Downtown L.A. Arts Scene Erupts with The Broad Museum Debut

All I can say is WOW!!! With the Broad Museum’s black-tie opening gala tonight, we are on the precipice of dramatic change coming to the landscape of downtown Los Angeles. The Broad Museum doesn’t open to the public until this Sunday, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that this long-awaited arts institution is yet another step towards creating a vibrant, pulsing cultural epicenter downtown with music, art, theater and opportunities for social connection. I could not agree more with Joanne Heyler, a veteran curator and the new museum’s director, who was recently quoted as saying: “Los Angeles is now a place, a city, where if you’re serious about collecting contemporary art, if you’re serious about understanding contemporary art, you cannot not come here.” What a fabulous time to be fabulous time be a part of the city and live in Los Angeles!

No one has been more committed to the establishment of downtown than Eli Broad, a long-time champion of the arts in Los Angeles. The New York Times recently touted him as “the most powerful philanthropist in town”—and the evidence shows in the transformation of Grand Avenue into the city’s “museum mile.” Mr. Broad has already helped create two arts institutions here: the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Walt Disney Concert Hall (not to mention, his generous financial support of the Los Angeles Opera over the years and his longtime involvement as a trustee at LACMA).

Eli and Edythe Broad’s grand gesture, the Broad Museum, is going to share their great private collection of postwar and contemporary art with the world—and I, for one, cannot wait to see it for myself! There will be more than 2,000 works of art by 200 artists—from Jeff Koons and Ed Ruscha to Robert Longo and Andy Warhol. There has been so much heated anticipation surrounding the debut of this museum, and what it means for our city. When the first visitors enter the lobby to ride the 105-foot escalator into the museum on Sunday, will they be as wowed and excited as I am? Will they realize they are in the presence of a city’s explosive cultural evolution? Let’s enjoy this new downtown together!!!

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