Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau announce finalists — ‘Commitment to Community’ award in ‘Visit California’s 2016 Poppy Awards’

Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau (VVCB) is excited to announce that we have been named finalists for the ‘Commitment to Community’ award in Visit California’s 2016 Poppy Awards.

The Visit California Poppy Awards are a biennial contest that honors the best and brightest of California tourism promotion. Winners will be selected by a panel of industry marketing experts in 10 categories ranging from best public relations campaign, to best digital campaign to best regional collaborative marketing campaign.


VVCB entered the awards based on Ventura’s first temporary earthscape art project led by sand artist, Andres Amador. Mr. Amador has been creating art on the beach since 2004 but had never partnered with a City to create art that unifies the community and celebrates a unique destination. Likewise, the City of Ventura had never partnered with a sand artist to sponsor a temporary earthscape art piece. This project was innovative and creative from the start.

VVCB and Mr. Amador agreed to collaborate on a three-day project that included a one-on-one workshop with select guests learning to work with earth’s elements; a community art event that encouraged public participation; and an artist exhibit event featuring Mr. Amador’s interpretation of VVCB’s new brandmark. The complexity and uniqueness of such a project cannot be underestimated. Mr. Amador’s artwork can span 100,000 feet and requires mathematical equations to accurately portray his design. Since his canvas of choice is the beach, he is also under tight time constraints due to tides. Prior to his visit, VVCB had to measure and record beach length and width, and sand texture at different tide levels to ensure they fit with his creative vision.

Amador’s art aims to bring a sense of wonder and immediacy to the viewer and his intricate designs have been featured by NBC News, Al Jazeera, CCTV, The Today Show, BBC, CNN, Discovery Channel, and numerous others both nationally and internationally. Using only a rake and his imagination, Mr. Amador creates stunning sand art that spans the shore and unifies the beach. VVCB saw the value in turning this into a community experience that brought together locals and tourists alike to celebrate Ventura’s natural beauty through temporary earthscape art. “The most important thing is that it all feels connected” Mr. Amador told onlookers, “Life is not perfect, and that’s actually way more interesting.”

The project was successful largely due to community engagement and support. VVCB’s Board of Directors supported the opportunity to unite the community and celebrate Ventura through a unique project that had never been conceived before, and collaborated with the City’s Public Art Commission who worked to sponsor and approve permits for something that was truly groundbreaking. Mr. Amador attracted followers from all over California, and local press helped showcase his art and convey his message. VVCB also partnered with a local nonprofit organization, Pier Into the Future, ensuring all proceeds benefited tourism and the community by supporting the maintenance of Ventura’s iconic and historic wooden pier.

We are honored that this special project is being recognized by Visit California and are excited to attend the Poppy Awards and Industry Recognition Gala Feb. 23 in Oakland, when the winners will be revealed.


logo_desktopAbout Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau
Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau (VVCB) is a non-profit organization designed to increase visitor expenditures, tourism revenues and local employment opportunities through the promotion of Ventura as a travel destination. For travel and accommodation information or a free copy of the Ventura Inspiration Guide, the public can write to the Ventura Visitors Center, 101 S. California Street, Ventura, CA 93001; call (800) 333-2989, or (805) 648-2075; visit  email [email protected]. Follow VVCB on Twitter @VisitVentura or become a Facebook fan at



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