Best Way to Get Some Culture - 2006
City Arts & Lectures
This town's surfeit of arts and culture events can be a bit dizzying. Choosing between Javanese shadow puppetry, DIY art-making conventions, and the zillions of film festivals that wend their way through the city can be a daunting prospect. After blazing a few entertainment trails, it can be refreshing to sit back and absorb some culture of the good, old-fashioned brainy variety. City Arts & Lectures has been presenting scintillating ideas for more than 25 years in an appealing, educational conversation format reminiscent of Playboy's legendary catalog of interviews. The series brings together the world's most compelling personalities in the fields of art, literature, science, and politics. Past participants include Salman Rushdie and Joan Didion, Andy Goldsworthy and Philip Seymour Hoffman, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shirin Ebadi. More than just a parade of talking heads, though, City Arts consistently serves up timely, diverse perspectives on global and local issues, and its audience members' questions are smarter than anything you'll hear on a call-in radio talk show. Various programs also benefit causes such as the 826 Valencia scholarship, ensuring that generations to come will keep the discussion rolling.