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MOCA Raises $57 Million, Contributes $8.5 Million to Endowment Assets
MOCA has raised nearly $57 million in the last six months. Photo: Marissa Roth.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), has raised nearly $57 million in the last six months, and the museum’s Board of Trustees voted June 25 to contribute $4.25 million to MOCA’s endowment assets, which will be matched by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, for a total $8.5 million contribution. Additionally, the Board elected three new trustees and its officers for 2010.

Since December 2008, MOCA has undertaken an aggressive fundraising campaign, raising $56.9 million, including $15 million from The Broad Foundation for exhibition support over five years and $15 million from The Broad Foundation to match contributions that replenish the endowment. Other notable gifts include $16.4 million from trustees, in addition to their $1.9 million in annual giving, and $3 million in individual gifts from patrons.

“This is the biggest turnaround of any cultural institution in recent history,” said Eli Broad, a life trustee and founding member of MOCA, who serves on numerous arts boards around the country. “MOCA has attracted nearly $57 million in just six months, clearly demonstrating this institution’s importance to the local, national, and worldwide arts community.”

In addition to MOCA’s dramatic turnaround, the Board elected three new members: Carolyn Clark Powers, Darren Star, and Marc I. Stern. The board also elected its leadership for the upcoming year: David G. Johnson was re-elected as co-chair for a second term; Maria Arena Bell was elected as co-chair; Jeffrey Soros was re-elected as president for a second term, and Fred Sands was elected as vice chair.

“ I am pleased that we have enabled a successful turnaround in such a short amount of time,” said MOCA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Charles E. Young. “The process of right-sizing the institution has not been easy, but these changes were necessary to ensure the museum’s solid future. This could not have been achieved without the continuing generosity of The Broad Foundation, the Board of Trustees, major donors and members, as well as the dedication of the many artists and friends in both the Los Angeles community and around the world.”

“MOCA has achieved an unprecedented level of fundraising during the past six months, while at the same time reducing expenditures to a sustainable level,” said David G. Johnson. “We are making a substantial contribution to the endowment assets at this critical time and welcome new trustees, who bring exceptional experience and commitment to MOCA. Building a dynamic board of trustees is essential in enabling the museum to move forward with a clear vision for the future and to continue presenting outstanding exhibitions, providing vital education programs, and expanding one of the most important collections of contemporary art in the world.”

The three new Trustees bring diverse perspectives to MOCA’s Board.

Carolyn Clark Powers has a strong history of involvement at numerous arts, cultural, and educational institutions around the country. In Aspen, Colorado, Powers serves on the boards of directors of the Aspen Art Museum, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and Jazz Aspen Snowmass. She also serves on the National Council for the Aspen Center for Integrative Health, as a President Society Fellow at the Aspen Institute, and on the National Council of the Aspen Youth Center. In Los Angeles, Powers currently serves on several groups that support the Music Center, including the board of directors for Blue Ribbon, the Center Dance Association, and the board of overseers for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She also serves on the Collectors Committee and is a member of the Presidents Circle at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In addition, Powers has served on the board of directors of P.S. Arts since 2006. At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Powers served on the executive committee of the National Committee for the Performing Arts from 2004–08.

Powers has a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University. Powers and her husband, William C. Powers, reside in Manhattan Beach, California, and in Aspen, Colorado, with their three children.

Darren Star has been a member of MOCA’s Acquisition and Collection Committee since October 2008 and a MOCA Partner since February 2008. He has also been a major supporter of MOCA’s annual auction.

Star is the creator and executive producer of three of the last decade’s most popular television phenomenons: “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Melrose Place,” and the three-time Golden Globe®-and Emmy® Award-winning HBO comedy series “Sex and the City.” In each series, Star’s multi-dimensional characters, captivating settings, and layered plot lines hooked viewers, and became significant elements of contemporary pop culture. Star recently released the “Sex and the City” film, based on his award-winning work on the series. The movie grossed more than $415 million worldwide, and a sequel is in development. In addition, Star served as executive producer of the series “Cashmere Mafia,” starring the award-winning actresses Lucy Liu, Frances O’Connor, and Miranda Otto. Star has also revisited the widely popular “90210” project, serving as a writer for the updated series for the CW network. He is currently working on a project for HBO.

