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At LA Plaza, the Modern Classic Barbershop Keeps It Real—And Real Funny

By | August 22, 2016

Everyone in the audience, it seemed, had seen the movie before. But that didn’t mean the crowd arrayed on the lawn at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in downtown Los Angeles laughed any less at Barbershop, the third installation of the Zócalo Summer Movie Series. If anything, bonding with fellow aficionados of the modern comedy classic heightened the humor, as moviegoers recited punch lines …

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Hundreds Gather in L.A. to Cringe During Little Miss Sunshine’s Awkward Family Fun

By | July 25, 2016

On a warm Friday evening that concluded the hottest day of an anxious summer, a big audience in Los Angeles sought solace in a film about people overcoming their own anxieties.
The Zócalo Summer Movie Series at LA Plaza presented Little Miss Sunshine, a 2006 indie classic about a failing father with a self-improvement program, his wife, her suicidal Proust scholar brother, a silent Nietzsche-worshipping teen …

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The Future Looks a Lot Like South L.A.: Multicultural, Confident, and Resilient

By | July 14, 2016

It’s one thing to put in the hard work to improve a community, but when do you declare success?
In long-maligned South Los Angeles, that time is now, said a panel that included a scholar, a community organizer, a youth mentor, and a former city official during “Is South L.A. an Urban Success Story?,” a Zócalo/California Wellness Foundation event.
The lively discussion was moderated …

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Dancing Outdoors With a Poor English Kid in the Heart of Los Angeles [PHOTOS]

By | June 27, 2016

On the first Friday night of summer in Los Angeles, the Zócalo Summer Movie Series at LA Plaza kicked off with a pirouette and a plié, courtesy of Billy Elliot, the story of a young boy who escapes poverty, politics, and the expectations of his family to become a ballet dancer.
As the sun set over downtown L.A. and the heat dissipated, Angelenos of all ages …

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Can You Guess Which Presidential Candidate Is Least Likely to Be Labeled a Demagogue?

By | June 22, 2016

There’s plenty of nastiness in our democracy. But is there anything new?
For all the fear and consternation about the lies, insults, conspiracy theories, and rhetorical excesses of the 2016 presidential election, today’s political troubles have been familiar features of democracy since its invention 2,500 years ago, said a panel of scholars of classics, history, and communications during “How Does Democracy Survive Demagoguery?,” a Zócalo/Getty Villa …

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People Are Still Arguing About Robert Mapplethorpe, and It’s Not About Porn

By | June 9, 2016

Nearly three decades after the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe escalated the culture wars and made him an embattled hero in the art world, his work continues to provoke and inspire, said panelists at a Zócalo Public Square/Getty “Open Art” event.
An overflow crowd gathered at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers to hear about the history of Mapplethorpe’s controversial works as well as his place …

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Why Women Are More Likely to Lead the Government Than the Boardroom

By | June 7, 2016

Are Women Changing the Way Institutions Are Run? from Zocalo Public Square on Vimeo.
Just an hour before the start of Time magazine Washington Correspondent Jay Newton-Small’s lecture “Are Women Changing the Way Institutions Are Run?” the news broke that Hillary Clinton had secured the Democratic presidential nomination, the first woman ever—in either party—to make it that far.
The timing was fortuitous, the standing-room-only crowd at …

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Humans Are Genes Plus Environment Plus Genetic Interactions Plus Chance

By | May 26, 2016

Will Genetic Engineering Endanger Humanity? from Zocalo Public Square on Vimeo.
Near the end of a wide-ranging conversation about the complexity of the human genome and the history and future of genetics, Arizona State University President Michael Crow noted the almost inconceivably large number—“10 to the 14th” power—of microorganisms in our bodies. And then he turned to cancer researcher Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, and posed what …

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Your Smartphone Is Making You Less Empathetic

By | May 13, 2016

Why We Must Relearn the Art of Conversation from Zocalo Public Square on Vimeo.
Zócalo Publisher Gregory Rodriguez said he was terrified as he opened a discussion onstage at MOCA Grand Avenue with MIT’s Sherry Turkle.
It wasn’t, however, because he was moderating in front of a full house, or because Turkle is an esteemed sociologist and psychologist who was there to accept the sixth annual …

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Your College Degree Might Be Worthless in a 21st Century Economy

By | May 5, 2016

Have Universities Failed Millennials? from Zocalo Public Square on Vimeo.
For decades, a college degree “was a signal that people were ready for the workforce,” a sign to parents that their children “were going to be golden in the job market,” said Jeffrey J. Selingo, author of There Is Life After College and former editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education. “That is no longer …