Dear Arts Orange County Board Member,
I am pleased to report that this afternoon, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he has appointed prominent Orange County arts patron Wylie Aitken to serve a four-year term on the California Arts Council, the state arts agency's governing board.
Wylie is a nationally-known attorney and founding partner of the Aitken * Aitken * Cohn law firm in Santa Ana. A resident of Anaheim, Wylie is active in a number of major Orange County cultural organizations, including serving as a Trustee and current Board President of South Coast Repertory, as a Board member of the Orange County Performing Arts Center and on the Board of the Mission San Juan Capistrano Preservation Foundation. He and his wife Bette have been married for 47 years and have three children and seven grandchildren. Bette has chaired the South Coast Repertory and MUZEO galas. They are also donors to Arts Orange County.
I first approached Wylie a few months ago to solicit his interest in serving on the California Arts Council, and when he agreed, I proposed his name to the Governor through Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Chair of the California Arts Council.
I've had the pleasure of knowing Wylie for many years, and the Orange County arts community has benefitted greatly from his wisdom and generosity. I'm grateful to Wylie for his willingness to serve and to Governor Schwarzenegger for appointing him.
The appointed California Arts Council consists of a maximum of eleven (11) members who serve four-year staggered terms. The Governor appoints nine members; the Legislature appoints two members, one from the Assembly and one from the Senate. Council Members serve without salary, elect their own chair, and meet throughout the state to encourage public attendance. This body has final approval of California Arts Council grants and contracts. All appointments made to the council by the Governor are subject to confirmation by the Senate.
The California Arts Council has only had two previous Orange County appointees: Mission Viejo Company President Harvey Stearn served two terms in the late 1980s-early 1990s, and attorney Hugh Hewitt served one term in the late 1990s.
I am sure you join with me in offering our congratulations to Wylie!
CC: CEOs of Orange County's Large-budget Arts Organizations