Dear Friends of the LA Forum –
Happy New Year 2020 – and to a Fantastic New Decade! As we are getting ready for a new year of programming and celebrations, we wanted to take a moment to send a big thank you to those who helped us make 2019 a success: our friends, supporters, participants, collaborators, members, as well as our Advisory Board.
We look forward to working with you in the coming year, as we continue our mission to instigate dialogues on design and the built environment through public programming, exhibitions, and publications and to reflect on what architecture means in our ever-evolving city. We are also proud to mention that we are entering the 33rd year of the LA Forum in 2020!
Some highlights from the last 12 months:
We were very excited to re-launch the Pamphlet Series, our platform for critical ideas on architecture and the city after a ten-year hiatus. Made possible in part by a grant from City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, UnScene LA (created by Aja Bulla-Richards, Mari Beltran and Josiah Cain and with an afterword by Sarah Cowles) explored leftover spaces within the urban fabric. We celebrated this important benchmark with a Launch Event at Studio MLA, which featured a panel discussion with Mia Lehrer, Aja Bulla-Richards, Mari Beltran, Josiah Cain, and Susanna Battin. Our next pamphlet is underway – please stay tuned!
With Promenade 3.0, a panel on Santa Monica’s iconic Third Street Promenade, we discussed the future of public space. Participants included Alan Loomis, who spearheads the City of Santa Monica’s initiative with the same name, and Steven Welliver (DTSM), Nate Cormier (RCH), and Sofie Kvist (Gehl).
In 2019, we also celebrated 100 Years of Bauhaus. Moderated by Tim Durfee, Bauhaus → L.A. → Now was a conversation at the WUHO gallery among leading Los Angeles creatives, including Jessica Fleischmann, Andrea Lenardin Madden, Yunhee Min, Heather Scott Peterson, and Pae White, about their personal connection to Bauhaus. We organized a private tour of “Bauhaus Beginnings”, the exhibition at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, which was led by the curators of the exhibition, Maristella Casciato and Gary Fox, and by the architect and consultant on the exhibition installation Tim Durfee.
We also organized the J.R. Davidson House Tours, where visitors had the opportunity to see the Sam Taylor House (1947) and the Rubin Sabsay House (1940, remodeled in 1944 by Rudolph Schindler).
In conjunction with her book launch and the exhibition Closed Worlds at WUHO, the L.A. Forum hosted a discussion on self-reliance and closed systems with Lydia Kallipoliti. Moderated by Anthony Fontenot, the panel included Aaron Vaden-Youmans, Shane Reiner-Roth, Ginger Nolan, Marikka Trotter, Daniel Lopez-Perez, and Jimenez Lai.
Our Fall 2019 newsletter On Listening, edited by Wendy Gilmartin and Steven Chodoriwsky, explored an often-neglected virtue through texts and interviews with practitioners who listen for a living. The newsletter, supported by a grant from City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, was launched with a limited-edition vinyl record at our Listening Party at Betalevel in Chinatown LA.
2019 was also the year of ForumFest, our big bi-annual Fundraising Event. Held at Self Help Graphics, the iconic community arts center in Boyle Heights on the Gold Line, ForumFest 2019’s theme was ON THE GRID, celebrating the evolving public transport system in Los Angeles. ForumFest not only allowed us to meet our financial goals for 2020, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters, but it also brought together more than 350 people for an evening of conversation and live performances, featuring Sound Field with Randy Randall & Aaron Farley, the all-female Mariachi band Las Colibri, as well as a Live Printing station run by Self Help Graphic’s team.
We are planning a great year of programming and celebrations for 2020 to continue to carry out our important work for our community and city. Our members, participants, and supporters are what makes the Forum thrive. If you haven’t already, please become a member and join us during our 33rd year in 2020!
I am extremely excited about the recently elected leadership of the L.A. Forum: President Wendy Gilmartin, and Vice-President Nina Briggs, Vice-President of Information Mitchell De Jarnett, Vice-President of Grants Development Greg Kochanowski, Vice-President of Membership Development Lilian Pfaff, Vice-President of Operations Ismaelly Peña, and Treasurer Edward Ogosta.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the President of the Los Angeles Forum in 2019, together with Chris Torres as the Vice-President, and would like to thank everyone for their support and dedication, especially the hard-working Board of Directors and the LA Forum Advisory Board, who all made 2019 a successful and meaningful year.
I look forward to what’s to come in the next years and decades!
Former President, Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design