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Friday, January 8, 2021

Former Councilmember Tom LaBonge passes away at age 67 - Mr. Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles and The Museum of the San Fernando Valley lost a friend in Tom LaBonge.  At the founding of The Museum, after Greig Smith, Councilmember CD12 at the time, Tom LaBonge, CD4, was the next cheerleader for our growing museum.

He seemed to truly enjoy attending cultural events, especially the annual Campo de Cahuenga annual re-enactment in mid-January.


(this is a special photo because it has Councilmembers, Tom LaBonge and Paul Krekorian, Deuk Perrin and Guy Weddington McCreary - 2014 event)

Tom was terrific in exciting an audience and having them engage and enjoy a given event.

He was one of the first city council members to make a donation to The Museum.  After he was termed out of office, we had a couple of phone conversations where he said he was rummaging through all of his stuff and would have some items for us. A few months later, I was in my car, received a call, did not recognize the number but decided to answer it anyway, "hello, this is Michael."  "Hey, Mike! Tom Labonge here, I have some items and want to drop these off today at The Museum."  I replied, "sure, we would appreciate it."  We met later that day and he dropped some items that we still retain today.

He was a 39-year veteran of City Hall. He was known for enjoying the history of Los Angeles. He was an avid photographer and hand out calendars featuring his photographs of the city each year.

LaBonge, who served on the City Council from 2001 to 2015, passed away on Thursday. He was 67. Brigid, his wife of 41 years, said she had been unable to wake him up after he had been resting on the couch. No cause of death was given.

“He was such an irrepressible cheerleader for Los Angeles — a walking encyclopedia of all the amazing things and spots and neighborhoods and institutions in L.A.,” said Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the city’s coastal neighborhoods. “He was the Huell Howser of L.A. politics, a spirit that was always optimistic and in love with the city.”

To read more on Tom LaBonge by By David Zahniser, Dakota Smith of the Los Angeles Times, please click HERE.

Michel Stevens



Thursday, December 24, 2020

Seasons Greetings from YOUR Museum of History, Art and Culture of the San Fernando Valley

From all of us at YOUR Museum of History, Art and Culture of the San Fernando Valley, we wish you and your family:

We know it has been a tough year for nearly everyone.

The Museum has been temporarily closed since Mid-March. We are fortunate to prepare for an opening next year. Other organizations have not been so fortunate.

In the new year, we will continue to provide quality content and virtual programming to showcase our History of Speaker Series, exploring the incredible history of topics such as Aerospace, Agriculture, Architecture, Art, Aviation, Culture, Development, Entertainment, History, Music, Pop Culture, Transportation and Water.

We will continue our Artist Speaker Series, highlighting valley-based artists to provide an in-depth, personal look into each artist. What initiated their interest in art? How did they select or evolve into specific genre of art?  Also, an opportunity for each artist to display, explain current pieces of work and an offer art for purchase.


Here's to a promising and more fulfilling 2021!

The Museum SFV intends to open in the new year in our new home at The Rancho Cordiellera del Norte, across the street from our previous home.  Much thanks to Elisabeth Waldo and the Dentzel family for offering The Museum SFV the opportunity to be housed on these special, culturally-significant grounds.  There are many surprises in store!

                                                      (The Theatre, a portion of the grounds)

Thank you,

The Museum SFV Board of Directors and Advisors

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Giving Tuesday 2020 - please consider donating to YOUR Museum of the SFV

Today is Giving Tuesday. 

In this COVID-19 world, everyone is affected in some way.

We understand the challenges faced at home, at work, within our families and in our communities.

Cultural organizations have not fared well during this time.

The Museum of the SFV has been closed since mid-March. Most of our programs have been placed on hold. Internally, we are working hard to prepare for the day when we will re-open.

More people and financial support is needed.

Knowing the challenges of cultural organizations nationwide, statewide and throughout the City of Los Angeles, please see if you can donate a little bit to our organization. 100% of the proceeds benefits and supports programs, exhibits and events.

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

75th Anniversary of D-Day; November 11th - 4:00 pm-6:00pm FREE Zoom presentation; please join us for this special event


Franky Ortega is a local educator, The Museum SFV board member, and parachutist with the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team will relive his amazing experience in June 2019. The team is based in an original Army Air Force hangar in Frederick, Oklahoma and owns a C-47 and C-49. RSVP HERE.

On November 11th, in a salute to all veterans and especially to those that fought bravely in World War II, Franky Ortega will present his experience in participating in the 75th Anniversary of D-Day flying across the English Channel in the lead aircraft of the greatest armada of vintage aircraft since WWII. 

The presentation will center on preparations leading up to the Normandy jumps and will speak of the mission to honor, remember, and serve the memories of both past and current members of the armed forces as well as experience in being a part of the WWII ADT; from packing a parachute, doing a night jump, and working with the motor pool by learning how to drive a 1943 Dodge Ambulance truck among other vehicles.

The images and videos are amazing and will bring tears to your eyes in reliving this historic event.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

4:00 pm to 5:30 pm presentation; then Q&A which may run until 6:00 pm

FREE event*   

(*suggested $10/person donation to support quality Museum SFV programming)        

PLEASE RSVP for Free via Eventbrite.

For more information, please call 818-347-9665 or email at and let us know how many will be attending the online presentation.

Thank you.

11-7-20 History of Birmingham General Hospital; World War II and the SFV; Noon -2:00pm - Free Zoom Presentation; The Museum SFV

Please join The Museum and salute veterans from various conflicts, especially World War II this Saturday, November 7th on a Zoom presentation.

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm 

Free event*

(suggested donation appreciated to support The Museum SFV events, exhibits and programs).

Franky Ortega, History teacher, a National Board-Certified Teacher at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, returns as the presenter. 

What was the valley like during WWII? 

He will discuss the history of Birmingham General Hospital, (with updated content), history of veterans in the San Fernando Valley. Several valley landmarks with historical perspective on WWII will be covered such as Lake Balboa Park, Van Nuys Airport and Jue Joe Ranch.

Please attend and learn more about this interesting part of valley history. He will also tie in the current, amazing group of veterans that comprise Wings Over Wendy's.

RSVP HERE to receive Zoom link

Free event*

(suggested donation appreciated to support The Museum SFV events, exhibits and programs).

Also, a sneak peak video at The Museum SFV's new home at Rancho Cordillera del Norte from the perspective in riding in a World War II jeep!

Please feel free to contact us about this event at:
1) email us at:
2) Call us at:      Michael Stevens at 310-890-9182

In your own way too, please reach out and thank any veteran you know. 

Please have them register for this presentation to salute America's veterans this Saturday or send them the Zoom link.

Thank you.