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Old November 10th, 2010, 10:09 AM   #441
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VZN! You Dennis Haysbert son of a bitch you!
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Old November 10th, 2010, 04:48 PM   #442
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LOL. Prop 19, school and work had me busy for the past couple of months but I'm back to keep up with all things L.A. again.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #443
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Have I been out of the loop, or are there no renderings for the Broad Musuem yet?
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Old November 12th, 2010, 12:59 AM   #444
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I haven't seen any renderings yet.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 04:54 AM   #445
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Originally Posted by Los Angeles Times

$100 million-plus for Huntington will be largest cash gift in institution's history
Culture Monster, Los Angeles Times
November 16, 2010 | 10:00 am

The suspense is over. Now that the late Frances Brody’s other heirs have received their shares of her fortune, the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens has a much clearer idea of its own windfall from the L.A. art patron’s estate: a gift expected to easily exceed $100 million.

This represents by far the largest cash gift in the history of the Huntington, which was previously $21 million from Charles and Nancy Munger in 2002. It could even surpass the original endowment created when railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington died in 1927, which is roughly $107 million if adjusted for inflation.

“A number of museums have received significant gifts when you value the art and cash donations together,” says Steven S. Koblik, president of the Huntington. “But as a pure cash gift, this has very few equivalents -- except for the founding gifts that create institutions.”

Tim Seiler, one of the directors at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, agrees. "It's an extraordinary gift, especially for the cultural sector. A $100 million gift more typically goes to a school or university, and it's often a naming gift."

The few comparables tend to come from New York. In 2005, David Rockefeller made a $100-million pledge to the Museum of Modern Art, which ranks as its largest-ever cash gift. In 2008, Leonard Lauder's art foundation gave $131 million to the Whitney Museum of American Art, also its largest.

Brody died in November 2009 at age 93, leaving behind a wealth of artwork — including Giacometti bronzes and Matisse paintings — that she had acquired with her husband, Sidney, a real-estate developer who had died more than two decades earlier. The value of this art directly affected the size of her gift to the Huntington, where she was a board member for 20 years.

This October, the institution received $15 million in cash intended by Brody to improve the botanical gardens, one of her most passionate concerns as a board member. That amount, Koblik says, was specified in her trust instrument and was not in doubt.

The mystery, rather, was how much money the Huntington would receive for also being named the estate’s sole “residual beneficiary” — the heir who is paid after all others should the estate have extra money left over. That’s when the art figured in. When the art world witnessed Christie's sell several of Brody’s masterpieces in May, led by Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” for $106.5 million (which set a record as the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction), Koblik was watching with particular interest.

“It was an amazing moment,” he says. “When the Christie’s sale of the artwork proved so successful, we knew that would change the nature of our gift.” In effect, the auction created a surplus of $80 million after the other estate payouts, an amount that hit the Huntington’s bank account last week.

Brody estate trustee Robert Shuwarger says the Huntington’s final gift will consist of proceeds from selling the remaining property, including Brody’s A. Quincy Jones house in Holmby Hills. The listing price of the house, which has been on the market since May, has dropped from $24.95 million to $21 million.

“There’s also some miscellaneous property — some silver, porcelain, antiquities, things of that nature — that will be going up for sale at Christie’s,” Shuwarger says. He anticipates that most of those sales will be completed within six months.

Per Brody’s wishes, the full Huntington gift will benefit the botanical gardens, which cover 120 acres of the vast property in San Marino. According to James Folsom, director of the gardens, high-priority projects include “improving and modernizing” a water irrigation system that dates to the early 20th century and creating a “potager” or kitchen garden to complement the existing herb garden. Folsom says that these were pet projects of Brody, who loved her garden at home and, though known for her high style, was not too glamorous to get into a truck with him to drive around and shop for plants at nurseries.

Koblik adds that using the Brody money for botanical purposes frees up existing funds to address other needs, like “making staff salaries more competitive.” This does not, however, mean “quick raises,” he adds, noting the importance of resisting the natural urge “to get overexcited and spend money quickly to do everything we haven’t been able to do.”

Rather, he plans to treat the windfall “like an endowment,” to be invested in a diversified portfolio. (The Huntington’s actual endowment is about $240 million.) The plan is to spend only 5% of the value of the Brody funds over a three-year running average.

And, yes, Koblik says, this legacy-building gift more than compensates for not receiving Brody’s now-famous Picasso. “Right from the beginning of our relationship, Francie said to me, 'You’re not getting the art.' It took the discussion off the table,” he says.

“It was clear to all of us who spent time with Francie that she wanted to make a fiscal difference at the Huntington — she understood the power of this kind of gift.”

-- Jori Finkel
Read More: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/cult...nstitutio.html
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Old November 20th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #446
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Feeding Frenzy

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The great Los Angeles nose-to-tail, farm-to-table, pop-up-supper-club, Twitter-feeding-food-truck, high-low gourmet revolution.

Unlike Los Angeles neighborhoods whose names resonate worldwide as metaphors for glamour or the good life, the one in which the Peruvian restaurant Mo-Chica is located has no particular mythology and, really, no distinct identity. People refer to it alternately as ‘‘south of downtown’’ or ‘‘near U.S.C.,’’ meaning the University of Southern California. And the approach to Mo-Chica doesn’t build confidence. You drive into a fenced lot, walk up to a squat orange building that looks as if it might house dental or car insurance offices and enter a space as vast as a hangar and as visually chaotic as a flea market.

Mo-Chica is against the far right wall. It’s a counter, more or less, with a menu board above it and plastic-covered tables scattered on the concrete floor in front. After you place your order, you’re given a number on a stick, which you plant like a flag on one of those tables. Looking up, you see scores of athletic jerseys hanging above a patch of concrete where they’re sold. In the opposite direction is an alcove with a bevy of untidily stacked computer equipment and a row of monitors: a technology repair shop, which also offers Internet access at hourly rates.

Bon appétit!

Then the food comes. And it’s dazzling, not just in its deftly balanced flavors but in its eye-tickling design. Mo-Chica’s rendition of causa, a Peruvian potato salad, has the vertical aspirations and multitiered majesty of elegant pastry: it’s a tall, rounded column banded in different colors. There’s the yellow of mashed potatoes, the pale green of avocado, the snowy white of crab.

