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SPONSORS NEEDED TO FUND CHANGES TO THEATER CENTER DONORS WILL BE RECOGNIZED.

Byline: Charles F. Bostwick Staff Writer

LANCASTER - The Lancaster Performing Arts Center foundation named a blue-ribbon committee to raise funds for improvements and for subsidized performances for youngsters and seniors at the municipal theater.

The six will recruit individuals, organizations and businesses to make donations in return for recognition as sponsors of theater features - such as the ``black box'' auxiliary theater for $150,000, the main stage for $50,000 or dressing rooms for $10,000 each.

``Amenity sponsorship is one of the very common ways that money is raised for the arts,'' said foundation director Alis Clausen.

The new committee's members are Ron Emard, general manager of Robertson Palmdale; Jack Seefus, president of Antelope Valley Bank; Steve Paulsen, site manager for Lancaster Waste Management; Lon McCracken, owner of Richard Marie Staffing Center; and Dr. Richard Elton and his wife, Joan, chairwoman of the committee.

``They have very generously agreed to be on the program,'' said Lou Bozigian, the foundation president.

Appointment of the committee initiates a 10-year effort to provide $1.5 million for improvements and programs at the theater, officials said.

The Eltons have agreed to sponsor the theater balcony for $20,000, Bozigian said at a news conference Thursday to announce the fund-raising effort.

Improvements to be financed by the donations have not been identified.

``We'll try to accommodate the donors as to where their money should go,'' Bozigian said.

Since its creation in 1989, two years before the theater opened, the foundation has raised $1.3 million. The foundation was organized during a time of controversy over the theater's cost, with intent to raise $420,000 to pay for planned features that had been cut to save money.

A number of theater facilities are already marked with brass and black- glass plaques identifying contributions, most of which were made before or about the time of the $10 million theater's opening in 1991.

The early sponsors include Ora and Gordon Harrison, owners of a magazine distributing company, who donated $100,000 toward the orchestra shell; Wells Fargo Bank, which contributed $50,000 toward the ornate staircase; and former Antelope Valley College trustee Betty Lou Nash and her husband, Max, who contributed $42,000 for a grand piano.

Since the theater's opening, the foundation has paid for improvements such as better lighting and sound equipment, box office computers and ticketing systems, and gear for changing the scenery backdrops, officials said.

The foundation also provides grants to community theater and music groups, finances a summer youth theater program, and pays for free performances of plays and concerts for local schoolchildren.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 12, 2002
Words:431
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