Vsevolod Krawczeniuk
Director, Burbank Children’s Theatre Company

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
“Burbank Children’s Theatre Company is a group of very talented and energetic professionals who perform vibrant and engaging plays for children and their families. We select plays that are educational, inspirational, and just plain fun. Many of our productions include audience participation, and children are always welcome to come up on stage after the show to explore the theatre. Our performers love to hang out, chat with the kids, and take pictures with the kids on the set. All of our performers are seasoned professionals with extensive backgrounds in theatre, film, and tv.”
How did you first become interested in theater?
“My father was a professor at King’s College, a small Catholic liberal arts college in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  King’s had a wonderful theatre department that would include one children’s theatre performance in its yearly repertoire. At an early age, my parents would take me to see these shows. Later, they began taking me to the other productions. I was exposed to Shakespeare, Strindberg, Ibsen, and a host of other great playwrights at a very young age.”
 How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
“Art is about “Us.” Art is communal and is not exclusive to one group. Art tells our collective stories. When we are hearing a play, watching a dance, listening to music, or viewing paintings and sculptures, we are gathering in a place and sharing a common experience. I think that is marvelous. I think Burbank is an absolutely amazing place. We have a school district and supporters who make teaching the arts a priority. We have a parks and rec department that offers various art classes taught by terrific teachers. The greater Los Angeles area is the media capital of the world. The most talented and creative people from all over the world come here to create their art. Many of them live and work in Burbank. That’s just plain awesome!”
If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
“If I could share with our community one thing about art, it would be my encouragement to explore. Artists are people who are trying to communicate their visions and passions with others. They are not working to please an elite group of critics; they are talking to all of us. The form may very, but the intention is the same. Please, go out and listen to the many voice out there. Find the ones who speak to you, and find the ones who challenge you. Also, find the artist within yourself. Find ways to express yourself and make your voice heard. You don’t have to be a Da Vinci or Mozart to express yourself to your fellow human beings.”
To find out more about Vsev’s work, visit https://www.facebook.com/BurbankChildrensTheatre/

Nicolina Logan
Co-artistic Director, Burbank Chamber Music Society
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
“I am a clarinetist and co-artistic director of the Burbank Chamber Music Society, a collective of LA area musicians that shares intimate concerts and performances with the people of Burbank. Our concerts feature woodwinds, voice, strings, brass, percussion, and world instruments in programs that celebrate traditional, popular, and contemporary works for small ensembles.”
How did you first become interested in music?
“When I was younger I was very fortunate to be exposed to many kinds of music in many different places–Riverdance tapes on TV, attending occasional musicals with live pit orchestras, hearing film scores, my father playing guitar and, like many, a brief series of piano lessons.
I did not discover the clarinet or the world of orchestral and chamber music until I took music classes at John Muir and Burbank High, and thereafter studied music through college.”
How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
“It seems to me that in some way, everyone who lives makes a living in the arts. The “arts business” is everyone’s business, really, for art is everywhere–in everything that communicates with any of our (at least five) senses–whether that be inside the concert hall, or out.
Something we want to do with the Burbank Chamber Music Society is to invite people to feel that chamber music–music made in small groups of some two to thirteen people, usually one to a part, without a conductor, played in an intimate space–is relevant to them, because it reflects a large part of their lives: conversation and communication. Much like the weekly Farmers’ Market, we want our concerts to be a community gathering place–an informal space for people of all ages to discover music, build friendships, and simply enjoy being together. Without a conductor, chamber music is very democratic, colleagues sharing, exploring, and implementing different ideas. For this it is known as the “music of friends,” and it is very much that way. A string quartet playing Haydn, or four people sharing their day at a dinner table–it seems in many ways so much the same.
Being engaged with art is by no means limited to attending concerts, book readings, or seeing movies or plays. Art offers many things, and these experiences can offer an insulated opportunity to focus our senses, thoughts, feelings, and perceptions as guided by the shared experience of communicating this way. But in life outside the theater, this shared experience of art still does exist–and so being engaged can also mean finding it in any place it seems to be. Looking at a watercolor painting or ballet performance, or looking at the sunset; listening to Beethoven, or to the palm fronds rustling in the Santa Ana winds. Standing on a street corner, here in Burbank or anywhere, and asking, ‘How do I make a living in the arts?'”
If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
“In most newspapers, there is a section devoted to “the arts”–often “Arts & Entertainment” or, as NPR says, “Arts & Life.”
I worked once as an theater usher, and got to see many performances of all kinds. Our job, among other things, was to guide the flow of people and manage events, watch out for flash photography or open-lid containers, and let people know when they were leaning a little too far over the balcony railing. Big-little things that sometimes people might not know that they need.
One of my co-workers was an older gentleman who had been working there for many, many years. He was very perceptive, slightly eccentric, and often told jokes or stories to whomever he happened to be working with. If we were stationed inside the theater we always got to see some of the performance, and this was the case one day when we worked together. As the lights dimmed and people settled in to watch the show, we settled in to watch them. He surveyed the balcony section and then, as it all began, turned to me: ‘People come here, and they think that this is an escape from real life. But this is real life.'”
To find out more about Nicolina’s work, visit http://www.burbankchambermusicsociety.org

