Live@Home

Board Member
Al Lowe’s Faves

How long have you lived in Ventura County?

I have lived in Ventura County for almost 70 years having moved with my family to Camarillo when I was 4 years old.  I have been married to my best friend, Petra, for almost 20 years.  We have a blended family of 5 children and 8 grandchildren, all who live in or near Ventura County.  I was raised in a musical family where my physician father played the piano and all the kids learned a musical instrument as soon as we could so that we could provide special music in church.

How did you get involved in community service/the arts?

I have always enjoyed organizing events and projects since my high school and college days.  Church events filled my time until my forties, when I joined the Rotary Club of Camarillo.  From there I became the chairman of our Golf tournament for the benefit of  Casa Pacifica.  I was asked to be on the Board of Directors for Casa Pacifica and that plunged me into the world of nonprofit work. 

I have sung in Choirs since my high school days and currently am part of a small vocal ensemble under the leadership of Dr. Helen Farson which performed fairly regularly until the pandemic struck.

What’s your favorite performance at BAPAC?

Because I was not able to attend the Borderline event, I would say that the two best concerts I have attended were the Tenors and David Foster.  Also, the first combination performance of the resident companies was outstanding.

What piece of art (book, music, movie, performance etc.) most influenced the person you are today?

Schindler’s List had a profound impact on my thinking about business and how one individual could make such a difference in the lives of thousands of people.  In addition, it was a lesson how we need to use our talents, time and treasure in the service of others.

What’s the single best piece of advice you have ever received?
As a Rotarian, one of our tenets we use in life is, “Is it fair to all concerned”.  Dealing with people in business or causes, if we treat everyone fairly and with respect, we come away with very few regrets.  Also, “happy wife, happy life!”

If you could go back to one historical event to witness it, what would it be and why?
As a sports enthusiast, the Miracle on Ice was really special to witness, although I saw it on TV.  To see an overwhelming underdog accomplish something so unexpected was truly amazing and unforgettable. 

Board Member
Janet Scherr’s Faves

Janet Scherr tees up her Playlist

Janet Scherr is a Brooklyn native but, California has been her home since 1971. She graduated from the Wagner Paraprofessional Program at AJU as a crisis counselor.  She currently holds a license in Cosmetology and is a Zumba instructor.  Janet serves on the Board at Cedars Sanai Hospital.  In 1998, Janet and her husband Ray lent their name to what is now known as the Janet and Ray Scherr Forum which led Janet to serve on the Board of TOArts. They reside in Westlake Village.  She is a mom to Lauren and Jason and has four wonderful grandchildren.

How long have you lived in the Conejo Valley?

Residing in Ventura County since 1992, I feel blessed to live in this community with my family close by. When we moved to Ventura, my daughter Lauren was twenty-two years old and attending University of Arizona. Our son Jason was attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Both my kids are now married, and I am a proud grandma to three beautiful granddaughters and one handsome grandson.
My husband and I just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary back in February, before our world was changed by COVID. It was a wonderful celebration with family and friends. Hopefully soon we will be able to have parties and see loved ones again. 

How did you get involved in community service/the arts?

My husband and I met in 1964 in Brooklyn, New York as neighbors across the street when we were 16 and 15 years old. We shared the love for music, cars and being together. My husband gave guitar lessons at the time we got married, and we were both traveling into Manhattan for work. Not long into our first year of marriage, we were offered the opportunity to move to California. We left New York and called San Francisco our new home for a few years. After relocating to San Diego for a year, we finally settled into life in Los Angeles. 
Along the way we realized that family was the most important part of our lives as well as community. With all the moves we made for work, having roots was so important to us. With Ray’s music background, It was so natural for us to get involved and be part of what is now called BAPAC. 
We wanted to pay it forward and support the arts as well as the local community to have their dreams fulfilled and see live theatre. Having a performance center close to home is where the heart lives and art survives. 

What’s your favorite performance at BAPAC?

This is the beauty of BAPAC, it has so much to offer, it is not just a concert venue. It has a variety of shows, plays for adults as well as for kids, traveling theater, National Geographic Series, Speaker Series, Comedians, Ballet, etc. I don’t have a favorite; they are all so wonderful. I did not go to the theatre or see shows as a child, so seeing thousands of children coming to this venue brings it full circle.  

What piece of art (book, music, movie, performance etc.) most influenced the person you are today?

