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Center for the Arts’ WorldFest honored for music innovation

Michael Lange, who organized Woodstock, poses with The Center for the Arts' Executive Director Julie Baker at Fest Forums over the weekend.

Two years ago The Center for the Arts took over WorldFest, a celebration that features eight stages showcasing artists and music from every continent except Antarctica.

On Monday, the Center for the Arts was honored with the Music Innovation award at Fest Forums in Santa Barbara.

Julie Baker, the Center for the Arts executive director, said she was at first surprised by the nomination, which was submitted by The Center for the Arts’ ticket company. She said she actually thought the email she received notifying her was spam.

“It’s really exciting to be recognized,” Baker said. “It’s an extremely crowded field to be recognized as leaders and innovators in the field. We’re really doing this for the community to add values to people’s lives.”

The event allowed Baker to rub elbows with some people she greatly admires, she said. Among those honored were Woodstock organizer Michael Lange, who was given a Lifetime Achievement Award. Musician Jack Johnson and his wife Kim Johnson were given the Sustainability Award for waste reduction.

Fest Forums attracts leading influencers in film, music, food, beverage, festivals and culture. Special guests also included Bruce Dern, Quentin Tarantino, Cat Cora, Rita Coolidge and hundreds of other industry leaders.

The awards focused on three areas: sustainability, innovation and charity, with three subcategories – film, music and food and beverage – honored within each category.

Panels, parties, live music, films and a James Beard Celebrity Chef dinner were all part of the festivities at the Fess Parker Resort in Santa Barbara.

The next WorldFest will take place at the Nevada County Fairgrounds on July 13-16. It will feature music, workshops, conscious living, and a global indigenous people village with regalia and traditional dances, music and a celebration of native people.

To contact Staff Writer Stephen Roberson, email sroberson@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

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