Arts center inviolate


I served as the informal creative director of the Malibu Performing Arts Center for nearly three years. I was introduced to the Center by Fred Walecki, the owner of Westwood Music. Fred had told me of a remarkable “arts center” that was being built in Malibu.

I met with the owners, Bob Scott and Gene Shively, and was immediately impressed with their vision for a cultural center situated in the heart of Malibu, the home of some of the world’s greatest artists. I was especially impressed by the facility itself, a beautiful building with an extraordinary performance area that accommodated 500 people. There was a state-of-the-art recording studio along with dance studios, rehearsal spaces, all constructed and wired to the most modern and sophisticated standards.

I immediately set out to make the space known to as many recording and performing professionals as possible. The theatre hosted concerts by Tom Petty, Los Lobos, kd lang, Lucinda Williams, and dozens of others. The studio has housed Sting, Pink, Weezer, Phantom Planet, and countless others, and the theatre has been used as a production facility by Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, Suzanne Somers and Jane Seymour. The theatre has also been adopted by the distinguished public radio station KCRW for an ongoing series of concerts.

I cannot overstate my belief that the Malibu Performing Arts Center is a uniquely attractive and versatile home for the arts; one which speaks to its neighborhood community while providing world-class quality technologically and aesthetically. There has been a unanimous response from all the artists who have worked there that the theatre and studio provide unrivaled quality.

I implore the ladies and gentlemen who are considering modifying the performing space (and other areas of the building) to take into account the unique virtues that MPAC provides the local and professional communities, and to acknowledge, also, how well such a center reflects upon the city of Malibu. It offers a remarkable calling card to the neighborhood and to the creative community the world over. It would be a tremendous loss to see such a remarkable facility in any way compromised.

Tony Berg