• Summer Concerts in the Spiral Court, California Plaza.
  • Diavolo Performing at California Plaza.
  • California Plaza Watercourt.
  • Spectators enjoying a day concert at the California Plaza Watercourt. (Gary Leonard, 2011)
  • A summer night concert at California Plaza by Grand Performances. (Grand Performances, 2013)

California Plaza

cultural planning

Client: Metropolitan Structures of Chicago

Project Time Frame: 1988 - 1990

Event Dates: 1989 - 1990

In 1988, Metropolitan Structures of Chicago engaged Community Arts Resources (CARS) to develop the seven-year master plan for public performances at California Plaza, a billion-dollar development project in downtown Los Angeles, and to then, program the facility for two years. Aaron Paley, principal of CARS, with Aaron Slavin, one of CARS’ co-founders, authored this seminal report on the programming direction, mission and governance of this then-to-be-built performing arts plaza. CARS outlined the funding, policies, and programming for this new outdoor performance area, a key component of the largest redevelopment project of its time in Southern California. The report included a seven-year business plan for the operations of the organization, as well as a strategy for long-term financing of the arts through tenant contributions, in perpetuity. From 1989 to 1990, CARS curated and co-produced “Celebrations,” a free noontime concert series of music and dance presented in the Spiral Court of California Plaza, showcasing a compelling mix of multicultural artists based in Los Angeles, along with national and international groups. CARS produced seventy-seven concerts in two years. "Celebrations!" continues to this date as "Grand Performances". The California Plaza offered the first opportunity in California for the now ubiquitous one-per-cent for art program to be applied to “temporary” performing arts and to the infrastructure supporting them.

California Plaza
California Plaza
Los Angeles,CA 90071