About Us

Inspiring others for 20 years

Founded in 1998, the Newport Beach Arts Foundation is a non-profit 501c(3) organization and the fundraising arm of the Newport Beach Arts Commission.  We partner with artists, businesses, donors, and volunteers to enrich art in the Newport Beach cultural arts community.  We also host an annual fall Art In The Park show, a June Art Exhibition, and visit Orange County galleries, museums, and summer concerts on the greens.

Your donations help us display works of art in the largest open-air art exhibit in Orange County, The Newport Beach Sculpture Exhibit.

Enjoy a virtual stroll through the Sculpture Exhibit below.

Foundation at Work

Delightful experiences

The donations we receive enable us to bring moving works of art to the Newport Beach community. Sometimes theyare rotating exhibits in other instances they’re permanent pieces. Both are visual proof of what can be achieved withthe generous support of patrons like you.

Here are just a few of the many pieces open to the public. Look for more in the coming year.

Sculpture Exhibition In Civic Center Park
Sculpture Garden III

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“ As the Foundation's first African American President, I've made it a priority to articulate our commitment to racial equality. That includes reaching out to more racially and ethnically diverse artists. ”

Leadership team

The driving force behind our Foundation

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PRESIDENT

Juanita Holley

jholley@newportbeachartsfoundation.org

Juanita Holley moved to Newport Beach from Chicago in 2014 after retiring. Once here, she discovered a passion for art and ...

Juanita Holley moved to Newport Beach from Chicago in 2014 after retiring. Once here, she discovered a passion for art and has been invited to show her paintings and mixed-media designs in Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine Fine Art Center and Newport Beach shows. The first American President of the Foundation, her mission is to reach out to more artists, donors, and volunteers of color.

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Vice President

Leslie O’Rourke

leslie.orourke@newportbeachartsfoundation.org

Leslie O’Rourke was born in Los Angeles and, other than two years in Tokyo, has lived in Newport Beach ...

Leslie O’Rourke was born in Los Angeles and, other than two years in Tokyo, has lived in Newport Beach since 1970. She graduated from USC with a BS in English and went on to get her Masters there in the School of Library and Information Management. Now retired, Leslie was a Special Education teacher in Santa Ana USD and has served as secretary of the NBAF.

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Secretary

Carmen Smith

carmen.smith@newportbeachartsfoundation.org

Carmen Smith is a Foundation member who has lived in Newport Beach since 1978. She and her husband Robert have been ...

Carmen Smith is a Foundation member who has lived in Newport Beach since 1978. She and her husband Robert have been married for 54 years. A graduate of Cal State Long Beach, she worked many years as a teacher and now enjoys retirement. Carmen loves art because it offers a fresh perspective on the world around us and recharges ones’ creative juices.

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Board Member

Michelle Highberg

michelle.highberg@newportbeachartsfoundation.org

Michelle Highberg is the Chief Development Offer of Lido Paddle Project, an organization that serves and honors first responders. She ...

Michelle Highberg is the Chief Development Offer of Lido Paddle Project, an organization that serves and honors first responders. She was raised in New York but moved to California when she was twenty-one. Today, she lives in Laguna Beach with her husband and three children. Michelle loves working with others and is passionate about philanthropy, especially in regards to the arts.

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Board Member

Sunny H. Kim

sunny.kim@newportbeachartsfoundation.org

sunny.kim@newportbeachartsfoundation.org
Sunny Kim is an artist and Foundation ...

sunny.kim@newportbeachartsfoundation.org Sunny Kim is an artist and Foundation board member. She’s a graduate of the Parsons School of Design in NYC, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA, and the Seoul National University College of Fine Arts. Her work, which has won numerous awards, tries to capture the emotions associated with the vast incomprehensibility of the cosmos and the perfect union of chaos and order.

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Board Member

Pat Jorgensen

pat.jorgensen@newportbeachartsfoundation.org

Patricia Jorgensen worked in education for forty years. She was an elementary school teacher, and then later a district-level coordinator ...

Patricia Jorgensen worked in education for forty years. She was an elementary school teacher, and then later a district-level coordinator for a Gifted Program and an elementary school principal. She also coordinated the school district’s art education program for several years. Today, she’s a member of OCAM’s Museum Council and has chaired the council’s popular Art and Architecture Event.

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Board Member

Diana Ghoukassian

diana.ghoukassian@newportbeachartsfoundation.org

Diana Ghoukassian was born in Iran to Armenian parents, schooled in France, England and Austria. Diana speaks eight languages and ...

Diana Ghoukassian was born in Iran to Armenian parents, schooled in France, England and Austria. Diana speaks eight languages and considers herself a citizen of the world. She served as a volunteer for Friends of the Library at University Park in Irvine and South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. Diana also works appraising and selling donated art for the Annual Rummage Sale at Oasis Senior Center in Corona Del Mar. She was accepted to show one photograph at the O.C. Fairgrounds and that was the Turing Point in her life. Diana has shown her creative photography at several juried shows, at UCI, Art Center in Huntington Beach, OCCCA in Santa Ana, Susi Q Laguna Beach, Diana has won first and second place at the Annual Newport Beach Juried Art Shows. She had a solo exhibit at the Newport Beach Main Library (November 2018-January 2019). In 2012 Diana opened an art gallery adjacent to Bistango Restaurant in Irvine to downsize her art collection, as well as taking in consignments. Her online Artprice gallery, based in France, can be viewed from around the world. She is now curating and exhibiting her artwork at Bistango. Diana is looking forward to serving as a board member for the Newport Beach Arts Foundation.

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