Los Angeles
At the turn of the 20th century, cultural provocateur Charles Lummis walked all the way from Ohio to Los Angeles writing episodic dispatches to the L.A. Times. Los Angeles was transitioning from being a native Californio outpost to an occupied Anglo territory. The Land of Sunshine, as Lummis called it in his seminal publication, became home to east coast transplants looking for health, wealth and fame; they arrived en masse to the city of the future, largely ignoring the multi-ethnic population of the area. This intersection of race, class and geography created the cultural narrative of the city for years to come. Dreamers, hustlers, refugees, and poets, all flocked to Los Angeles in search of a cultural “ground zero” to dot the landscape. In the 1920s, Los Angeles’ population was no more than one hundred thousand; by the 1950s, it had surpassed two million.

Like early pobladores and East coast transplants, the post-war years created an accelerated boom in industry, culture and population, propelling Los Angeles and the region on the world stage. Just as Charles and Ray Eames were building case study houses, revolutionizing the design industry, and Venice had become home to beat poets and rebel artists, the influx of African-Americans from the south, and the return of Asian-Americans and Latinos from the war, created a pre civil-rights intellectual atmosphere that continued to narrate the cultural life of Los Angeles. As minority voices became empowered to tell their stories through public art works and and east coast galleries and curators interested in the experiments of Ferus artists, Watts burned and reminded Angelenos that the culture and health of the city had yet to be balanced. In disbelief, local and national leaders began to question the manufactured eden-like promises of Los Angeles.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, the economy tanked, the inner cities ballooned and the crack epidemic took over the streets. Residue of wars in the Pacific and dictatorships in Central-America created a new mass migration to Los Angeles, from Cambodia, Honduras and beyond, continuing the century long narrative of the city. And yet, it is this constant flux, push and pull of cultural binaries and identities, that has given Los Angeles its current status as the preeminent cultural and artistic capital of the world.

In Los Angeles, like no other place in the world, banda covers of punk classics, dancing customized cars and situationist performances coexist with each other without fear of abandonment. Today, Los Angeles has a memory of who it was, and this recollection has given the city the cultural maturity to tell its story as it really is.

Highlights
Songs About Place: Pasadena's Hyperlocal Music Series
The fourth iteration of the program "Songs About Place" features performances of songs about the San Gabriel Valley.
Teebs: Ethereal Beats and Visual Remixes
Mtendere Mandowa, better known as Teebs, is straddling the world of art and music.
Galleries Are Man's World and Micol Hebron is Keeping Score
Almost 70% of artists represented by commercial galleries in New York and L.A. are men. Micol Hebron illustrates this imbalanced male-to-female ratio in a collaborative art project.
Satellite Space's Video Art Panopticon
Satellite Space offers a platform for artists to engage with a more theatrical environment that is the exact opposite of the typical white cube gallery space.
Around the Counties: Looking into Los Angeles County Arts with Robby Herbst
Around the Counties: Looking into Los Angeles County Arts with Robby Herbst
Robby Herbst contributes to Around the Counties from Washington D.C. this week. The columnist recommends three events.
AXIS: Celebrating the Diversity of Movement
AXIS: Celebrating the Diversity of Movement
Starting on Oct. 26, the Music Center introduces the AXIS Dance Company, a so-called physically integrated dance company, which features dancers with disabilities and non-disabled dancers.
Soul of a Composer: Miguel Atwood-Ferguson's Musical Thesis
Soul of a Composer: Miguel Atwood-Ferguson's Musical Thesis
Despite appearing on over 300 recordings, musician Miguel Atwood-Ferguson might still be one of L.A.'s best-kept secrets.
Forget Chinatown, Get the Real Story of California's Most Famous Water War
Forget Chinatown, Get the Real Story of California's Most Famous Water War
There It Is—Take It! is an audio tour through the Owens Valley examining the controversial social, political, and environmental history of the Los Angeles Aqueduct system.
La Tierra de la Culebra Park: Can Artists Heal Nature?
La Tierra de la Culebra Park: Can Artists Heal Nature?
In this SOCiAL: Art + People installment, Sue Bell Yank shares the dialogue created between 10 individuals deeply engaged in the relationship of art, nature and social justice.
Otis Public Practice at 18th Street: What Can We Learn from dOCUMENTA (13)?
Otis Public Practice at 18th Street: What Can We Learn from dOCUMENTA (13)?
The Otis Public Practice program holds a discussion on the ground-breaking exhibition dOCUMENTA(13), the 100 day large-scale exhibition of contemporary art in Kassel, Germany that takes place every 5 years.
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