Sparks curiosity   /   Provokes questions   /   Awakens awareness   /   Motivates self-exploration

Summer Exploration and Inspiration


Paula Spellman

Paula Spellman, Creator of Ripples

Ripples is our summer cultural program that was created by Paula Spellman. Paula Spellman is an author, speech writer, and literary consultant.  She is also a Living Treasure and former executive director of a mentoring and role model program, and has served on many boards within the Ojai Valley. Both OVYF and Paula have a great passion for exposing youth to diverse experiences outside of their comfort zone that will provoke questions and motivate them to seek new opportunities–together they created the strong program ‘Ripples’ that continues today!

Ripples offers a wide variety of events for youth 12-18 years of age, which has included tango lessons, culinary experiences, tours of the Disney Animation Studio and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, live theater performances, as well as improv and visual arts workshops. Ripples is designed to give students the knowledge needed to appreciate culture, as well as a learning environment in which they can integrate into their lives the lessons learned from these events.


“One of the things that is missing for our youth today is the opportunity to get outside of their own neighborhoods.”
-Paula Spellman

As we continue to incorporate Paula’s passion in this unique summer program, it also evolves over time. What will always remain is our shared vision to provide young people with an interactive and educational program through the arts. Today’s Ripples program is funded by a small collection of generous donors, including Paula, and includes such fun experiences as late night slam poetry at Da Poetry Lounge in West Hollywood, and visits to The Broad Museum! Questions about attending this free program, held over a number of weeks during summer vacation, can be directed to OVYF Board President Franci Nelson at: 805-640-9555.

Business and individuals who have given of themselves to make Ripples possible:

  • Steve Bauer
    Tango lesson
  • Tree Bernstein
    Poetry workshop
  • Barbara Brandt
    Etiquette workshop
  • Demitri Corbin
    Improv workshop
  • Nancy Michali
    Culinary Arts Studio
  • Donna Granata
    Focus on the Masters
  • Ted Gall
    Studio tour
  • Stephen Geering
    Musical workshop
  • Nomi Morris
    Journalist talk
  • Joan Nicholson
    Poetry workshop
  • Ojai Valley Inn
    Culinary workshop
  • Sylvia Raz
    Art workshop
  • Kate Russell
    Art workshop
  • Bill Spellman
    Theater tickets
  • Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Whale’s Tail Deli – Santa Barbara
  • Kenzie and Gus

    Dr. MLK Jr. Day Community Celebration 2021!

    We are so grateful for the awesome youth on the 2021 MLK Jr. Day Committee! A small group planned and coordinated the amazing online celebration of 2021 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings and accomplishments. To learn about our 2021 event visit the MLK Day webpage! To view OVYF’s video celebration in honor of Dr. King, visit the Ojai Unified School District YouTube page here:

  • OVYF Ripples Program ROCKS

    OVYF is planning another great RIPPLES program. This year, in partnership with Learning to See, we invite a dozen youth to join us for a series of experiential art workshops and local artist tours. Space is limited for this free program; please contact us to be notified when we reschedule and we are free to gather together again. Last year’s participants went rock climbing with Trails By Potter, hit up a slam poetry night at Da Poetry Lounge in West Hollywood, and created art with local Ojai artists. Read more on the RIPPLES page…


  • BLinc Graduation

    Building Lives, Inc. Postponed Until Future Notice

    BLINC is a beloved OVYF program that brings Ojai youth together weekly throughout the school year. High-school students from across the Valley are welcome to join us for good company, to play Peace Sticks, and enjoy music and food– all free, as always. Once school resumes, we will convene on Wednesdays at Nordhoff HS, from 3-5P. Feel free to call or email with questions.

    More on the BLINC page…