The Music Center in downtown L.A. has received its largest single contribution earmarked for programming in its history, $25 million, from A&M Records co-founder and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jerry Moss and his wife, wellness expert Tina Moss.
As a result of the donation, the Music Center will be renaming its outdoor performance space as the Jerry Moss Plaza and adding a major free outdoor concert in his honor each summer, as well as upgrading a state-of-the-art sound system for the other signature events that happen there, including Dance DTLA and 4th of July and New Year’s Eve events.
Also, the arts organization said it plans to use the money to form partnerships with community organizations, “with an emphasis on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) artists.” The Music Center’s Partner Network Initiative will work with local partners “focused on health and wellness, which share the conviction that the arts can heal and transform lives,” to “help ensure BIPOC artists have more opportunities to present their work at the Music Center and in neighborhoods across Los Angeles County.”
Previously, the biggest single gift to the Music Center that was designated for programming was the $20 million given by philanthropist Glorya Kaufman, which resulted in a popular “Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center” series. (The largest Music Center donation overall, historically, was the $50 million from Lillian Disney that went toward the construction of Walt Disney Concert Hall.)
“We have gone to The Music Center over the years for wonderful, entertaining cultural experiences,” Tina and Jerry Moss said in a statement. “Given its focus on reaching even more Angelenos with meaningful, relevant programs, the Music Center is well-positioned to realize our dreams for this gift; we are thrilled with the organization’s plans to not only to build capacity to deepen the cultural lives of L.A. residents, but also to pay it forward and help strengthen the ability of artists who don’t often have the chance to create and innovate due to lack of support. … I consider myself a music man, and I want to celebrate that at this stage of my life.”
Rachel S. Moore, the Music Center’s president-CEO, said that “the Mosses’ donation makes it possible for the Music Center team to expand and deepen our work as a cultural anchor institution and to be a model for transformational change — to advance programming that is not only geographically, economically and culturally representative of L.A. County, but that also resonates in the hearts and minds of all Angelenos and meaningfully impacts their lives.”
Jerry Moss founded A&M Records with Herb Alpert in 1962; they sold it in 1989. Both were inducted into the Rock Hall as non-performers in 2006. He now is chairman of Almo Sounds and the Rondor Music publishing company and is active as a horse owner and breeder. Tina Moss is a psychotherapist, a health and relationship expert and the founder of LifeDr.com.