Los Angeles Reinforces its Cultural Mecca Moniker with Milestones, Celebrations and Exhibitions Through 2015

Photo courtesy of Lori Bucci, Flickr

Momentous Occasions Give Visitors Plenty of Reasons to Get Their Culture On, from the Natural History Museum’s Centennial to Walt Disney Concert Hall’s 10th Anniversary to the 90th Birthday of the Hollywood Sign

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (March 18, 2013) – The Los Angeles moniker as the "Creative Capital of the World," will never be more apt than during the next 24 months. Nearly a dozen cultural milestones and occasions will occur in LA, a cultural eclipse that likely won’t happen again for quite years, if ever.

Some of LA’s – and the world’s – most prestigious institutions are celebrating 10th, 15th, 35th, 50th, 90th and Centennial anniversaries between 2013 and 2015 with special exhibitions and events.  At the same time, major new public museums will debut to great fanfare.

To kick off the milestones as only Hollywood can do, more than 40 LA arts and culture institutions are encouraging visitors to participate in this cultural bonanza during a special Discover the Arts program, March 18 to April 26, 2013. During Discover the Arts, participating institutions from LA’s world-class collection of museums and theatres are offering 2-for-1 admissions, discounted show tickets and store discounts. Visitors booking a two-night stay, beginning March 25th, at discoverLosAngeles.com/cultureLA  will receive a special arts and culture bonus:
•    Two tickets to the Natural History Museum along with a Natural History Museum t-shirt
•    Two tickets to experience the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center
•    Two daily Metro passes to help get around town while experiencing the arts

More information on how to take advantage of these incredible offers to some of the best art, music and performances in Los Angeles is available at discoverLosAngeles.com/cultureLA .

Following are the special milestones, exhibitions and cultural events taking place through 2015.

SPECIAL MILESTONES
Beginning July 2013
The Natural History Museum Centennial Celebration, Exposition Park
LA’s oldest museum in continuous operation, the Natural History Museum marks its 100th anniversary this year with $168 million in renovations and expansions. In July 2013, Becoming Los Angeles will open as a 14,000-sq.-ft. tribute to LA’s heritage - exploring the natural and cultural history of Southern California and showcasing the largest and most important collection of historic objects from early Los Angeles. The exhibition will invite visitors on the journey of how Los Angeles — a small settlement in an arid landscape — became LA, the global city of today.
Also of note is North Campus, a 3.5-acre living wilderness experience serving as a habitat for animals with a "field station," that includes a pond for native and non-native turtles, a vegetable garden and a 1913-style garden. A scientific hub called the Nature Lab bridges the gap between NHM’s indoor research and collections, and the outdoor North Campus. Here, visitors get up close and personal with LA wildlife and learn the stories of the creatures that share our space.
Beginning September 2013
Fowler Museum at UCLA 50th Anniversary Celebration, Westside

The Fowler Museum at UCLA explores global arts and cultures with an emphasis on works from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas—past and present. The Fowler Museum at UCLA will mark its 50th anniversary with a year-long suite of special exhibitions and programs that draw on the Fowler’s significant holdings of global arts. Upcoming events include:

•    Resplendent Dress from Southeastern Europe: A History in Layers: Mar. 10-Jul. 14, 2013 – A look at the extremely colorful and intensely worked garments, often adorned with embroidery, lace, metallic threads, coins, sequins, beads, and, perhaps most importantly, fringe, that girls in rural southeastern Europe spent their childhoods weaving, sewing, and embroidering so that when they reached puberty they could join the Sunday afternoon village dances garbed in resplendent attire.

•    Ernest Cole Photography, Apr. 7-Jul. 7, 2013
Ernest Cole (1940–90), one of South Africa’s first black photojournalists, passionately pursued his mission to tell the world what it was like to be black under apartheid. This exhibit portrays his imaginative daring, courage and compassion in chronicling the lives of black people as they negotiated through apartheid’s racist laws and oppression.

