Openness Is the Mother of Invention

In America, Curiosity Is Often the Only Qualification You Need

From the light bulb to the iPhone, America has a long history of revolutionary inventions. So what does this ingenuity spring from? What are the conditions that allow for our innovative spirit?

At a Smithsonian/Zócalo “What It Means to Be American” event, held at the National Museum of American History in Washington, Zócalo Public Square publisher Gregory Rodriguez moderated a lively, big-picture discussion about the nature of creativity and the cultural forces that influence it. The evening featured four panelists, all recipients of this year’s Smithsonian magazine Ingenuity Awards, from …

Cyndi Lauper Is My Mascot

Muralist Judithe Hernández Also Promised a Friend She’d Read an Introduction to Wittgenstein

Muralist Judithe Hernández was a member of the East Los Angeles artist collective Los Four. Her newest public artwork, L.A. Sonata, will be unveiled at the opening of the new …

L.A.’s Cultural Affairs Manager Grew Up Drawing Punk Rock Ladies

Danielle Brazell Considers Biking the Closest Thing to Flying

Danielle Brazell is the general manager of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs. She oversees arts and cultural programming throughout the city. Before she participated in a discussion about the …

How an Abandoned Bus Station Became a City’s Creative Hub

Hailed as a Leader in Tijuana's “Rebirth,” the Terminal-Turned-Collaborative-Space Quickly Grew Into a Victim of Its Own Success

Standing under the multi-colored glass ceiling in the former Mexicoach bus terminal, Tijuana native Miguel Buenrostro asked a small group of visitors, “What does it feel like to destroy something …

How L.A. Can Keep Its Creative Hive Buzzing

To Nurture Artists, Writers, and Toy Manufacturers, the City Needs to Keep Encouraging Weird Ideas

Los Angeles isn’t fantasizing when it calls itself America’s creative capital–the numbers back it up. Economist Kimberly Ritter-Martinez rattled them off at a panel sponsored by the City of Los …

Imagination Is a City’s Most Vital Resource

If You Want to Know the Health of a City, Count the Permits It Issues for Concerts, Street Fairs, and Festivals

In hard economic times, cities need to decide what industries are essential, and what programs and services can be cut down to save resources. The arts are perennial contenders for …