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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 12:55 AM
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Exclamation UCLA Broad Art Center opens! "LA is one of the great art capitals of the world"



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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 1:23 AM
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It's amenities like this that make me think LA, were I residing in another part of the country, would be a more interesting place to visit or live in. That's why I remain puzzled when many ppl, inc quite a few SSPers, list a city like San Diego instead of LA as one of the places they'd most like to visit or live in.

OK, SD does have a great zoo, a nicely growing DT, Sea World, & other advantages. But as good as it is, it nonetheless does have a second tier depth to it. Therefore, is the superficial appeal of a town more important, or at least as important, as anything else? I'm starting to think so.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 2:00 AM
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^ It depends on what you're looking for. Most people aren't museum/high-art fiends, so more "superficial" aesthetics of a city become very important. BUT, I always like to bring up Taipei as a counterintuitive example because that city is one UGLY-ASS place. There is NO architecture. Just cemet blocks of apartments where only the aid of the ubiquitous business signs attached to their facades help minimize the eye-sores that make up Taipei's bulk of buildings. That place really makes LA look like the most beautiful city in the world! YET, people love living and visiting there because it has an energy about it that's authentically urban.

The main issue here is saliency. What physical location do we define LA to be? Will the definition of "LA" remain a hodgepodge of hundreds of cities, or will LA "shrink" in scale to something a little more mentally manageable. A concept easily grasped by visitors and residents alike.

The answer is investing in mass transit infrastructure that really makes one particular location completely easy to travel in. This will obviously become the most popular area if you have somewhere people can TRULY forsake the automobile for an interesting urban environment. It's a paradigm that's working in almost all great cities in the world.

Where we invest in that mass transit infrasture will be important. Downtown LA/Hollywood/Koreatown/Westlake will be the first place to become this "new LA." (Hopefully gentrifying Westlake sooner than later) And then when the subway EVENTUALLY makes its way down Wilshire Blvd, your urban playground becomes that much larger. Then people will know that Wilshire Blvd (really West Central) will be the easiest to get around without a car, and consequently, the definition of LA will change accordingly to reflect that new salient geographical area serviced by efficient mass transit.

It's ironic that our mass transit system is reversed in order of necessity. You have an established Westside without a subway, and a forlorn downtown with a surprisingly effective subway. Now we're going back to resuscitate our downtown and building our subway to the established Westside.

Anyway, LA is unique and its reputation is not only dependent upon its aesthetic image like SD, but a much more complicated formula intended for world-class cities that must include mass transit. SD is not a global city, so therefore, the expectations are not as high as it would be for LA.

If LA is grouped with cities on the caliber of NY, Tokyo, Paris, etc., then it must have the same kind mass transit convenience those cities offer travelers and residents.
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  #4  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 2:45 AM
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good ol' richard meier...

no pics of the building? boo
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  #5  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 2:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LosAngelesBeauty
The answer is investing in mass transit infrastructure that really makes one particular location completely easy to travel in.
I totally agree but have to say that's only part of the solution. That's even truer if economics & politics make the creation of a truly good transit system unlikely before most of us are old & gray. I mean how realistic is it for anyone to expect to see the Red Line extended to West LA, much less SaMo, before the year 2020, or whatever?

So unless the city's poor reputation is resting entirely on something like the weakness of its transit system, what do we do in the meantime?

I know one thing: if more ppl in the city were as ticked off at how seedy it is as a lot of outsiders appear to be, there would be less NIMBYism & a lot more ppl saying, damn it, this town needs an extreme makeover ASAP!
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  #6  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 3:12 AM
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Normally, I would dismiss boosterish comments like those of Broad's, but when it comes to the visual arts, he's probably right that LA is currently in the top tier of world cities. LA does lag other cities a bit in terms of performing arts, but that gap is sure to narrow in the coming years. Still though, it does take time for the cultural reputation of a city like LA to reflect reality--at least 10 years I'd guess, if not moreso.

BTW, at UCLA's cross town rival, they just announced that George Lucas is donating $175 million for a new film school.
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  #7  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 3:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcat
George Lucas is donating $175 million for a new film school.

Wow!!



