Celebrate L.A.'s Cultural Anniversaries in 2019

Nancy Rubins, Airplane Parts (2003) at MOCA Grand Avenue | Photo: The Broad


This year, some of the most popular and acclaimed cultural attractions in Los Angeles will be celebrating milestone anniversaries. From the LA Phil's Centennial Season to year-long celebrations at MOCA, the Petersen Automotive Museum, and The Huntington Library, read on for all the details about L.A.'s must-see cultural anniversaries throughout 2019.

"The Los Angeles Philharmonic is the most important orchestra in America. Period." - The New York Times

LA Phil Centennial Season

The New York Times classical music editor, Zachary Woolfe recently declared, "The Los Angeles Philharmonic is the most important orchestra in America. Period." After the LA Phil announced its Centennial Season, the Los Angeles Times praised the 2018-19 concert program: "No orchestra has been this ambitious, ever."

Led by Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil continues its year-long celebration through October with highlights like BREATHEWATCHLISTENTOUCH: The Work and Music of Yoko Ono (March 22), Iron & Wine (March 24), Gershwin & Ravel (March 28-31), Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Stravinsky Festival (April), Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour (April 5), Emanuel Ax Plays Mozart (May 2-5), Mozart with Dudamel (May 11-12), Lang Lang & Beethoven (May 17 & 19), Dudamel Conducts Mahler's Eighth (May 20-31, June 2), Adès & McGregor: A Dance Collaboration (July 12-13), and Dudamel Conducts American Icons (Oct. 3-6).

And finally, the Centennial Birthday Celebration is taking place on October 24, the LA Phil's actual 100th birthday! Three LA Phil Music Directors from past and present will share the stage for the ultimate birthday party: Gustavo Dudamel, Zubin Mehta, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. The celebration will double as the Opening Night Concert & Gala of the 2019-20 season as the LA Phil begins its second century.

Nancy Rubins "Airplane Parts" (2003) sculpture at MOCA Grand Avenue

Nancy Rubins, Airplane Parts (2003) at MOCA Grand Avenue | Photo: The Broad

MOCA 40th Anniversary

Beginning in spring 2019, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) will dedicate its Downtown L.A. locations to multiple exhibitions celebrating the museum’s 40th anniversary and its permanent collection. Each location will feature special exhibitions highlighting different themes and stories found within the institution’s permanent collection of more than 7,000 objects.

First up is 40 for LA (April 14 - Sept. 16), which celebrates the forty-year history of MOCA with a multimedia exhibition that features archival materials including rare photographs and lithographs, limited-edition objects, a detailed exhibition and programming timeline, excerpts from the museum’s YouTube video project MOCAtv, and a special homage to all of the artists to whom the museum is indebted.

Visitors will get an in-depth look at some of the key elements that define MOCA: the Grand Avenue location designed in 1986 by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Arata Isozaki; a celebrated permanent collection, groundbreaking temporary exhibitions, and the museum’s dedicated board members and patrons. Together, these elements tell the story of MOCA’s beginnings, explore the museum’s vital role in shaping the Southern California art community, and take stock of MOCA’s achievements as a pioneering contemporary art institution in Los Angeles.

Robey Theatre Company 25th Anniversary

Robey Theatre Company 25th Anniversary

Robey Theatre Company 25th Anniversary

Founded in 1994 by Danny Glover and Ben Guillory, the Robey Theatre Company (514 S Spring St, Los Angeles 90013) is named for the pioneering African American actor and activist, Paul Robeson. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Robey Theatre Company 2019 season features the world premiere of "Birdland Blue" by Randy Ross, Ph.D. on April 6 and the Paul Robeson Theatre Festival and Anniversary Gala (August 23-25).

STAPLES Center Night

STAPLES Center

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

STAPLES Center 20th Anniversary

STAPLES Center is a world-class sports and entertainment venue, located at the spectacular L.A. LIVE complex in Downtown L.A. The arena opened on Oct. 17, 1999 with a concert by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. STAPLES Center is the home of four professional sports franchises: the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. Since its opening, STAPLES Center has been the site of Lakers and Sparks championships, the Kings Stanley Cup, and thousands of memorable concerts and special events. Read on for some of the greatest moments in STAPLES Center history.

Petersen Automotive Museum 25th Anniversary

Opened on June 11, 1994, the Petersen Automotive Museum spans 100,000 square feet of exhibits, 25 galleries, and over 300 vehicles in its collection. The Petersen has welcomed more than 1 million visitors since reopening in December 2015 after a $90-million renovation. Located beneath the museum, The Vault houses some of the finest sports cars, collector cars, Hollywood movie cars, race cars and motorcycles ever shown to the public. Based on the theme "California Dreaming," upcoming 25th anniversary exhibitions include Built in L.A., Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy; Imagining the Future, and an outlaw motorcycle exhibit.

Celebrating the official day the museum opened 25 years ago, the museum will host the 25 Years of Petersen Block Party, featuring a projection on the exterior facade (ribbons) that tells the history of the Petersen and teases the future stories it is set to tell over the next several years.

