Up close and personal… with the multi talented Miriam Arichea

Miriam and Ivor enjoy some time at our wonderful beach.

by Ivor Davis

I have lived in Ventura County for 40 years and am delighted to report that, as most already know, our community is rich and overflowing with creative talent.

Ventura has become a Valhalla of culture, music and literature: Ventura Music Festival, The Rubicon Theatre, New West Symphony, Focus on the Masters, Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra,(CHICO), Camerata Pacifica and the NAMBA Performing Arts venue in downtown to list but a few.

I emphasize this because it makes my assignment for the Museum of Ventura County—to feature some of the most outstanding talents in the County– an even more fruitful one. The program, “Ivor Davis Up Close and Personal With…” draws several hundred viewers but above all it allows us to shine the spotlight on these local gems.

My first two guests were local legends: Musician Chris Hillman and actor Malcom McDowell. My third program on Feb 25th at 6:30 pm., features a lively conversation with local hero–Ventura County Renaissance Woman: Miriam Arichea. The program is free and open to the public by just registering at Museum of Ventura County.

Miriam is a musician, a lawyer, a teacher—and above all a mother. She began piano lessons at the age of five in the Philippines where she grew up. “My mom Ruth was a voice teacher,” she recalled, “So at a very young age I would sit with her students and clink out music on the piano.”

Realizing the difficulties of making a living as a musician, she moved to the United States with her parents and recalls, “I wanted to become an investigative reporter for the New York Times.” Instead she got her law degrees at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

In the Summer of l996 she moved to Ventura and quickly made her mark. She handles criminal appeals as a court-appointed attorney with the California Appellate Project. She also coaches and coordinates the Ventura High School mock trial and academic decathlon teams.

In 2014 she was the recipient of the 2014 Ventura Mayor’s Arts Award for Arts Educator.

I first met Miriam several years ago when I participated in a hugely successful Beatles acapella concert to benefit the Rubicon Theatre which utilized the talents of the Rubicon’s impressive Harmonix student choir. I was impressed with her utter dedication and the long hours she invested in rehearsals in search of perfection.

In May 2018 at the Museum, Miriam along with actor- producer Brian McDonald , staged a moving concert “Out of the Ashes: Healing in Story and Song” …which combined the drama, the poignancy and the passion in the aftermath of the devastating Thomas Fire.

For many years I have also enjoyed Miriam’s piano playing which greatly enhances services at Ventura’s Temple Beth Torah as well as attending concerts for Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra concerts under the direction of conductor Dr. Kuanfen Liu.

Miriam and her cardiologist husband Dr. Jeffrey Brackett have three talented children –Josh, Arielle, and Daniel.

To watch my live conversation with Miriam, log onto the Museum of Ventura County website—and register for the program which is free to the public. Viewers are encouraged to join the museum or make donations.

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