Thursday, April 27, 2006

Classic Arts Showcase

The top floor of this Apartment Building are the offices of the Lawrence E. Deutsch & Lloyd E. Rigler Foundation. This foundation funds the television show called "Classic Arts Showcase", among other things. I can see this building from my deck and I've been up in those offices a number of years ago, because I knew Lloyd Rigler before he died, and I know his incredibly talented nephew Jamie Rigler who is really responsible for the fantastic Classic Arts Showcase programming, which is usually found on your local PBS station when that station has nothing else happening...I hope you have this incredible program where you live because it is like a Classical MTV. Jamie, who puts this together, edits 8 hours of programming each week, which represents about 150 clips. A HUGE undertaking, and especially because there is so much material to choose from, but with his love of the arts, (He was an Opera Singer as a young man...) he gets to pick and choose what we see, putting it all together in the most artful manner....There are film clips of Opera, Theatre, Films, Concerts, Singers, Instrumental Soloists, etc., etc., etc. You might see in one ten minute or so segment, Maria Callas, Renata Tibaldi, and Kiri Te Kanawa...ALL singing the same Aria....this is a true feast. And if you don't like opera, the next segment might be Van Cliburn or some other great pianist-in-concert or perhaps that great young Violinist Joshua Bell...then there might be a segment of a Ballet with Baryshnikov or some other great great dancer...And it's very hard to stop watching because you never know what the next clip will be and, speaking for myself, I always wait to see what the next clip is and then end up watching that! This is an amazing chunk of programming and as far as I know, there isn't anything else like it on the air, anywhere, and, the best part of this is---it is free! The Foundation pays for the air time and of course pays for the editing and the satellite, and as I understand it the clips themselves are donated with no fee required by the record company's and film company's who are as committed to attempteing to create new audiences for the 'arts' as The Foundation was to begin with through Lloyd Rigler's personal vision about making this available on a free basis to everyone by 24 hour Satellite Service and this then is made available to our Public Broadcasting Stations throughout this country and many other country's throughout the world.

Lloyd Rigler made his fortune with Adolph's Meat Tenderizer...yes, that simple idea which he and his business partner Larry Deutsch (who died in 1977) discovered and bought from an Italian Chef in Santa Barbara, California named Adolph, created the kind of fortune that is what the American Dream has always been about...Lloyd was born in 1915, in North Dakota in very poor circumstances. This man truly lived out that american dream by hard work and diligence and being in the right place at the right time. They indeed, made a fortune and started a foundation so that they could do 'good works' with this abundance of money.

It is what these men did with their fortune that is so wonderful.
Always committed to the 'arts', their Foundation helped to build The Los Angeles Music Center, including their great gift of the Jacques Lipschitz sculpture which they commissioned expressly for this is 29 feet high and it stands in the Plaza of TMC today as it has since it's dedication in May of 1969. (I understand there are members of the Board of TMC that want this sculpture removed and something more modern put in it's sense of Art History I'm afraid...). Over the many years of the life of the foundation it has supported so very many arts orginizations, probably hundreds, like The New York City Opera, The Los Angeles Opera and The Joeffrey Ballet, to name just a few.

One of the more recent projects that Lloyd Rigler was involved with and almost single handedly responsible for it actually coming to fruition was the rebuilding and refurbishing of the first 'Movie Palace' in Hollywood, the famous Grauman's Egyptian Theatre---built in 1922, five years before his even more famous movie palace Grauman's Chinese Theatre--now known as Mann's Chinese Theatre...This great theatre had, over the years, fallen on hard times and was almost ready for the wrecking ball when Rigler's Foundation and Rigler himself stepped in and at a cost of approximately 13 million dollars returned this great great Movie Palace to it's former splendor where The American Cinematique now makes it's home. This, was a glorious resurection.

Lloyd was also very involved with a wonderful
organization here in Los Angeles called The Tree People. They are committed to planting new trees all over greater Los Angeles...a mammoth job and one that The Foundation supports to this day, too. The Tree People not only plant trees all over but they oversee the health of the trees they plant. They are very involved in the education of all people to the importance of trees to the environment, and Lloyd was very committed to them in a really big, big way.