•     Spomenik: Photographs of Monuments of Former Yugoslavia by Jan Kempanaers,  Mar. 17-    Aug. 11, 2013
From 2006–09, Antwerp-based artist Jan Kempenaers traveled through the hills and valleys of former Yugoslavia photographing futuristic-looking, yet dilapidated spomeniks―Serbo-Croatian for monuments— erected in the 1960s and 1970s to commemorate World War II.

•    Mandela for President: South Africa Votes for Democracy, Apr. 7-Jul. 21, 2013
Mandela for President: South Africa Votes for Democracy documents this landmark moment in South Africa’s history with election ephemera, commemorative cloths, posters, and works of art created in response to the end of apartheid and its importance in world history.

October 2013
90th Anniversary of Hollywood Sign, Hollywood
The Hollywood Sign (formerly the "Hollywoodland" sign) is a landmark and American cultural icon located in Los Angeles. It is arguably more famous than the stars that live and work below it; and having appeared in more than 150 films, it is often referred to as the hardest-working actress in Hollywood. Built by Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler complete with 20- watt light bulbs in 1923, the billboard initially said “Hollywoodland,” and promoted a real estate development beneath it until 1949, when the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce entered into a preservation deal and the last four letters were removed.  In preparation for its 90th Anniversary, Sherwin-Williams used 105 gallons of primer and 255 gallons of “Reflective White” paint to ensure the sign sparkles and dazzles for its moment in the spotlight later this year.
October 2013
Walt Disney Concert Hall 10th Anniversary Celebration, Downtown LA
In October 2003, Walt Disney Concert Hall burst upon the scene as an architectural
masterpiece and acoustical marvel, forever changing the musical landscape of Los Angeles. In this extraordinary space, where a guest’s experience of live music has become richer, more powerful and infinitely more involving, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has soared to new heights. Now, a decade on, this icon is celebrating with the past decade’s musical directors returning to conduct performances for the celebration, including Esa-Pekka Salonen Gustavo Dudamel and Yo-Yo Ma. Other featured performers include: Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Cameron Carpenter, Judy Collins, Charles Dutoit, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Hélène Grimaud, Hilary Hahn, Herbie Hancock, Leila Josefowicz, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Mariza, Hugh Masekela, Midori, Itzhak Perlman, Gil Shaham, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Anne Sofie von Otter, Yuja Wang and Pinchas Zukerman.

December 2013
The Getty Center 15th Anniversary, Brentwood
Like Rome, the Getty Center wasn’t built in a day. From architect selection to opening, it took 13 years for the Center to emerge from a rough hillside and now boasts 24 acres, a million square feet of buildings, 25 million pounds of steel and 300,000 travertine blocks weighing in at 84 million pounds. This year, the $2.8 billion landmark marks its 15th anniversary with a series of special exhibitions, some of which are highlighted below:

•    Untold Stories: Cutting, Collecting, and Transforming Medieval Manuscripts, February 12–April 28, 2013
For hundreds of years, manuscripts have been bought and sold, hidden and displayed, preserved and rearranged, loved and forgotten, cut into pieces, hung on the wall, and glued into albums. This exhibition reveals the ways in which manuscripts have been refashioned both conceptually and physically, and explores the long and eventful history of these books before their entry into the Museum.

•    Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990, April 9–July 21, 2013
During the period 1940 to 1990, Los Angeles rapidly evolved into one of the most populous and influential industrial, economic, and creative capitals in the world. This dynamic exhibition provides an engaging view of the region’s diverse urban landscape, including its ambitious freeway network, sleek corporate towers, whimsical coffee shops, popular shopping malls, refined steel-and-glass residences, and eclectic cultural institutions.

Future exhibits include:

•    Werner Herzog: Hearsay of the Soul, August 2013 – January 2014
•    At the Window: The Photographer’s View, October 1, 2013–January 5, 2014
•    In Focus: Architecture, October 15, 2013–March 2, 2014
•    Gods and Heroes: European Drawings of Classical Mythology, November 19, 2013–February 9, 2014
•    A Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography, February 4, 2014–June 8, 2014
•    Jackson Pollock’s Mural, 1943, March 11, 2014–June 1, 2014
•    In Focus: Ansel Adams, The Museum Set, March 18, 2014–July 20, 2014
•    Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections, April 9, 2014–August 25, 2014
•    The Exceptional James Ensor, Summer 2014

Beginning January 2014
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) 35th Anniversary, Downtown LA
Founded in 1979, MOCA is the only museum in Los Angeles devoted exclusively to contemporary art. It is committed to the collection, presentation, and interpretation of work produced since 1940 in all media, and to preserving that work for future generations. Housing
the finest collection of contemporary art in North America, MOCA will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a year-long series of special events and exhibitions.

