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South Coast Plaza’s Henry Segerstrom to be given special prize for contributions to the arts in local area.South Coast Plaza developer Henry Segerstrom will receive a special award for his contributions to Costa Mesa’s art scene.
The Orange County Business Committee for the Arts Inc. announced Monday that Segerstrom will be the sole recipient of a new award called the Legacy Prix d’Honneur.
Betty Moss, the organization’s executive director, said she does not anticipate anyone else will ever win the prize.
“It is a special one-time honor for his vision and what he’s done for Southern California,” Moss said.
The Segerstrom family donated the land that became home to the South Coast Repertory and Orange County Performing Arts Center, located across the street from South Coast Plaza. The center is set to expand next September with the completion of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and Samueli Theater.
Segerstrom was the founding chairman of the performing arts center. He is regarded as a driving force in the growth of the center and South Coast Repertory.
Segerstrom could not be reached for comment Monday, but others around the arts community gave glowing descriptions of his accomplishments.
“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this special recognition,” said Paul Folino, a performing arts center board member.
Folino, who is also chief executive of Costa Mesa’s Emulex Corp., served as chairman of the arts center’s board from 2003 to July. Folino credited Segerstrom with helping to turn Orange County into a cultural destination.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without Henry Segerstrom. It’s as simple as that,” Folino said.
Judith O’Dea Morr, the performing arts center’s interim president, began her time with the center in 1985. Morr was highly complimentary when she described Segerstrom’s involvement with the arts.
“I would call Mr. Segerstrom a renaissance man,” Morr said. “He has extraordinary vision. For the last 30 years, he’s focused his attention and effort on creating a true performing arts center.”