Cultural Leaders Brainstorm Los Angeles' Future at LACMA Roundtable

Convened under the auspices of the new Future of Cities initiative, Moby, Casey Wasserman and others joined civic activist Donna Bojarsky in envisioning "what L.A. is and can be.”

Los Angeles long has been known as the city where “the future comes to happen,” but the civic leaders gathered at LACMA’s Bing Theater agreed that the future we want won’t happen without some hard thinking.

Convened under the auspices of the new Future of Cities initiative, the Monday evening event featured conversations, panels and brainstorming between and among leading figures from L.A.’s cultural, artistic, political, entertainment, media, business and planning sectors.

The initiative is the brainchild of longtime political and civic activist Donna Bojarsky, who also serves as its president. As broadly sweeping as they were, Bojarsky said the presentations were intended to “show glimpses into what L.A. is and can be.”

“Los Angeles's lack of high-level collaboration across sectors, cultures, and geographies puts everyone at a disadvantage,” said Bojarsky. “To change our region for the better, we must have long-term civic leadership infrastructure that enables the most creative and knowledgeable people to participate in generating the broad-scale transformations LA needs to thrive.”

Event panelists included musician and activist Moby; KCRW host Madeleine Brand; The Advancement Project CEO John Kim; U.S. Hispanic Media Inc. chair Monica Lozano; Gallerist and Leimert Park advocate Michelle Papillion; and entertainment executive and sports agent Casey Wasserman.

In a conversation with Los Angeles Magazine editor Mary Melton, Wasserman —who is chairing LA's bid for the 2024 Olympics — told the Bing Theater audience that “the ideals of Olympian-ism are as evident in L.A.”

“The ability to bring the most diverse collection of people in human history together — that’s what L.A.’s all about,” he said.

Urban analysts have sometimes referred to Los Angeles as place to find “signposts to the new.” The Future of Cities initiative has it in mind to set up a whole new set of them.