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A plaza at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will be renamed “Zev Yaroslavsky Plaza” after the retiring Los Angeles County Supervisor, in honor of his longtime support for the museum.
The plaza will be located in an existing open area between 6th Street and the museum’s BP Grand Entrance and Ray’s and Stark Bar. The plaza is east of the “Levitated Mass” exhibit, and is an area that Yaroslavsky often passes through while jogging.
“We are naming it quietly, and in the new year, it will appear on our maps,” LACMA’s director of communications Miranda Carroll said. “He was very supportive of the museum. We wanted to mark his career and his support for LACMA.”
LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg director Michael Govan made the announcement on Monday at a retirement celebration for Yaroslavsky at Disney Concert Hall. The supervisor is leaving office on Dec. 1 after 40 years in city and county government.
Carroll said work is currently underway on the lawns adjacent to the plaza, and the project should be completed by the start of the new year. Yaroslavsky has been instrumental in helping to expand the museum’s collection and physical footprint in the community, and said the institution has a bright future.
“Los Angeles is currently enjoying a golden age for the arts. Michael Govan and LACMA have been terrific partners — more than that, outstanding leaders — in this renaissance,” Yaroslavsky said. “I am profoundly honored to have my name permanently associated with such a prominent arts venue — and one poised for an exciting new era of growth and improvements in the future.”
Also speaking at the celebration were Supervisor Don Knabe, chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; David Janssen, former chief administrative officer of Los Angeles County; Joseph T. Edmiston, executive director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy; former Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke; and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. A surprise greeting from Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully was a highlight of the evening. Yaroslavsky has long desired Scully’s job, and he even wrote a letter to the O’Malley family in the 1970s requesting the position.
Scully suggested that Yaroslavsky start in the minor leagues, perhaps with the Class A Great Lakes Loons, but alas, “they don’t accept applicants with facial hair,” referring to Yaroslavsky’s robust mustache. The crowd erupted in laughter.
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