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Pageant of the Masters to Remain a Laguna Beach Exclusive

August 12, 2004|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

For the second time in four years, members of the nonprofit Laguna Beach Festival of Arts have voted resoundingly to keep their signature Pageant of the Masters production exclusively in its hometown.

"I'm extremely happy," board President Anita Mangels said Wednesday of the vote -- conducted by mail and tallied this week -- in which 94% of the festival's eligible members who returned ballots approved an amendment to the organization's bylaws aimed at preventing the pageant's spread.

Of 3,068 voting members, Mangels said, about 47% participated in the balloting.

The Pageant of the Masters, a 70-year-old Laguna Beach hallmark, re-creates art masterpieces with live models and serves as the centerpiece of a major summer arts festival.

"What's made the pageant successful all these years," Mangels said, "is its very exclusive nature. If you want to see the Pageant of the Masters, you have to come to Laguna Beach...."

This week's vote, Mangels said, was prompted by the revelation last year that the majority of the festival's then-board was considering entering into an agreement with a Hollywood talent agency to explore licensing or franchising the pageant outside Laguna Beach.

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