As for someone like Broad, I wish more ppl were as committed to the town as he seems to be. Or those ppl who seem to have an understanding that, when it comes to our current status, good isn't good enough, & that a lot of what makes the city bad is unacceptably bad.
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  #8  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 3:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcat
Normally, I would dismiss boosterish comments like those of Broad's, but when it comes to the visual arts, he's probably right that LA is currently in the top tier of world cities. LA does lag other cities a bit in terms of performing arts, but that gap is sure to narrow in the coming years. Still though, it does take time for the cultural reputation of a city like LA to reflect reality--at least 10 years I'd guess, if not moreso.
I completely agree since going to Chicago and NYC, I realized that LA wasn't so far behind that it would preclude it from joining the ranks of the high-cultured meccas of the world. In fact, I didn't find Chicago to be that much more impressive than LA (if at all). NYC's Met was INCREDIBLE however. I have yet to visit Paris though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcat
BTW, at UCLA's cross town rival, they just announced that George Lucas is donating $175 million for a new film school.

That's fantastic news as well! USC and UCLA climbing higher only makes LA a more respected city in academia.
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  #9  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 3:58 AM
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Interesting and depressing that George Lucas will throw down $175m for a new film school that USC doesn't even need, while San Diego is begging for a donor to to give $20m for a new downtown library (which the city's been trying to build for over 20 years).

Another case of the haves vs. the have nots, I guess.
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  #10  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 4:04 AM
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^ Yeah, I felt that way when we lost Klimt's Adele to Lauder in NYC.
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  #11  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 4:24 AM
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^ As did I!!!
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  #12  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 7:51 AM
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George Lucas to Give USC Film School $175 Million

The filmmaker's gift, for a new cinema program home, is the largest ever to the university.

By Stuart Silverstein, Times Staff Writer
September 20, 2006

"Star Wars" creator George Lucas is giving USC a blockbuster donation of $175 million — the university's biggest single gift ever — that largely will be used to build a new home for its prestigious film school, campus officials confirmed Tuesday. The gift from his Lucasfilm Foundation builds on Hollywood's historic support for the cinema school, where Lucas earned a bachelor's degree.

Much of the donation is to pay for a 137,000-square-foot complex. According to preliminary information provided to Los Angeles city officials, it would be designed to evoke the architecture of the era when the film school was founded in 1929. That new centerpiece building will expand its current cramped quarters and provide modern facilities that could boost the school's stepped-up emphasis on merging Hollywood storytelling skills with emerging multimedia technologies.

USC's previous top gift, $120 million, came in 1993 from the late ambassador and publisher Walter Annenberg. The record for U.S. higher education overall was a gift totaling $600 million to Caltech in 2001, with half of the money from Intel Corp. co-founder Gordon Moore and his wife, Betty, and the rest coming from their foundation.

USC officials, who planned to announce the $175-million donation and building project at a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 4, released a 10-paragraph news release Tuesday afternoon in response to inquiries from The Times.

In the release, Lucas said, "I discovered my passion for film and making movies when I was a student at USC in the 1960s, and my experiences there shaped the rest of my career. I'm also an ardent advocate for education at all levels, and encouraging young people to pursue their ambitions by learning. I'm very fortunate to be in a position to combine my two passions and to be able to help USC continue molding the futures of the moviemakers of tomorrow."

Lucas, 62, began his college classes at Modesto Junior College but completed his studies at USC in 1966.

City officials said the new building would go up on the north side of the campus. It would be partly on a parking lot south of 34th Street near McClintock Avenue, but the project also would involve tearing down one or more campus buildings. University spokesmen would not say how much of the $175 million already has been received, over how many years it will be given and what else the money would be used for besides the new complex and other film school renovations.

One subtle sign of change for the film school came in spring. USC officials, in one behind-the-scenes move, altered the university's bylaws in April partly to change the school's name from the USC School of Cinema-Television to the School of Cinematic Arts. The switch dovetails with the institution's growing focus on new digital technologies.

The university tipped its hand further in recent days by sending groundbreaking ceremony invitations — albeit ones that kept the donor's name secret — to civic leaders, university officials and professors. The invitation credits USC with "a long and proud history of inspiring and teaching the artists, scholars, and entrepreneurs who shape film, television and interactive media in the 20th century.

"This fall, we invite you to join us in carrying that tradition through the 21st century as we celebrate and break ground on our 137,000-square-foot state-of-the-art complex, made possible through the largest gift ever" to the university.

