Organizers of a free local summer concert series are in the middle of a reorganization that has led them to all but cancel this year’s performances.
So far no acts have been announced for the Pasadena Pavilion Summer Concert Series, formerly known as the Levitt Pavilion, due to issues with funding.
However, according to City Manager Steve Mermell, the group hopes to put on some shows this year.
“Our understanding is the group, which has reorganized as the Pasadena Pavilion for Performing Arts, is hoping to stage at least four concerts this summer,” Mermell told the Pasadena Weekly. “There was a recent parting with the LA Levitt group and the Pasadena group is working to reconstitute itself.”
Will Bauer, who serves as the executive director of the Pasadena Pavilion of the Performing Arts, could not be reached for comment regarding this story.
So far no shows have been listed on the group’s website. Last year’s events included Barbara Morrison, Billy Mitchell and Dean Torrence of the 1960s surf group Jan and Dean.
“The music series is a beautiful yearly event for the city of Pasadena, and contributes much to the quality of life for the community,” said former Executive Director Renee Bodie by email. “It is a true neighborhood event and needs to continue. During my tenure, we worked hard to attain funding for the series, and much of that support has dwindled for various reasons. The current board and interim [executive director] are doing all they can to find a way to continue. It comes down to a matter of support.”
In 2005, the Levitt Foundation — founded in 1963 by Mortimer and Mimi Levitt to support the arts, culture and education — donated $250,000 to the city to restore the band shell in Memorial Park on Walnut Street and Raymond Avenue. The group also committed to a half-million dollars over five years in matching funds for a free concert series at the refurbished band shell, renamed Levitt Pavilion.
The series was so successful that the formula was used in several other areas, including MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. Shows there are scheduled to continue this summer.
Locally, the organization continued to struggle with funding, said Bodie, adding it costs about $650,000 to put on 50 shows every summer.
— André Coleman