How long have you lived in the Conejo Valley?
Since 1963. I live in Westlake Village with my husband of 42 years Chuck Cohen. We have 4 kids, 4 grand kids and 2 great grand kids.
How did you get involved in community service/the arts?
When our family moved to Thousand Oaks in 1963 we lived on the campus of California Lutheran University and participated in many activities and cultural events there. Having a permanent performing arts center in the community was always a priority. From volunteering at the CLU Community concerts to later involvements with Conejo Future Foundation and its offspring the Alliance for the Arts (through which the Civic Arts Plaza became a reality) I had the opportunity to serve and work towards this common community goal. Community partnerships and grassroots organizing are the BEST.
What’s your favorite performance at BAPAC?
There are so many but I think Ringo Starr and his All Star Band was the most thrilling. It was the largest audience we have ever had. Lyle Lovett and Vince Gill is also a concert I will never forget.
What piece of art (book, music, movie, performance etc.) most influenced the person you are today?
The first movie I was allowed to go to on my own with a friend was To Kill A Mockingbird. The message of embracing justice and caring for one’s neighbor has stuck with me through life.
What’s the single best piece of advice you ever received?
A card my parents gave me for high school graduation that included Shakespeare’s quote: “This Above All: To Thine Own Self Be True, And it must follow, as the night the day, thou cans’t not then be false to anyone.” I was always told to “remember who you are, and whose you are”. Leading a significant life with sense of purpose was always key.
If you could go back to one historical event to witness it, what would it be and why?
A Louis Armstrong concert! I have always felt he was a special gift to the world and embraced love of humanity in his music.
What’s on your playlist?
I love ALL genres. Right now I’m going back in time with John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Ella Fitzgerald, and current artists Pink Martini, Keb Mo, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, plus many classical selections.