Los Angeles gets little respect as an artistic or cultural
center from its rivals on the East Coast, such as New York or Boston, but
the sprawling West Coast city is highlighting its role as a creative hub.
VOA's Mike O'Sullivan has details.
Even its critics acknowledge that Los Angeles has wonderful weather and
impressive scenery. And it is home to the entertainment industry, with all
its glitz and glamour.
Yet Los Angeles receives only grudging recognition as a creative
Jon Goodman, who heads the civic group Town Hall Los Angeles, says art
and technology are converging in L.A., where movies are made with computer
software, and medical schools use entertainment technology to train
students to interact with patients.
"21st century art, design and entertainment requires
technology," said Jon Goodman. "The real convergence is not TV going to
the computer, or movies going to computer. The real convergence is
technology, art and design all coming together."
architect Frank Gehry uses computer-generated designs to create
architectural landmarks like the Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los
Gehry and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa came to another
cultural center, the Getty Museum, to launch the campaign promoting Los
Angeles as a creative center. The promotion features a full month of
activities, ranging from art shows and museum exhibits to dramatic
performances. The mayor says the city is due for some recognition.
"This is an opportunity for us to celebrate what LA is all about," said Mayor
Villaraigosa. "It is a place of many, many cultures. It is the place where
the world comes together, where immigrants come here like Frank Gehry
from Canada, with a dream, and live that dream in a way that makes us all
feel so special."
Gehry came to Los Angeles at age 17. Now 78, he has
spent his career in the city, a place he says is not bound by traditions
"It is an open system here, maybe because it is so dispersed," said
Frank Gehry. "And it has been under the radar. It is nice to focus on it."
Don Levy, a senior vice president for Sony Pictures Digital
Entertainment, says Los Angeles is a center for all kinds of innovation.
"Creativity is not limited to the arts," said Levy. "Creativity is
really about imagination, and imagination is really the underpinning of
virtually all innovation. That includes science, medicine and business.
And Los Angeles is a city filled with imaginative people looking at new
ways to present ideas, fashion, design, technology, as well as
Los Angeles officials say creative endeavors are also good for
business, providing hundreds of thousands of jobs and injecting $13
billion a year into the local economy.