MEET THE NEW
The ACCV Board Members are elected and represent the following roles:
ED SMART - Ed Smart is honored to be serving on the Arts Council of the Conejo Valley. He is an award-winning composer for television and film, having composed themes and scores for series on Discovery, HBO, CBS, A&E, TLC, Velocity, Nickelodeon and OWN, among others. He has composed the scores to the Oscar-nominated documentary Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream, executive produced by Denzel Washington, and the off-Broadway play Hit-Lit, written by Robert Wuhl. As a multi-instrumentalist and orchestrator, Ed has worked with many award-winning artists, including Beyonce, Jewel, Amy Grant, Jennifer Hudson, Shaquille O'Neal, Michael W. Smith, Kirk Franklin, Pat Boone and on the show American Idol. He also serves as Director of Music Ministries for Westminster Presbyterian Church in Westlake Village. Ed and his family live in Thousand Oaks, and they greatly appreciate the impact that the arts in the Conejo have had on their lives.
Susan Calkins has been a public school instrumental and vocal music teacher for more than 25 years. She’s taught in both Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Susan holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music. Along with teaching for LAUSD for the last 16 years, Susan has worked for the Young Artists Ensemble for 21, having been involved in more than 50musicals. She serves as conductor, pianist, arranger and musical director for them. You will also find her playing piano for many schools in both counties to keep the arts alive. Susan is always willing to lend a hand. Susan resides in Newbury Park and wishes to do anything she can to help the community get past a pandemic that has forever changed us. Serving on the Arts Council of the Conejo Valley would enable her to become involved in the needs of the community as she prepares for retirement from LAUSD in October.
TREASURER/DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
TONY GITT - Please click here for Tony's credentials.
KRISTINE CLARK - I am a proud and fortunate mother to an ever curious and creative teenager. Artistic expression, in many forms, are part of our daily life- participation, as well as, pure enjoyment of. As a former para-educator in Special Education for fourteen years in the Las Virgenes Unified School District, I am a strong advocate for the Arts to be accessible and taught to all. I graduated from UCLA, majoring in Art History, and have volunteered at various organizations, including the Getty and the Malibu Stage Company. Also, I served on the Native American Cultural Resource Advisory Committee and the Trails Committee for the City of Malibu. Art is a passion of mine, and I am a strong believer that a community needs various artistic platforms where people may acquire, manifest, and benefit from creativity and culture.
DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIPS
LAURIE HANIG - Laurie is a credentialed Art and Special Education Teacher who has taught for over 25 years in both the private and public school settings. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art from UC Santa Cruz and Credentials from California State University, Northridge. After retiring from Los Angeles Unified School District, she went on to pursue her passion in the arts by creating and implementing a curriculum to teach Judaic Art to children. Through teaching creative art lessons that incorporated a variety of new techniques and materials into her mixed media projects, Laurie’s career as an artist began to grow. She has showcased and sold her work at local art and craft fairs, boutiques and is frequently commissioned by private parties. Her painting of The Tree of Life is part of the permanent collection of art at Temple Etz Chaim. As a mixed media artist, she focuses on subjects related to Jewish history, traditions and symbolism. Laurie’s art also seeks to raise awareness around social and global issues. Her current project speaks on the pandemic and depicts a series of decorative mixed media face masks constructed on canvas, that were submitted to the WLVG Members Art Show for January 2021. Laurie is certified by Monart School of the Arts and is a member of the Westlake Village Art Guild.
DIRECTOR OF PR/MARKETING
Patricia Smart served as Executive Director of the Literacy Network of Greater Los Angeles, Founding Partner of Los Angeles Times Reading by 9, President of the Southern California Library Literacy Network, Founding Director of the Literacy in Media Awards in association with the Writers Guild Foundation, and National Outreach Coordinator for KCET (PBS). She currently manages the national awards program for the local USN division, and is a founding administrator of Author Adventures (John Corcoran Foundation). She has published numerous works in the public sector, served on the ABC-CLIO American History Board, and earned an Innovation recognition from the US Department of Education. Locally, she was the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra treasurer, a Lang Ranch Elementary talent show co-producer, and a Westlake High theater volunteer. She has a Master’s in Information Science (UCLA), Bachelor of Science (University of Miami), postgraduate certifications (Columbia University, University of Denver), and completed a year abroad at University of Kent. She is most proud to be the wife and mom of the Ed Smart family.
