'OCPAC' packs it in, changing name to Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Orange County Performing Arts Center went out of existence Wednesday -- but not to worry if you were expecting to see Pinchas Zukerman and the Pacific Symphony there on Thursday. It's just the name that's gone, replaced by a new moniker, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
The name honors the family that gave the land for the performing arts center, for its neighbor, South Coast Repertory, and for a neighbor-to-be, the Orange County Museum of Art -- which aims to move from Newport Beach to the Costa Mesa arts district, pending the small matter of raising tens of millions of dollars for a new building.
Henry Segerstrom, the 87-year-old patriarch who has driven the family's arts philanthropy, says the Segerstrom largess now totals about $150 million, divided equally between the value of the 14 acres and $75 million in cash contributions for the center, its resident groups and South Coast Rep. He credits Thomas V. McKernan Jr., the Automobile Club of Southern California president who became chairman of the performing arts center's board in 2008, with pushing for the name change.
"There are opportunities and challenges when you change your brand," said Terrence Dwyer, president of the performing arts center. "We believe it's a very positive change. We will brand Segerstrom Center for the Arts with enthusiasm and rigor."
The center also announced a new performance initiative -- the commissioning of a dance program starring Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev, independent of their work as leading dancers with the Bolshoi Ballet.
Click here for the full story on the change, which comes as the center prepares for its 25th-anniversary celebration in September.
-- Mike Boehm
Upper photo: Segerstrom Hall at what's now the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Credit: Los Angeles Times
Lower images: Old and new logos for the Orange County Performing Arts Center/Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Credit: Segerstrom Center for the Arts