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Accessibility of the Arts Center

June 21, 1987

In her letter (June 7), Mrs. R. E. Taylor of Santa Ana unjustly accuses the Orange County Performing Arts Center of being inaccessible to students, retirees and families on budgets. She supports her charge with erroneous information.

Mrs. Taylor incorrectly asserts that during the inaugural season students were merely given tours of the building, and "that unless they are guided through an inspiring performance, no matter how brief, they will not become the theatergoers of the future."

In reality, more than 75,000 school students from throughout the county attended 30 free daytime performances of ballet, symphony and opera in programs designed especially for young people and coordinated with the county Department of Education. These events were arranged by both the Center and its resident groups, with the Orange County Philharmonic Society leading the way. Student attendance has represented 15% of the overall attendance of 500,000 during the Center's first nine months.

The lion's share of the other 425,000 tickets went to more than 60,000 subscribers, again from throughout the county. These subscriptions ranged in price from $40 to $180, and were enjoyed by people from every walk of life. In addition, tens of thousands of single tickets were sold, many priced as low as $8. Student rush tickets were also available for $5 for many performances.

Clearly, the Orange County Performing Arts Center would not have been built without the vision of enlightened people of means, but the Center stands for all citizens of the county. Our record during the inaugural season proves this fact.

MARYLYN P. PAULEY

VICE CHAIRMAN

Community Relations, Performing Arts Center

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