Relive the highlights of our 2012 season by perusing through the stunning visual layout of our Annual Report! Designed by our crafty "boomerang intern" RJ Sakai, the document includes illustrious depictions of season highlights, including Vamos al Mambo, Mexico: Unexpected and our Friday Lunchbox Series. From the Art & Artist Origins map to the information on our new logo to the Board of Directors statement, consider this picturesque pamphlet to be your very own behind-the-scenes guide to all things GRAND.
We are excited to announce that Grand Performances has been nominated for the About.com Readers' Choice Awards, in the category of Best World Music Concert Series. We are one of five nominees, each located in various cities throughout the U.S., to have been selected based on our consistent range of globally-infused live performances. But before we can celebrate this online achievement, we need your help!
The purpose of this About.com series is to allow readers to highlight their favorite seasonal venues for presenting a broad spectrum of international acts. As the proud contributor of 27 years of international acts, ranging from mambo maestros to French funk fusion, we hope you'll take a minute to join in on the fun and vote for us. After all, the winner not only gets bragging rights, but also the priceless acknowledgement of their fans' devotion (and nothing could make us happier than that!).
The voting period runs until Tuesday, March 19, and each participant can vote once per day- so be sure to come back often, and invite your friends to do the same! You can find the link HERE.
As a lifelong admirer of the arts and avid world traveler, it's no surprise that photographer Michael Becker felt a deep, personal connection with Grand Performances after attending his first concert in 2011. Just a few months earlier Becker was traveling in Southeast Asia with friends and, impressed by the free public performances he experienced in Singapore, lamented that Los Angeles lacked such a diverse cultural gathering place. Luckily his traveling partner knew of Grand Performances!
Since that first introduction, Grand Performances’ free summer events serve as a creative outlet and muse for Becker, who after many years in trust administration is pursuing his first love - photography. He cites the plaza aesthetics, the illuminating color and lighting design, and the diversity of the audience as inspiration for dozens of his photographs. Rarely seated through a performance, he documents the architecture, people and artists then uses color enhancements to create a “lively and mystical expression of message and meaning.”
For Becker, the free-thinking, uninhibited vibe fostered in this “democratic, beautiful environment” is what distinguishes Grand Performances from all other performance spaces in L.A. He appreciates the spectrum of political viewpoints captured during audience conversations, like the one experienced after the reading of Mike Daisy’s The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, and the introduction he has received to local artists such as the dynamic, acrobatic modern dance company Diavolo.
In appreciation of the cultural equity our program brings to our community and to ensure this legacy for future generations of Angelenos, Becker has designated $1,000,000 to Grand Performances in his estate plans – our very first planned gift. He has also committed a multi-year pledge to help found a major giving initiative to launch this year. Grand Performances’ Board of Directors gratefully acknowledges Michael Becker's commitment.
For more information about planned giving and how you can include Grand Performances in your estate plans, please contact Christie Lesinski, Director of Development at 213-687-2272.
Now that’s what we call a Grand gesture:
This Valentine’s Day, trade in canned Hallmark sentiments and superfluous paper waste for something your special someone will truly appreciate: a Grand Performances e-card! Whether you’ve enjoyed a great date together on the Plaza or just want to share the excitement about the impending season, these quirky little bundles of quips are sure to brighten up someone’s day.
There are two ways to spread the love: after selecting from the 11 unique designs below, you can download and email your choice, or you can share any of them starting tomorrow (Valentine's Day) via Facebook for all your fellow GP chums! That’s right - even in the off season, a little GP love can go a long way!
So what are you waiting for? Sign, seal and e-deliver the love today!
Four friends, two hours of music and one spectacular summer afternoon concert was the magical equation for Kristeen Singh and Adnan Hussain, a pair of music lovers whose chance encounter at Grand Performances led to the blossoming of a blissful romance. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the now wedded couple graciously volunteered to share their story, replete with gorgeous pictures documenting their journey from its beginnings on the California Plaza.
On a warm summer afternoon in 2007, Kristeen’s friend Manuri asked her to accompany her to one of the summer concerts held at Grand Performances. Adamant music lover Kristeen readily obliged, selecting an afternoon concert by Indian performer Kiran Ahluwalia.
Meanwhile, GP devotee Adnan Hussain was already a frequent visitor to the plaza, as he considered the summer series a unique chance to hear diverse music from around the world. For Adnan, Grand Performances continually represents a melting pot of diversity on stage as well as in the audience. He dubbed the concerts a gift to the city of Los Angeles due to their welcoming nature, as they unite people from all walks of life as they enjoy the universal language of music. Sketchbook in hand, watercolors and brushes spilling out of his pockets, he came to Grand Performances often for musical and artistic inspiration.
He often invited his friend Jayson Joseph, of the band Elephants with Guns, as the latter was always happy to check out music at a moment’s notice. Together, they often explored all over town to seek out new sounds, and that fated Sunday was no exception; the two pals decided to head to Grand Performances to see Kiran Ahluwalia on the Water Court stage.
Burnt out from a brutal stint at work, Adnan and Jayson relaxed and picked a spot right in front of the stage. Adnan soon found himself lost in the music and capturing the moment in his paintings, fully enjoying the beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon and its rare treat of a concert.
Across the plaza, Kristeen and Manuri recognized Jayson and came over to say hello during intermission. Kristeen also happened to remember Adnan from her job registering South Asians to be bone marrow donors; from amongst the thousands of donors whose spit swabs she’d filed, she remembered Adnan. Alas, it seemed he hadn’t left quite the right impression this time, as the girls left the boys after intermission to enjoy the rest of the concert from a distance.
But when the show ended, the girls returned to chat with the boys and admire Adnan’s sketches. Adnan smoothly suggested they all get some food, and the girls, more acquainted with Jayson at this point, acquiesced. (In fact, Adnan would later learn that he had uttered the magic words for Kristeen when he said, “Let’s eat”!)
What followed were a few exchanged business cards and emails, which in turn fostered a friendship based on mutual love for volunteering and general philanthropy. As time passed, the relationship grew to include painting, eating, many more Grand Performances concerts —and finally, last year, a joining through marriage of Indian and Pakistani Punjab.
Today Kristeen continues her love of volunteering and Punjabi music by supporting a livelihood program in Chandigarh, Punjab, India through her company rHope. Adnan continues his passion for art, music and culture by presenting all three in his animation, paintings and storytelling through his company Mad Guru.
Thanks to their friend, fellow lover of music, brilliant artist and Grand Performances volunteer extraordinaire Jorge “Tyme” Martinez, Kristeen and Adnan were able to share their story with us.