“The Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ $15-million bet on the future of culture in Orange County marks its first anniversary this weekend,” writes Paul Hodgins in Wednesday’s (10/24) Voice of OC (CA). The performing arts center hosts concerts by the Pacific Symphony, local and visiting orchestras, and other cultural events. “On Oct. 28, 2017 … the Segerstrom Center’s rather drab and empty public plaza was transformed into an attractive and inviting outdoor space…. The plaza hosted over 125 performances in the last year…. Diversity was certainly on display: The Mexican Consulate recently staged an impressive concert in honor of Mexican Independence Day… A jazz series was popular. So was … a Chinese kite festival and a cultural event for the Persian community…. Argyros Plaza is part of a national trend. As … other big performing-arts complexes built in the 1960s entered middle age, certain design shortcomings began to be identified. One common problem: Their public plazas were often overly large and barren, with no human scale or sense of connectivity to their cavernous halls. ‘A lot of these bigger venues are trying to reinvent themselves,’ said Elena Madison, vice president of the Project for Public Spaces.”

Posted October 26, 2018

In photo: The Argyros Plaza at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Its grand opening was last fall. Photo by Nick Koon; courtesy of SCFTA