The City of Laguna Beach is considered one of the most culturally enriched communities in our nation and, over the past hundred years, has established a highly regarded tradition as an Arts Center. The cultural arts have evolved in Laguna Beach over a long time period, but continued future growth and success will not happen without the City of Laguna Beach taking a more active role in the planning process. The challenges today necessitate maximizing the community's cultural arts potential and consciously coordinating a cultural arts program. The Plan has helped to put the current condition of the cultural arts in Laguna Beach into perspective.
The goals and objectives presented in The Plan are intended to be the guide for meeting the future cultural arts needs of the City of Laguna Beach. The goals are interrelated and are not listed in priority order, although if most of the goals are to be met their implementation will be facilitated by first achieving Goals #8 and #9.
The Community Cultural Arts Plan and resulting implementation represents an important step for positioning Laguna Beach for economic success in the twenty-first century.
It is noteworthy to look at the following list of arts organizations that are no longer active, have left Laguna Beach, or evolved into another organization.
Laguna Arts Association - the precursor of the present museum was intended to exhibit and sell works of local artists.
Laguna Art Museum - has been recently merged with the Newport Harbor Museum to form a new Orange County museum. At this time the Laguna Beach location will remain open as a satellite location.
Art Affiliates - was created to raise funds for the Laguna Art Museum. The two day antique show and auction was a key fundraising event. The support group was dissolved by the museum in 1985.
Junior Council - was formulated in 1980 to raise funds for the Laguna Art Museum to support children's education in the arts. Their efforts expanded the docent program, underwrote bus transportation for student museum visits, provided an Art History class accredited for high school students, teacher workshops, the Museum Game (a participatory discovery work sheet) for each exhibit and established the Children's Gallery. An outreach program brought four to six art classes taught by a professional art educator to every student in grades K-6 in the Laguna Beach Unified School District. "Art From the Museum", a partnership program with the Orange County Department of Education, made the permanent collection of Laguna Art Museum available to every classroom in Orange County through four thematic traveling exhibits and teacher workshops. This program reached over 45,000 students each year and visited every school district in the county. The Junior Council dissolved when their major fund-raiser, The Art Auction, was taken over by the Laguna Art Museum.
Laguna Chamber Music Society - established in 1959 developed a membership of over five hundred. It presented international renowned chamber ensembles at the Artists' Theatre, Laguna Beach High School, during yearly series of four to five concerts. A youth series was established and for two years offered young American ensembles for family enjoyment on Sunday afternoons. An outreach series brought chamber music concerts to the Laguna Beach Unified School District elementary schools and other districts in south Orange County. During the remodeling of the Artists' Theatre the Laguna Chamber Music Society moved to the Irvine Barclay Theatre at UC Irvine. They chose to remain at the Irvine Barclay Theatre and joined in a partnership with the Orange County Philharmonic Society. The Pacific Symphony presented in 1996 a series of three chamber music concerts at the Laguna Beach High School's remodeled Artists' Theatre.
Ballet Pacifica - formed in the 1950's originally offered classes in Russian ballet taught by Lila Zali. Ballet Pacifica located in Laguna Beach presented programs at the old and new Laguna Playhouse, on the green at the Festival of Arts and a formal series in the Irvine Bowl. Ballet Pacifica recently relocated to Irvine, but small performances still occur at the Festival of Arts venues.
Summer Music Festival - offered a series at the Laguna Playhouse starting in 1977. Five concerts were given each summer, but the Festival was disbanded in 1980 due to lack of support.
Arts Commission Associates - created in 1983 by a group of south Orange County businessmen to raise funds for and to promote the activities of the Laguna Beach Arts Commission. The "Beaux Arts Ball" was its key fundraising event. Funds from their events helped to purchase the chess sculpture for Main Beach. The group dissolved when the City of Laguna Beach ruled that commissions could not accept donations.
Arts Alliance - sponsored Arts in Motion, a two day dance festival, presented on Main Beach. Discontinued because of the difficulties with the outdoor location.
Music at the Museum - was a series of Sunday afternoon concerts created to continue the Music in the Park year round. It was discontinued when the Laguna Art Museum remodeled and started charging admission.
Laguna Beach Lyric Opera - presented six complete seasons of four concerts each in the Irvine Bowl, Festival of Arts.
Saturday Night Concerts - was a series presented at El Morro Elementary School, Laguna Beach Unified Schools, from 1987 to 1992.
What is the Economic Impact of the Nonprofit Arts on the City of Laguna Beach?
Source: Orange County Business Committee for the Arts'1993 Economic Impact of the Nonprofit Arts on Orange County, a study released in the Fall of 1994. Surveys received from the following Laguna Beach organizations were used to determine the totals in this summary:
Art Institute of Southern California
* Ballet Pacifica
Festival of Arts
Laguna Art Museum
** Laguna Chamber Music Society
Please note: * Ballet Pacific was still based in Laguna Beach at the time of the study. ** Laguna Chamber Music Society was not performing or based in Laguna Beach at the time of the study.
The Art A Fair and the Sawdust Summer Festival and the Sawdust Winter Festival did not participate in the survey, therefore the totals should be much higher than reported in the study. The study only includes the major institutions and not the smaller community-based arts groups operating in Laguna Beach such as the Artists' Theatre. The study also does not take into account any of the commercial art activities, such as local galleries and clubs, although the city does receive revenue in the form of sales tax from these sources.
The City of Laguna Beach is considered one of the most culturally enriched communities in our nation and, over the past hundred years, has established a highly regarded tradition as an Arts Center. The cultural arts have evolved in Laguna Beach over a long time period, but continued future growth and success will not happen without the City of Laguna Beach taking a more active role in the planning process. The challenges today necessitate maximizing the community's cultural arts potential and consciously coordinating a cultural arts program. The Plan has helped to put the current condition of the