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Arts Center Completes Major Reorganization

May 14, 1987|ALLAN JALON | Times Staff Writer

Orange County Performing Arts Center leaders completed a sweeping reorganization Wednesday with the election of four proven fund-raisers and community organizers to raise at least $5.5 million in the next two years and begin a drive for a second theater.

Developer William Lyon, real estate executive and builder Kathryn Thompson, attorney Carl Mitchell and past board president Marylyn Pauley were elected vice chairmen of the Center's board of directors as part of the move to ensure the future artistic integrity of the $70.7-million facility in Costa Mesa.

Calling it a "new beginning," Center chairman and chief patron Henry T. Segerstrom announced the appointments and new goals Wednesday following a morning meeting of the newly restructured board of directors.

Segerstrom, who was elected chairman and chief executive officer April 20 in the first wave of reorganization at the Center's annual meeting, said the four will sit on the 11-member executive committee, which guides the 48-member board of directors.

He said the vice chairmen will be responsible for raising operating subsidies to offset projected annual deficits of more than $4 million and seeking broader community involvement in the Center.

"The goal of the board is to have the proper financial security so we can commit to top (artistic) quality," said Segerstrom, whose family donated $6 million and the land for the Center.

"We really have an obligation to provide the highest quality of performance to the largest number of possible audiences at the lowest possible ticket price," he said.

At Wednesday's meeting, directors also set a 1989 target for beginning construction of a long-planned second theater next to Segerstrom Hall, the Center's 3,000-seat main theater, which opened last September.

Segerstrom said his hopes for the Center in the coming years were best described in the duties given the vice chairmen, who were his nominees and were elected unanimously by the board. They are:

--Lyon, chairman of the William Lyon Co., was named vice chairman in charge of a Performance Fund. The fund campaign will begin May 21 with a goal of raising $1.5 million toward meeting the $4.1-million operating deficit the Center faces in 1987.

--Mitchell was named vice chairman for finance and charged with raising $5 million in cash over the next two years. The endowment currently holds only $1.4 million in cash and about $65.7 million in pledges made against the donors' estates. (Center President Thomas R. Kendrick has said repeatedly that the delay in receiving the actual gifts makes the endowment ineffective in meeting the operation costs of presenting major opera, symphony and ballet companies at Segerstrom Hall.)

--Pauley was named vice chairman for community relations, overseeing activities to increase community interest in the arts, including the Center's newly established docent program.

--Thompson, president and chief executive officer of A&C Properties Inc. and Gore Development Corp., was named vice chairman for facilities, overseeing capital improvements and the effort toward building the second theater.

The new board of directors now combines the Center's 21 trustees, who previously served for life, and the directors, who had three-year terms. Bylaws were rewritten to give staggered three-year terms for all board members. Roughly a third of the board will be reelected annually to ensure a steady flow of new faces and new ideas, Kendrick said.

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