The Ford Blog
July 26, 2018 | Behind the Scenes
When I met him, I was way too shy to tell hip-hop artist Omar Offendum that his album SyrianamericanA was a staple on my running mix for years. For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Omar is a Syrian American rapper and poet, who has legit Jay-Z status in the Arab American community. But to relegate his work to one community would be a disservice. He’s popular all over the world and his infectious and intellectual music speaks to anyone who’s felt marginalized or, as he puts it, “hybridized.”
July 11, 2018 | Behind the Scenes
Outfest Under the Stars screenings bring some of the Ford’s most energized, fun and memorable audiences. As a queer person myself, it is affirming to see a venue I love hosting such an unabashedly out and proud crowd. From a gaggle of bearded Dorothys at a Wizard of Oz singalong to a first-look screening of the latest Ghostbusters iteration, the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival has always made the Ford’s stunning Hollywood hills setting a little more alive and a lot more sparkly.
June 27, 2018
When you think of bolero, you might imagine the sweet, sweet sounds of Stanley Jordan’s classic jazz reimagining of Ravel’s Bolero. Bolero (boleros) music is considered to be the one of the most romantic musical genres in Latin America with origins dating all the way back to the 19th century.
June 21, 2018
If your nose is tingling that could be because Big World Fun is back! Bring your curiosity and your sense of adventure and explore the world’s diverse cultures right here at the Ford. No plane required! These one-hour dance and music performances are designed with our youngest audience members in mind but are perfect for the entire family. The 2018 Big World Fun series begins Saturday, June 30 with LA-based West African dance and drum company Le Ballet Dembaya.
June 13, 2018 | Behind the Scenes
When I last caught up with TAIKOPROJECT in 2016, they were in the midst of a collaboration with Chicano rock band Quetzal. At the time, TAIKOPROJECT’s Executive Director Bryan Yamami talked about “honoring tradition by turning it on its head.” What TAIKOPROJECT does in each performance is remind us that even an art form as ancient and culturally rooted as Japanese taiko drumming can be fiercely and unapologetically contemporary.
June 06, 2018 | Behind the Scenes
I meet with Arianne MacBean, the director of The Collective Memory Project, on an overcast LA morning at the Ford, where she and her company are in rehearsal. It’s unnervingly quiet here during the day, the only sound the wind through the trees, underscored by the drone of traffic from the 101.
May 23, 2018
I’m streaming choral group Conspirare’s Considering Matthew Shepard album. My playlist tends to be more Cardi B than chorister, so I’m not quite sure what to expect. Plus, my rude millennial gayness obliges me to resent the image of the tragic, victimized queer. Enough already, we’re fine now, right? RIGHT?! I finally press play. The album starts quietly with a haunting piano progression. Then voices rise in pristine harmony setting up a sort of beat. I hear what sounds like a cowboy yodeling and the clank of hooves – unexpected.
May 16, 2018
What hath Lula and Erwin Washington wrought? This eminent Los Angeles arts couple, married since 1970, shares nearly four decades as influential artists and educators; they are beloved figures, community leaders and role models, cornerstones of Los Angeles dance. The boy-girl couple who first started dating in the 11th grade are joint recipients of the 2018 Dance/USA Champion Award. The award, which recognizes outstanding dance leadership in the Annual Conference’s host city, will be bestowed at the conference opening dinner on June 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. It fits the Washingtons to a T.