Hilbert Museum and Musco Center named to LA Times ‘Best of Southland’ list


The Los Angeles Times, in its first Best of the Southland – Orange County Awards, honored two of Chapman University’s favorite cultural gems. The Hilbert Museum of California Art and the Musco Center for Arts were each selected as “Most Popular” in their respective categories, Best Museum, and Best Place to See a Concert.

Chapman was the only university in Orange County to have both an on-campus museum and an auditorium, reflecting the university’s growing role in the county’s arts and culture community, said Mary Platt, director of the Hilbert Museum.

Make your mark on the art scene

“It is truly a tremendous tribute – and a testament to the reputation and strength of the arts at Chapman University – that our two principal public arts institutions, the Hilbert Museum and the Musco Center, have both been chosen as the principal ones. Southland attractions by the LA Times, ”Platt said.

For a young museum, this honor was particularly gratifying, said museum founder Mark Hilbert.

“I could hardly believe it when I saw the results,” said Hilbert. “The museum is only five years old – we’re the new kid on the block in Southern California – so I’m very proud that we were selected in this prestigious survey.”

At the Musco Center, such recognition is particularly satisfying because, alongside its educational mission, community engagement has been a companion goal since its opening in 2016, said Richard T. Bryant, executive director of the Musco Center.

“We are happy to be recognized by this honor and grateful to our loyal patrons who voted for the Musco Center for the Arts. Musco’s success stems from its collaborative model of serving an educational mission while engaging the community, ”said Bryant. “This recognition validates these accomplishments and the visionary leaders and supporters who made the dream of a world-class performing arts center a reality at Chapman University.”

The spacious Aitken Arts Plaza and Musco Center lawn (pictured here during the opening of its 2016 gala) proved to be a particular perk during the summer, allowing the center to safely host outdoor events.

The selection process began in the spring with nominations in five regions: Orange County, South Bay / Long Beach / South Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley / Ventura, San Gabriel Valley / Inland Empire and Westside / Downtown. The readers’ vote determined the final winners.

The rewards come just as each site embarks on new initiatives. The Hilbert Museum is developing expansion plans to continue its mission of collecting and celebrating the unique genre of California stage painting. Among the highlights is a proposed front entrance redesigned to display a historic mosaic of Millard Sheets.

Besides, Hilbert recently opened several new exhibitions, including “Henrietta Berk: In Living Color”, a retrospective of the Californian artist admired for her color-drenched mid-century paintings, and “Our Golden State: Landscape Paintings from the Hilbert Collection”.

Serving students and the community

In Musco, a new season will return live shows on campus as well as a mixture of outdoor concerts planned on the center of the arts center Bette and Wylie Aitken. Among the highlights:

  • Afro-Latin rhythms, reggae, hip hop, rock and cumbia collide in the musical fusion created by energetic and socially responsible groups Ozomatli and La Misa Negra Saturday September 25 at 4.30 p.m. outdoors on the Aitken Arts Plaza.
  • Renowned dancer and choreographer Micaela Taylor and the TL collective the dance company will present their daring new works “Drift” and “90Sugar” on Sunday, September 26 at 7 pm.
  • Internationally renowned violinist, singer-songwriter and activist artist Kishi Bashi returns to the Musco stage on Saturday 23 October at 7:30 p.m.

In addition, Musco is pursuing additional virtual programming for two streaming series – @THE MUSCO – Online and Virtual field trips, the latter offered free of charge to Orange County schools.

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