Developing Cultural Centers


Research Abstract
Developing Cultural Centers

I want to present a few of the problems and satisfactions we experienced in Los Angeles. I want to mention what I call the possible barrier effect of knowledge and experience. Most important, I want to say a word or two about a challenge.

As you develop a performing arts center, for a long time it will seem as though you have nothing but problems: financial problems, architectural problems, political problems, and on and on. But eventually, problems are solved - particularly if you have the leadership of a Mrs. Norman Chandler - and you begin to enjoy the satisfactions.

Many of you have either encountered or can imagine the typical problems involved in raising over $19 million in private contributions and $13 million in county revenue bonds toward the $33 million we needed. You can also imagine the problem of design and construction of three theatres, and then the furnishng and initial operation of the first - a 3,250 seat multi-use auditorium called The Pavilion.

While knowledge and experience of designers, architects and theatre people were invaluable in solving day-to-day problems, knowledge and experience can have a barrier effect. One key recommendation to anyone working on a similar project is: Always be ready to change your mind. This is difficult, but as you proceed with a center you will be confronted with new ideas and innovations. If you hold too tightly to what you have known and done in the past, you may miss imaginative ideas from people who look to the future. (p. 79-80)

[Presented as part of the panel on Developing Cultural Centers introduced by Charles
 M. Spofford.  Additional presentations are all listed under Developing Cultural
and distinguished by author: Warner Bentley; Charles H. Jagels; Gordon
 Hamilton Southam; and Richard R. Teschner.]


Severns, O. William
December, 1964