Yes, I would say that getting to meet Frank Gehry last night was one of the highlights of my architectural writing career. How about the fact that he was even more funny and witty and off-the-cuff than I expected him to be? And did I mention he’s 83?
Gehry was one of the keynote speakers launching this California Arts Council campaign to raise money for the arts through a specialty license plate. If one million people do this, it will supposedly siphon $40 million into California’s arts budget. He looks like he’s flipping the bird here, but he’s not. However, he did get a nice dig in at the California Department of Education for slacking on their arts funding. “God dammit, do something!” he said. And then apologized profusely. A gentleman.
Maria Shriver was also an incredible speaker, one of the best I have ever seen. She spoke about how this was almost a way for Californians to “take back” their state, since the government had proved it was not able to “do anything” to protect arts funding. An extremely elegant jab, I would say.
It’s an interesting campaign but I have some thoughts about how to make it better. I wrote about some of them in my review over at the LA Weekly. My first complaint, of course, which I did tell all the organizers I interviewed, is that there’s no option for those of us who don’t have cars.
Top photo by the awesome Laura Kate. Thanks to Craig Watson for introducing me to the story.