club at 477 Maple Lane in Garberville. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21. For more information, contact the Mateel office at 707-923-3368.


SPARC Fine Art & Music Program For Youth continues through April 29.

Catering to 11 to 17 year-olds, this after school activity introduces music and art to young lives. The Spring Arts Collective — started last Tuesday, March 7 — runs Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Mateel Community Center in Redway (doors open at 3 p.m. for students who need to arrive early). All local youth, ages 11-17, are invited to register for this series of project driven classes, culminating in the Artists of the Emerald Coast gala at the MCC on April 29.

The popular after school program offers a chance to work with professional fine artists; Hunter Gilliam and Dianna Anzini, in mandala design, totem instrument decor, watercolor, and cartooning. Professional music instructor and program founder, Cathryn Guillette, oversees the musical component of the program as has broadened the scope to include bass guitar, keyboard, marimba, voice, percussion, and recorder-teaching basic skills, with an emphasis on performance and improvisation.

A special session on songwriting and vocals with Arianna Guillette will be offered this year too. She and fine artist, Serenity Wood, will also function as youth mentors throughout the duration of the program.

There is a sliding scale registration of $70-100 (spaces still available), and registrants are expected to participate for the entirety of the program.

To sign up for classes or ask questions, contact the Mateel Community Center at 707-923-3368 or email

More information and a full class schedule is available online at


On June 3 and 4, the 41st annual Summer Arts and Music Festival will return to the beautiful Benbow Lake State Recreation Area in Southern Humboldt.

This is the final week to apply to participate as a vendor.

Vendor spaces are offered in a variety of sizes and prices. Handmade craft booths cost $250 for a 10×10 space and $300 for a 10×10 corner location. Non-profit information booths are offered at $100 for a 5×10 and $150 for a 10×10 space. Food booths are all 10×10 in size and are priced at $450 for non-profits and $900 for commercial vendors. A variety of package deals also offer parking and electricity options.

To apply, download a vendor application from the Summer Arts page of or call the Mateel office to have one mailed to you.

Vendor applications must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, March 15 to be eligible.

For more information on the 41st annual Summer Arts & Music Festival at Benbow Lake State Recreation Area visit or call 707-923-3368.


The Redwood Coast Music Festival Guild launched its annual Guild membership drive this month and did so invoking the spirit of one of their most committed members, Marge Custis.

“Marge was an irreplaceable force behind the success of our festivals,” said Lynn McKenna, Guild Co-Chair. “She was a founding member of the Guild, participated in every festival and attended, without a break, each and everyone of our twenty-six annual festivals. We are honored to dedicate this year’s Jazz Festival to the memory of Marge Custis.”

One hundred musicians and thirty bands will bring the music—swing, zydeco, blues, Cajun, jazz, hiphop and more—to this year’s music festival which will run from March 30 to April 2.

The RCMG supports the Festival and invites jazz lovers and music fans, people on the North Coast who enjoy a great weekend of musicianship, food, dancing and good times to become a member of the Guild. Guild funds are used to defray festival costs of venue rental, guest band and performer expenses. Funds raised through the festival weekend help support programs for seniors and youth music education programs offered in North Coast schools.

The one-year membership fee is $100 per person. Guild members will receive a special badge to wear to all RCMF events and the opportunity to reserve seating at most festival events. Reduced rates or free admission to non-Jazz Festival Guild events are added benefits of Guild membership, according to McKenna.

To become a member, mail a check ($100/person) made out to RCMF Guild to RCMF, P.O. Box 314, Eureka, CA 95502. Please include your return address, write “Guild” on the memo line and “Attention Lynn” on the envelope.

“Our membership goal—established by Marge—is to have 100 supporting members of the Guild,” said McKenna. “And, as always, to make music and a better community.”

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