Small Towns Can Create Big Change

From Banning Private Prisons to Universal Broadband and Pre-K, Necessity and Opportunity Allow California Communities to Punch Above Their Weight

Before answering the question of the evening—“What Makes a Good Small Town?”—the panelists at a Zócalo/California Wellness Foundation event had to choose a definition. What, asked moderator and Los Angeles Times staff writer Diana Marcum, is a small town?

Would it be a population of about 30,000? By that definition, two of the three local leaders on the panel—former West Sacramento mayor Christopher Cabaldon and Coachella councilmember Megan Beaman Jacinto—live in communities of approximately 50,000, and would not qualify.

Gonzales city manager René Mendez, whose Central Coast town has a population of …

What California Festivals Need–More Garlic, Less Gaga

In a State Overrun with Coachella Clones, Small and Local Beats Big and Corporate

You heard it here first: The next bubble to burst in California, perhaps even before Silicon Valley and real estate, just might be the festival bubble.

The festival economy …

Why Do Coachella Valley Festivals Rock So Hard?

The Best Arts and Music Festivals Are Devoted to Quality, Diversity—and Their Communities

There are 15 major arts and music festivals in the Coachella Valley each year, from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival to …

What’s So Great About Coachella?

The Power of Indie Pop, Shakespeare, and Fine Art Festivals to Create Community and Make People Happy

This weekend, tens of thousands—maybe even nearly 100,000—music fans are rocking out at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. With multiple stages going full-blast, festivalgoers will face …