Former Laguna Beach City Councilman Wayne Baglin was elected president of the Festival of the Arts/Pageant of the Masters board Nov. 8, taking the helm of the city’s oldest arts festival from four-season president Anita Mangels.
Baglin, who has served three nonconsecutive terms as a city councilman, will take charge of an organization celebrating its 75th year firmly in the black.
Treasurer Fred Sattler reported the summer Festival and Pageant had another record year for revenues, with some $300,000 more in income over last year, which was considered a banner year for the organization.
In the 2007 fiscal year, the organization earned $1,259,000, which is earmarked for future capital improvements and site renovations.
Total revenue was $8,953,000 — more than $500,000 over last year’s total. Expenses increased slightly this year to about $7.2 million.
“We could never have done this if it were not for that wonderful production that appears nightly in the Irvine Bowl in July and August,” Sattler said.
Sattler also reported that stocks and bonds also produced a good return.
As of Sept. 30, the organization had $7.2 million in total assets, with just less than $6 million in net assets. The numbers were unaudited at the time of the presentation.
“I’m confident that we can continue on the course we have set,” Sattler said.
Sattler said the organization is planning for a $10 million facility upgrade and moving into a site evaluation phase in which its land will be studied to ensure the future plans take place on solid ground.
Mayor Toni Iseman described the importance of the festival to Laguna Beach and lauded those who make the two events happen.
“It’s really a magical experience, and it’s a question of volunteers,” Iseman said.
2008 Pageant theme announced
Pageant Director Diane Challis Davy introduced next year’s Pageant theme, “All the World’s a Stage,” and presented some of the artworks that will be recreated in the tableaux vivants program.
In addition to bas-reliefs and paintings of Shakespearean characters, there will be trapeze art, Gilvert and Sullivan player trading cards, a tribute to the Olympics, dancers at the Moulin Rouge, sculptures from the Opera Garnier (including one made famous in the musical version of “The Phantom of the Opera”) and cinematic gems.
Tickets go on sale Dec. 1.
Davy also presented Life Membership awards to Lisa Tyson, Dorothea Purdy, Bill Garrett, Judy Flanders and Todd Nelson, each of whom has volunteered at the pageant 15 years.
Sattler, David Perry and Ann Webster were automatically elected for additional three-year terms on the festival board.
The election process was unusual this year, as no election tallies were provided.
According to the organization’s bylaws, if there are only three nominees for directors, no ballots need be printed or mailed to the voting membership. Three seats on the board are up for election each year.
Following the general meeting, the board members selected their new officers.
Perry was elected vice president, Pat Kollenda as secretary and Sattler reelected as treasurer.
Perry joined as an officer following Bob Henry’s retirement; former mayor Steve Dicterow joined following the retirement of David Young.
In other news, this will be the last year the foundation will donate scholarships to students; the festival and pageant will be taking the reins in the future, and Sattler said he hopes they will be able to donate more than the foundation can.
The organization also adopted a policy that all grounds will be nonsmoking.
The festival’s revenue and expenses both went up for art education between 2006 and 2007, Sattler said.
Capital improvements included replacing underground water lines, adding awnings and improving seating and handrails in the Irvine Bowl. Last year’s improvements included ADA accessibility and a revamped electrical system.
Highlights of 2007
Mangels described several events which commemorated the 75th anniversary, including the reintroduction of Bob Baker Marionettes, which delighted children at the festival in the 1950s; a Laguna Art Museum exhibit honoring the organization’s past; affiliations with Opera Pacific and the Ocean Institute; a collaboration with Disney to give at-risk kids the opportunity to create art; a parade Aug. 13 honoring the first festival opening date; the Festival Explorer bus; a special Pageant of the Masters that featured some first-time surprises; the Patriot’s Day Parade; and the revival of the Pageant of the Monsters and its Monsters Masquerade Ball.
She also thanked Caltrans and the city for a new traffic light installed on Laguna Canyon Road in front of the festival.
Scholarship Chair Webster said the Festival of Arts awarded $75,000 in scholarships for the current academic year.
There were 14 Laguna Beach High School freshmen awards for the school year. Scholarships were given in categories including visual arts, writing and performing arts.
Students are asked to perform or show their talents to the committee; they sent in samples of their work or performed ballet and instrumental music.
“That’s always the best part of the whole job,” Webster said.
In addition, 19 returning recipients from universities including Berkeley, Stanford and Columbia interviewed to receive scholarships. The students were required to maintain minimum credit and GPA levels.
“What a wonderful group of young people,” Webster said.
Scholarships increased greatly from 2006; more than $3 million has been donated since the program’s inception.