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Courtesy of Fiddlers Crossing.

Guitarist Chris Proctor brings his distinctive style of play to Fiddlers Crossing on Sunday.

Two new features have been added to Arts on the Kern, a Sunday afternoon garden party at the home of Tim and Margaret Lemucchi overlooking the Kern River.

Magician Ron Saylor will put on a show and there'll be a live auction of drawings done on the spot by local artists. In keeping with the traditional emphasis on theater, a group of actors from The Empty Space and Stars will give brief performances.

And it's good to learn from Anthony Goss, board president and acting executive director, that things are looking up for the council which encountered serious financial difficulties earlier this year.

"We are continuing to grow stronger and our financial situation is improving," Goss said. "Our recent fundraisers -- Couples of Accomplishment and ArtVentures -- were a great success."

The Couples of Accomplishment dinner, which honored Milt and Betty Younger, raised $19,000 for the council, and the ArtVentures trip to the Reagan Presidential Library brought in $1,500 in ticket sales.

Proceeds from Arts on the Kern, Goss said, will be used for the organization's general operating expenses.

As of now, there are no immediate plans to hire a permanent executive director. Michael Millar, who served for two years, resigned his position on June 30.

"We do not have the capacity right now to advertise, interview, select, and train a new executive director without it affecting (our current) momentum," Goss said. "We will revisit the (executive director issue) after the holiday season."

Taren Alexander, hired in February as office manager, has been handling day-to-day operations and also event planning.

Jeanette Richardson-Parks, past executive director of the council, and artist David Gordon are serving as consultants on a temporary basis.

Richardson-Parks, an artist herself, is a consultant and mentor for the Creating Community partnership with the Kern County Museum. The program is funded by a grant from the Irvine Foundation.

Gordon, a former Bakersfield Museum of Art staff member, is working on a month-to-month basis on such projects as Young Audiences, event planning and community partnerships.

"All three of them have been working under my direction with everything going through the (council's) board of directors for input and approval," said Goss who works full time for the Kern County Superintendent o Schools.

Wine tasting

Guests will hear pleasing background music as they sample a selection of wines and appetizers at "A Taste of Grace," Friday at the Gardens at Mill Creek.

Miriam Raub Vivian, coordinator, said there'll be musicians from Cal State Bakersfield -- a jazz sextet and a solo guitarist -- as well vocal choruses from Bakersfield High School, Bakersfield College and the choir from the event's sponsor, St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

A silent auction will be held as well as an opportunity drawing. Proceeds benefit the Bakersfield Homeless Center and Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

Sadie Hawkins dance

I'm betting that anyone who remembers the "Li'l Abner" comic strip will know the purpose of Sadie Hawkins Day; for those who don't, it's a foot race where the females of Dogpatch got to marry any man they were able to capture.

For the Laf-A-Lot Dance Club's event on Saturday it's an excuse to haul in some hay bales for atmosphere, dress like hillbillies and simply have a good time dancing to a live swing orchestra, said Shari Fortino, president. Couples can also buy a marriage license for $2 and get hitched -- for the evening that is.

Finger-style guitarist

Guitarist Chris Proctor uses a method called finger style that produces an unusual clicking sound and a distinctive tone as he deftly plucks the strings with lightweight metal picks attached to the fingers of his right hand.

"Proctor is a national champion in finger-style guitar," said Deborah Hand-Cutler, owner of Fiddlers Crossing, where he will perform in concert on Sunday. "He somehow makes his single 6- or 12-string guitar sound like a full orchestra."

Typically his concert programs range from jazz, Celtic, folk and pop to classical music as well as blues. The musician has made more than 10 CDs to date and also has done instructional videos. This is his second appearance in the Tehachapi area in recent years. He previously played for the Bear Valley Cultural Arts Association.

Proctor, 62, lives in Salt Lake City and attended the University of Utah.

Auditions at Stars

Stars Theatre Restaurant is seeking male and female singers and dancers, age 17 or older, for its holiday show, "Christmas Around the World."

Auditions will be held Saturday at Stars School of Fine Arts on Eye Street, one block west of the Chester Avenue theater.

The creative team of Bruce Saathoff, Bethany Rowlee, Rosie Ayala and Brock Christian will conduct the tryouts.

Participants should be prepared to dance and to sing a Christmas song with piano; an accompanist will be provided.

For details, write to Saathoff via email at