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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 …

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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 …