COC’s Van Hook Honored for Patronage of the Arts
College of the Canyons Chancellor Dianne G. Van Hook was inducted into the Court of the Lord Chamberlain on Friday, the opening night of the 2016 LA SummerFest at Rivendale Park and Open Space.
Now in its third year, the event, organized by the nonprofit Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival under the direction of David Stears, honored Van Hook for her patronage of the arts. Prior inductees include Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and Councilwoman Laurene Weste (2014) and CalArts President Steven D. Lavine (2015).
The Lord Chamberlain was an important figure during Shakespearean times and into the mid-19th Century. As the king or queen’s senior officer, the Lord Chamberlain was the keeper of the keys (literally or figuratively); the Lord Chamberlain decided whether a new play could open.
Friday’s ceremony included the presentation of a large key to the college chancellor by Santa Clarita Arts Commissioner Susan Shapiro and a “knighting” by Arts Commissioner Michael Millar, along with a reading of Van Hook’s arts-related accomplishments.
The youngest-ever California community college superintendent when she took the helm of the Santa Clarita Community College District in 1988, Van Hook envisioned and spearheaded construction of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center on the Valencia campus, established and expanded programs in all disciplines of the arts, and created the college system’s largest permanent art installation – three dozen sculptures on the Valencia and Canyon Country campuses that were donated by the artist, Simi Dabah.
Also Friday, Frank Kleeman, a longtime patron of the arts in the Santa Clarita Valley and big supporter of the College of the Canyons Foundation, was honored posthumously. His widow, Charlotte, accepted a key on his behalf.
Attendees were treated to an abbreviated version of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Full performances are scheduled for July 23, 24, 30 and 31 and August 12 and 14 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the open-air performance space at Rivendale. To get there, take The Old Road south of Calgrove Boulevard to the entrance of Ed Davis Park at Towsley Canyon. Performances are free; refreshments are available for purchase.
And it’s not just Shakespeare. Throughout the rest of July and August, LA SummerFest offers a variety of entertainment from Americana (July 17) to Praise (July 29), Blues (Aug. 6), Jazz (Aug. 7), free family movies (Wednesdays) and more. Visit LASummerFest.org for the full lineup.