The Lucas donation is another in a series of fundraising coups for the university administration under President Steven B. Sample. USC in 2003 wrapped up a 9 1/2 -year fundraising campaign that collected $2.85 billion in gifts and pledges — the biggest ever for a U.S. university, until UCLA announced in February that it collected $3.05 billion in its 10 1/2 -year campaign.

Donations and pledges have continued to flow into USC in the last three years, totaling $4.2 billion since Sample arrived at USC in 1991. Those gifts, in turn, have helped pay for initiatives that have substantially boosted USC's reputation in academic circles.

Since 1991, the university has moved up in the closely watched U.S. News & World Report magazine rankings for major universities. It has gone from 48th to tied for 27th with Tufts University and the University of North Carolina in the 2007 rankings released last month. UCLA, once well ahead of USC, was ranked just one notch higher in the latest poll, at 26th.

Lucas, chairman of San Francisco-based Lucasfilm Ltd. and also known for his Indiana Jones movies and the semiautobiographical "American Graffiti," has ample wealth to pay for his philanthropy. On last year's Forbes magazine list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, Lucas was tied for 61st, with an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion.

He was unavailable for comment late Tuesday but, in a separate morning ceremony, he gained another measure of renown: Lucas was named the grand marshal of the 2007 Rose Parade in Pasadena.

Lucas has long been involved with the film school, serving on its board of councilors, and two buildings on campus bear the Lucas family name. The film school, established 67 years ago as a collaboration between USC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, long has been cited as one of the nation's best. In its most recent ranking of graduate film programs, U.S. News in 1997 rated USC tied with New York University for first place, with UCLA a close third. USC boasts that every year since 1973 at least one of its former students has been nominated for an Academy Award.

The new funds could give the film school another lift. "There is no question that a gift in excess of $100 million is a transformational gift for an institution. It gives the university, and in this case the film school, wonderful opportunities to add a margin of excellence to the institution, to really distinguish it," said John Lippincott, president of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, which represents fundraising officials at 3,200 schools.
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  #13  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 1:53 PM
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UCLA Celebrates Its New Art Center
Eli and Edythe Broad donated almost half of the $52-million cost for the teaching, work and exhibition spaces.

By Scott Timberg, Times Staff Writer
September 14, 2006

A new building that UCLA's acting chancellor dubbed a "magnificent edifice" was unveiled at the Westwood campus Wednesday morning during a ceremony that drew about 200 well-wishers, with speaking roles by philanthropist Eli Broad, state First Lady Maria Shriver and Getty Center architect Richard Meier.

The university is billing the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center, which opens to the public today, as "Los Angeles' newest cultural destination." The structure, though, is actually a $52-million adaptive reuse of the old, unlovely Dickson Art Center, and will be of use mostly to university faculty and students in the visual arts programs of the School of Arts and Architecture.

Broad, whose foundation donated $23.2 million of the cost, said "the gift combines three of our passions: education, the arts and Los Angeles." The building includes exhibition galleries for the departments of art and design/media arts and is, Broad said, another step in the city's emergence as the world's fourth cultural capital alongside Paris, New York and London.

"Some people say, 'Why support the arts with all the other human needs?' " he said. "I don't think we remember the lawyers or the accountants. But we sure remember the architects and the artists."

The Broad Center is set near a rearranged 5-acre sculpture garden that includes works by Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin and Alexander Calder. Adjacent, in the Broad Center's courtyard, is a new 14-foot-high, 42.5-ton "torqued ellipse" work by Richard Serra, perhaps the best-regarded living sculptor.

Serra, who seemed to glower in his black suit during the morning's speeches, came alive behind the lectern and spoke of the honor of placing a work on the UCLA campus. He said he hoped the piece would "empower" students to create their own boldly original work.

In contrast to William Pereira's Dickson Art Center, which was gloomy and marked by a long central corridor, the new building is light and open, and offers large studios in which students can work.

As the event broke up after a ribbon cutting, Meier & Partners architect Michael Palladino discussed how he was originally faced, seven years ago, with an old building that felt visually and structurally heavy. His solution was to bring several of the main walkways outside and to line the windows of the upper floors with wood louvers.

Despite problems with the original building's layout and facade, Palladino said, "the basic proportions and orientation were ideal," allowing him to save the original concrete frame. Palladino is the head of the L.A. office of Meier & Partners, the firm that designed the Getty Center.

