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New Performing Arts Center - a Call to the City

The Heritage Forum - currently in escrow to a church.
Yet still the best location for a performing arts center.

By The Editor, 2012-12-18
May I add my welcome to new council members Lucille Kring and Jordan Brandman.

I listened carefully to your opening speeches last week (December 11th, 2012) and admire your objectives. But I would like you to add The Arts to your agenda such that as you move into the New Year they will figure prominently in your consideration. You will get many reminders if you forget!

Some people think that the arts are not deserving of public investment. Let them find their own level and thereby stand or fall; that in any event – what is the point?

In Anaheim we don’t need to quote the results of extensive surveys to show that the arts create employment and enhance the revenue of a city because a well-known local facility says it all in two words – Disneyland Resort. Without the arts there would be no Disneyland. And Disneyland, in common with the Convention Center, the Honda Center, the Angels’ Stadium and soon the new ARTIC travel interchange – which will be adorned with wonderful public art installations – are all places of great pride to our city. All have benefited from judicious and wise planning, from public investment – in short, from partnership with the City.

But one component is missing.

Anaheim is home to a world renowned ballet company which hosts an annual International Ballet Festival, yet the Anaheim Ballet has no satisfactory place in its home town in which to perform.

Every month the Orange County Symphony Orchestra – which includes a world class Wind Band – and is designated as Anaheim’s Resident Symphony Orchestra, is obliged to perform in a school auditorium.

And whereas we applaud the outstanding and sometimes award winning shows staged by two or three Anaheim playhouses, we have to travel to Costa Mesa, Long Beach or Los Angeles to see large scale musicals of Broadway quality.

In a word, we have no performing arts center to complete the jewels in the crown of the 10th largest city in California.

There are two locations within a home run’s distance from where we sit tonight which could help transform a rather drab and poorly laid out city center into a thriving hub of both performing and visual arts. One of these is far more immediately available than the other.

Both your own Cultural and Heritage Commission and the Anaheim Performing Arts Center Foundation will bring you their further submissions to build the case.

My request is that in spite of the very large social, political and financial burdens you must manage in the coming year, you do not neglect to give robust consideration, due priority, and solid investment, finally, to enable Anaheim to have its own performing arts center.

Thank you.



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