One of six new appointees to the Los Angeles Music Center’s board of directors is Larchmont’s own Kristin Burr, a film producer and 20-year veteran of Walt Disney Pictures. Her Burr! Productions specializes in live-action family movies, such as 2021’s Cruella. Burr exudes enthusiasm about her role supporting the Music Center and her beloved Larchmont Village.
The Music Center is composed of the Ahmanson, the Mark Taper Forum, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Walt Disney Concert Hall and REDCAT, located inside the Disney Hall complex. These venues host performances by resident companies LA Philharmonic, LA Opera, LA Master Chorale and Center Theatre Group.
Rachel Moore, president and CEO, says the Music Center “strives to deepen the cultural life of every resident of Los Angeles County and continue creating a more relevant and increasingly multidisciplinary arts center.”
Burr has embraced that mission. “Why wouldn’t I want to be part of that for everyone?” she asks. “I remember vividly the first time I saw a play, a musical, live dance. I was mesmerized. It altered my life. And now I’m so happy to be part, in some small way, of exposing people to performance. I’d love to help bring awareness to not only all of the great performances but many of the cool programs going on downtown.”
She names some of those programs: “Outdoor dance parties on Friday nights, holiday celebrations, fireworks, selling vinyl and events that showcase different cultures, as well as giving kids opportunities to perform onstage and have mentorships.”
Burr, a Santa Monica native, moved into her first apartment on Van Ness Avenue. While there, she got to know a neighbor who worked at the now-departed Larchmont Boulevard outpost of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. He gave her and her roommate partially punched rewards cards, money-saving help in those pre-app, post-college days.
She has now lived in Larchmont for almost 15 years, on Arden Blvd., drawn to the area for its architecture—“I was always on the lookout for a Craftsman,” she says. She also had good friends in the neighborhood. One recently moved from Irving to a larger house across the street from Burr’s Craftsman home.
Of Larchmont, she says, “I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I love it because everyone knows everyone. We’re all out walking, looking out for each other. It’s as simple as pulling in trash cans; we all do it for each other. Recently a neighbor’s beloved dog passed away, and five of us chipped in to buy a portrait.”
She adds, “I love Santa Monica. It’s my home and I appreciate the 10 degrees difference in temperature. You could walk up and down Montana or Main Street but it wouldn’t be the same as Larchmont. I grew up there and we didn’t know our neighbors in the same way as I do here. It feels unique to this neighborhood.”
Burr credits her friend, esteemed film producer Debra Martin Chase, for bringing her into the Music Center. “I follow her on Instagram and was always marveling about her great life and the fantastic events she went to. I told her, ‘I want to be you!’
“We were also talking about charity work. I hadn’t volunteered in years and didn’t know where to start. She said, ‘You should be on a board, using your background for those purposes. I met someone the other night…’” Introductions were made and now Burr has participated in her first Music Center board meeting. “They were very welcoming,” she says.
Burr explains, “LA is the entertainment capital of the world, where everyone goes if they want to work in entertainment. But there’s also a side that doesn’t have the accolades it should. People from all around go to Broadway, and the same should happen with our cultural center downtown. I’m hopeful I can help bring those Hollywood types into downtown. Whether it’s spreading the word so more people show up for every event, or bringing people who can creatively help in programs and shows…I’m not sure what it will be, but every time I talk to someone I work with about the Music Center, they’re not as familiar as they should be.”
Her role, Burr relates, is to “make people more aware of what’s happening, including all the programs designed to bring in the different cultures of LA, and the different socio-economic levels. It’s s stereotype that people who go to theater are rich, older white people. Culture is for everyone and the Music Center is trying to bring culture to all of Los Angeles. I’m excited by all the Music Center’s goals. They’re well-thought-out and beautifully encompass the world we live in now.”