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Broad Stage gets $500,000 recital series grant from producer of TV's Classic Arts Showcase

February 9, 2011 |  2:00 pm

JoshuaBellAlexGallardo The folks who turned the arts into a late-late-late show on television are providing $500,000 over three years to sponsor prime-time musical performances at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

The Burbank-based Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation announced the grant for the Broad’s recital series on Wednesday, noting that performances on Thursday by violinist Joshua Bell and Friday by mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato are among the concerts being sponsored under the grant, which began with the current 2010-11 season.

The grant is helping the 499-seat Broad Stage book headliners, such as Bell, who usually perform in much larger halls, said Dale Franzen, the venue's director.

Rigler and Deutsch were business partners who made a fortune selling Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer; the foundation was launched from Deutsch’s estate after he died in 1977. Rigler’s vigorous retirement, until his death in 2003, included founding Classic Arts Showcase in 1994, based on his insight that for the arts not to wither, they needed to amp up their televised presence. The cable venture secured licenses for all manner of performances captured on video since the dawn of film, and it beams them for free ‘round the clock to anyone who wants to tune in via satellite dish or to cable and broadcast channels that pay no fees to carry the service.

KCET, which sacrificed its portfolio of prime-time arts programming when it withdrew from the Public Broadcasting Service on Jan. 1, remains L.A.’s unrivaled arts purveyor during the wee hours because of Classic Arts Showcase. The station airs 27 1/2 hours of the program weekly: Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., Sundays, 12:30 a.m. to 5 a.m., and Mondays, 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.

LloydRiglerRobertGauthier1995 The Rigler-Deutsch Foundation’s tax returns for 2007-2009 show that it spent about $1.5 million annually to offer Classic Arts Showcase, and averaged $922,000 a year in grants, most of them for the arts.

Los Angeles Opera received $500,000 over the three years; the Metropolitan Opera, $316,000; Center Theatre Group, $177,000; the Broad Stage, $135,000; KCET, $135,000; Theatre West, $122,000; Lyric Opera of Chicago, $105,000; Los Angeles Philharmonic, $104,000; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, $57,000; and the Hammer Museum and American Ballet Theatre, $50,000 each.

The foundation's investment portfolio totaled $66 million at the end of 2009.


BroadStageBennyChan-Footworks  How $50 million in donations led KCET to split from PBS

Lloyd E. Rigler, 88; he made a fortune on meat tenderizer

Classic Arts Showcase channels eclectic programs

A satellite to save the arts

-- Mike Boehm

Photos: (Top) Joshua Bell performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2008. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times. (Bottom) Lloyd E. Rigler in 1995. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.