A dish of ceviche is sectioned horizontally, dark corn nuts to the left, pale extra-large kernels of boiled corn to the right and, between them, cubes of sea bass, flecked with green and brightly glistening, thanks to the cilantro, lime juice and other ingredients that have turned the mildly flavored fish into a tart, herbaceous masterpiece. The sea bass itself has the meatiness and tenderness of premium-grade sushi, which makes sense. The chef Ricardo Zarate, a Peru native who opened Mo-Chica in June of last year, spent much of his career working in Japanese restaurants.

Uncommonly ambitious cooking in unconventionally blunt, humble, even improvised contexts: if a single theme captures the arc and essence of dining out in America right now, that’s it. And if you had to pick a single place to study and savor it, you could do no better than L.A., a city in unrivaled tune with the restaurant times. This is where food trucks, like the popular Flying Pig, with elaborately plated ethnic specialties — and with Twitter feeds that update their changing locations — roared to gastronomic acclaim before many other cities dispatched or embraced their own. Where Americans’ increasingly fetishistic obsession with the simple (or not so simple) hamburger takes especially creative, thoughtful form. And where you can enjoy some of the best ceviche of your life within a few dozen feet of someone getting his hard drive recovered.


Dining in L.A. has long had a more casual ethos than in other big cities, so it’s unsurprising that the city’s restaurant scene would become so emblematic in an era defined by casualness. L.A. got a head start. But the thoroughness with which it showcases so many compelling restaurant trends goes beyond its fluency in unfussy dining.


You could make the case that the farm-to-table craze, as represented in restaurants middlebrow and fancy, is the child, or maybe grandchild, of California cuisine, and you could just as easily argue that the craze yields its greatest dividends in California, whose growing season is 12 months long. L.A. isn’t the stereotyped salad capital of the country for nothing.

‘‘I don’t have to supplement with ingredients from other places,’’ says the chef Suzanne Goin, who opened her third Los Angeles restaurant, Tavern, with Caroline Styne, in Brentwood last year. (The two also own and operate Lucques, which has been around for 12 years, and A.O.C., which is almost eight years old.) ‘‘It’s a pretty profound difference. I worked in Boston and did the farmers’ market in Boston in the winter. It would be three things.’’ When I ate at Tavern a few months ago, I was struck by the cornucopia and quality of produce across the menu. The appetizers included a tomato tart with some of the sweetest, meatiest, least bitter eggplant I’ve ever tasted, and in a composition of burrata, prosciutto and roasted peaches, the peaches actually managed to steal the show. Possibly the best of the main courses that three friends and I tried was a summer squash gratin.

Sure, New York also has a bit of everything, or rather a lot of everything. But its crowdedness and competitiveness make it the Everest to L.A.’s Kilimanjaro: you practically need a Sherpa to tackle New York effectively, and you just might lose a digit or limb. L.A. is more reasonably scaled, with the newest, hottest restaurants less likely to book up a solid month in advance. When a friend and I dropped in — at the height of lunch hour, no less — to one of the four branches of Umami Burger, the cult favorite of the city’s ground-beef set, we were seated immediately, in
comfy chairs at a big table that could have accommodated four. In contrast, almost any mealtime visit to any location of New York’s Shake Shack involves a significant stretch of time — 20 minutes isn’t exceptional — on a serpentine line. That’s for counter service. At Umami, someone actually waits on you.

The Umami story demonstrates the enterprise and speed with which L.A.’s restaurateurs are tackling trends. When Adam Fleischman, its principal owner, opened the first Umami in Mid-Wilshire in January 2009, he was entering an arena brimming with competitors, each with fanatical adherents. There was Father’s Office, with its unyielding commandment that arugula and caramelized onions should dress every patty. There was 8 oz. Burger Bar, which permitted free will. And there was of course In-N-Out, less restaurant than fast-food franchise but perhaps the earliest architect of the bridge between McDonald’s and self-regarding gourmands.

Fleischman had a hook that sagely took into account the self-consciously erudite posturing of so many food enthusiasts today. ‘‘I wanted to do something with umami,’’ he says, referring to the so-called fifth taste (after sweet, salty, sour and bitter), which is vaguely described as ‘‘savoriness’’ and until recent years wasn’t universally accepted as an actual, definable trait. So each of the burgers at Umami is constructed with an emphasis on ingredients thought to be catalysts for umami. The caramelized onions on the signature burger are seasoned with star anise ‘‘because it’s an umami booster,’’ Fleischman says. The burger is also dressed with sautéed shiitake mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and oven-dried tomatoes, all thought to be umami bombs.

The formula worked quickly, and so did Fleischman: the fifth Umami Burger, in Studio City, is scheduled to open less than two years after the first. He envisions even more Umami branches but right now is diverting a fair share of his attention to the creation of a Neapolitan-style pizzeria, 800 Degrees, in Westwood. He projects a February opening, and hopes it will be the start of another chain. Serious pizza: that’s one of very few fads that L.A. still hasn’t done full justice to, though the city is home to one of the country’s most acclaimed artisanal pizzerias, Pizzeria Mozza, guided by Nancy Silverton, a veritable dough sorceress.

Whether it’s Umami’s burgers, Mozza’s individual-size pies or the fried chicken at KyoChon, a Korean chain whose expansion through L.A. preceded all the fried-chicken hullabaloo in many other cities, L.A. excels in particular at populist food and ethnic specialties that don’t cost a fortune. Although the city is often derided for a superficial fixation on physical beauty, its young restaurateurs and chefs are quick to trade away frippery and cosmetics and focus on the food.

Take the restaurant Animal, in Fairfax, which has concrete floors and hardwood benches, bringing to mind an indoor picnic. That minimalism meant that its proprietors, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, didn’t have to raise a ton of capital to open it in June 2008, and it helps them keep the prices for most dishes well under $20. Animal’s calling card isn’t high design or pampering but rather its unabashed exaltation of flesh, fat and offal — the restaurant revels in what is frequently termed nose-to-tail eating, another epicurean passion of the last few years. A recent menu trotted out pig tails, pig ear, head cheese and bone marrow. Chicken or duck liver appeared in three dishes, while bacon, pork belly or sausage either starred or played a cameo in triple that number, including one dessert.

