On Monday, September 26, 2011, Anthony J. Hernandez was appointed as the newest board member of the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center Foundation. Hernandez, 25, is excited to join the board and looks forward to the next three years of service. “I am very honored tonight,” said Hernandez. “To be formally recognized at a City Council Meeting is ineffably gratifying.”
At the same City Council meeting, Purple Heart recipients were honored with a proclamation stating that Simi Valley is the first city in California to become a “Purple Heart City”. Thirty veterans who served in conflicts ranging from the ongoing struggles in Iraq and Afghanistan to World War II P.O.W.s were present to receive the proclamation. “My appointment was a side note to the main event,” says Hernandez, “but it made the honor even more memorable for me.”
After unanimous approval by the City Council, Mayor Bob Huber formally presented Hernandez with the appointment (photo below). Hernandez is the youngest board member to serve on the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Foundation Board.
wgp had some questions for ajh about the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Foundation and this exciting opportunity.
wgp: Congratulations on being the youngest board member to serve on the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Foundation Board of Directors. What are some of the more popular events and programs that the Foundation promotes each year?
ajh: With blockbuster productions such as “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”, to sold out concerts by Ronny and Classics and Ticket To Ride: A Beatles Tribute, to international virtuoso performances by Nabil Azzam, Sasha Toperich, Aloke Das Gupta and others, audiences continue to give the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center rave reviews, making it Ventura County’s choice for affordable family entertainment.
wgp: As the newest Board member, are there any particular Foundation programs on which you would like to focus?
ajh: What I would really like to focus on is the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center Foundation on a larger scale — meaning, on its influence among neighboring cities. When we start having better arts and cultural events in our city, people flock. Once within our city walls, they shop and buy Simi. As it stands, Thousand Oaks holds a monopoly as the local theater and live entertainment destination and I plan to change that. Although this Foundation is driven by a passion to promote arts and entertainment for our community, it is quintessentially about Simi Valley as a whole.
wgp: Are there new programs or initiatives you think the Foundation ought to pursue for the benefit of the Simi Valley community?
ajh: Once we start making Simi bigger than Simi, our shops will thrive, and our economy will soar. People leave Simi to fill the entertainment void. We need to pursue noteworthy professional acts — not just great local productions or bands, but national-level talent. I am serious about this.
wgp: Events featuring marquee talent will certainly attract more patrons both here in Simi and from neighboring communities, but will be costlier to promote. How does the Foundation financially support its programs?
ajh: The Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center relies upon the generosity of friends, businesses and people like you to provide exceptional programming to the Simi Valley community, at affordable prices. Donations help us to defray the overwhelming costs involved in presenting first-class performances each year, and help support our community, our children and our future. Donors will be recognized on our website and in our Annual Report.
wgp: How can Simi Valley residents get involved to support the Foundation and its mission?
ajh: Obviously there is the Foundation’s website, albeit one that needs improvement. I guarantee a facelift to the existing infrastructure of simi-arts.org in the future. Simi Valley residents can contact me directly to make a donation or refer to the information below.
To Make a Gift
For more information about how you can contribute to premier arts and entertainment in Simi Valley, visit the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center Foundation website or contact the center by telephone: (805) 583-7900.
The Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center is a 503(c) (3) organization and contributions are tax deductible to the extent of the law.