Former mayor joins theater board

The Balboa Performing Arts Theatre Foundation has tapped former Newport Beach Mayor Evelyn Hart for its board of directors.

According to Thursday's announcement, the 63-year Newport Beach resident is the first to be appointed by the nonprofit, which is working to reopen the Balboa Village Theatre. Hart served on the Newport Beach City Council between 1978 and 1994 and was also deemed Newport Beach Citizen of the Year in 2007.

"It is a great privilege for the board to have Evelyn accept our offer to become a board member," foundation Chairman Donald Hecht said in the announcement. "She has brought so much good to the city over her years of service and now to be integral in bringing the Balboa Village Theatre online, we hope, will add to her great public service accomplishments. There is no doubt Evelyn will be instrumental in getting this theatre re-opened. I, for one, am thrilled and honored to have her on the board."

Hart has been a long-time vocal supporter of the 300-seat Balboa Village Theatre, which will double as a multipurpose event center with state-of-the-art acoustics and lighting. Its stage will be utilized for performances, arts education programs and partnerships with other Orange County venues.

Newport Beach has proposed a $2-million match challenge grant for the sake of refurbishing the building, which is city property. The foundation has until Dec. 31 to raise the same amount for equipment, operational costs and more.

"I have reviewed the business plan and newly completed theatre design plan and believe the vision for the theatre is both compelling and practical, and I am sure the people of Newport Beach and the surrounding communities will absolutely love this theatre," Hart said in the announcement.

"It will become a home for arts and culture in our community. I cannot wait to join the board in its fundraising campaign and see the theatre's reopening become a reality in 2015."

For more information about the Balboa Village Theatre, visit

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