The idea that the trappings of a dining room are negotiable is best expressed by the phenomenon of the pop-up restaurant, which installs itself temporarily in a space of someone else’s making and even moves from one location to another. L.A. over recent years has been home to one of the most raptly followed ones, LudoBites, which has had limited runs in a sequence of borrowed settings.

And since August, it has also been home to Test Kitchen, which essentially reverses the LudoBites dynamic. Rather than moving, it stays put, but its kitchen and dining room, which once belonged to a less adventurous enterprise called the Spark Woodfire Grill, play temporary host to limited-run engagements by chefs who are trying out recipes and dishes for restaurants that aren’t yet open, filling time between jobs or experimenting with fare not conventional enough for the menus at the restaurants where they work full-time. Like many pop-up restaurants, Test Kitchen maintains an air of secrecy, never announcing coming appearances too far in advance and often revealing the details of them gradually, in teasing bits and pieces. A mid-September dinner by Silverton and the chef Amy Pressman — who served meatball versions of various burgers that Pressman is planning (with input from Silverton) for a restaurant she will open next year — wasn’t fully acknowledged until hours before it began.

Like Mo-Chica, Test Kitchen isn’t the easiest place to find. The stretch of West Pico Boulevard that it’s on is a ‘‘no man’s land’’ between Beverly Hills and Beverlywood, says Bill Chait, one of its owners. ‘‘Beverly Hills Adjacent,’’ he adds, with a little laugh. And there’s no discernible sign for the restaurant, which is down a half flight of stairs from the sidewalk.

The dinner that two companions and I had there in early September was a preview of the kind of nouveau Vietnamese cooking that the chef Jordan Kahn would be doing at a restaurant to be called Red Medicine, whose opening had been delayed but was expected to happen in a matter of weeks. We sat down to seven straight courses of beef, including tongue that had been twisted, along with daikon radish and cassava, into the shape of a log; strip steak paired with melon and chlorophyll; and brisket dressed with Vietnamese caramel and green peanuts. It was an odd, thrilling night, in no small part because the artful cooking was being presented in a generically masculine space tailored to the burgers and chops once consumed there. This sort of incongruity, a component of so many of my best dining experiences cross-country over the last decade, was an L.A. leitmotif.

‘‘This city’s breaking loose,’’ Chait says. ‘‘I don’t want to be disrespectful of my fellow restaurateurs, but the days of the $5 million hotel restaurant have been completely supplanted by the Animal model — by the 2,000 square-foot restaurant that costs $500,000 or less to open.’’ He and another Test Kitchen owner, Brian Saltsburg, cite two examples: the Lazy Ox Canteen, a gastropub that opened downtown in late 2009, and the Tasting Kitchen, a trattoria in Venice that also came along last year.

The Tasting Kitchen moved into a space that had a dissonant Scandinavian design, and hasn’t done any sort of extensive remodeling. The L.A. restaurant critic Jonathan Gold wrote last December that it ‘‘feels more like a project art collective than a proper restaurant’’ and noted that the printed menus ‘‘look like the kinds of typed-on-carbon-paper menus you used to find in Roman trattorias.’’ What’s equally interesting is its location. Until recently, neither Venice nor Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which is the Tasting Kitchen’s address, was a big dining draw. Now Abbot Kinney has not only the Tasting Kitchen but also Gjelina, a madly popular Mediterranean restaurant. It also has a sobriquet used by people in the know. They call it ‘‘the A.K.’’

Indeed, the vibrancy of L.A.’s restaurant scene can be measured by its geographic spread. You can now eat well in Culver City and, as the Lazy Ox indicates, downtown, where I recently had an especially sumptuous dinner at WP24 by Wolfgang Puck. The setting wasn’t exactly humble: I was on the 24th floor of the new Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles hotel, in a sleek, darkly shimmering dining room with panoramic views. And the two-pound lobster with black bean dust, the lobster-packed spring rolls and the honey-glazed black cod came with the imprimatur of its celebrity chef, Puck, who opened the restaurant earlier this year. Its haute Chinese dishes wowed me much more than those at, say, Hakkasan in Miami Beach, a celebrated outpost of the world-renowned London restaurant.

The meal also reminded me that the serendipitous spirit of L.A. dining hasn’t entirely muscled out more traditionally opulent experiences. The Bazaar by José Andrés, a gaudy wonderland in the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, opened in late 2008 and gave the city a theater-cum-amusement park for molecular gastronomy with both a grandeur and popular appeal that most other avant-garde restaurants in America don’t have. Although the Bazaar hedges its bets by serving traditional Spanish cuisine as well, it remains an unusually bold attempt to make such curiosities as liquid olives and foie gras wrapped in cotton candy the chosen fare of diners who haven’t a clue who Ferran Adrià, the Spanish godfather of this kind of cooking, is.

But such extravagance is more the exception than the rule. L.A.’s culinary energies seem more concentrated on finding the right balance between traditional coddling and the relaxed, free-wheeling experience that more and more diners seek — and on rewriting the rules altogether. Along those lines my thoughts kept drifting back to Tavern. It’s a fundamentally upscale restaurant, and beautiful to boot, with a high, greenhouse-style ceiling over its main dining room and plush couches and love seats where banquettes might typically be. But its prosaic, epigrammatic name promises something approachable, and the restaurant all in all represents an articulate commentary on what the city, and the country, currently crave.

Before you get to the dining room, there’s a large, casual bar area that’s almost a restaurant of its own, with TV sets tuned to sports and a separate menu of French fries, onion rings, shrimp cocktail and the like. And in the more proper dining room, the tables, unclothed, are made of brushed aluminum that shows nicks and glass rings. While they glitter, they do so in a used, bruised fashion.

