Alumni from the University of the Arts, London are among those featured this year at the 10th annual Brit Week.
The University encompasses Central Saint Martins, Chelsea, Wimbledon and Camberwell Art Colleges, The London College of Fashion and The London College of Communications.
Brit Week takes place between April 23rd and May 8th in Los Angeles, California.
The event was initially conceived by Bob Pierce, the former British Consul General to L.A., and Nigel Lythgoe O.B.E., an Emmy-award winning TV producer.
It was set up to celebrate the creative and innovative bond between the UK and California in art, music, design, sport, business and entertainment.
Executive Director Lauren Stone explains:
In previous years, BritWeek has explored the historical influence Brits have had on the development of Los Angeles.
Mulholland Drive may be famous for panoramic views and the eponymous David Lynch film, but it’s a little known fact it was named after Belfast-born William Mulholland.
Highlights this year will include:
- An opening night performance marking the 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, featuring actors Michael York, Joely Fisher and Sir Patrick Stewart amongst others.
- British entertainment executive Simon Fuller receiving Brit Week’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the 7th Annual Business Innovation Awards. Fuller is the creator of TV’s international Idol Franchise, has managed musicians as diverse as The Spice Girls and Amy Winehouse, and owns luxury fashion labels Victoria Beckham and Roland Mouret.
America and the UK have a unique bond and understanding, we are natural partners. We come from a small island with an eccentric and eclectic confidence and America is the land of opportunity , embracing of talent and ideas from all over the world – it is the perfect fit.
-Simon Fuller, BritWeek Magazine.
- UK performance artist Millie Brown receiving Brit Week’s Visual Artist of the Year award. Her work will be celebrated with an exclusive Q and A ahead of her new L.A. exhibition Self Reflexion. Watch Millie Brown’s vomit painting performance, as heralded by the singer Lady Gaga:
- Wallspace Exhibition: London Transplants featuring alumni of the University of the Arts, London, who are now based in L.A.
- Local football team, L.A. Galaxy, host a charity match including their British players Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole.
- Interactive show of urban artists influenced by British culture. \Brit-fluence(d)\ is curated by Cindy Schwarzstein, founder of Cartwheel Art, at LA’s downtown Gabba Gallery. It includes an Urban Adventure Bus Tour of urban murals as seen in the slideshow below.
- The tour will be hosted by graffiti academic and author Steve Grody (Graffiti L.A: Street Styles and Art). Hear him explain the British influence on LA gang writing below.
- A gala evening at LA’s Getty Museum, celebrating the London Calling Exhibition in collaboration with London’s Tate gallery, featuring the work of British artists Freud, Bacon, Kossof and Auerbach.
With BritWeek in L.A. growing bigger every year, the idea has now spread to San Francisco, Miami and Orlando.
Here Lauren Stone explains some of its success.
And if you’re wondering why L.A. has become such a mecca for the creative and entrepreneurial, here’s the opinion of one leading expert:
It’s no good explaining to people why one lives in Hollywood. They either understand it’s the only place or they don’t.
– British author Christopher Isherwood
This item first appeared on LMMNews Radio’s News Review on Thursday May 5th.