Star’s dedication to his projects speaks to his commitment to engaging, and thought-provoking material. Star attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he majored in creative writing. Star currently lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Marc I. Stern has vast experience in business and as a major supporter of cultural institutions in California and around the country. Stern is vice chairman and at the end of June will become CEO of The TCW Group, Inc., an asset management firm based in Los Angeles. Prior to his appointment as vice chairman, Stern served for almost 15 years as president of the company. Stern is also chairman of Société Générale’s Global Investment Management and Services in North America (GIMS) and a member of the management committee of Société Générale Group, the parent company of GIMS and TCW. Stern currently serves as a director of Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ), and of Rockefeller & Co., Inc. and is a member of the advisory board and an owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. Stern has a strong commitment to the arts and to education. He serves as chairman and CEO of the Los Angeles Opera, leading the drive to bring Wagner’s Ring Cycle to Los Angeles. He also sits on the boards of the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the California Science Center, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the California Institute of Technology, and Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

A native of Vineland, New Jersey, Stern received a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Dickinson College and a master’s degree in government and a law degree from Columbia University. Stern and his wife, Eva, reside in Malibu, California. They have two children and five grandchildren.

MOCA’s new board leadership for 2009–10 includes two previous officers and two first-time officers.

David G. Johnson has served as co-chair of MOCA’s Board of Trustees since June 2008, and he will continue serving in this role through June 2010. He was first elected to serve as a MOCA Trustee in December 2005 and has served as a member of the Acquisition and Collection Committee since 2004.

Johnson is a partner of the Johnson-Roessler Company, LLC., a film entertainment company. He also serves on the boards of Children Now, the Dream Foundation, KCET, and Reach Out and Read. Johnson is former chairman and a current board member of Public Counsel Law Center and is a member of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Economy and Jobs Committee and the California Council for the Humanities. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. Johnson and his wife, Suzanne Nora Johnson, reside in Los Angeles, California.

Maria Arena Bell has been elected co-chair of MOCA. Bell and her husband, William J. Bell, Jr., have been involved with MOCA for many years and have made significant financial and art contributions to the museum. Bell is chair of MOCA’s Acquisition and Collection Committee. She also served as the chair of the Opening Gala for © MURAKAMI. Maria Bell became a Trustee in 2008 after her husband served from 1997–2008.

Bell is a television executive producer and writer. She is currently the co-creative producer and writer for “The Young and the Restless.” She is a frequent essayist and contributor to publications including T The New York Times Style Magazine, C Magazine, Aspen Magazine, and Women’s Wear Daily. Bell serves on the boards of numerous arts-related non-profit organizations, including Center Dance Arts, Americans for the Arts, Dicapo Opera Theater and as president of PS Arts. She also serves on the Education Committee of the Guggenheim Museum, the Blue Ribbon, the National Council of the Aspen Art Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the advisory board of Phillips de Pury & Company. Bell was appointed by Governer Arnold Schwarzenegger as a state commissioner on the California Commission on the Status of Women.

In addition to being prominent supporters of the arts, the Bells are active collectors of contemporary art. They reside in Bel Air, California with their two children.

Jeffrey Soros has served as president of MOCA’s Board of Trustees since June 2008 and will continue in this role through June 2010. Soros has served on MOCA’s Board and on its Acquisition and Collection Committee since 2003. Soros is also an avid supporter of arts education and served as chair of MOCA’s Education Committee from September 2006 through June 2008 and as vice chair from September 2005 through September 2006. Soros and his wife, Catherine, have been avid supporters of MOCA, through the donation of funds, artworks, and major support for the museum’s fundraising events, most notably the annual auction and gala.

Soros is president of Considered Entertainment, an independent film production and finance company. He also serves on the boards of Creative Capital, The Screenwriters Colony, and The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Soros and his wife have been members of the MOCA Director’s Forum since 1997. They reside in West Hollywood, California with their two children.

Fred Sands has been appointed to serve as vice chair of MOCA’s Board. Sands was first elected as a trustee in 2002 and currently serves as chair of the museum’s Investment Committee. Sands is involved with several cultural institutions in Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Opera, where he serves on the board. He was also appointed by President George W. Bush to the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts and liaison to the Kennedy Center, and by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Arts Council.

Sands is chairman of Vintage Real Estate, which develops regional malls, and of Vintage Fund Management, LLC, a private equity fund. He is the former chairman and sole shareholder of the second largest real estate and financial services companies in California and the seventh largest in the United States, which merged into Coldwell Banker in December 2000. Sands’s background also includes acquisition and turn around of distressed companies, including radio stations, insurance companies, and commercial real estate projects. He was honored as the recipient of the American Academy of Achievement Award, was named one of the “Top 25 CEOs of the Decade” by California Business magazine, and named one of the industry’s top 13 “Movers and Shakers” in the country by the National Association of Realtors. Sands and his wife, Carla, reside in West Los Angeles, California.

Museum of Contemporary Art | Los Angeles | The Broad Foundation | Darren Star | Carolyn Clark Powers | Marc I. Stern |

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