I liked that. It was as if all the diners before us had left behind etchings, like cave drawings, chronicling the good times they’d had. Besides which, I barely noticed these scars once the sweet corn soup with a smoky chipotle cream arrived. It was what mattered, and it was out of this world.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 07:04 AM   #447
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Diller Scofido + Renfro's design for the Broad Collection:



http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,6905323.story
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Old January 6th, 2011, 07:29 AM   #448
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That could be a gem. I like it. It looks like a sponge.
New York archs are good with facades.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 09:00 AM   #449
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i just wish the rest of bunker hill was more walkable. widening the sidewalks is nice, but the rest of that neighborhood needs to come together through the opening of more groundfloor retail, restaurants, and hangouts
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Old January 6th, 2011, 11:53 PM   #450
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From SSP:

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Originally Posted by DistrictDirt View Post
Some more renderings, courtesy of BlogDowntown


Diller Scofidio + Renfro, via BlogDowntown


Diller Scofidio + Renfro, via BlogDowntown


Diller Scofidio + Renfro, via BlogDowntown


Diller Scofidio + Renfro, via BlogDowntown


Diller Scofidio + Renfro, via BlogDowntown


Diller Scofidio + Renfro, via BlogDowntown
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Old January 7th, 2011, 03:34 AM   #451
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Originally Posted by http://www.npr.org/



Billionaire Unveils Design Of Downtown LA Museum
by The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES January 6, 2011, 07:55 pm ET

Billionaire Eli Broad, center, arrives to speak at the unveiling of the Broad Art Foundation contemporary art museum designs in Los Angeles, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. The Billionaire's planned downtown Los Angeles contemporary art museum is a three-story, $130 million honeycomb structure.

Billionaire Eli Broad unveiled plans Thursday for the porous-concrete-shelled structure that will be the future downtown home of his 2,000-piece art collection and a hoped-for catalyst for the continuation of the city center's halting renaissance.

The three-story Broad Art Foundation, designed by New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro, consists of a spongelike mantle that lets light into the 40,000-square feet of gallery space, which itself sits atop a vast storage vault.

Broad said the downtown location on Grand Avenue amid a row of buildings by top-shelf architects — which the developer-turned-philanthropist played a leading role in having built — was a fitting home for the paintings, sculptures and prints he and his wife Edythe have spent four decades collecting.

"We're convinced Grand Avenue is where it's at," Broad said at the unveiling held at the nearby Walt Disney Concert Hall, a Frank Gehry-designed structure that Broad was instrumental in helping fund.

The $130-million art museum's construction is scheduled to begin in late summer, with the galleries welcoming their first visitors in early 2013.

The price includes a parking lot that the city's Community Redevelopment Agency will buy from the foundation for up to $30 million and operate after its completion.

Broad said the museum's initial exhibit will include a broad selection of works from his collection, including pieces by Jeff Koons, John Baldassari and Cindy Sherman. For the following three years, it will rotate its exhibitions every four months to focus on artist that are well represented in the collection, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst and Roy Lichtenstein.

Art not on view will be housed in the storage area at the museum's core, which visitors will be able to see through windows placed along a stairwell leading down from the top-floor gallery area.

"They understood the need to design a museum that would engage the public, to be an iconic piece of architecture on Grand Avenue," Broad said of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, who also designed the renovation and expansion of Lincoln Center in New York City and the new Institute of Contemporary Art on the Boston harbor.

The Broads' museum is being built on a 2.5-acre parcel of county-owned land originally set aside as part of a stalled $3 billion shopping, hotel and condo complex known as the Grand Avenue project.

Under the deal for the land, Broad's foundation agreed to pay $7.7 million over the course of a 99-year-lease. The 77-year-old Broad, whose net worth was pegged last year by Forbes magazine at $5.8 billion, also pledged to fund the museum with a $200 million endowment.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised the Broads for building and financing the museum, which he predicted would help rekindle the downtown redevelopment projects that have been dampened by the economic downturn.

"This is going to become an anchor tenant for an area that is revitalizing before our very eyes," Villaraigosa said.
Read More: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=132722254
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Old January 15th, 2011, 07:22 AM   #452
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Old January 16th, 2011, 05:19 AM   #453
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westsidelife View Post
Diller Scofido + Renfro's design for the Broad Collection:



http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,6905323.story
Hmm, I don't know. I mean FOR NOW this seems to be ok. But It reminds me of the architecture of the 60's which now we want to demolish and re-do.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 04:22 AM   #454
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Eli Broad, today's Norton Simon
Los Angeles' two preeminent art collectors developed a generation apart but in surprisingly similar ways.
By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
January 16, 2011

Usually, Eli Broad's trajectory as an art collector is traced to mentoring by the late Taft Schreiber. Broad himself has talked admiringly of what he learned about art from the MCA Inc. executive (and Ronald Reagan's former Hollywood agent), whose small but extraordinary trove of works by Jackson Pollock, Piet Mondrian, Alberto Giacometti and 10 others was a magnanimous 1989 gift to the Museum of Contemporary Art from the estate of Schreiber's widow, Rita.

Still, another, even more celebrated name in the annals of Los Angeles art collecting ought not to be discounted, even if the influence was perhaps more indirect.

The recent unveiling of the Broad Art Foundation's new building design happens to coincide with the publication of an engrossing new book from Yale University Press. "Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best" ($65) at times reads like a primer for understanding Broad's vigorous acquisitions, contentious relationships with area museums, philosophy of creating an art-lending library and more.

The similarities between Broad and Simon — both self-made men of vast wealth, savvy business acumen, genuine art passion and an often-remarked penchant for aggressive and controlling dealings — are as vivid as the differences.

On Oct. 25, 1972, Broad bought his first important art, paying $95,000 at a Sotheby's auction for an 1888 Van Gogh drawing. Rhythmic lines and staccato flecks of brown ink show two peasant houses in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a seaside village in the Rhône Delta of Provence, the region where he spent his final years.

Today, the personal art collection assembled by Broad and his wife, Edythe — who first sparked her husband's art interest — looks very different from that Post-Impressionist origin. Ditto their foundation's vast collection. The roughly 2,000 works form a diverse compendium of contemporary art dating from 1960 and after, with a clear — and artistically strong — Pop art tilt.

