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Artbound's New Season Launches May 10 With Documentaries Exploring Los Angeles' Cultural DNA

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Catch our new season of Artbound, as we explore the cultural past, present, and future of Southern California.

For our eighth season, our acclaimed series will feature six engaging hour-long documentary specials, which trace the evolution of the creative culture of the Southland, from its roots in the early 20th century to the wide-ranging contemporary arts ecosystem that thrives today. 

The season's debut program chronicles the life and legacy of Charles Fletcher Lummis, an eccentric and forward-thinking polymath who founded the Southwest Museum in 1907. He was an editor, preservationist, and nearly legendary figure, who was known for his 1884 "tramp across the country," wherein he walked from Cincinnati to California to start as Los Angeles Times' first city editor. Lummis' work laid the foundation for Los Angeles' cultural institutions. 

Other episodes include an in-depth look at Mexican craftspeople in Los Angeles; an exploration of how the arts heal and help veterans of recent wars cope with PTSD; an examination of the role of museums in the 21st century; a ride-along with "Hopscotch," a city-wide opera staged in and out of cars; and a finale episode in collaboration with architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, which considers the changing built environment of the City of Angels.

Also on Artbound this season, Los Angeles Times’ Carolina Miranda will be joining as the series’ guest host. Miranda produces the “Culture High & Low” blog where she covers art, architecture, design and music.

Artbound Season 8 premieres Tuesday, May 10 on KCET (Southern California) at 9 p.m. and nationwide at 6 p.m. PT/ET on Link TV (available on DirecTV channel 375 and DISH network 9410).

Take a look at our full upcoming episode line up below: 

Charles Lummis: Reimagining the American West
Debuts Tuesday, May 10 at 9 p.m.

In this new season, Artbound travels back to pre-industrial Los Angeles to explore one of its key and most controversial figures -- Charles Lummis. Writer and editor of the L.A. Times, avid collector and preservationist, Indian rights activist, and founder of L.A.’s first museum, The Southwest -- Lummis’s genius and idiosyncratic personality captured the ethos of an era and a region. 

The documentary will give viewers an in-depth look at his fascinating life through the eyes of key historians and experts including William Deverell (Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West), William Estrada (curator of California and American History and Chair of History Department for the Natural History Museum), Liza Posas (Head Librarian, Braun Research Library at the Autry Museum of the American West), and Lummis’ granddaughter, Suzanne Lummis (Southern California poet/writer, arts organizer and educator).

Charles Lummis

Artesanos / Artisans
Debuts Tuesday, May 17 at 9 p.m.

The highly skilled labor of artisans migrating from Mexico and Latin America are the backbone of high-end design and retail in Los Angeles, producing some of the most exquisite furniture, textiles, and design goods. But they represent a creative force that seems invisible to the city. Artbound uncovers their stories and their role in making Los Angeles and Southern California the creative capital of the world.

KCET Artbound Season 8 "Artesanos"

Fallujah: Art, Healing, and PTSD
Debuts Tuesday, May 24 at 9 p.m.

U.S. Marine Sergeant Christian Ellis was a machine gunner in Iraq whose platoon was ambushed, leaving him with a broken back and only one of a few survivors. He returned home to join millions of Americans who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. Ellis helped turn the demons of war into "Fallujah," the first opera on the Iraq war. This documentary explores how the experience of war is transformed into a work of art.

"Fallujah," Long Beach Opera
"Fallujah," a production by the Long Beach Opera. | Photo: Keith Ian Polakoff/Long Beach Opera.

MOCA: Beyond the Museum Walls
Debuts Tuesday, May 31 at 9 p.m.

Artbound explores the programming of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, investigating new programming and curatorial approaches that are redefining what it means to be a 21st century museum. The epsiode features three new programs by The Underground Museum, Wolvesmouth, and Public Fiction.

Wolvesmouth: Taxa at MOCA
"Wolvesmouth: Taxa" at MOCA.

Hopscotch: An Opera for the 21st Century
Debuts Tuesday, June 7 at 9 p.m.

Artbound explores visionary director Yuval Sharon's groundbreaking opera "Hopscotch," which unfolded in cars zigzagging throughout Los Angeles, telling a single story of a disappearance across time. Audiences experienced the work in both the intimacy of a car, where artists and audiences shared a confined space, or in a larger central hub, where all the journeys were live streamed to create a dizzying panorama of life in Los Angeles.

"Hopscotch," LA Opera
"Hopscotch," a production by The Industry. | Photo: Courtesy of The Industry.

Third L.A. with Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne
Debuts Tuesday, June 14 at 9 p.m.

Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne partners with Artbound for an episode that looks into the future of Los Angeles. "Third L.A. with Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne" examines the city's architecture, urban planning, transportation and changing demographics, giving us a glimpse of Los Angeles as a model of urban reinvention for the nation and the world.

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