Shriver called the building a "feast for the eye" and poked fun at Broad for his obsession with Los Angeles at the expense of the rest of the state.

For UCLA brass, this marks the first time the arts departments "have facilities that match the quality of our programs," in the words of arts and architecture dean Christopher Waterman.

UCLA's art program has indeed become among of the nation's most prestigious, in part because of a faculty that includes artists John Baldessari, Lari Pittman and Catherine Opie. The Broad's galleries currently are hosting a show by the department faculty and another by the design/media arts faculty.

Were he an art student contemplating universities across the land, acting Chancellor Norman Abrams concluded, "this is the place I would want to attend."

--
On a personal note, I had a lecture class in the old Dickson Arts Center back in 2000, and it was indeed a deplorably brutal and yet unforgivably bland building. I'm glad Meier and Broad have given it an upgrade.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 2:00 PM
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Well, this UCLA alum couldnt be happier.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 10:08 PM
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Same here!
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2006, 11:14 PM
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Here here!
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  #17  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2006, 7:03 AM
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its about time the USC cinema school got an overhaul.. those outdated 1970's facilities really show their age... the best cinema-television school in the world definately deserves this gift
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Old Posted Sep 24, 2006, 9:56 AM
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UCLA Is Named to the 'New Ivies' List by Kaplan/Newsweek


UCLA has been named to Kaplan and Newsweek's elite "New Ivies" list, published in the 2007 Kaplan/Newsweek "How to Get into College Guide."

This year's guide introduces for the first time the "New Ivies" — colleges whose first-rate academic programs, combined with a population boom in top students, have fueled their rise in stature and favor among the nation's top students, administrators and faculty, edging them into competitive status with Ivy League schools. UCLA was one of 25 schools selected by the magazine and test preparation service, which based their picks on admissions statistics and interviews with administrators, students, faculty and alumni. UCLA was the only public university in California selected. The 264-page Kaplan/Newsweek guide will be available in bookstores Aug. 21.

"UCLA has always been an outstanding school, but in recent years it has clearly become one of the most sought-after schools in the country; just last year alone, the number of applicants jumped by 12 percent," said Annette Riffle, contributing editor for the 2007 guide. "UCLA has been able to appeal to a growing number of the nation's top students because of its commitment to academic excellence, range of program options, variety of campus activities and desirable location, and the Kaplan/Newsweek guide is pleased to recognize this accomplishment."

In 2006, UCLA received a record 47,307 applications from prospective freshmen, a 12 percent increase over the previous year. Of those, 12,221 were admitted. Location, moderate cost for California residents and a broad variety of course choices are the draw, said Vu Tran, UCLA's director of Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools. Another draw for prospective students is that the campus guarantees housing for three years and is building more residence halls with the goal of providing housing for four years.

California's largest university, UCLA enrolls approximately 38,000 students per year and offers degrees from the UCLA College of Letters and Science and 11 professional schools in dozens of varied disciplines. UCLA consistently ranks among the top five universities and colleges nationwide in total research-and-development spending, receiving more than $820 million a year in competitively awarded federal and state grants and contracts. For every $1 state taxpayers invest in UCLA, the university generates almost $9 in economic activity, resulting in an annual $6 billion economic impact on the Greater Los Angeles region. The university's health care network treats 450,000 patients per year. UCLA employs more than 27,000 faculty and staff, has more than 350,000 living alumni and has been home to five Nobel Prize recipients.
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Old Posted Sep 24, 2006, 2:02 PM
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^Interesting. What percent of students are from out of state? I think they have to take a certain percentage to really be considered as drawing the nation's best and brightest. You can't really be considered as elite if 99% of your students are from 12% of the population.

With regards to medical schools, UCSF, UCLA and UCSD take predominantly CA residents, but they have to admit out of state applicants to be regarded as among the best in the country. I believe UCD, UCI, and UCR have almost 100% CA residents as students.

With regard to residency programs, there are no instate versus out of state differences with applicants as residency programs are funded by the federal government, so it behooves UC programs to simply interview and recruit the most outstanding applicants they can get and hope the applicants rank them high in the "match".

The UCLA Med Center has been rated the best west of the Mississippi for 19 straight years by US News based on its top notch surgical and medical subspecialties.
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Old Posted Sep 24, 2006, 5:03 PM
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I'm not too familiar with the way this works, but don't students who live in CA more than a year become CA residents in the eyes of schools?
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