Three weeks before the Sotheby's hammer fell, sending the drawing off to the Broads' L.A. living room while launching them on their nearly four-decade collecting adventure, Norton Simon was acting on an ambitious plan. Simon, quoted in a Museum of Fine Arts Houston press release for a large exhibition drawn from his personal and foundation collections, explained his concept of a museum without walls. Rather than construct a building to display his art, he expressed his intention to start an art-lending library.

"We hope," he said, "to fill a real gap in the cultural life of this country."

Masterpieces from his collection would be available for long-term museum loans, maximizing their educational potential. As the Houston show was being announced, another Simon show was at the Princeton University Art Museum, complete with a catalog whose cover featured Van Gogh's portrait of his mother.

Simon certainly had the wherewithal to establish an art-lending library. He bought his first paintings in late 1954 — two undistinguished works picked up at an art gallery in the old Ambassador Hotel, not far from his Hancock Park home. But soon he was off and running.

By 1962-63 he spent the equivalent in today's currency of more than $22 million on 67 works. The following year he stunned the art world by buying the entire inventory of Duveen Bros., the legendary purveyor of Old Masters to America's first generation of robber-baron art collectors. By the time he was done in 1989, he had made nearly 2,000 acquisitions.

Even many of the works he considered and didn't buy, plus ones he bought and later sold, would together rank as an outstanding collection. Many now reside in important museums, including the Getty and the Hammer in L.A., the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the national galleries in Washington, D.C., and Canberra, Australia.

Simon's holdings blossomed into the greatest art collection assembled from scratch in the post- World War II era. His closest rival for the title was Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Swiss steel magnate whose collection went to Spain, adjacent to the Prado. (It includes some former Simon works.) And Thyssen, who inherited his father's art collection, had a head start.

At 494 pages, "Collector Without Walls" is a thorough, unfailingly fascinating history of Simon's collecting activity, written with great insight by his longtime associate, Sara Campbell, now senior curator at Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum. Together with 1998's biography "Odd Man In: Norton Simon and the Pursuit of Culture" by former Times art writer Suzanne Muchnic, we now have an exceptional resource for understanding events central to Los Angeles' emergence as a global cultural powerhouse.

Coincidentally, we also gain insight into Broad, a generation younger than Simon, who began to collect art when the nation's most famous and prodigious art collector lived just across town. One obvious connection is the lending library concept.

Andre Malraux, France's first minister of cultural affairs, had surmised that the world of art reproductions forms a "museum without walls." For centuries, engravings of masterpiece paintings and plaster casts of famous sculptures expanded the restricted reach of the originals. Malraux proposed in1947's "The Imaginary Museum" that the proliferation of photographic reproductions now accelerated the process.

Simon, who knew the power of advertising techniques from the Hunt Foods conglomerate that made him rich, understood. He surmised that the authenticity of direct art encounters could be restored by making the virtual "museum without walls" into an actual one. A consortium of existing museums could borrow from his great collection.

At the end of 1973 Simon had 100 works in his personal collection, plus about 500 in two foundations. By 1975, sizable loans were made to museums in Houston, Princeton, San Francisco, New Orleans, Pasadena and a dozen other cities, plus the Los Angeles County Museum of Art — where Simon had been a trustee, but from which he had noisily resigned in the belief that it was poorly managed.

Campbell oversaw the lending library concept. In addition to acknowledging its generosity, she is candid in pointing out the program's more pragmatic aspects.

Sizable costs for care and art insurance were not Simon's alone. His foundations, as charitable assets held for public benefit, had legal requirements to make their art available for public display. California tax benefits accrued to art purchases "parked" for three months at out-of-state museums, prior to arriving in L.A.

"We loan works to museums and make them available to scholars, along with an archive on the collection." That was Broad, not Simon, speaking in 1988 about the opening of his then-new Santa Monica art-storage and lending facility.

The same philanthropic and pragmatic mix applies to his lending library concept as it did to Simon's. So do Simon's flirtations with giving the collection away (at least seven institutions); distrust of traditional museum management; engineering of a bailout of an artistically adventuresome but financially faltering institution (the old Pasadena Museum for Simon, MOCA for Broad); later deciding to open his own museum, and more.

In fact, a 1970s shift in Simon's collecting activity also anticipates Broad's. Simon started with 19th and early 20th century French art. Eventually, he added European Old Masters, partially because they were far less expensive.

But after his 1972 marriage to actress Jennifer Jones, the collection's character changed: Simon became an outstanding collector of Indian, Southeast Asian and Himalayan art. In the next two years, he paid $6.6 million for 138 objects, many superlative — less than a third of what he paid during the same period for 123 fine examples of European art.

Broad, unlikely to establish a major collection of early Modern art, switched to contemporary. By the 1980s he was one of the field's most active players. The Van Gogh drawing, sold to help pay for the purchase of a rare, 1954 red abstraction by Robert Rauschenberg, is now in the collection of New York's Morgan Library.

Simon had scant interest in contemporary art. Sculptures by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth were about as close as he got. In 1968 he did pay $65,000 for "Cubi XXVIII" by the late American sculptor David Smith.

He sold the masterpiece in 1982 for $1.1 million — a not-uncommon practice in which Simon, acting like a dealer, took a big profit to subsidize other endeavors. Twenty-three years later, Smith's sculpture went under the hammer at Sotheby's. Its staggering sale price of $23.8 million set a new benchmark as the most expensive contemporary work then sold at auction. The buyer was Eli Broad.
Read More: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,3414807.story


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Originally Posted by Los Angeles Times

Norton Simon's unexpected art-collecting influence
--Christopher Knight
Los Angeles Times
January 15, 2011 | 6:00 am

Hospital at Saint-Rémy (1889) Hammer Between 1955 and 1989, L.A.'s Norton Simon went from being a nonentity among private art collectors to blossoming into the world's most prodigious collector of the postwar era. He started with 19th century French paintings but quickly expanded into early Modern art, then Old Masters and finally Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian art. The works he amassed make his namesake Pasadena museum an unparalleled treasure.