Beginning September 2014
Music Center 50th Anniversary, Downtown LA
The Music Center of Los Angeles County is one of the three largest performing arts centers in the United States. Located in downtown Los Angeles, the Music Center is home to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theater, Mark Taper Forum and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Each year, the Music Center welcomes more than 1.3 million people to performances by its four internationally renowned performing arts companies: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale, and Center Theatre Group (CTG).

Beginning January 2015
Hammer Museum 25th Anniversary, Westside
Widely regarded as one of the world’s leading venues for emerging artists, the Hammer also houses a permanent collection with masterpieces by Rembrandt, Van Gogh and
Sargent as well as one of the world’s finest collections of works on paper and will celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2015 with a year-long series of special events and exhibitions.

SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS
April – July 2013
Pacific Standard Time Presents:  Modern Architecture in L.A., Citywide

Executed and curated by The Getty, Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. offers a series of nine exhibitions and accompanying programs and events in and around Los Angeles, celebrating one of Southern California’s most lasting contributions to post-World War II cultural life: modern architecture. The exhibitions will provide a wide-ranging look at the region’s modern architectural heritage, as well as the significant contributions of LA architects to national and global developments in architecture.  It will examine a broad array of practitioners, from pioneering modernists like Richard Neutra to Pritzker Prize winners Frank Gehry and Thom Mayne, as well as other visionary architects who have shaped the region’s distinctive profile, including A. Quincy Jones, Whitney Rowland Smith and Eric Owen Moss.  Exhibitions and related programming will explore a range of building types, from iconic modernist homes and civic landmarks such as Disney Hall, to the whimsical coffee shops and vast freeway networks that made Los Angeles the unique megalopolis it is today.

 
NEW MUSEUM OPENINGS
Early Winter 2014
The Broad Museum Opens on Grand Avenue, Downtown LA

In 2010, Eli and Edythe Broad announced plans to open The Broad, a new $100 million public museum of contemporary art with 300 contemporary art works on view from modern masters  
such as Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman, Jean-Michel Basquiat and many others. Located on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles and designed by world-renowned architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the museum will be a 120,000-sq.-ft., three-level facility, and will include approximately 50,000 sq. ft. of gallery space on two floors, a lecture hall for up to 200 people, and a public lobby with display space and a museum shop. The project will include a state-of-the-art archive, study and art storage space that will be available to scholars and curators who want to research works in the collection and borrow artworks for their institutions. The museum will be adjacent to luminary cultural institutions such as the Music Center of Los Angeles and Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Colburn School of Music, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, forming a remarkable locus of culture in downtown LA.

Early 2014
Museum of Neon Art, Glendale

The Museum of Neon Art (MONA) closed its Downtown location to prepare for its move to a larger location on Brand Blvd., across from the Americana at Brand in Glendale. Designed by the Shimoda Design Group, the 10,000-sq.-ft. museum will house a permanent collection of more than 50 vintage neon signs, rotating exhibition spaces and a neon fabricating facility, as well as a café and gift shop. The building's focal point is a dynamic glass light box, and perched atop it is a Diver neon sign that’s destined to become a Glendale landmark.

DID YOU KNOW?
According to the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation:
•    One in every six of Los Angeles’ residents works in a creative industry
•    There are more artists, writers, filmmakers, actors, dancers and musicians living and working in Los Angeles than any other city at any time in recorded history
•    There are more than 1,100 annual theatrical productions and 21 openings every week.
•    There are 105 museums in Los Angeles County. In fact, Los Angeles has more museums per capita than any other city in the world.