Jodi Nathanson Scholarship Program

Jodi Nathanson was a wife, a daughter, a mother, a patron of the arts and a friend to the Sawdust family. While she never considered herself an artist, she spent the latter years of her life immersed in the glass medium. Jodi and her husband, Greg first became acquainted with the Sawdust Art Festival shortly after moving to Laguna Beach in 2011 while on an Open Artist Studio tour in which they instantly fell in love with the nostalgia and grass-roots atmosphere of the Sawdust. As many of us know, relocating to a new city brings a new set of challenges namely grasping the sense of community and belonging that one leaves behind, add a recently empty nest, and the challenge becomes greater. Jodi’s involvement in art gave her a second chance and a fresh start in Laguna Beach.

Spending long hours blowing glass with Muffin Spencer-Devlin or crafting fused glass pieces with Maggie Spencer gave Jodi the belonging that she was looking for while also learning a new skill that she could share with her friends and family. And share she did, Jodi recruited many friends and family members to experience first-hand the thrill of working with glass and making art, and those that couldn’t make it to the studio, all received a heart. After all, as Greg explained, “Jodi came to make hearts!” Jodi’s hearts now adorn the Nathanson home as a remembrance of the love she shared with them (as seen in image above). Jodi’s passing has been an emotional blow The Sawdust Festival and the Laguna Beach art community as a whole.

At this time we at the Sawdust, and on behalf of Greg Nathanson, would like to thank all those who generously gave to the Jodi Nathanson Fund. After much deliberating, the Sawdust Art Festival, along with Greg Nathanson, have created a scholarship program aimed at giving individuals the opportunity to find a second chance through art just as Jodi did.

The program will sponsor one individual with $1,500 to be used towards glassblowing classes with Muffin Spencer-Devlin and fused glass classes with Maggie Spencer. While all applications will be considered, the ideal applicant will fit the Jodi model; someone who is looking to develop a new skill, is eager for a new passion, and most of all an enthusiasm and love for life and art.

While we know that some of you may not be able to participate in the scholarship program, we want to encourage you to continue your generous giving to the Jodi Nathanson Fund. Donations will be available to be made on the Sawdust website along with the application for the Jodi Nathanson program.. Thank you again for celebrating with us the life of Jodi Nathanson!

Applications for our fifth scholarship are available below; 

Mail or Deliver to:
Sawdust Art Festival
Attn: Natalie Connor
935 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

For questions, please call 949-497-0521 or email

Office hours are M-T, 9am – 5pm and Fridays 9am-12pm

Jodi Nathanson Scholarship Application

Donate  To The Jodi Nathanson Scholarship Fund