Tag Archives: culture

Guide to L.A.’s Top Museums

By Shalea Klepner

If you’re staying local during the winter break, now would be a great time to go on a museum-hopping adventure. Many of the country’s finest museums are scattered around the Los Angeles area and conveniently accessible from USC. Each museum features something unique, including paintings, photography, sculpture, and new media, and showcases various time periods from ancient to classical to contemporary. I have listed some of my favorite museums as well as fun places to eat and explore after your visits.

The Broad Museum in Downtown LA – photo by Peter Alfred Hess on Flickr

Broad Museum is Downtown Los Angeles’ highly anticipated
newest museum. The Broad is located next to Walt Disney Concert Hall on Grand Avenue. The museum currently features artworks from Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and a special installation by Yayoi Kusama.

MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Downtown Los Angeles is located across the street from the Broad Museum, which makes for a fun, double-museum day visit. The MOCA’s permanent collection includes works from Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollack. Its featured exhibitions are always fun, thought- provoking, and always changing.

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, located in the Little Tokyo Historic District, is the sibling museum of MOCA  on Grand Avenue. Pro tip: present the ticket stub from your first MOCA visit and receive free admission to the other MOCA museum, if visited on the same day.

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Growing Communities through Aquaponics

By Jackie Hernandez

As an (untrained) anthropology enthusiast, I sometimes find myself pondering the roots of our food culture and how it affects our lives. Why do we get (or not get…) chocolates, of all things, on Valentine’s Day? When did quinoa become every Angelino‘s best friend? And most recently, how can I use food culture to help others? This last question came about as I realized how much food affects our mood, our health, our appearance, our environment, our wallet, and arguably,  our effectiveness in school and work. Yikes! Food is a huge deal. Plus, food and eating bonds people together and is a form of cultural expression…. For example, as a Californian, I really related to this video while studying abroad in Australia… (skip to 1:40)

I feel, girl, I feel.

Despite being aware of the importance of food, I know I fall into bad eating habits sometimes, like skipping breakfast or relying on processed foods. I also know that there are many people who are in far worse eating situations, due to lack of healthy alternatives. For them and for myself, I started to take an active interest in urban gardening and how it has the potential to change the way a community eats.

For example, one man in South Los Angeles named Ron Finely started planting vegetables in “parkways”– also known as “that little strip of grass between the sidewalk and the road.” His hard work eventually made it possible for families to plant certain foods in public spaces, giving them easier access to healthy foods, not to mention, a new community-bonding recreational activity. I wanted to do the same. Of course, I hadn’t attempted gardening since the third grade, after a field trip to a Los Angeles tree sanctuary in which each child got to take home a tree seed, a seedling planter, and their best intentions to grow a new life. Unfortunately, my young sprout perished in its planter, thanks to a massive pine tree that heavily shaded my apartment window. Ironic, I know.

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Bridging Old and New

By Zachary Cantrell

Earlier this month, I closed my first professional show in Los Angeles with Downtown Repertory Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Though one of The Bard’s most treasured comedies, this production was far from typical. In an attempt to bring the story to a modern audience we decided to contemporize it, setting it in an Orange County luxury resort called The Messina.

And what better place to put on this show than Olvera Street?

Photo by Kevin Stanchfield on Flickr

Also referred to as El Pueblo De Los Angeles, Olvera Street is considered the birthplace of the City of Angels. It is a place
that seems simultaneously frozen in time and humming with everyday modern Los Angeles activity. I did not know what to make of it. Business men and women bustle to and from Union Station (located across the street), and tourists snap pictures of themselves on the back of a painted stone donkey, while local families salsa dance in the square. On this tiny street, all walks of life mix and weave among each other, creating a bizarre collage of Los Angeles life.

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