What’s Going to Drive Our Economy in 50 Years?

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky is leaving office at the end of year. He served five terms as the supervisor of the 3rd District, which includes the Westside, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Malibu and the San Fernando Valley. Mark Swed’s Los Angeles Times article applauds Yaroslavsky’s efforts as a champion of arts.

“For Yaroslavsky, art is not something to be fussed over but simply a vital part of everyday life, be it civic or domestic,” the article states.

It goes on to list his credits: “He played a crucial role in getting Walt Disney Concert Hall built. His office put more than $70 million of county money into upgrading the Hollywood Bowl with a new shell, high-tech audio and video equipment and upgraded infrastructure. He has championed past and current expansion projects at LACMA and the recent renovation of the Natural History Museum and invested $2 million of county money into the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge, even though that was a California State University project. The Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Opera broadcasts on KUSC are paid for out of Yaroslavsky’s discretionary budget.”

This summer, the L.A. Phil even named the Hollywood Bowl main gate after Yaroslavsky: the Great Gate of Zev.

Here are a just a couple of great quotes from Zev, and then read the entire article for more about his arts advocacy:

“I believe that the arts are a very important part of this town. Just recognize that there’s a big green dollar sign associated with the arts, which employ more people in Southern California than the defense industry does.”

“And if you look ahead 50 years, what is going to drive our economy? Manufacturing in Southern California is history. Big corporate headquarters are history in this town. So what’s the future? The arts are explosive, proliferating like bunny rabbits all over Southern California. People who want to be on the cutting edge in whatever medium of art they’re involved in come here.”


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