Malibu Seen: Zev Gets Bowled Over

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Longtime local supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky is pictured with LA Phil Director Gustavo Dudamel. 

Over the past 17 years, Malibu Seen has had a running joke that there must be several Zev Yaroslavsky clones running around town. After all, how could one person be everywhere, at the same time, every night? 

Whether it is at the Hollywood Bowl with Malibu’s own Ginny Mancini, Disney Hall with local Eli Broad or the Los Angeles Opera with Malibu’s Marc and Eva Stern, our Third District Supervisor is in the habit of donning a tux, making the rounds and doing a lot of County schmoozing. 

This apparently is not just because he enjoys attending the County’s top events, it is because he is, and has always been, passionate about the arts. 

The outgoing five-term supervisor, whose district includes Malibu, Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley and the Westside, is described “fearless” about protecting the area’s first-class arts and cultural institutions. While not one of the most popular issues to take on in an era of budget cuts and belt tightening, the 2013 Dolphin Award winner keeps on fighting and he has the track record to prove it. 

Zev was a key political force in getting Walt Disney Concert Hall off the ground, urged the County to guarantee a $30 million loan for the Los Angeles Opera during the recession, and pays for LA Opera and LA Phil broadcasts out of his discretionary budget. 

Recently, he’s turned his attention to upgrading the county’s beloved Hollywood Bowl. His office was instrumental in obtaining funds for a badly needed new shell, along with an upgraded infrastructure. The $70 million he got the County to chip in also paid for new high-tech audio and video equipment, so even the “nosebleed” seats can enjoy an up close experience on the wide screen. 

With Zev “termed out” at the end of the year, it was the Bowl’s time to say thanks. The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, which operates the Bowl, has named the Hollywood Bowl Main Gate in his honor. 

Diane B. Paul, Board Chair of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, says the designation was a long time coming. “As Supervisor Yaroslavsky prepares to step down, those of us at the LA Phil and in the larger arts community pay tribute to his enduring commitment to the cultural life of the County.” She adds, “Zev is a true champion for the arts. We could think of no more fitting tribute to his legacy than naming the Bowl’s Main Gate in his honor.” 

Now Zev passes that legacy on to new generations. “Some of my fondest memories are of visiting the Hollywood Bowl as a child with my parents,” he said. “Representing the Bowl as County Supervisor for the area has been both a privilege and a sacred trust. I’m deeply grateful for this recognition.” Bravo!