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CENTER Stage : THE KEY PLAYERS : PIONEER PATRONS

September 21, 1986|RICK VANDERKNYFF | Rick VanderKnyff is a Times staff writer.

JOHN M. RAU John M. Rau, president of Costa Mesa-based David Industries, became executive vice president of the Performing Arts Center shortly after joining its board of directors in 1978. After two years in that post, he served two terms as president (1980-82)and two terms as chairman (1982-84); he is still a director. Rau was instrumental in establishing the center's endowment fund, hiring various consultants and choosing the first executive director, Len Bedsow. Rau also spent five years as director of the Orange County Philharmonic Society.

LEN BEDSOW Len Bedsow was the center's first executive director, serving from March, 1981, until his retirement in February, 1985. Before holding the Orange County post, he had served for six years as general manager and for nine as director of operations at the California Civic Light Opera Assn., parent organization of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Civic Light Opera companies. During his tenure as executive director of the Performing Arts Center, he supervised most of the facility's technical development. "Part of me is there and will always be there," Bedsow says.

ARLINE CHAMBERS Arline Chambers became the first general manager of the center in September, 1984, after four years as executive administrator and lecturer at the Management in the Arts Program at UCLA's Graduate School of Management. Previous positions include those of assistant general manager of the California Civic Light Opera Assn. and general manager of the Westwood Playhouse as well as several posts with the Los Angeles Music Center. She left the Orange County Performing Arts Center in July, 1985, shortly after the hiring of Executive Director Thomas R. Kendrick and General Manager Judith O'Dea Morr, both of the Kennedy Center in Washington. Last December, Chambers returned to the Los Angeles Music Center as general manager

of the Ahmanson Theatre.

JAMES K. NAGAMATSU Orange County businessman James K. Nagamatsu was president of the Orange County Symphony Assn. for five years and helped found the Orange County Arts Council. He was involved in attempts to establish a performing arts complex in the county in the 1960s, before becoming president of the Performing Arts Center board of directors in 1978. He served as president for one term and chairman for another. Nagamatsu, now a center trustee, says the center will need to draw audiences from outside the county to be successful. "That's what's going to keep this thing

really strong," he says. "Just

local audience participation is not going to do it."

WILLIAM S. LUND William S. Lund is the current chairman, and former president, of the center's board of

directors. The chairman of Lund Enterprises, a real-estate holding company, Lund joined the board of directors of the center in 1980 at the urging of John Rau and Henry Segerstrom. "I've had more than a tangential interest in academia and the arts for

some time," says Lund, who served as chairman and chief administrative officer of California Institute of the Arts in Valencia from 1972 to 1975. He hired his own successor to that post, Robert Fitzpatrick,

who went on to organize the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival. Lund serves on the board of

trustees of Art Center College

of Design in Pasadena

and of Occidental College.

CATHERINE QUICK Longtime county resident Catherine Quick helped found the Orange County Cultural Center organization in 1972 with the intent of "developing and operating a great and beautiful facility for all forms of entertainment, including opera, ballet and drama." After

the group incorporated

in 1973, Quick held the office of chairman until 1976 and president until 1977. Illness forced Quick to leave

the board in 1979.

D. JAMES BENTLEY The late D. James Bentley served two terms as chairman of the center's board of directors, 1981-82 and 1984-85, and two terms as president, 1982-84. In addition to his involvement in the center, Bentley served as a trustee of Chapman College in Orange. The founder of Bentley Laboratories, makers of medical equipment, he died April 7. With his wife, Irene, Bentley was one of the first major donors to the center, giving $2 million in 1981. His Costa Mesa office has a view of the center's site. "The fact that the thing sits right outside my window and I've been able to watch it grow has been marvelous," Bentley said in a March interview. "It's the most significant thing almost

ever in the history of Orange County. This is changing

the perception of the area."

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