Art Can Create Connection in Contentious Times

The “Arts in Times of Crises” Conference Considered How Artists and Cultural Leaders Can Break Through Our Polarizing Moment

Leading voices in the arts from around the world convened in Los Angeles recently to take part in “Arts in Times of Crises,” a two-day conference on the role of artists in weakened democracies put on by the Villa Aurora Thomas Mann House (VATMH).

Zócalo was one of the co-hosts, alongside REDCAT and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and as part of the conference presented two public panels. Both explored how, in polarized times, artists and civic leaders can bridge divides and tap into our shared humanity—but only if they’re …

Let the Kids Rule School Boards

In the Midst of a Bipartisan Attack on Their Educational Rights, It’s Time for Young People to Fight Back

California kids, do you follow the news about the culture wars over the boards that oversee your schools?

If you do, you’ll see these wars portrayed as political contests between groups …

It’s Tough Finding Something New to Fight About

Have Our Culture Wars Ever Really Changed?


Ever since the founding of the United States, Americans have disagreed about what direction the country should take. While the immediate questions have changed, many of the deeper ones have …