Mary Catherine Cutcliffe is the Sonoma Community Center’s new Development Director. “MC” had been at Pets Lifeline for the past four years. She came to Sonoma from Alabama in 2005 to work on the (then-titled) Sonoma Valley Film Festival. In May of 2013, she joined the SCC as the Special Events Manager, then moved on to event-production jobs and working with a variety of nonprofits. Now, 10 years later, she returns to the SCC. “I’m so excited to be back at the Center. The big old brick building is so alive with creativity. I love walking the halls and looking in on classes in action, experiencing activities in the Secret Garden, watching plays in Andrews Hall, and working with the amazing staff at the Center every day.”
La Luz Center hosts free summer camps. In collaboration with Kimzin Creative, the local arts and equity consulting group, La Luz presents four camps designed to give youth an opportunity to learn about themselves and Latinx culture through the arts: visual, performance, film, and music. The first camp will take place June 20-30, with subsequent camps running all summer through Aug. 4. 707.938.5131.
The Sonoma Valley Unified School District has a new Human Resource Director. Kristen Ugrin, most recently at Tierra Linda Middle School in the San Carlos School District, this month replaces Andrew Ryan. She has worked in public schools for 29 years. Originally from Illinois, Ugrin attended San Francisco State, earning two Masters degrees, one in School Administration and another in Reading. “It’s time to move and join a new community,” she said. “Sonoma is a small community that prioritizes safe, inclusive schools,” she said. “There is strong collaboration between staff, students, families, and community members to ensure all students can grow and achieve.”
Swim program returns to Hanna Center. After a three-year hiatus due to Covid, the nonprofit organization SwimAmerica Sonoma and Hanna Center renew a program to swim for health and fitness, starting this month. Founded by Arden Kremer in 1994 as Valley of the Moon Aquatics, SwimAmerica Sonoma is part of the nation’s leading learn-to-swim program created by the American Swimming Coaches Association, using advanced swimming techniques to teach essential water safety skills. “Rather than say “learn how to swim,” says Cat Ackerly, site supervisor, “we prefer to say, ‘Learn the skill of water safety. This way you can save your or someone else’s life.’” 707-938-9938. Swimamericasonoma.org.
Landmark Vineyards announced its 2023 Community Grants recipients, which include eight nonprofit organizations in Sonoma Valley, the Russian River Valley, and Sonoma Valley. The program will award a total of $60,500 in the 2023 grant period, of which $15,000 has been directed towards supporting K–12 schools in the community. In addition to funding schools, other Landmark Community Grant beneficiaries include organizations that provide transitional social services, programs to empower youth, and other services that strive to make rural communities of Sonoma County a more equitable place to live. Recipients include: Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Conservation Corps North Bay, Kids Scoop News, and Living Room Center, Inc
Save the date: Sonoma Valley Museum of Art Gala, July 8. Red and White Ball, August 26. Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival, Sept. 29-30.