Redlands Bowl Performing Arts mourns the loss of Brenda Bean. Brenda was a former board member and longtime volunteer for the Children’s Festival Workshops. The Bean Balcony in Mission Gables is named after her and her husband, Jerry Bean. Most recently, she and Jerry were named the 2016-2017 Heroes of the Arts by RBPA. Brenda was a champion for the Bowl and many other organizations in both Redlands and San Bernardino. She will be greatly missed.
Redlands, CA- Redlands Bowl Performing arts (RBPA) honored Jerry and Brenda Bean as “Heroes of the Arts” at its Annual Dinner on Thursday, February 23, 2017. This prestigious award was presented to Jerry and Brenda in appreciation for their many years of musical contributions to the community as longtime supporters of the arts.
“We are incredibly excited to announce the 2017 Summer Music Festival Season at the Redlands Bowl Performing Arts Annual Dinner while honoring an amazing couple as Heroes of the Arts — Brenda and Jerry Bean. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor, and I am delighted to be a part of this wonderful recognition!” said RBPA President Jan Hudson.
“We could not be more thrilled to be honoring Brenda and Jerry. They have been amazing supporters of the arts in this region and of course wonderful champions for the Bowl. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done for our organization,” said Beverly Noerr, Executive Director of the Redlands Bowl.
Jerry and Brenda Bean
Jerry and Brenda Bean’s impact on Inland Empire cultural arts has been wide-ranging since they moved to Redlands from Washington, D.C., in 1983. They have been leaders in both the Redlands Symphony and the San Bernardino Symphony, served on the board of the Redlands Bowl, started a major fine arts show in Redlands, and supported educational activities for children in the Inland area.
As founding general manager of USA Today, Jerry was part of the launch team when the Gannett Co. began publishing the national newspaper in 1982. The following year, Jerry and Brenda and their two sons, Scott and Eric, moved to Redlands when Jerry was named a Gannett regional vice president and publisher of the San Bernardino Sun.
In 1985, they began a program to strengthen the San Bernardino Symphony (then named the Inland Empire Symphony). The symphony was reorganized with an expanded board with Jerry as president and a new conductor and new executive director. Brenda recruited board members and founded the Symphony Guild to support the orchestra. She loved recruiting and training volunteers to go into schools to share symphony music with students. At about the same time, Jerry joined the board of Redlands Bowl Performing Arts (then named the Redlands Community Music Association).
Jerry and Brenda have continued to support both the Redlands and the San Bernardino symphonies. In 2012, Jerry joined the Redlands Symphony board of directors and is currently the chairman of the board. He is believed to be the only person to lead the boards of both symphonies.
In 2013, Jerry and Shirley Harry co-founded the Redlands Festival of Arts, an annual juried fine arts show that features artists from throughout the West in addition to local artists. Now in its fifth year, proceeds from the show support arts education for children.
Brenda taught for 30 years in physical education and in special education. She retired in 2009 from Perris Elementary School District where she was a special education resource teacher. She also served on the state board of the California Association of Resource Specialists.
In Redlands, she was part of the founding board of Redlands Educational Partnership Foundation and was responsible for developing criteria for small grants for teachers and for the outstanding teacher of the year award. She is currently a board member of the YMCA of the East Valley and of Redlands Bowl Performing Arts. She is a member of PEO chapter PK and a sustaining member of the Redlands Bowl Associates. Both she and Jerry are past presidents of First Lutheran Church of Redlands church council. She was the first woman president in the history of the century-old church. Both Brenda and Jerry strongly support LifeHouse Theater and the Micah House literacy program.
In 1987, Jerry left Gannett, and he and Brenda started Century Group Newspapers, which publishes weekly community newspapers in the Inland area. At one time, the company owned 14 newspapers in the Inland Empire, Los Angeles County and the Central Valley, although in recent years they have sold several newspapers to cut back to six, all in San Bernardino County and Riverside County.
Jerry was president of the California Newspaper Publishers Association in 2006. He was elected to the Redlands City Council in 2007 and served as mayor pro tem in 2009. He is past president of Family Service Association of Redlands and Redlands Festival of Arts and still serves on their boards. He also is a member of the Rotary Club of Redlands and a past board member of Redlands Community Foundation
The RBPA Annual Dinner was held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Redlands Country Club on Thursday, February 23, 2017. The program included the announcement of the 2017 Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival season as well as the announcement of the theme for the annual Bowl Associates gala benefit. Attendees were treated to a Disney revue featuring selected songs from this year’s musical Tarzan®.
For more information please contact the Redlands Bowl office at (909) 793-7316 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.