My mother had a good spirit and taught us to have a positive outlook, to be kind, caring and realize everyone is going through something, could make a difference in someone’s day. Now as an adult, I have enjoyed so many performances, which continues to inspire me. Since I listened to Motown on the radio growing up, I discovered my love for dancing. I love to dance because it brings a sense of freedom and joy, which can easily be spread. It is what I share with others and enjoy when I am in my Zumba dance class. It makes me feel empowered to teach, listen to music, and dance with people who share the same passion as me. 

What would be the title of your autobiography?
If I were to have written my autobiography, I would title it “The Life of a Dancing Queen!”

If you could go back to one historical event to witness it, what would it be and why?
I wish I can go back in time to experience the summer of Woodstock, because it embodies everything that I love: all these feelings, the music, the freedom, the joy, and the love of my generation. 

Board Vice Chair David Mead’s Faves

David Mead is a native Californian and has been a resident of Thousand Oaks for the past 20 years.  Besides being an alumnus of UCLA and Loyola Law School, he currently serves on the boards of TOArts and Goodwill Industries of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.  He lives in Lang Ranch with his wife Lisa, his daughter Caitlin (Chapman University senior) and son Jack (Westlake H.S. senior).

How long have you lived in the Conejo Valley?

I have lived in Ventura County for a total of 22 years (2 years in Camarillo in the 80’s and in Thousand Oaks since 2000. I live here with my wonderful wife Lisa and my daughter Caitlin and son Jack.

How did you get involved in community service/the arts?

My mom Mia Mead has been a watercolor, acrylic and oil painter her whole life and it was from her that my appreciation for the arts started and grew. As a result, I have always wanted to be involved with the arts in some capacity. I started as a committee member on the Community Funding Review Committee and was its chair for about 5 of the 8 years I was on the committee. I then became a commissioner on the Cultural Affairs Commission at its inception and remained a commission until about 2016. I was also a board member of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Foundation for approximately 3 years during my time on the CAC. I then then subsequently because a board member of TOArts at its inception and am the currently its Vice-Chair.

What’s your favorite performance at BAPAC?

Since I was a kid, I was always interested in cooking and cooking shows. At one point in my youth I had wanted to be a chef before changing 180 degrees to decide to become a lawyer. However, I still to this day enjoy watching cooking and restaurant related shows, including Chopped and Restaurant Impossible. Thus, I was very excited to watch the show put on by Robert Irvine, the host from Restaurant Impossible, as well as his VIP behind the scenes presentation.

What piece of art (book, music, movie, performance etc.) most influenced the person you are today?

I cannot say that there is one exact piece of art that has most influenced me. I am an avid reader of books and have been since a very young age. My love for reading and the joy and pleasure that I receive from doing so has made me who I am today. Some of my favorite authors include Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Tom Clancy, Michael Connelly, Clive Cussler, Larry Niven and John Grisham. One of my favorite books of all time is the Stand by Stephen King.

What’s the single best piece of advice you ever received?

Since your character and reputation can easily be damaged or destroyed by senseless, idiotic actions, it is always important to make sure that you live a life of honesty and good moral character.

If you could go back to one historical event to witness it, what would it be and why?
I was a history major at UCLA and history has always been one of my favorite subjects. This is a tough question as there are many historical events that one would way to go back and witness. American History has always been one of my favorite history subjects and Abraham Lincoln has always been one of my favorite historical figures. Thus, I would have to say seeing him give the Gettysburg Address would have been remarkable and awe inspiring.

What’s on your playlist?

My teenage years were during the late 70’s and early 80’s. Thus, my favorite bands are those from that era and I enjoy most songs that they created during that time frame. My favorite bands include Oingo Boingo, the Cure, Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, Inxs, Scorpions, Queen and REM. My car is generally tuned to the 80’s channel.

Meet Board Secretary Eloise Cohen

Eloise Cohen, Board Secretary

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.

Colleen’s Playlist of the Week

Colleen Debler has been involved in the performing arts all of her life, whether attending events, participating in them or marketing them. She is the Director of Marketing at BAPAC for the past 7 years and before that worked as the marketing director at UCSB Arts & Lectures, Geffen Playhouse and UCLA Live. She currently lives in Newbury Park with her husband Paul and their two boys, Declan and Keene.

Sean’s Playlist of the Week

Sean Jones: is the Technical Director of the Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre at the Bank of America Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks, CA. In addition, Sean worked at the Disneyland Resort in the Technical Services Division. A lifelong resident of Thousand Oaks, Sean enjoys spending time with friends and family as well as his dog Tucker.