Festival of Arts offers seat naming rights in Irvine Bowl


Actress Sarah Drew sits in the Irvine Bowl. Courtesy of Festival of Arts

The Festival of Arts has launched a limited-opportunity fundraiser to name seats in the iconic Irvine Bowl Amphitheater for the first time.

Patrons, art-lovers, and community members are invited to support the Pageant of the Masters and help safeguard the nearly 90-year-old tradition’s future by joining the Pageant Legacy Society.

“We hope this gifting opportunity will not only help us recover from the cancellation of our 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also remind future audiences of those individuals who made a personal commitment to help make the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters possible during what seems to be an impossible time in history,” Festival of Arts president David Perry said in a prepared statement.

Pageant Legacy Society members’ names will be engraved on plaques and affixed to one of the organization’s famous red seats, which offers donors the opportunity to become a permanent part of Festival of Arts history. Seats may be named to celebrate the memory of a loved one, honor an arts enthusiast, or promote an organization.

The donation levels are $2,000 for a Loge seat, $1,000 for a Main Tier seat, and $500 for a Director Tier seat.

Specific seat location requests will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. Each name will be published on the Festival’s website and printed in the annual Souvenir Program. To become a Pageant Legacy Society Member visit foapom.com/legacy-society. Seat naming gifts are tax-deductible.

Perry acknowledged and thanked former Laguna Beach mayor and professional fundraiser Elizabeth Pearson for originating the Pageant Legacy Society concept.

“The Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters are a significant part of Laguna Beach’s history,” Pearson said in a prepared statement. “For those of us who call Laguna ‘home,’ it is incumbent upon us to help ensure that they continue to thrive in order to support our artists and to preserve the definition of who we are.”

Laguna Beach resident Tony Ciabattoni said he immediately signed up when heard that the Festival and Pageant needed assistance, donating $30,000 through his Laguna Legacy Fund. The Fund was established in 2005 to help Laguna Beach individuals and nonprofits in need. Ciabattoni earmarked this grant to be contributed to naming seats through the Pageant Legacy Society, pageant tickets for first responders and military, and art scholarships.

“While this grant comes from the Laguna Legacy Fund, please know that it is being made in the name of the community of Lagunita,” Ciabattoni said. “We’re all so fortunate to live in this truly unique city and I can’t imagine that anything exemplifies it more than the artistic and creative beauty of the Pageant of the Masters. We just can’t risk losing this important piece of our historic identity. I would encourage everyone to make a contribution to the seat naming campaign to keep the Pageant alive.”

All proceeds from the Irvine Bowl seat naming will help the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters build upon its art legacy and sustain the Laguna Beach nonprofit. The support will ensure that the Festival continues to make the arts accessible to the community by creating quality summer productions and exhibits, providing career and income opportunities for visual and performing artists, presenting hands-on art workshops, and awarding scholarships to local students.

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