Orange County Performing Arts Center gets new name

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Susan Valot/KPCC

The Segerstrom family celebrated the unveiling of the new name of the Orange County Performing Arts Center on Wendesday night. It will now be called Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

The Orange County Performing Arts Center is no more. The county’s top theater switched to a new name at a big shindig last night.

With fireworks, a free concert and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger giving philanthropist Henry Segerstrom the governor’s ring, the Orange County Performing Arts Center got a new name: Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

The Segerstrom family has donated millions to help the center expand into a 14-acre facility. The family’s 87-year-old patriarch says all the Segerstroms are grateful for the naming honor.

"It’s a legacy which we will all treasure," Segerstrom told the crowd. "And when the curtain goes up on the operation, I believe that new pathways of activity will create a new era of artistic growth in Orange County, which will improve the quality of life that we all enjoy here."

The Center is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It’s commissioning a new dance work for two dancers from the famous Bolshoi Ballet.

And it plans to make some $10 “Access to All” tickets available to each show this season – about 10,000 tickets over the course of the season. The idea behind that is to help make the arts more accessible to everybody.

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