Evening view of The Music Center Plaza | Photo by Tim Street-Porter

Hit play below to listen to our Arts Alive feature on the newly revamped Music Center.


Nearly 60 years ago, Dorothy Buffum Chandler moved to make the region a center of cultural excellence and accessibility by spearheading the creation of the Music Center of Los Angeles County. The concert hall Pavilion named in her honor was the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1964 until the opening of Disney Hall nearly forty years later. The curtains rose at the Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theater in 1967. But it is with the Music Center’s newly raised, dramatically renovated Plaza, that Music Center President and CEO Rachel Moore says Dorothy Chandler’s dream of democratizing the arts can finally come true. “The Plaza is now a warm, inviting and active space where all people can play, learn, create, and participate with wonder, curiosity and imagination,” says Moore, “and most importantly, feel right at home.”

More than 120 drummers representing the five districts of Los Angeles County perform at the Music Center’s civic dedication and grand official re-opening of its $41 million renovated Plaza as part of the event’s celebration | Photo courtesy of The Music Center

Andrew Morales of the Gabrieleno Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians marked the grand re-opening of The Music Center Plaza with a land acknowledgement and special blessing | Photo courtesy of The Music Center

LA County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis presents Music Center Board Chair Lisa Specht and Music Center CEO Rachel Moore with a special commemoration for the grand re-opening of The Music Center Plaza | Photo courtesy of The Music Center

The wide open, newly elevated Plaza opened August 28 with a tribute to the original inhabitants of the area: a prayer and a song from the Gabrieleno Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians. Then came more than a hundred drummers and a troupe of African dancers. The biggest outlay of funds for the $41 million makeover came from Los Angeles County, with major grants from current Music Center Chair Lisa Specht, the Ahmanson Foundation, Ring-Miscikowski Foundation, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, and the Blue Ribbon, among other donors. Visitors are already hailing the new activities for kids, the spectacular new fountains, the snazzy new restaurant and wine bar, and, in an energy boost for Music Center staff as well as visitors, the new state-of-the-art coffee bar from Go Get Em Tiger!

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