Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University, Northridge

October 24, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


(Music up)Robert Bucker: Coming out of the ground behind me is the Valley Performing Arts Center. Zev Yaroslavsky: It’s going to have a unique and singular partnership with the Los Angeles County Music Center. Jolene Koester: This project is going to bring the creative arts to the region in a way that no other facility currently makes available. Michael Antonovich: The performing arts center is going to be a positive force for the San Fernando Valley, but also for the entire county. Antonio Villaraigosa: I don’t think there’s a better place to site this performing arts center than Cal State Northridge. Ginny Mancini: The renderings are beautiful. Can’t wait for it to come to life. John Emerson: Those of us who are donors – one of things you hate the most is the sense that you’re donating to some black hole somewhere. This is a place where you can see real results. David Fleming: We’re right on the verge of getting a dream come true. Garry Marshall: Don’t rush out and get a ticket. It’s not ’til 2010, but at least we’re starting, we’re starting it tonight. Yea! Narrator: The dream was born over thirty years ago. A world-class performing arts center in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. The vision caught the imagination of Southern California leaders, and they pledged their efforts to build a dream.(Music)Narrator: In 2011 the dream will be realized when the doors to the first performing arts center in the San Fernando Valley open for the very first time. While the campaign continues to raise the remaining funds, the Valley Performing Arts Center takes shape on the Cal State Northridge campus. Jolene Koester: The university has taken the leadership, we’re spearheading the efforts. We’ve garnered the state’s support. We want and need the community of Los Angeles to step forward and help make this a reality. David Fleming: Part of the money is being put up by the tax-payers. But a good part of the money is being put up by private sources. By people that want to donate, that want to see culture in the valley. Antonio Villaraigosa: Public-private partnerships are the key. They’re the future. And getting behind this public-private partnership will have the effect of affecting generations to come. Narrator: While its population of almost two million would make it the fifth largest city in the nation, the valley is significantly under served in the variety and quality of cultural opportunities it offers. Ginny Mancini: I think the Valley Performing Arts Center is going to change the whole tenor, the whole feeling of the San Fernando Valley. It’s going to serve so many people in so many wonderful ways. Robert Bucker: The most important thing we’re going to bring to the community is the availability of world-class performing artists on this campus in the valley. John Emerson: I think for a community to have a world-class performing arts center creates a greater sense of identity around that place which makes people feel good about living there, and feel good about getting more deeply involved in the community. So, I think it’s positive all the way around. Narrator: The facility itself features a dramatic and elegant signature design by the Minneapolis-based architectural firm of Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, and promises to be one of the most architecturally significant buildings in the valley region. Robert Bucker: In the concert hall area will be this amazing 1700-seat opera house-style facility that’s wrapped with a very beautiful glass curtain wall on both the north and the west sides. As you look at the building there will be a transparency to the building which I think will be really really exciting and will totally change the landscape, not only of this site, but the entire San Fernando Valley. Narrator: Situated at the Northwest corner of Nordhoff Street and Lindley Avenue, at the gateway to the campus, the center will include: a 1700-seat hall acoustically adjustable to accommodate all types of performances; a 178-seat black box theater for experimental and smaller-scale student productions; two full-size rehearsal spaces matching the footprints of the performance stages; indoor and outdoor public and entertainment areas; a lecture hall, labs and other academic spaces; full studio and administrative space for the award-winning campus radio station, KCSN-FM. Robert Bucker: Much of what ends up in downtown LA or on Broadway has been developed regionally some place around the country in a professionally equipped environment. And what we’re creating here is such an environment. Michael Antonovich: This will enhance the educational opportunities of our classroom teachers to provide more meaningful instruction to their students by having a real living viable performing arts center with quality production. Jayme Alilaw: I look forward to the day when I will get the opportunity to grace the stage of the Valley Performing Arts Center on the campus that I received both my bachelor’s and my master’s degree from.(singing)Narrator: To experience the richness of a full symphony orchestra, or to see world-class performers and entertainers, valley residents now must drive as much as 25 miles in any direction. But the Valley Performing Arts Center will change all that, bringing to its stages the excitement of performances from artists like: Joshua Bell; Tim McGraw; Natalie Cole; Earth, Wind and Fire; The LA Opera; The Joffrey Ballet; Wynonna Judd; Dave Koz; The Los Angeles Philharmonic; Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; The Miami City Ballet; Lily Tomlin; and others. And the center will allow us to build on our existing relationships with film studios to host film premieres and special screenings. Studies conducted over the past twenty-five years have repeatedly found that an investment in the arts is a wise investment in the community. Zev Yaroslavsky: The quality of life is enhanced by the arts. Everybody understands that. What people need to understand beyond that is that it is not just about quality of life. It’s about an economic engine. So, for those who want to know what’s the payback for this kind of an investment in a performing arts center, well there’s a huge payback. And the payback is that you’ve created economic activity, you’ve created wealth, you’ve created jobs and you’ve created a good quality of life. All upside. Absolutely no downside. Jolene Koester: The valley needs a performing arts center. Cal State Northridge is committed to serving this valley. We, with the help of our community partners will make this happen. And the population of this region will have a major performing arts center at Cal State Northridge that they will be able to participate and celebrate the arts in. Narrator: With your generous help, the Valley Performing Arts Center will be the fulfillment of a dream. But more than that, it will continue to inspire dreams in all of us.(Music up and out.)