This year's September Festa Italiana, Opera Pacific's second annual Laguna Beach concert, will feature nearly 150 pieces of art from local schoolchildren as part of a new program to foster community art participation.
"The more art kids have, the broader their horizons will be," said Meredith Gratz, who co-chairs Festa Italiana with Joan Siminoff.
Last week, winners were selected in each of four categories. The judges were Sian Poeschl, the city arts coordinator; Wendy Sears, an education curator at the Laguna Art Museum; Michael Jacques, a professor at the Art Institute of Southern California; and local artist Joan Corman Bloch.
Only children in the Laguna Beach Unified School District were eligible to participate in the contest held in May.
Winners will be announced in early September, Gratz said. Their names will be included in the program for a performance of "The Magic Flute" at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.
Information: (800) 34-OPERA or www.operapacific.org.