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Articles

Corbin Enters Council Race

By Sondra Murphy

Actor and Ojai Arts Commissioner Demitri Corbin has thrown his hat into the ring for a City Council opening. Corbin joins attorneys Paul Blatz and Leonard Klaif on the list of official applicants.
Finding a council member replacement has been a focus of the city since Joe DeVito announced his retirement in October. On Dec. 8, the Ojai City Council voted 3-2 in favor of appointing a replacement for the position vacated by DeVito, who submitted his resignation effective Dec. 31. DeVito’s term would have naturally expired in 2010. His successor will therefore only fill the position until next December, and so will need to run as a candidate on the November ballot to have a chance of continuing on the council.
Corbin is an eight-year resident of Ojai and a professional actor. His work teaching theater brought him to the city, but its rich artistic community compelled him to move here. “I was volunteering with a youth theater program,” said Corbin. “The Virginia Avenue Project comes up here every year, so I came here with that and then decided to stay.”
A Chicago native, Corbin founded Peachtree Theater Company, a nonprofit organization that brings theater education to schools throughout Ventura County, which led to the creation of Cardboard Fairytale Theater workshops for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students. Before moving to Ventura County, Corbin volunteered to work with at-risk youth in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
As a resident, he continued teaching performing arts and estimates he has taught about 6,000 youngsters since at many schools and organizations in the Ojai Valley, including Oak Grove, Montessori, San Antonio Elementary, Summit Elementary and Valley Oaks Charter schools. “In the two years since the arts grant program has been re-instated, 100 percent of the applications have been for educational outreach programs,” said Corbin. “As an arts educator I am aware of the vital role the education sector plays in the local economy and how Ojai’s innovative arts programs impact education throughout the county. As council member I will bring insight to the education sector and how the city can be of better service.”
Corbin has also served as a volunteer, board member, instructor and advisor to the Ojai Playwrights Conference, Ojai Film Festival, Theater 150, Ojai Shakespeare Festival and Ojai Performing Arts Theater Foundation. “Their representation is crucial to any plans to build tourism,” he said. “Serving as a council member I will lobby to increase the Arts Commission’s capacity to apply for public and private funding by utilizing the city’s nonprofit status.”
He said his decision to apply for the council seat followed careful consideration after the city’s agreeing to help promote tourism to Ojai. “I want to be on City Council because I think I would bring insight into the arts community when decisions are made,” Corbin said. “All of these things lend to the

Actor and Ojai Arts Commissioner Demitri Corbin has thrown his hat into the ring for a City Council opening. Corbin joins attorneys Paul Blatz and Leonard Klaif on the list of official applicants. Finding a council member replacement has been a focus of the city since Joe DeVito announced his retirement in October. On Dec. 8, the Ojai City Council voted 3-2 in favor of appointing a replacement for the position vacated by DeVito, who submitted his resignation effective Dec. 31. DeVito’s term would have naturally expired in 2010. His

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