If You Want to Change L.A., You’re Going to Need Artists

When Policy Making Falls Short, Creativity Is a Catalyst

From giving communities a voice in land use and zoning to creating mutual aid networks, Los Angeles artists and arts organizations are finding ways to imagine a better future for and effect change in the city. How are they accomplishing things that politicians and policy makers struggle with? A panel of L.A. arts leaders and practitioners offered their insights at a Zócalo/LA Commons event that asked, “How Do Artists See the Next L.A.?”

Panelist John Malpede, an artist who founded Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD)—a performance group of people who live …

What Is the Meaning of Life? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Is the Meaning of Life?

For Sir Paul Nurse, Creativity and Community Are Essential Building Blocks

What does it take to create meaning in our lives? According to Sir Paul Nurse, a Nobel laureate geneticist and author of What Is Life?, supporting family and community as …

A Letter From Paris, Where the New Normal Is Less Grouchy Than You’d Expect | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter From Paris, Where the New Normal Is Less Grouchy Than You’d Expect

Through Three Lockdowns, Parisians Have Read, Biked, and Even Behaved Like Tourists in Their Own Town

What is the new normal here in Paris? The answer is one that’s less grouchy than you might expect. Mais ça commence à bien faire—it’s getting a little much.

We’re more …

Body of Color | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Body of Color

Naima Lowe’s Installation ‘Ropes, Pinks’ Uncoils Trauma in Pursuit of Black Freedom

Consisting of three lengths of cotton and hemp rope of varying thicknesses—200 feet in all—dyed in shades of pink, “Ropes, Pinks” is an installation work by artist Naima Lowe. This …

How My Great-Grandfather Dealt With a Lout Named Jack London | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How My Great-Grandfather Dealt With a Lout Named Jack London

A Muralist Finds Herself Captivated by the Bay Area Writer, Crusader for Justice, and Drunken Brawler

Growing up in the Bay Area, I heard a lot of family lore about Jack London, and my great-grandfather George Samuels.

Samuels had been a district attorney, a police court judge, …