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The Painful Truth About America’s Opioid Addiction

By | December 1, 2016

Lisa Girion, a Reuters top news editor for the Americas and the moderator of a Zócalo/UCLA panel on America’s opioid addiction problem, opened the discussion with some startling statistics. “Over the last 15 years, more than 200,000 people have died of drug deaths in this country,” most due to prescription opioids but increasingly heroin as well, she said. “20 million people are currently addicted in …

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Digital Media Is Challenging Journalists, but Fake News Won’t Kill Democracy

By | November 18, 2016

Does the Digitization of Journalism Threaten Democracy? Donostia from Zocalo Public Square on Vimeo.
The world now confronts a bitter irony: the democratization of information has proven not to be all that good for democracy.
That provocative observation, offered by moderator and Zócalo Public Square executive editor Andrés Martinez, framed a Zócalo/Democracy International event in Donostia-San Sebastián, a coastal city in the Spanish Basque Country.
“Does …

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How Do You Fix a “Bad” Neighborhood? Out of 99 Problems, Disconnectedness Is Number One

By | November 2, 2016

The California Wellness Foundation President Judy Belk introduced a Zócalo/The California Wellness Foundation event at MOCA Grand Avenue by explaining to a large crowd why she was intrigued to hear what people who live and work in Los Angeles have to say about wellness in their neighborhoods. In a recent poll the foundation conducted of Californians, “L.A. rated their community and their wellness experience the …

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For Ceramicist and Gulf War Veteran Ehren Tool, It’s Not as Simple As “Make Art Not War”

By | October 28, 2016

“Is it an obligation of the artist to address war in a time of war?”
Artillery editor Tulsa Kinney opened a Zócalo Public Square/MOCA discussion in front of an engaged and curious crowd at MOCA Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles with this question. After all, she pointed out, we live in a world of both Jeff Koons (“who makes balloon dogs”) and Thomas Hirschhorn, …

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More Sprawl Can’t Keep the Inland Empire Down

By | October 27, 2016

The Inland Empire is facing a boom in population growth that presents a challenge for increasingly sprawling communities. Still, the region remains optimistic and open to embracing positive change to create healthy neighborhoods.
Four panelists, each involved in different Inland Empire communities, shared their diverse perspectives on this topic at the Zócalo Public Square/The California Wellness Foundation event “Will the Inland Empire’s Sprawl Create …

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Dear Government, Be Careful How You Help Central Valley Communities

By | October 26, 2016

While Central Valley communities are creating their own solutions to stubborn problems neglected by county, state, and federal government, they also need government to offer more support for successful local efforts—without hamstringing them.
That message was conveyed by three panelists, each deeply immersed in community-based organizations, at a Zócalo Public Square/The California Wellness Foundation event at Frank’s Place at Warnors Center in downtown Fresno.
The discussion, …

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Can Liberal Democracy Be Saved From Itself?

By | October 20, 2016

The rising populism in today’s Europe is not merely the result of recent decisions by politicians, but also must be understood as a consequence of long-term changes that started more than 25 years ago with the fall of the Berlin Wall, said panelists at a Zócalo/NPR Berlin event.
“This is a transformational hangover to fundamental changes in our modern societies,” said Timo Lochocki, a Transatlantic Fellow …

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How Libraries Can Transform Into Community Centers of the Future

By | October 1, 2016

Twenty-first century librarians do not wear their hair in buns. They don’t relish levying fines on forgetful patrons. They won’t scold you for bringing a cup of coffee into the building. And they’re just as comfortable (if not more so) talking about 3D printers and “maker spaces” as the state of their stacks.
At the Zócalo/WeHo Reads event “Do Libraries Have a Future?” on the …

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Rushmore, Wes Anderson’s Breakout Film, Still Draws a Fashionable Crowd

By | September 19, 2016

Upon its release in 1998, the indie comedy Rushmore cemented both director Wes Anderson’s reputation and co-star Bill Murray’s renaissance as patron saint of droll, sad-eyed, middle-aged men in crisis. Nearly two decades later, it turns out that Rushmore is also an ideal film for early fall, when there’s a chill in the air and the promise of a new school year is unfolding.
The …

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From Medieval Manuscripts to Burning Man, We Use Art to Get Closer to the Sacred

By | September 16, 2016

The yearning for intimacy with the sacred remains as potent today as it was in medieval days, when art was preoccupied almost entirely with depicting the divine. Last night’s spirited (pun intended), time-traveling Zócalo Public Square/Getty “Open Art” event at the Getty Center connected wide-ranging contemporary yearning (as evidenced by the success of the grilled cheese sandwich press, the recurring monthly apparitions of the Virgin …