DIRECTOR OF EXHIBITIONS
Los Angeles and Ventura County artist working in acrylic, graphite, ink, mixed media and mosaic installations.
DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION SERVICES
JOHN PILLSBURY - I am the incumbent Director of Information Services. I have also served the ACCV as treasurer and as head of the Bylaws Review Committee. I am at present: the producer and corporate secretary of the Ventura County Gilbert & Sullivan Repertoire Co. and treasurer of the Philosophical Research Society. I should also note that I do have significant experience with computers and networks, and have arranged for the donation and servicing of all of the computer related equipment which the ACCV currently possesses. I look forward to continuing to help the ACCV to promote the arts and education in our community. I would also like to thank all of our member organizations both for their support of the ACCV and the good work that they do.
DIRECTOR OF EVENTS AND HOSPITALITY
Christina Cox has worked in the payment services industry for 30 years. She started out in electronic check services right after her first child was born. She worked her way up through the industry, succeeding against the odds as a self-educated, minority, single mother of two. Her professional accomplishments led to the launch of her own business in 2016, whose clients currently bring in +$38 million in processing volume per month. What she enjoys the most in her work is building long-term relationships with her clients. She enjoys anticipating needs and problem solving. At the end of the day, there is no stronger feeling of accomplishment than taking care of other people.
DIRECTOR OF ELECTRONIC MEDIA
BRIAN GAFFNEY - is currently the Senior Business Development Director for Unity3d.com. Brian leads the professional artistry organization with a focus on ArtEngine, a real-time 3D materials design tool featuring AI-assisted creativity. Brian is also the Chair Emeritus of SMPTE, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and a member of the Science and Technology Peer group for the Television Academy.
DIRECTORS AT LARGE
PAT JOHNSON - Who I Am and How I Got Here! I was born in Chicago a long time ago and am an only child. After attending years of Catholic schools and graduating from DePaul University, I married my college love. We produced 6 amazing people and was rewarded with amazing adults. During my first marriage, we lived in Lombard, IL, Casper, WY, Reno, NV, Salt Lake City, UT and finally lovely Thousand Oaks. I have 9 intelligent, beautiful grand kids (of course) and 2 great grandchildren married sweet Walt 22 years ago and can’t complain! I’ve been involved in the following: Village Voices Chorale for 32 years, serving in various board positions including President for 4 years. In addition, I have been involved with the Arts Council of the Conejo Valley for 15 years with 6 as President. Plus, the California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks for 6 years serving on several committees. 5 years ago, in collaboration with Art Trek and the Arts Council, we created Conejo Public Art and Conejo Cottontails (20 rabbits, painted by professional artists) perhaps you’ve seen them. Currently, I’m on the Legacy Scholarship, Hang with the Best and the May Open Show committees. The Arts give me joy, serenity and feeds my spirit.
CONNIE TUNICK is a prolific artist and Hillcrest Galleria Co-Curator, Connie’s work ranges from experimental paintings with collage and mixed media to printmaking. Connie Tunick has worked as a professional artist for many years, and is well known in the art publishing world. Connie belongs to the Thousand Oaks Art Association and Women Painters West, both juried art organizations. As a Board Member of Arts Council of the Conejo Valley, she is involved with the Conejo Cottontails. This is a public art project with collaboration between the ACCV and Art Trek. She spends much of her time working and teaching at her industrial studio in Newbury Park. A Northwestern University graduate from Illinois, she is an educator and children's art specialist with a California credential and MA degree in Education from CLU, Thousand Oaks. The experimental quality and artistic sense of play that can be found in children's art is integral to her work.
GERI SCHONBERG -After graduating from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Philosophy, I moved to Manhattan while my husband completed medical school. While living in Colorado I completed my graduate studies in Art History at the University of Denver. Thousand Oaks has been my home for most of my life. I served as a docent at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Finally, about 30 years ago, I took some art classes and painting and art began to be the focus of my life. In addition to my membership on the board of the Arts Council, I am a member of the Thousand Oaks Art Association, the Los Angeles Art Association and Women Painters West. Increasing participation in the arts and public art in our community is the reason for my work for ACCV.