Look Who’s Talking: Los Angeles Art Leaders Discuss Future of Museums

Lately, any discussion of Los Angeles museums seems overshadowed by grim references to an industry at odds with itself. Membership is down. Public funding comes up short. The term “sinking ship” looms. But the issues (at MOCA and elsewhere) have also brought to light important questions–particularly those related to how museums will appeal to new audiences and contemporary demand in coming years. Now a panel of distinguished museum leaders seeks to alter the course of this dialogue, turning our attention toward a more productive path.

On Friday September 7, Zócalo Public Square and KCRW will host a live discussion between Los Angeles County Museum of Art Director Michael Govan, Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts, and Hammer Museum Director Ann Philbin on the overarching question: How can L.A.’s art museums thrive?

L.A. Times Arts reporter, Jori Finkel will moderate the evening. Each panel member brings unique perspective and personal experience to the discussion. Together, they seek to address the following: “These new museums [represented by the panel] have received global acclaim, but have had to grow and change quickly under intense public scrutiny. They have worked to balance popularity, critical success, and fiscal responsibility—as well as the question of which constituencies to put first. How well are these museums serving their various audiences? And how successfully can they build support in a city not known for its cultural philanthropy?”

“How Can L.A.’s Art Museums Thrive” takes place Friday, September 07, 2012, at 6:00 PM PT at Grand Park (200 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA). For more information and to register for this free event, visit Zócalo’s site.

Kit Warchol