Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Keeping cowboy culture alive in Compton

Posted March 5, 2015 by | 3 Comments | ]
fireonthehill

Southern California is an industrialized megalopolis, but its agricultural history continues in some unlikely places. One of them is the City of Compton, where a few cowboys still ride their horses — on trails but also through city streets.
For years, the center of cowboy culture was “The Hill,” a stable at Figueroa and 131st streets, until it mysteriously burned down 3 years ago. Since …

Arts & Culture, Issues, News »

There’s a new twist in drama over L.A.’s Greek Theatre

Posted April 16, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
greek1

A long fight between rival concert promoters for control of the Greek Theatre still hasn’t been resolved – and now the city of L.A. might just operate the venerable venue on its own.
The Board of Recreation and Parks has backed a plan for the city to do just that for two years – until the competition between long-time Greek operator Nederlander and upstart Live …

Arts & Culture, News »

The grout-bearing stork, or, when your “baby” is your art

Posted April 15, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]
Guests at the shower brought not diapers, but grout

Unless you happen to dwell in the 1% stratosphere of mega-superstars, you know the eternal artistic struggle: how to make enough money to pay the bills, and still leave time for projects of passion. Artist and educator Katrina Alexy came up with a solution: She calls it an art-ernity leave. She got her boss at The Pilgrim School to give her an unpaid year off from her job as an art teacher, figuring …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Issues, News »

How one artist is cleaning up the beach 20 minutes at a time

Posted April 15, 2015 by | 6 Comments | ]
sara photographing trash

Artist and writer Sara Bayles didn’t know the act of grabbing a bag before going on a beach walk in March 2009 was going to change her life.
It was mid-week and she had some spare time. Sara had wanted to join Surfrider Foundation for one of their beach clean-ups but she always had scheduling conflicts. “The idea hit me. Why am I waiting for …

Arts & Culture, News, Tijuana Resurgent »

A new art scene flourishes in old Tijuana

Posted April 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Tijuana is in the midst of a burst of artistic and entrepreneurial creativity as new surprising riffs are rising out of the Tijuana of old.
Velvet painting was once Tijuana’s only connection to art; the work of velvet painters planted the seeds for what is now a large and experimental modern-art scene. A town once known for cantinas and strip clubs is home to microbreweries …

Arts & Culture, News, Tijuana Resurgent »

Meet the artists changing Tijuana’s Pasaje Rodriguez

Posted April 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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After years of drug violence, Tijuana’s corridors were seedy places, home to drug addicts, and stinking with urine and rotting ceilings.
But after the violence subsided, things started to change. Businesses found a new clientele – not the rowdy American tourists, but locals looking for local culture.
A grassroots effort brought artists and shop-owners together to bring new life to Tijuana’s main drag, Avenida Revolución. Murals were painted, boutiques and book stores were …

Arts & Culture, economy, News, Tijuana Resurgent »

The murals of Pasaje Rodriguez

Posted April 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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In April, 2010, a group of a dozen artists and bohemians arrived at a darkened corridor named Pasaje Rodriguez.
The corridor, running between Avenida Revolucion, the city’s tourist strip, and Avenida Constitucion, a main transportation hub, had years before been packed with souvenir shops catering to American tourists.
The artists instead found the place dark, stinking of urine, littered with trash, windows broken and ceilings crumbling.
Drug …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Moroccan Jews celebrate Mimouna in LA

Posted April 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
The Mimouna Festival, marking the end of Passover, is celebrated in a special tent in Jerusalem.  Photo by Albert Nathan via Flickr/CC.

Saturday marks the eighth and final day of Passover, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the Hebrew slaves’ exodus from bondage in Egypt.
There’s a Jewish custom called Mimouna that’s observed in Morocco at the end of Passover, that brings Jews and Muslims together for a unique interfaith festival.
The Levantine Cultural Center in LA is hosting an event for it tomorrow. Its executive director Jordan Elgrably …

Arts & Culture »

An artist eavesdrops into the world of bees

Posted April 8, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Bee Purple by Jessica Rath

Artist Jessica Rath was first inspired to immerse herself in the world of the bee when she witnessed what’s called a “cold huddle” years ago, a swarm of bees churning to create friction for warmth. “The sound stayed in my head,” she said, “and I began talking to composer Bob Hoehn about translating bee behavior into a very large score and making a human …

Arts & Culture, Food, News »

Going to Coachella? Here’s where to eat in Palm Springs while you’re there

Posted April 8, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Homemade pasta from Birba. Photo via Birba's Facebook page.

Thousands are hitting the road for the Coachella Music and Arts Festival this weekend. And the Palm Springs food scene has started to catch up with this hipper, younger clientele.

KCET food editor Katherine Spiers gave Press Play a list of the best of a new crop of Palm Springs restaurants.
 
Bar 
340 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Birba
622 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Cheeky’s …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

The Pan Am mystique lives on – in Pacoima

Posted April 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Uniformed attendants Roger Garcia and Holly Gray check passengers into this mock journey to the past.

Want to relive the golden years of aviation? In a warehouse miles from Hollywood, you’ll find a high-class tribute to the beloved airline, Pan Am.
KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis took on a trip on the Pan Am Experience.

