Thursday, January 13, 2011

Segerstrom Legacy

It's my belief that you can't say thank you enough to the generous philanthropists who support charitable organizations, and yesterday, Orange County's largest cultural organization delivered a huge thank you to its largest donors, the Segerstrom family, by re-naming the Orange County Performing Arts Center the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Some of the details appear in articles today in the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times.

Amidst all the hoopla of renaming OCPAC after a family that has given well over $100 million in cash and land, I hope it's not lost on the community that the word "Performing" has been removed from the title, leaving it as "Arts."

That is a strong signal that a renewed effort is under way to fulfill the dream of moving the Orange County Museum of Art onto the vacant piece of land just south of the concert hall.

One of the strongest symbols that the Segerstrom Center for the Arts is committed to the visual--as well as performing arts--took place prior to the opening of the concert hall, when a gift of Henry Segerstrom was installed: the dramatic sculpture by Richard Serra.

And that's not all: the Center announced that it will be making 10,000 tickets available for $10 each to a broad spectrum of its events this year, supplementing the increasing number of free events it has been hosting on its plaza.

The Center may still be a palace for the finest artistic experiences and a central gathering point for affluent business leaders and socialites, but it has worked extremely hard in recent years to ensure that everyone in the community has access to these experiences and feels welcome in the facilities.

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts truly belongs to all the people of Orange County, and we have the Segerstrom family and thousands of other generous donors to thank for that!
Pictured above: the Segerstrom family on stage with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Center officials at the renaming event yesterday.

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