Fellows Douglas Wolk and Joerg Haentzschel take in the expanse of Los Angeles at Stahl House Case Study No. 22, which photographer Julius Shulman made famous.
"We sucked chaos through a straw.” – fellowship alum
"Exposure. Camaraderie. Reconnection with the reasons each of us has dedicated our life to communicating cultural expression with as broad a swath of the population as possible."
– fellowship alum
"The fellowship splashes cold water into the face of even a pro-active arts journalist to say: Grow! Evolve! Here's how! Collaborate! Remember ethics! Be creative! Open your mind ever more!" – fellowship alum
About USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program
The USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program fellowship is the only one of its kind in the United States, open to accomplished national and international journalists. Begun in 2002, the fellowship was designed to bring mid-career arts journalists to Los Angeles and immerse them in the rich, challenging and diverse culture of the city. Sometimes it is a way of thinking. Sometimes it is a way of doing.
From the specifics of L.A.’s cultural and historical context, larger and more globally relevant stories are explored. Some of the artists, architects, curators and educators with whom fellows have spent time in the past include, Eleanor Antin, John Baldessari, Stephanie Barron, Larry Bell, Deborah Borda, Chris Burden, Athol Fugard, Frank Gehry, Michael Govan, Gronk, Samuel Hoi, Lyn Kienholz, Richard Koshalek, Barbara Kruger, Michael Maltzan, Thom Mayne, Ed Moses, John Outterbridge, Ann Philbin, Peter Sellars, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Julius Shulman, Alexis Smith, James Tenney and Bill Viola.
Frank Gehry (right) talks to the fellows in 2003 about his ideas and methods at his Santa Monica studio.
As journalism and culture have changed over the past 12 years, so has the fellowship. Several core elements endure: Los Angeles is used as a laboratory in which to study and encounter artists one-on-one mostly in their studios, firms, rehearsal rooms and behind-the-scenes.
But in recent years, the fellowship has expanded its opportunities for experimenting with digital tools, platforms, multimedia storytelling, distribution methods and audience engagement. We’ve looked at gaming, crowd-sourcing, community-building, Slow Journalism, meta-data, distributed storytelling, incremental journalism and social media. We’ve worked with hundreds of arts journalists from all over the world to poke and prod the definitions of arts journalism.
In 2011 we created the pop-up newsroom Engine28 with forty arts journalists to cover two theater festivals over the span of six days. Engine29 – for the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program in the same year – was a pop-up journalism lab designed to challenge the very definitions of cultural journalism. Engine30 – in 2012 for the USC Annenberg/Getty Fellowship – integrated the fellows' explorations with three media partners: KPCC, KCET and the Los Angeles Times.
Through the pop-ups we learned how exciting it is to assemble a “dream team” of journalists and put All Stars together working on projects that stretch them beyond their usual professional boundaries. The intensity of working together over 11 days to create something new, to redefine traditional coverage of the arts, can be a heady and career-changing experience.
Top: The MobileMuralLab truck, a re-approriated Search and Rescue Vehicle that serves as a mobile space for public art and education.
Bottom: MobileMuralLab Co-Founders Roberto del Hoyo (left) and David Russell are interviewed by Fellow Michele Siegel of WNYC about graffiti art challenges in Los Angeles.
Conversations are often held over long, gracious fellowship dinners and tickets to arts events in L.A. are made plentiful. But the fellowship’s primary focus is on finding radical ways to make meaningful arts journalism in the future. The projects afford journalists the increasingly rare resource of a common space – not online, but real – in which to discuss, debate, swap knowledge and skills. Together they can influence journalism practices, whether technology-based or physical or ideological.
About USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
Located in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (Annenberg.usc.edu) is a national leader in education and scholarship in the fields of communication, journalism, public diplomacy and public relations. With an enrollment of more than 2,200 students, USC Annenberg offers doctoral, graduate and undergraduate degree programs, as well as continuing development programs for working professionals, across a broad scope of academic inquiry. The school’s comprehensive curriculum emphasizes the core skills of leadership, innovation, service and entrepreneurship and draws upon the resources of a networked university located in the media capital of the world.
About The Getty Foundation
The Getty Foundation fulfills the philanthropic mission of the Getty Trust by supporting individuals and institutions committed to advancing the greater understanding and preservation of the visual arts in Los Angeles and throughout the world. Through strategic grant initiatives, the Foundation strengthens art history as a global discipline, promotes the interdisciplinary practice of conservation, increases access to museum and archival collections, and develops current and future leaders in the visual arts. It carries out its work in collaboration with the other Getty Programs to ensure that they individually and collectively achieve maximum effect. Additional information is available at www.getty.edu/foundation.
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