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our organizatioN


Our Mission

To engage with a diverse range of Orange County’s artistic and cultural communities at every level by publishing news and critical analysis to encourage interest, participation, fellowship and dialogue.

OUR Vision

To provide the best possible arts and cultural journalism to Orange County, raise awareness of the area’s cultural richness and diversity, and strengthen the future of our field.



presented by the California News Publishers Association

Awards to be announced at the ceremony on July 13.

Food Writing/Reporting

FIRST PLACE  Anne Marie Panoringan and Anne Valdespino, "Great Places for Cocktails in Orange County, Part 1: New Classics," "Great Places for Cocktails in Orange County, Part 2: More New Classics" and "Great Places for Cocktails in Orange County, Part 3: New (and Newish) Cocktail Programs"


Best Arts/Culture Review

1st PLACE   Timothy Mangan, "Alexander Shelley Vies for Pacific Symphony Conducting Job"

2nd PLACE  Eric Marchese, "SCR's 'Quixote Nuevo' is an Enjoyable Feast Marred Only by Too Many Thematic Ingredients"

HONORABLE MENTION   Paul Hodgins, "Orange County Gets a Big Dose of Muti Magic"

Best Arts/Culture Story

1st PLACE  Paul Hodgins, "How Has the Pandemic Hangover Affected O.C.’s Arts Scene?"

2nd PLACE  Eric Marchese, "Stage Door Closes Its Doors, For Now" (written for Voice of OC)

3rd PLACE  Paul Hodgins, "Behaving Badly and Other Lamentable Public Trends: Is It Happening in OC Too?"

Best Food/Restaurant Story

2nd PLACE  Anne Valdespino, "CBD Power Lunch at Knife Pleat"

3rd PLACE  Anne Marie Panoringan, "Panoringan: Santa Ana’s Culinary Scene Is Trending" (written for Voice of OC)

Best Music/Entertainment Review

1st PLACE  Timothy Mangan, "Kluxen’s Debut Impresses, Launching Pacific Symphony’s Conductor Tryouts"

Best Profile

1st PLACE Anne Valdespino, "Feliz Navidad! It’s Bilingual Santa’s Busiest Time of Year"

3rd PLACE  Eric Marchese, "Jazz Legend Monty Alexander Brings His Swingin’ Musical Talents to the Barclay"

Best Round-Up or Best Of

1st PLACE  Anne Valdespino, "Great Places for Cocktails in Orange County, Part 1: New Classics" and "Great Places for Cocktails in Orange County, Part 2: More New Classics"

3rd PLACE  Richard Chang, Kristina Garcia, Timothy Mangan, Eric Marchese, Anne Marie Panoringan and Kaitlin Wright, "What’s Coming Up in Arts & Culture for 2023?" (written for Voice of OC)

The Real O.C. Award

3rd PLACE  Anne Valdespino, "CBD Power Lunch at Knife Pleat"


Sept. 8, 2023

April 2023

Spring 2020

January 2020

Sept. 10, 2018

Summer 2018

Early 2018

First stories written under the Culture OC masthead are published on 

The Arts & Culture team announces the transition to publishing stories on their own independent nonprofit news platform, Culture OC, under the fiscal sponsorship of OneOC. Former Register/Voice of OC dance writer Kaitlin Wright joins the leadership team as a associate managing editor. 

Contributing writers Timothy Mangan and Laura Bleiberg are invited by the Library of Congress to include their articles in its archive for their stories written for the our Decade Ahead series. These stories coincided with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving their insights a unique perspective on issues confronting arts companies in the next decade.

Former Register visual arts writer Richard Chang joins the leadership team as a senior editor. Chang was a contributing writer for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC when he was tapped to take on this editing role.

Anne Marie Panoringan joins the team as a columnist, writing bi-weekly about the burgeoning food scene in Orange County.

The first Arts & Culture story at Voice of OC is posted. It wins a 2019 National Arts Journalism Award.

Hodgins and Janssen begin assembling a team of top working arts journalists in Orange County. Many of them formerly worked for The Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times and OC Weekly. Their expertise also helps us train the next generation of arts writers as they work with interns, some of whom have joined their ranks as contributing writers.

With arts coverage diminishing in Orange County, Paul Hodgins and Heide Janssen, both former arts journalists at The Orange County Register,  join forces to develop a news platform to showcase arts journalism in Orange County. In the process of seeking out advice from a variety of sources on the best way forward, they’re invited by the publisher of Voice of OC to join their nonprofit newsroom and post stories under their masthead.

Arts journalism has been on the decline, both locally and around the country. As of early 2018, the two major newspapers that cover Orange County (Los Angeles Times, The Orange County Register) have no full-time arts/culture staff. A third major paper that covered the arts closes in 2019 (OC Weekly).

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