Even works Simon carefully considered but declined to acquire, lost in a divorce settlement or bought and then later sold to buy other works are among the great objects now housed in museums around the world. The Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings alone include Edouard Manet's poignant picture of a war veteran on a Paris street, "The Rue Mosnier with Flags" at the J. Paul Getty Museum; Paul Cezanne's chiseled "Boy in a Red Waistcoat" at Washington's National Gallery of Art; Paul Gauguin's patchwork pastoral landscape "The Swineherd" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Edgar Degas' eloquent pastel, "Dancer in Green," in Madrid's Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection; and Vincent Van Gogh's roiling "Hospital at Saint-Remy," shown here, in the UCLA Hammer Museum.

The year 1972, following the tragedy of his son's suicide and the joy of his marriage to Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Jones, was especially active. Simon made his third largest number of acquisitions (more than 150) and his biggest total expenditure (nearly $18 million, which approaches $90 million in today's currency) during those 12 months.

1972 was also the year that another novice L.A. collector first jumped into the art arena -- one who made headlines in 2005 by breaking a record buying a sculpture owned for many years by, yes, Norton Simon. On Sunday I'll have an Arts & Books story on how, when he first set out to become a major art collector, Eli Broad seems to have had Simon's extraordinary achievement in mind.
Read More: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/cult...influence.html
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Old January 31st, 2011, 02:58 PM   #455
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Los Angeles is primed: Art fair, please step up

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When Art Los Angeles Contemporary opens at Santa Monica's Barker Hangar on Thursday night, hundreds of visitors are expected to make the rounds at more than 65 gallery booths. Also planning to attend are some executives from Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., which is organizing a new art fair to debut here Sept. 30.

Depending on whom you ask, the MMPI group will either be quietly observing the competition or actively working to win over disgruntled galleries for its new venture, which it hopes will be a game-changer in the city.

"There are plenty of art fairs out there — you could even argue there are too many," says Adam Gross, the director of MMPI's upcoming L.A. fair. "But it is pretty universally recognized that if you were to do another art fair in the world that went beyond regional to become a true destination, L.A. would be the city."

As arts patron Eli Broad puts it, "Los Angeles in my view is becoming the contemporary art capital of the world. As the number of galleries and collectors increases here, it becomes more attractive to have a major art fair here."


"I think it's going to happen," adds Broad. "The only question is who is going to do it, and when."

Call it the battle of the L.A. art fairs. London has Frieze. New York has the Armory Show. Miami has the whale of them all, Art Basel Miami Beach. But L.A. has not by many accounts had a world-class contemporary art fair since the late 1980s, when the London firm Andry Montgomery held an event at the convention center downtown that tanked with the economy of the early '90s. (News that one of the firm's subsidiaries organized fairs for weapon manufacturers didn't help.)

Today several other organizers are trying to fill the gap and create a contemporary art fair that attracts leading galleries and drives cultural tourism.


There's MMPI, a Chicago firm that hired Gross away from the Museum of Contemporary Art's development team to serve as director of its new venture, Art Platform — Los Angeles. MMPI already organizes seven art fairs, including the Armory Show and Art Chicago, and 77 other trade shows. Gross says his fair will take place in the L.A. Mart, an MMPI property downtown, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, to coincide this year with the launch of the museum-wide extravaganza "Pacific Standard Time."

There's Kim Martindale, organizer of the Los Angeles Art Show. Founded in 1995 by the Fine Art Dealers Assn. with historic strengths such as California Impressionism, it has increasingly moved into the contemporary realm, but without landing the most prestigious art galleries in that sector. Martindale now calls the fair "encyclopedic." It's also the largest art fair in town, drawing 114 gallery exhibitors and an opening-night crowd of 5,000 to the Los Angeles Convention Center last week.

There's Stephen Cohen, the photography dealer who has organized Photo L.A. for 20 years and launched Art L.A. in 2005 to focus on contemporary art, involving Chinatown and Culver City galleries. That show ran for five years, at which point Cohen's director, Tim Fleming, started his own fair, now known as Art Los Angeles Contemporary. Cohen alleges that Fleming cost him "hundreds of thousands of dollars by giving away free or discounted booths" during his employ and afterward used his fair's name and "stole proprietary information like a VIP list." Cohen says "a lawsuit is imminent."

Fleming declined to comment on anything related to his former employer. As for his own fair, it also draws heavily on the local cutting-edge galleries, with about half of this year's exhibitors coming from California. Last year it took place at the Pacific Design Center, which he admits was "not the best venue for creating a world-class contemporary art fair." Like the other existing fairs, Fleming's fair draws mainly local visitors.

Then there are the perennial rumors that the Art Basel group is considering extending its franchise to Los Angeles. Marc Spiegler, a director of that fair, declined to comment, while Broad confirmed that his discussions about this prospect with the fair's previous director, Sam Keller, didn't pan out for various reasons, including scheduling.

Still, the stakes are high. Over the last decade, fairs such as Art Basel Miami Beach have become big business for galleries and a major source of cultural tourism revenue for the cities.

According to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, the 2010 Art Basel Miami Beach attracted 46,000 visitors during its December run, many of whom attend the dozen-plus ancillary fairs that have cropped up that week as well. Hotel room rates spiked by 45% that week alone. Visitors Bureau President William Talbert says that "at times the fair draws more private jets than the Super Bowl." (He could not confirm published reports that the fair generates $400 million to $500 million in sales and related revenues each year.)

Many believe that L.A. is likewise ripe for a major contemporary art fair — with a glossy party circuit. "You have so many important artists living here and galleries gaining prominence. The collectors are important enough, and their parties should be good enough. The restaurants are good enough," says L.A. gallery owner Michael Kohn, who is married to restaurateur Caroline Styne of AOC and Lucques. "Those are all factors in our favor."

Kohn participated in Art L.A. in 2009 but "I did not sell a thing," he says. He does not have a booth at its successor this week. .

Culver City gallerist Susanne Vielmetter, who does have a booth at this week's fair, believes "L.A. should have a major contemporary art fair. If Miami can do it, why can't we?"

