Campus: CSU Northridge -- March 23, 2005
Top Los Angeles Business, Cultural Leaders to Spearhead CSUN
Campaign to Build the Valley Performing Arts Center
Some of Los Angeles' most prominent business and cultural leaders have agreed
to spearhead Cal State Northridge's campaign to build the Valley Performing Arts
Center. The proposed 1,600-seat venue will be the largest of its kind in the area
and serve as a cultural hub for the region.
The newly formed Valley Performing Arts Center Executive Committee will have
biotech pioneer Al Mann, chairman/CEO of Mannkind, as its chair and Latham &
Watkins counsel David Fleming as its vice chair. Other members include actor/producer
Richard "Cheech" Marin; J.D. Power and Associates Chairman J.D. Power III, retired
California Community Foundation President/CEO Jack Shakely, and Alex Yemenidjian,
chairman/CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
"The members of the Valley Performing Arts Center Executive Committee are some of
the most prominent and accomplished individuals in the region. They are dedicated
to helping Cal State Northridge bring a new level of culture to the San Fernando
Valley," said Cal State Northridge President Jolene Koester. "The unique assistance
they can provide and their commitment to bringing this project to fruition are a
great start for this campaign."
The executive committee represents the area's leaders in business, arts and
entertainment, law, philanthropy, and public service. The committee meets for the
first time this week to discuss strategies for funding the $100 million project.
(The entire Executive Committee is listed below.)
"The San Fernando Valley region and its nearly 2 million residents deserve this
kind of 'signature' performing arts venue," said Fleming. "This long overdue project,
teaming Cal State Northridge with community arts organizations, will enhance the
region's quality of life, bringing new cultural opportunities and prospects for
economic development," Fleming added.
"Strong volunteer leadership is the key to success in a campaign like this," said
CSUN Vice President for University Advancement Judy C. Knudson. "We have been laying
the groundwork as an organization to position ourselves to reach this point. We are
fortunate to have access to the talent and vision of these very impressive community
The Valley Performing Arts Center will be located on the CSUN campus in the San
Fernando Valley, at the northwest corner of Nordhoff Street and Lindley Avenue,
just west of the campus' historic orange grove. About half of the project's $100
million funding is expected to come from state funds, with the other half from
The fundraising campaign for the Valley Performing Arts Center will begin this
July. Much of the preparatory work for the campaign already has been completed,
including a feasibility study. The goal is to raise about $50 million to finish
the project by the end of the decade.
The San Fernando Valley has a number of smaller performing arts venues, including
several on the CSUN campus. But the future 1,600-seat Valley Performing Arts Center,
as the largest facility of its kind in the Valley, will open the region to the
excitement of full-scale Broadway-caliber productions and the rich textures of
full symphony orchestra concerts.
Last November, the project received major political support when the Los Angeles
City Council unanimously passed a resolution lauding its goals to "educate and
enrich the community, to enhance the cultural and economic growth of the Valley,
and to better define the area as an attractive cultural destination."
Local business leaders, when surveyed by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal
last year, said a local performing arts center would improve the Valley's image
and quality of life, and many said they would financially support such a project.
"Having support from so many business and cultural leaders is a great indicator of
the future of the Valley Performing Arts Center," President Koester said. "The key
to the center's success is a vibrant partnership with community and area arts
organizations. It is encouraging that we continue to receive feedback that the time
for this project is now, and the place is Cal State Northridge."
Valley Performing Arts Center Executive Committee members include:
Sherry Barrat, Chairman and CEO, Northern Trust Bank of California
Media Contact: John Chandler, (818) 677-5674,
Lod Cook, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Pacific Capital Group
Gordon Davidson, Artistic Director, Center Theatre Group
Debra Farar, Member, California State University Board of Trustees
David Fleming, Counsel, Latham & Watkins, LLP
Stanley Gold, President and CEO, Shamrock Holdings
Larry Gould, Counsel, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP
Ed Landry, Partner, Musick, Peeler & Garret, LLP
Al Mann, Chairman & CEO, Mannkind
Richard "Cheech" Marin, Actor, Producer, Musician and Artist
Barry Munitz, President & CEO, J. Paul Getty Trust (honorary member)
Charles Noski, Retired Vice Chairman, AT&T Corp.
Sanford Paris, President, Paris Industrial Parks
Clyde Porter, Founder, West Valley Playhouse
J.D. "Dave" Power III, Chairman, J.D. Power and Associates
James Ring, Principal, Ring Financial
Jack Shakely, Retired President and CEO, California Community Foundation
Larry Thomas, Chairman Emeritus, Guitar Center, Inc.
Robert Voit, President & CEO, Voit Companies
Alex Yemenidjian, Chairman and CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.