The Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC) is a City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs facility operated under a long-term agreement by the Latino Theater Company. The multidisciplinary venue boasts four stages and an art gallery, and welcomes artists of all races, ethnicities and nationalities from around the world.
Its Seventh Annual Gala bestowed the Marco Antonio Firebuagh Legacy Award on honorees actor Bill Pullman and Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar, in recognition of their enduring support for LATC. The award is named after the late California Assemblyman who pursued the dream of a multicultural performing arts center in downtown Los Angeles.
The event marked the presentation of the inaugural Lupe Ontiveros Dream Award, named for the recently deceased actor, community activist, and Latino Theater Company board member. A frequent presence in plays at LATC, she became nationally recognized for her work in film (“Selena”) and television (“Rob!,” “Desperate Housewives”). She was a member of the Latino Theater Company since its inception 28 years ago. The first recipient of this award is actor and community activist Eva Longoria, who portrayed Ms. Ontiveros’ daughter on “Desperate Housewives.”
Speakers at the Gala included Jimmy Smits, Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin, Diane Medina (KABC-TV), Castulo De La Rocha (AltaMed Health Services), Jose Luis Valenzuela (artistic director, Latino Theater Company).
Announced was a new project: to refurbish and convert the 280-seat Theatre 2 into a multi-use facility for both stage and screen events, renaming it The Lupe Ontiveros Theatre in tribute to the late actor. The projected cost of the project is $1.5 million.
A video clip memorializing Ms. Ontiveros’ career was introduced by Edward James Olmos, who subsequently made an impassioned plea for donations to The Lupe Ontiveros Theatre project. $335,000 was raised on the spot, with major gifts being pledged by Mr. Olmos, Castulo De La Rocha, Councilman Huizar, and feature film and television producer Moctesuma Esparza.
The evening raised a total of $485,000 in donations for the continuing work of the LATC.
The event included a silent auction, dinner, and entertainment, including musical ensemble Nege!, pianist Rocino Serrano, and the singing Faith Sisters (cast members of the Latino Theater Company’s award-winning show “Faith- Part One of A Mexican Trilogy”- Esperanza America, Alexis De La Rocha, and Olivia Delgado). Gala M.C. was Talaya Trigueros.