California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

September 27, 2013Caitlin Fitzwater

California Arts Council Director's Statement on the Death of George Zenovich

Former California lawmaker played key role in creation of the California Arts Council


Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council, made the following statement in response to the news of the death of George Zenovich:

"The California Arts Council might not exist if not for George Zenovich," said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council, upon hearing of Zenovich's death. "His passion for music and care for all Californians placed the establishment of the California Arts Council among his many significant accomplishments as a lawmaker and activist. He will be missed."

George Zenovich was an attorney, appellate court justice, state lawmaker, Democratic Party activist, mentor, and lobbyist. As a California State Senator representing Fresno County, Zenovich played a key role in establishing the California Arts Council, co-authoring the Dixon-Zenovich-Maddy California Arts Act of 1975.

George Zenovich had a great love of music, and according to the Fresno Bee "Mr. Zenovich, who often said that life was short, made music and politics a center of his life ... [he] played the violin first, then the viola and string bass. He was a concert master of the Fresno High School Orchestra and played music during a World War II stint in the U.S. Army Air Corps."

Zenovich died on Wednesday, September 25, in Fresno at age 91, according to news reports. More information may be found on the following media outlet websites:

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