I was reminded of all this as I looked out my window yesterday to see what the weather was doing. Of course I didn't see that building where the Foundation is housed in ''close-up', I saw it like this. And I spoke to the wonderful Jamie Rigler on the phone today...he lives just up the hill from me and was home sick today. I asked him if Classic Arts Showcase, which first went on the air in 1994, is shown in England, or Brazil, or Australia or New Zealand (thinking about my blog buddies)...and he said not at this time...but it is shown all over our country in almost every state....The thing to do would be to look up the schedule for your PBS stations and see if they carry may already know the answer to this and if you do, I hope you are enjoying this wonderful opportunity which is a gift and it really is 'the gift that keeps on giving'. This is a great great way to introduce your young children to the so called 'fine arts' is one of the most wonderful programming ideas to ever be executed, and all thanks to the passion and money of Lloyd E. Rigler, who died in December, 2003 at the age of 88. Lloyd was not an easy man in any way, shape or form---in fact at times he was impossibly difficult, but...but...BUT---and here is the thing---he had such a love of the arts and put his money where his mouth is...all thanks, dear Lloyd, for caring about the future of the arts in this country, especially given that there have been such horrendous cutbacks in our Public Schools...Classic Arts Showcase isn't the whole answer to this but it certainly fills a great need...all these great GREAT artists coming into our homes every day or night for all of us to see again, or for many of us to see for the very first time. Like I said....'the gift that keeps on giving'....

Rest well, dear Lloyd, you have left an incredible legacy for all of us, and for our children, and for our children's children....the future generations who will keep the arts alive because they have been inspired by something you created because you cared so very deeply.

***I've had some problems with my email and I HOPE HOPE HOPE they are fixed now...the noreply@blogger mail has NOT been getting through, so anyone who has left comments these last 4 days...I apologize, cause I haven't gotten any of them! UGH! Do try again and I'm hoping that glich is fixed now. Thanks For Your Understanding, and for coming back....*** (2:05pm 4/28/06)

*****I've had to put the comment verification thingy on temporarily because I've had a HUGE HUGE amount of that automatic spam forgive me...I don't like it either cause I find it is impossible to read, but diffult problems call for pesky solutions, for a time (lol)...Thank you so much for understanding...AND, with the help of the wonderful Jane from JaneLovesTarzan, all of the comments I recieved are now visible....Yeah Jane! (3:52pm 4/28/06)*****

Links to this post:


had this to say:

A lovely tribute and reminder. Thanks Naomi. I followed you over today from Michele's.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 3:52:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

wonderful tribute. Thanks for visiting today

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 6:19:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow... here is an example of a life lived, not wasted.

Hi Naomi!

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 8:09:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

That was a lovely post. I'd never heard of "Classic Arts Showcase" before this, but it sounds like it's worth looking for!

Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 10:13:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

We do have the "Arts" channel here but it is not part of our cable set up so we don't get to see it.
We did have it for free for a month though.
Classic Arts showcase does sound like an amazing piece of programming :)

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 4:11:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Our local cable company devotes a whole channel to this programming, Naomi. Mr. kenju and I watch it often.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 4:19:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It's people who give (whatever it is) out of love that make a difference. This is really well written. Thank you. :)

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 4:31:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I don't spend near enough time watching PBS as I should. Thank you for that wonderful reminder! :)

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 6:04:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

very nice --

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 6:10:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

This is an amazing tribute Naomi! You have a wonderful way of writing and reminding us of the importance of the arts! Thank you!! Hope you are feeling well my friend!

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 6:28:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

That tribute made him smile wherever he was. Van Cliburn is one of my favorite pianist. I have CDs of him.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 10:11:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Nice story. Is there anyone you don't know!! You never cease to amaze and astound me,


Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 10:57:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

its amazing what things you remember of people after they died... i hope when im dead i too can have someone say such nice things about me...

and i hope i can make a difference so that its not just me that does it but everyone...

Was, as ALWAYS, lovely to read your blog...

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 11:25:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Michele sent me, Naomi.

It's amazing that all that good work started with two men buying the "recipe" for a mixture of enzymes and salts from a chef and marketing it themselves. Like you said, Naomi, that's the American Dream. Great post, Naomi.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 11:46:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

As Daffy Duck so often said to Bugs: You're incorrigible!

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 11:57:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

As a musician and wife of a musician/conductor, I can fully appreciate what these wonderful men have done for the arts. I have seen many of the programming you have spoken about. What a wonderful tidbit about Adolph's seasoning! And you're right, what they did with their fortune is the best part.

