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'OCPAC' packs it in, changing name to Segerstrom Center for the Arts

January 12, 2011 |  4:18 pm

 
OCPAC 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.

OCPAC-logo red With the new name comes a new logo that keeps half of the old one -- the shape of the facade of the 1986 multi-purpose Segerstrom Hall -- while adding the new name in a new typeface.  

SegerstromCenterLogo "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 Segerstrom Center already has hit on one way of building goodwill for its new brand: For its 25th- anniversary season, which starts in September, some tickets for every performance -- 10,000 in all -- will be priced at $10. Dwyer said that the distribution method is being worked out, with an eye toward reaching new audiences but also toward thanking existing patrons.

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.

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-- 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

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