From left: Elizabeth Segerstrom, Britt Meyer and Carol Perry PHOTO BY LAUREN HILLARY
Since 1973, Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ annual Candlelight Concert (scfta.org) has served as the pinnacle of the institution’s fundraising. The black-tie fete, which has been headlined by A-listers ranging from Carole King to Tony Bennett, returns Nov. 30 with honorary chair Elizabeth Segerstrom and co-chairs Britt Meyer and Carol Perry leading its 47th year. Here, each altruist shares a bit about her connection to Candlelight and the arts.
Candlelight Concert is returning after taking a year off due to the pandemic. What does the resurgence of this iconic evening mean to you, Elizabeth? ES: Candlelight’s return marks the beginning of a new, exciting chapter for us all here at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. We’ve all grown exponentially in this past year, its limitations and setbacks encouraging us to set the bar even higher for all that’s to come. SCFTA has always strived to bring the best of the best to our audiences here in Southern California, but now ‘coming together’ has an all-new meaning, and in such, we are working to ensure the year ahead marks a time for wonderful innovation and revolution in our programming.
Why is giving back to the arts community a cause that’s close to your heart? ES: The arts lay the foundation for a society’s capability to critically think, dream openly and foster innovation. Success and support in this arena cause a ripple effect that is beautifully observed in all areas of culture. When the arts are thriving, so is a community, a city, a state, a nation, the world. This year’s Candlelight will be an iconic springboard for all that’s in store for the year to come. I’ve never been more excited for Segerstrom Center for the Arts!
What led to you chairing this year’s event, Britt? BM: I have been a member of Angels of the Arts and, subsequently, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. What draws me to the organization, besides playing a small part in bringing the arts to our community and beyond, is the many friendships that have ensued from my involvement. My goal for this year’s Candlelight Concert is to implement Elizabeth Segerstrom’s extraordinary vision for the center.
And what does being a co-chair mean to you, Carol? CP: Candlelight has, for decades, been the grand event in our community to welcome the holidays and show our deep commitment to the performing arts. It saddened me to see the center go dark for over a year, so I wanted to be a part of an incredible event to raise the curtain and spotlight the center in a spectacular way. I was also looking forward to working with Britt Meyer and Elizabeth Segerstrom, along with a great gala committee, who I know will make the evening something no one will forget!