Michele sent me today!

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 12:12:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

He must be smiling now after this very beautiful words dedicated to him.


Friday, April 28, 2006 at 1:03:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Very interesting.

What is going to happen to opera? I heard an interview with an opera singer (whose name, of course, I forget) on the radio--WNYC. When Margaret Juntwait, the interviewer, asked if he had any recordings coming out, he said, no, opera really isn't being recorded these days.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 5:50:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Lovely tribute and thanks for the education. I just love architecture and in particular old theatres and the Art Decco period. So glad they restored the theatre.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 8:15:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Very interesting post Naomi! You are filled with such a wealth of information and you know so many folks!

I do watch PBS a lot. It's about the only station left with decent shows anymore! I'll have to watch for this one and see if it's available in our area.

Thanks for a great post!

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 8:59:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

wow another lovely tribute.

here via michele today. have a great weekend sweetie x

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 9:32:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:


Friday, April 28, 2006 at 10:17:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hey, back for a visit via Michele. I used to catch Classic Arts Showcase on various channels when I had cable and have discovered some of the coolest stuff on their. I wish it was on its own regular channel as much of what it has to offer is fascinating and cannot be found anywhere else. Unfortunately I haven't noticed it anywhere on my satellite and PBS here usually is running something else. I will have to be a little more vigilant in searching for this, thanks for the reminder. And how cool that you have that connection to the show. Thanks, this was awesome!

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 11:57:00 AM PDT 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

Here from Michele today.
Wonderful tribute.
Isn't it great how our tastes can change from the Monkees and Beatles of youth, to Broadway shows and now even Opera. (Probably because of my brother). Classical music has always been a favorite. My favorite of childhood was the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody #3. I had an old vinyl record 331/3 speed and played it until the track wore out, crackles and critches. Sigh. Ah, youth.
Have a great one.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 12:01:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

This was truly a beautiful tribute. There are not enough people like this in the world. Thank you for sharing this with us. Beautiful post Naomi.


Friday, April 28, 2006 at 12:11:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Sue
had this to say:

Hey from Michele's today -- sounds like some wonderful history and sounds like you have a great respect for the man, his nephew and the arts :)

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 12:20:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great post! You were blessed to have known such a great man.
Here from Michele's.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 12:46:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

How blessed you are to have known such a fine man.
Here via Michele's.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 1:29:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Great history and remarkable memories, Naomi!

Have a lovely and happy weekend!

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 1:30:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I'm a PBS whore, and our local PBS station, WGBH is responsible for most of the PBS programming in the US. Think This Old House, Victory Garden, Masterpiece Theatre, etc. I don't think we have these class art showcases here in Boston, but I may have not been paying attention when they are on. They do have a ton of small art clips here, but they're mostly of various small artists (visual) throughout the city. I'll look more carefully, though.

Here from you know who.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 1:34:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow. What an amazing man! And what an interesting post.

Here from Michele's.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 2:15:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

A very nice tribute, Naomi :-)

And I'm sure a little technical glitch won't stop us returning again and again for your wit and wisdom :-)

Not here from Michele's, but a last visit before I turn in....



Friday, April 28, 2006 at 2:37:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Man, the things I learn by reading blogs! And sadly, I don't even know what the PBS channel is here... I don't think I've tuned in since my kid stopped watching Sesame Street :(

Here via Michele's today!

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 3:01:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

what a wonderful posting. I'm glad I stopped in. Good to 'see' you again.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 4:08:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

great post ..
Great great post

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 4:21:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It's wonderful that you know Jamie Rigler and that he is carrying on the love for the arts. I have never seen the program. I will have to check my local PBS station for it.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 5:13:00 PM PDT 

Blogger ~A~
had this to say:

Very nice.

Michele sent me. Have a great weekend.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 5:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Very interesting post and the interior of Graumann's Egyptian looks spectacular.

Its a shame that Graumann's Chinese gets all of the attention, although I've visited both.

We don't get those shows in England, but luckily there are some other good arts channels.

Here today via Michele's.


Friday, April 28, 2006 at 5:19:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Michele sent me back tonight, Naomi, Hope you are well.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 5:33:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I had to come back and thank you for the lovely comment at Michele's. I never miss your blog either, Naomi. Have a great weekend.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 5:43:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

A nice tribute. Thank you Lloyd. Almost all TV I watch outside of sports is public TV.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 5:47:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi!!!!

