during the term of the lease and because Rasner is taking the
unprecedented step of relinquishing control over the Pageant of the
Masters by signing a licensing agreement with the ICM talent agency.
We-along with Festival of Arts/Pageant of Masters artists,
members, patrons, and volunteers with whom we are in contact-are
convinced that this festival board failed during its protracted lease
negotiations to protect the financial integrity and to ensure the
long-term viability of the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the
We are concerned that, to make up for this failure, Rasner and
four other members of the board have secretly negotiated a sellout
that will compromise the pageant's character and dilute its impact by
staging it in multiple locations.
We fear that Rasner's ill-advised actions have jeopardized the
very existence of the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, to
which we, collectively, have given more than 100 years of our lives.
SHERRI M. BUTTERFIELD
ROBERT DONALD MATTHEWS
Bigger isn't necessarily better
Laguna Beach is proud to be the home of the Festival of Arts and
the Pageant of the Masters. They are very much responsible for
putting Laguna Beach on the world map.
Many of us supported the recent efforts to save the Festival of
Arts, and prevent the then Festival President and Mission Viejo Mayor
Sherri Butterfield from moving our cultural resource to San Clemente.
It seems that we need to be concerned again. If I read correctly, the
new board is now exploring franchising the Pageant of the Masters.
While saying how wonderful Laguna Beach is, many people move here
and then pursue plans to make things bigger and bigger. I am sure
that they genuinely believe that bigger is always better, but it is
We thank Bruce Rasner for his leadership in helping to save the
Festival of Arts. However, I am concerned when Festival of Arts
President and Laguna Niguel resident Bruce Rasner hired an
out-of-town executive director for big bucks it typically means
generating new and big ideas.