Historically one problem has been the lack of a sizable venue in a desirable location. While art dealers nostalgically remember a boutique fair held at the Chateau Marmont hotel in the 1990s — where they leaned paintings against the walls and displayed sculptures in the bathtubs — the charms of that venue proved to be its downfall in the long run. And the city's bigger venues elicit a chorus of complaints.

Santa Monica's Barker Hangar is, says Fleming, "a dream to build in, but it's an empty shell," lacking proper lighting, bathrooms and other amenities. Martindale, who held his art fair there for years, adds that it has space and parking limitations. "There's no way you can have 40,000 people come to a fair there," Martindale says.

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, the home of Photo L.A. and onetime home of Art L.A., is even smaller. Bennett Roberts of Roberts & Tilton gallery in Culver City says it's just not up to par. "The Santa Monica Civic needs to be renovated. Putting up a booth there is like putting up a booth in a high school gym," he says.

Roberts, who is participating in this weekend's fair, says he is also looking forward to the new September fair. "I think Adam Gross' fair will be spectacular — they hired the right person to do it. He's a mega-cheerleader. And I think it will be managed amazingly judging from the Armory and Art Chicago."

But the dealer does express concern about the new fair's location. "It might be a challenge to get people to go downtown," he says. Kohn agrees, noting that out-of-town collectors like hotels near the beach or in West Hollywood. "Japanese businessmen will stay downtown, but not people who buy art," he says.

Reaching the most important European collectors is the big challenge, adds Vielmetter, who was born in Cologne, Germany. "L.A. has maybe a dozen great collectors, but you can't sustain an art fair on that. You need to get the international collectors to fly in — and that's the part where every single art fair here has failed."

She says that she has high hopes for the MMPI fair but only if it can line up the marquee galleries with leading European clients, mentioning Sprüth Magers, Hauser & Wirth and David Zwirner. "If the new fair can work at that level, I think they have a chance of pulling it off," she says. "I don't think we can afford another L.A. fair that fizzles out."

Gross at MMPI mentions some of the same gallerists as prospects but says that applications are still being solicited and participants have not yet been finalized. As for reaching international visitors, he says that the Armory Show's VIP list has roughly 10,000 names. "Ultimately it's the brand name of the Armory Show that gives us the ability to market to the international audience."

With global ambitions, Gross believes the new fair could complement and even drive traffic to the existing, more regional fairs. Some of the other art fair organizers agree.

Stephen Cohen says he is resurrecting Art L.A., which has been on hiatus since 2009, this September to coincide with the MMPI fair. He has just secured the Diamond Ballroom on the third floor of the JW Marriott at L.A. Live downtown.

Are Fleming or Martindale also considering moving their 2012 fairs to September? Fleming noted only: "We love January because it's an open slot in the art calendar, and for us it's about consistency."

Martindale, who says he is talking to Gross, sounded more receptive. "If Adam Gross and that whole company is putting their full weight behind September, then September makes sense for all of us."

Martindale says collaboration of this sort is often the best way to serve art buyers, like other types of consumers. "It's like car dealerships: They used to be spread out, but in the last 10 years we've seen them pull together. It's the concept of a mall with an anchor tenant."

"We've seen that model happening in many industries, and we've certainly seen it play out with the Miami art fairs with great success," he says. "There's no reason it shouldn't work in Los Angeles."

Last edited by VZN; January 31st, 2011 at 03:04 PM.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 10:24 PM   #456
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Originally Posted by milquetoast View Post
Beach cultcha Getty images
So strange! People coming in with clothes on the beach .. where are the bikinis women?
Here in Brazil would be very strange ... though it is cold here in the south.



** Brasil, o país do futuro e grandes edificações.**

obs.: People in Brazil speak in portuguese and no spanish.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 04:36 AM   #457
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Parana, our people in Los Angeles, you have to understand,
are verrrry good looking- but we're not always "beach-ready"
like you are in Brazil- come on! We're normal, and you're exotic!
Saying that, Santa Monica/Will Rogers Beaches are more Family oriented.
As opposed to Zuma, where they run around topless.
.
Ooops! Found one
.
SAGA273

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Old February 17th, 2011, 07:45 AM   #458
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also, it's still too cold to go to the beach for now (low 60s and under isn't that great especially with the breeze)
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Old February 20th, 2011, 11:22 PM   #459
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A star-studded opening for the Valley Performing Arts Center
Among the performers at the gala on the Cal State Northridge campus: Calista Flockhart, Cheech Marin and Cuban jazz musician Arturo Sandoval.
January 31, 2011|By David Ng, Los Angeles Times

Ten years and $125 million in the making, the Valley Performing Arts Center officially became a reality Saturday night in a celebration that brought together Hollywood celebrities with Los Angeles city and county leaders to inaugurate the building on the campus of Cal State Northridge.

The center's 1,700-seat main hall — featuring four plush levels encased in undulating wood panels — is the largest in the San Fernando Valley and is intended to attract top-notch performers to a region of Southern California whose reputation has tended to rest on such less-exalted forms of entertainment, as mall culture and the adult film industry.

The first season at the Arts Center, set to begin this Saturday (with singers Shawn Colvin and Loudon Wainwright III), features performers spanning the spectrum from classical music to jazz to Broadway. Saturday's gala concert reflected that diversity, offering a sampler platter of the arts, spiced with star appearances.

Calista Flockhart, accompanied by husband Harrison Ford, served as one of the evening's many presenters. The celebration included performances by Tyne Daly and Davis Gaines, singing selections from "Gypsy" and "The Phantom of the Opera," respectively; dancers Gillian Murphy and Jose Manuel Carreno from the American Ballet Theatre; and Cuban jazz musician Arturo Sandoval, accompanied on the bongos by actor Andy Garcia.

A number of the evening's performers grew up in the Valley or count themselves as Cal State Northridge alumni. Cheech Marin, who delivered a comedy and song routine, attended the school in the late '60s when it was San Fernando Valley State College. "I did a lot of performing arts while I was here, especially in bands," Marin said during the after-party, which was held nearby on campus. "They used to put on a lot of shows, but they were always in the gym, which wasn't great acoustically."

