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Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2024 – Arts and Recreation Day

Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2024 – Arts and Recreation Day

On sunny day in November, the Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2024 gathered at Shepard Hall in the Santa Maria Public Library, welcomed by the pleasant melody of live Paraguayan folk harp played by LSMV Alumni Lizzie Romero-Prokopiev, ready to explore the wide range of Arts and Recreation in the city. 

During a walking tour through the two levels of the library, Librarian Selena Fierro showed the group various art installations and shared about the plethora of programs offered at the library. In addition to lending books, both hard copy and digital, the library actively serves all ages, from Baby Storytime to Homework Help to weekly Makerspace, complete with 3-D printer, where visitors young and old can create and learn from each other. 

Next, a wealth of knowledge, Dennis Smitherman, City Recreation Services Manager, walked the group around City Hall to see and hear about the City’s thoughtful attention to public art downtown and city-wide, provided a tour of the Abel Maldonado Youth Center, which we learned is vital to providing local youth with a safe and fun environment after school, and showed us the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center, home of the Central Coast’s premiere Olympic-size swimming pool.

At Allan Hancock College’s new Fine Arts Complex, the group was eager to tour the new space with Department Chair John R. Hood, where we learned about AHC’s creative arts programs in dance, drama, film, graphics, music, photography, and multimedia arts & communications. It certainly had several members of the group wanting to go back to school!

Durning an afternoon visit to OASIS Senior Center, Michelle Southwick, Executive Director, shared about the many valuable amenities that OASIS (Orcutt Area Seniors In Service) provides to area adults. With a new facility coming soon, Michelle expressed dedication to providing a good space now, and in the future, and always welcomes new volunteers. 

For the day’s leadership presentation, we were lucky to hear from Dr. David Lohman, local businessman and leading member of Toastmasters International, who engaged the group on the principles of charisma, and provided ideas on how to “increase the quality of your vibration” and useful tips on successful networking.

Throughout the day, the group discovered answers to the need for a safe space for community members to gather and connect: from the Library to the Abel Maldonado Youth Center, Allan Hancock College’s Fine Arts Complex to the OASIS Senior Center, we learned of the variety of opportunities for our community’s youngest to oldest residents. At the end of the day, the class expressed gratitude for the connection to new information and the increased knowledge of Arts and Recreation in the Santa Maria Valley.

We’d like to extend a very special thank you to Ravi Chahal and 7-Eleven for generously providing breakfast and to Edgar Gascon and Cielito Lindo Mexican Grill for generously providing lunch to our group!

Leadership Santa Maria Valley (LSMV) Class of 2024 poses for a group photo in the Hobbs Civic Center in Downtown Santa Maria, after viewing the new mural installed earlier this year, during their Arts & Recreation topic day.

Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2024 tours Allan Hancock College’s Fine Arts Complex with John R. Hood, Department of Fine Arts Chair, during their Arts and Recreation Topic Day.

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