Jamie Butterworth
President, Burbank Art Association
Co-chair, Community Working Group, Burbank Arts For All Foundation
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
“I am an artist, mostly painting landscapes and abstracts in oil, but recently, I’ve been working on a series of birds. I just had a solo show of 30 of my paintings at the Geo Gallery during October.  A selection of work will be on display at Basecamp Dinette (1221 W Riverside Drive, Burbank, CA 91506) during November with a reception on Sunday, November 19 from 3-6 pm.
I also teach art to elementary students after school at Edison Elementary and at Burbank Home School Campus.  I’ve been teaching for 3 years but I organized and volunteered in a lot of the arts programs and classes at Edison when my kids were in school there.  I do volunteer work now with the Burbank Arts for All Foundation, specifically with the Secret Art Show and Community Exchange.
I’ve served for the past year and a half as the president of the Burbank Art Association and was the Programs Chair for several years before that.  This is a 50+ year old non-profit group of over 100 local artists with the mission to encourage creativity and showcase members’ work.
In addition to visual arts, I have a few different musical projects going on.  I like to sing Americana and Jazz and play around town occasionally with my band.  We are planning to do some songs at the November 19 reception at Basecamp.”
How did you first become interested in your art?
“My kids were taking art lessons from Randall Williams when they were little and I thought it looked fun and I wanted to try my hand.  I’d never tried art myself even though I had worked in creative careers.  I took a few more classes and bought my first set of brushes and paints in 2010.  For the next few years, I took all the drawing and painting classes I could at the Creative Arts Center, Burbank Adult School, and privately. I also volunteered in all the art classes during and after school at my daughters’ elementary and middle schools, learning art skills and also best teaching practices from the many teachers I observed.”
How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
“Personally, I find almost all of my community through art.  My social interactions are with the kids I teach and their parents, at Burbank Art Association events, with my fellow volunteers and staff of the Burbank Arts for All Foundation and people who attend their events, people I play music with, talking with the teachers and owner when I take my daughter to her guitar lessons at Burbank Music Academy, etc. So, I think the arts enrich our community by creating community.  Of course, art itself, in public places, makes our community more beautiful, interesting, vibrant and desirable — a mural lights up a wall. A public performance brings life — excitement and vitality — to an area.  (I just got back from New Orleans and the whole time I was there, my ears were preened for the next musical encounter that was waiting around each corner!) 
The two organizations I mentioned above are great to engage with.  The Burbank Art Association is for visual artists of all levels and mediums.  We meet the third Wednesday of each month for a different art demonstration or presentation, and we have at least two group shows per year, as well as other opportunities to share work in pop-up shows, fairs, and solo shows.  Our Fall Member Show opens on November 3 at the Creative Arts Center with a reception from 7-9 pm.
The Burbank Arts for All Foundation raises money to support arts programs in the Burbank public schools.  We have regular (almost) monthly Community Exchanges that welcome everyone, two Creative Circles Forums per year focused on creative career paths in our community, and two fundraisers — the Party on the Plaza Gala in the spring and the Secret Art Show in the fall.  The next Creative Circles Forum is Wednesday, November 8 at the Colony Theater at 7 pm with a one-hour panel discussion on Documentary Films. (or from Burbank Music Academy http://www.burbankartsforall.org/creative-circles-forum/)
There is also quite a bit of live music around Burbank.  Viva Cantina on Riverside has two stages with live music almost every day of the week, and just along Burbank Boulevard, The Park Bar and Grill has music every Monday, Friday, and Saturday night, D’Argenzio Wine Bar has live music every Thursday night from 7-9 pm, and the Moose Lodge has free Monday night Blues with Grammy-award winning Pete Anderson.”
If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
“Try it!  Try something, anything!  Go to one of the many paint nights offered around town, take a class at the Creative Arts Center, the Burbank Adult School, or Burbank Music Academy.  Try different visual arts mediums, oil, watercolor, pottery, or music or dance or theater!  Think about what you may have been interested in as a child or what you have admired others for doing, and do it! There’s an artist in everyone — it’s just a matter of finding your art form.  Experiment, discover your inner artist, and enjoy the many benefits.”
To find out more about Jamie’s work, visit http://www.jamiebutterworthart.com/