Every other Saturday night, customers line up outside a warehouse in Pacoima to relive a nostalgic experience.
As a small boy, said Anthony Toth, “I started collecting airplane models, and …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, Issues, News »

Putting the “n-word” on trial

Posted April 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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In American language, there are few words as controversial and divisive as the “n-word.”
A word that rhymes with trigger, and – how apropos – because that’s indeed what it does. It triggers a response – mostly racial, but also societal.
There’s no good to it outside of historical context. Educated people have learned that the word is awful. And hurtful.
History and context, however, is what TV producer Kyle Bowser has …

Arts & Culture, economy, News »

Coachella at the Rose Bowl? A music and arts festival is on the horizon

Posted April 2, 2015 by | 5 Comments | ]
Concert goers toss t-shirts in the air at the 2014 Coachella Music & Arts Festival. The Rose Bowl is pursuing a music festival of its own, slated for the summer of 2016.

It took Darryl Dunn just one visit to San Francisco’s beloved Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival to be convinced — this is the future of Pasadena’s Rose Bowl.

“It was a great vibe,” Dunn, the CEO of the Rose Bowl Operating Company (RBOC), which manages the Rose Bowl, recalled. “It was fun. And we were like, ‘could this happen at the Rose Bowl?’ And we thought ‘ya …

Arts & Culture, News »

As the Arts District turns: The rapid transformation of a once-sleepy neighborhood

Posted April 1, 2015 by | 4 Comments | ]
Photo by Melissa Richardson Banks

With the news over the last few weeks that Soho House and other high-profile tenants are snapping up property in the Arts District, a hue and cry has erupted (at least in some media outposts) that the once-gritty neighborhood is done–at least for artists.
I met up with long-time resident, photographer and neighborhood activist Melissa Richardson Banks to hear her take. She drove me around the 52-block area late last Saturday …

Arts & Culture, News »

Turning trash into art: The life-changing magic of “Consumed”

Posted March 30, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Mary Mattingly; Life of Objects, 2013, courtesy of the artist and Robert Mann Gallery

Long before the current bestselling book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” the artist China Adams decided to reassess her possessions. In 1995, she rid herself of any material item she considered to be unnecessary– 77.13 percent of what she owned ranked as “official burden status” under a three-point system she developed. Then, she reduced those things down to their essence, stitched them into pieces of tarp using …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

Santa Barbara columnist talks “Montecito Miscellany”

Posted March 30, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
"Botticelli, Titian, and Beyond: Masterpieces of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums" is on display at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Richard Mineards spotlights many of Santa Barbara’s cultural happenings and local celebrity doings in his weekly Montecito Journal column, ‘Montecito Miscellany.’ He recently stopped by our KCRW Santa Barbara studio to dish on news from recent columns.
Mineards reminded KCRW listeners to take advantage of the world class Italian Masterpiece exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. “Botticelli, Titian and Beyond: Masterpieces of Italian …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

Santa Barbara billionaire’s plush empire

Posted March 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Coral Casino  Beanie Baby

Montecito mogul H. Ty Warner made billions selling Beanie Babies but, up til now, there wasn’t a lot known about his personal life. KCRW’s Lisa Osborn talks with Zac Bissonnette, author of “The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute.”  Bissonnette chronicles the rise and fall of the popular plush toys which, at one time,  were selling for hundreds …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Photos: Rock ‘n’ roll billboards of the Sunset Strip

Posted March 26, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
"Rock 'N' Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip"

 
The Sunset Strip has long been a destination for bands who play LA. Think the Whiskey, the Roxy or the Riot Hyatt.
But the journey down the strip has also been a mecca for those bands – on billboards.
The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Donna Summer, Marvin Gaye, and many others.
Usually the billboards come and go with little fanfare. But one photographer decided to capture …

Arts & Culture, Issues, News, Politics »

L.A. heeds pleas to slow spread of McMansions

Posted March 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
1508068_tn_blr_me_0828_mansionization

The city of L.A. is finally getting serious about McMansions – large houses built on small lots that are out of step with the traditional character of neighborhoods.
The City Council has slapped a temporary ban on the construction of McMansions in 20 upscale neighborhoods while it considers a broader response to the problem.
In five of those neighborhoods, the city also temporarily banned the issuance …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

The woman who’s bringing LA to the world’s most influential art fair

Posted March 25, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]
bardoLA_CaroleSilverstein

More evidence of the influence and importance of Los Angeles as far as the fine art world: Meet the Venice (California)-based Elizabeta Betinski, known affectionately to some artists around town as “Boom Boom.”  She’s the force behind an upcoming show, featuring the work of 20 LA-based artists, that’ll hang adjacent to the Venice (Italy) Biennale. This is just one of three exhibitions that have been chosen as …

Arts & Culture, News, Santa Barbara »

Lotusland: A public garden, with a private reputation

Posted March 25, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
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Lotusland is not your typical garden. Ever since it opened in 1993, this eclectic garden in the foothills of Montecito has garnered a reputation of being more private than public.

This property was owned from 1941-1984 by Gana Walska, a polish opera singer, socialite, and funky lady. She married six times and procured quite a wealth. Her dramatic nature ran through both her life and her garden. …

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