Nancy Cartwright, who provides the voice of Bart Simpson on Fox's "The Simpsons," has been a Valley resident since the '80s, and is the honorary mayor of the North San Fernando Valley. "A facility of this size has the potential to change the community," she said. "I'm enormously proud to live here."

Longtime Valley resident Beau Bridges attended the concert but did not appear onstage. "This has a lot of meaning for our community," he said. "It's the best we have now — and it's not far from my house."

During the concert, Monica Mancini performed songs written by her father, Henry, and recalled growing up in Northridge at a time when the community still had a fair number of orange groves. Soprano Carol Vaness dedicated her performance of "Vissi d'arte" from Puccini's "Tosca" to her Cal State Northridge music professor David Scott.

Other presenters for the evening included Eric Stoltz, Benjamin Bratt, Jane Kaczmarek, Noah Wyle, Steven Weber, Keith David and Doris Roberts.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa attended the celebration, greeting patrons and trading music tips with Sandoval and Mancini. Villaraigosa said that for the last three years, some Los Angeles leaders have been trying to do away with the city's Department of Cultural Affairs. "We have to find ways to support the arts, including in our schools and universities," he said.

Jolene Koester, president of Cal State Northridge, described the Valley Performing Arts Center as "a miracle" but added that $17 million still needed to be raised to meet the university's $50-million fundraising goal.

With a $125-million price tag, the building represents a combination of public and private investment. State bonds provided approximately half the tab, while private donations accounted for a large portion. In addition, L.A. County Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Michael Antonovich put in $2 million and $500,000, respectively, from their discretionary funds. Yaroslavsky described the building as "long overdue" and added that it would help bring jobs and other forms of investment into the Northridge area. "The arts are a great economic generator," he said.

In late 2008, construction on the center came to a halt because of a state budget impasse, but building resumed the following March after then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger lifted the state moratorium on public works projects.

On Saturday, tuxedoed attendees mingled in the building's atrium, enclosed in floor-to-ceiling glass walls that allow views to the west and north. The steel-framed building, designed by the Minneapolis architecture firm of Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, also features smaller performance and rehearsal spaces.

Kara Hill, the lead architect on the project, said the center was designed to be "extroverted," with a structural and spiritual connection to the rest of the campus. "Performance halls can often be pushed to the side of a campus," Hill said. "We wanted the building to be open ... so that people can see out and can be seen."

The acoustics of the main hall were designed to be adjustable — via movable panels and other devices — to accommodate the variety of artists expected to appear there. Saxophonist Dave Koz, who grew up in nearby Tarzana and who performed at the gala, described the hall's acoustics as "beautiful... crystal-clear and pure-tone."

Saturday's concert was not the first in the building. In November, the Moscow State Symphony, under music director Pavel Kogan, played two invitation-only concerts that were seen as a test run for the facility.

Organizers said they hope to ramp up programming to a level where there is one major artist event per week. They said the center is about 85% booked for the 2011-12 season, which begins in the fall.
Read More: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan...-arts-20110131
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Old February 20th, 2011, 11:37 PM   #460
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Southern Orange County getting its own concert hall
After its public debut in October, the $73-million Soka Performing Arts Center will play host to concert and dance performances, as well as plays and musicals.
By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
February 2, 2011

What the San Fernando Valley is celebrating this week — the debut of a major performing arts center that figures to be a source of enjoyment and pride for an area that had been short on cultural bragging rights — is on the agenda for southern Orange County too.

In Aliso Viejo, a small but wealthy private school, Soka University of America, has begun the countdown toward October, when it expects the first public notes to sound in its Soka Performing Arts Center. Construction has been completed on the 1,034-seat auditorium that, together with a companion building for arts classrooms, studios and offices, cost $73 million (the Valley Performing Arts Center, at 1,700 seats plus an educational building, cost $125 million).

Soka's hall places a premium on excellent sound –- hence the commissioning of Yasuhisa Toyota, the acoustician behind Walt Disney Concert Hall. Among its interior features are a stage made of white Alaskan cedar, chosen for its acoustical properties, and seating behind the stage.

The hall can accommodate about 1,200 people for shows in which a smaller performing space is needed and chairs can be set up on the stage; aside from church halls, it will be the only thousand-seater between the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, which is 18 miles to the north, and the California Center for the Arts, 60 miles southeast in Escondido. It was designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects; the exterior is of plaster, travertine, aluminum and glass.

Last Wednesday, the Pacific Symphony rehearsed in the hall to kick off the acoustic testing process. Meanwhile, it's up to David Palmer, hired in December as general manager after 19 years running the performance program at Whittier College's 403-seat Ruth B. Shannon Center, to book a schedule.

Designed primarily as a concert hall, but also envisioned for dance, plays and musicals — so long as the evening doesn't require more than minimal set changes — the center will be broken in gradually. Plans call for six to eight "major events" the first season, Palmer said. Then it will build over the two following seasons to an expected full complement of about 25 major headliners per September-to-May season.

Palmer said that jazz and Hawaiian music will be a presence, and that he aims for the programming to reflect Soka's ideals with a communitarian emphasis in which performers will be asked to give public workshops or engage with local schools. The 438-student institution is affiliated with Soka Gakkai, a Japanese Buddhist movement established in 1930. The university's website lists its core principles as fostering culture, pacificism and "the creative coexistence of nature and humanity."

Wendy Harder, spokeswoman for the Aliso Viejo university, said that alumni and supporters of the better-established Soka University of Japan, which opened in 1971 in the Tokyo suburbs, have been key contributors to the American venture, including the performing arts center. Blessed with nearly $500 million in invested assets and cash savings as of mid-2009 (nearly triple the holdings of Chapman University in Orange, the county's most prominent private school), Soka waives its $26,300 annual tuition for students whose family income is $60,000 or less; Harder said that about half of the members of the last two entering freshman classes have qualified.

Since opening in 2001, the school has grown slowly toward its eventual goal of about 1,000 students, Harder said, and that will be the approach in the arts as well: "Just a few things to get started, and as we see what kind of community support we have for what kinds of program," more offerings will develop. The first event will be the university's May 27 graduation ceremony.
Read More: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,1721099.story
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