The Petersen is inviting the public to join the 25th anniversary celebration with the All-Access Event Pass, which includes everything from hard-hat exhibit walkthroughs to exclusive panels all year long.

Batmobiles at Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Photo: Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

"Batman" 30th Anniversary

Released in June 1989, Batman is one of the seminal movies in the modern superhero film genre. Directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader and Jack Nicholson as the Joker, Batman was a cultural phenomenon that spawned three sequels and won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction.

Bat-fans can imagine themselves wearing the Dark Knight's cowl when they book the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood, which includes a visit to the "Batcave" and its collection of Batmobiles and other famous vehicles used in the film franchise.

Bar at Musso & Frank Grill

The bar at Musso & Frank Grill

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Musso & Frank Grill 100th Anniversary

Hollywood's oldest restaurant, Musso & Frank Grill opened in 1919 and has welcomed generations of celebrities, from Golden Age Hollywood legends to modern stars. Served with a classic chilled sidecar, the Musso's Martini is as iconic as the Dodger Dog or the Original #19 at Langer's Deli. A star in its own right, the historic restaurant has appeared in everything from Mad Men to Quentin Tarantino's upcoming Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Sip a Martini and discover the legendary Musso & Frank Grill as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.

UCLA Royce Hall

Royce Hall | Photo: UCLA Newsroom

UCLA Centennial Celebration

Consistently ranked among the world's top-tier universities, UCLA is renowned for the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletics programs. UCLA students, faculty and alumni have been recognized with awards and honors from nearly every field and arena, including 14 Nobel Laureates, 13 MacArthur Fellows, 3 Pulitzer Prize winners, 116 NCAA Championships and 133 Olympic Gold Medals.

UCLA is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the granting of its charter in May 1919. The Centennial Celebration will be a 14-month series of events, programs and initiatives taking place at UCLA, across Los Angeles and throughout the world. Centrally created and managed events will be complemented by “Centennialized” programming run by individual campus units and alumni networks.

The celebration will kick off on May 18 with three events that will be interwoven to provide a cohesive experience: Alumni Day 2019, TEDxUCLA 2019 and the Centennial Opening Ceremony. Alumni Day will feature tours, discussions, performances and a conversation between UCLA Chancellors past and present.

Garden of Flowing Fragrance at The Huntington Library

Pavilion of the Three Friends and Jade Ribbon Bridge in the Garden of Flowing Fragrance | Photo: The Huntington Library

The Huntington Library Centennial Year

Founded in 1919, The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens is home to the largest private library to one of the world’s great independent research libraries, with more than 9 million items, spanning the 11th century to the present. The Huntington’s art collections focus on European art from the 15th to the early 20th century and American art from the late 17th to the late 20th century. Spanning 120 acres of the 207-acre grounds, the Huntington's botanical gardens contain more than a dozen principal garden areas, including the acclaimed Garden of Flowing Fragrance and the historic Japanese Garden.

The Huntington's Centennial Year opens in September 2019 with Nineteen Nineteen, a major exhibition that draws from the library, art, and botanical collections to examine that historic year across the globe and the founding of The Huntington in the context of international events. Throughout the celebration year, The Huntington will present special programs that look at the collections in new ways and explore their potential impact into the future. The "Huntington's Hundredth" rose will be available for sale at The Huntington beginning in January (as bare-root plants at the monthly Second Thursday Garden Talk and Sale on Jan. 10), and at the Spring Plant Sale from April 26 through 28.

Kidspace Children’s Museum 40th Anniversary

Founded in 1979 as a way to increase children’s access to the arts, humanities, and sciences, Kidspace Children’s Museum has become a premier Southern California cultural and educational destination. During its 40-year history, more than 5.5 million guests have benefited from the museum's enriching educational experiences. The Kidspace informal education environment offers self-directed play and learning, emphasizing 21st-century skills such as creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking.

To celebrate 40 years of learning through play, Kidspace has launched a $40K in 40 Days fundraising campaign to raise $40,000 in 40 days. Now through March 30, 2019, all donations made to the museum will help Kidspace provide daily access to play-based learning experiences, giving children the opportunities to try new things, discover the world around them, and build self-confidence. The campaign will also help make the museum accessible to all children, including the estimated 24% of annual guests who have been able to visit Kidspace through free or significantly reduced-cost programs.

The community is invited to join the 40th Celebration at the two-day Birthday Bash on July 13 and 14. Taking place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the weekend birthday party welcomes guests to put on their party clothes and join the festivities, including party games and party-hat making as well as a performance and birthday treat in the Stone Hollow Amphitheater at 1:00 p.m.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures | Rendering ©Renzo Piano Building Workshop / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Grand Opening

Adding to L.A.'s world-class collection of cultural attractions, the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is one of the most anticipated and important cultural events of 2019. The Academy Museum marks the debut of the first institution of its scope and scale devoted to the past, present, and future of cinema. Read on for a sneak peek of the museum's inaugural exhibitions, including the long-term exhibition Where Dreams Are Made: A Journey Inside the Movies and a retrospective of famed Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki.


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