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April 09, 1988

The donnybrook between the Music Center and Los Angeles County over whether additional theaters shall be built in the County-owned mall or parking lot offers an opportunity to ponder anew whether they should be built at all.

The concept of cultural enterprises related to the community rather than isolated from it could be adopted into the Music Center's future plans. In collaboration with the city and the county, could not civic pride mandate consideration of satellite "music centers" to expand existing cultural organizations in under-served parts of the city, such as Watts Tower Arts Center in South Central Los Angeles and Angel's Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro?

Artists and arts administrators are cultural ambassadors, and cultural workers bring the Music Center--both theater and music--to the people, performing as smaller ensembles, experimenting with new collaborations, creating a new dynamism of cultures in fruitful collisions.

Would artists and art managers be willing to undertake such activities in hopes of developing the arts audience beyond the 15% of the population currently known as attenders, as cultural consumers of the high arts?

Changed circumstances and changing philosophies should be a component of the Music Center's decision-making process. In the spirit of the book "Megatrends," it is now time for the cultural Establishment to consider how decentralization, participatory democracy and grass-roots movements are affecting the arts as well as the rest of society.



Arts Administration Program

Cal State Dominguez Hills

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