Pursuing some blogs from Michele!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 5:56:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi from my blog.. thanks for commenting. Hope the size is better...

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 6:07:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Michele sent me, Naomi. Welkl to you!

I hope you're feeling okay, Naomi. Anytime you leave a blog post up for a while I fear that you're overly tired or maybe have a cold. That upper respiratory disease stuff isn't good for you!

I'm off to wash some dishes, Naomi. See you later...

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 6:26:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi there,
Long time no see!
As a fine arts person, with an education background, I don't find that many people who are sympathetic to my cause! I am glad that someone is carying on his tradition.
I don't have TV right now, but it sounds like something that CBC might pick up.
All the best.
Here from Michele's.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 8:44:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hello! What a about doing something with your time. Great from Michele's tonight.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 9:00:00 PM PDT 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

Naomi, you might see if you can install Haloscan comment service on your site. I don't get any of that spam stuff with them. Here from Michele this time.

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 9:02:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful tribute.

Here from Michele

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 11:19:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

WooHoo on getting your blog fixed! :)

I love, love, love watching PBS, but I must admit, I've never seen this before. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

Lloyd sounds like he was an incredible man.

Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 3:31:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Nic
had this to say:

Excellent story. I love reading and/or hearing about the lives of others. I was fascinated by all he had accomplished and that it's being passed on to his family.

Hi from Michele's.

Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 4:26:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I read other comments using that name--I hope I got it right. Thought I'd add a bit of trivia re the ND folks who went "Out West" and achieved fame and fortune. Rigler was from around the same heavily German area of ND that produced Lawrence Welk. Funny how Rigler turned out to be a true philanthropist while Welk remains known for being a tightwad.
Also from that era, Peggy Lee. My daughter-in-law's father dated her before she left Fargo for sunny CA. It's all so fascinating. Thanks getting my brain in gear!

Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 9:49:00 AM PDT 

Blogger dan
had this to say:

Oh, I've caught that show from time to time. The background behind it is really fascination and will add to my enjoyment next time I run across it!

Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 10:31:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hey there! You know I just love reading your stories. Michele sent me today, but you know I am here daily!


Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 10:57:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

it's great to hear that their legacy lives on, dear naomi. what a warm, loving tribute to truly dedicated artists. :)

Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 11:09:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Now that is a serious tribute and I never knew any of that at all. I'm glad I came by via Michele today!

Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 11:12:00 AM PDT 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

Here from Michele again.
How are you today? The sun is shining but a north wind is keeping temps under 60 and there is a distinct chill. I am so stiff from digging in the flowerbeds yesterday, I think a hot cup of coffee and a bit of reading is in store.

Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 11:16:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

bravo, madam! How wonderful to see Lloyd Rigler finally getting the credit he so richly deserves deserves!

I must point out and emphasize to everyone that CAS is NOT a PBS production! It is carried by some PBS stations, who regard it as filler, and are not particularly pleased when, sans pledge breaks and infomercials, it becomes one of their most popular programs.

It is totally paid for by the R-D foundation, and programmed by the incredible multi-talented Jamie Rigler and a very small but capable crew. If this were a PBS program, it would have a staff of at least 80, a budget increased by a factor of at least ten, and would be devoid of the taste and artistry which make it so unique.

CAS is carried on the Dish network at ch. 9406, and on the big (C band) Galaxy satellite 24/7, as well as many cable systems and in-house networks.

Eastern hemisphere residents who might wish to sample this cultural jewel can google: cal poly pomona, go to its website, click on streaming video then program 1, then classic arts showcase. Sound quality is excellent, but the streaming video is of very limited bandwith. CAS runs there during the evening and nighttime hours(PDT).

Today, May 3, is Lloyd Rigler's birthday, and the 12th birthday of Classic Arts Showcase. Your post is a wonderfully appropriate birthday gift. There are many CAS fans who will bless you for providing a place to shout what we have been known during these twelve glorious years.

a dedicated CAS fan

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 at 6:47:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Came across this post I missed earlier when looking for another, and surely glad to find it. I do so enjoy listening and watching this PBS feature when I happen to be up in the wee hours. Nice to know more about the origins, the man responsible as well as the person who keeps it going now. Thanks to them and to you for sharing this information.

Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 11:55:00 PM PDT 

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