Open to the public since 1996, the Skirball Cultural Center has established itself as one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions and among the leading cultural venues in Los Angeles. Its mission is to explore the connections between 4000 years of Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideas. It seeks to welcome and inspire people of every ethnic and cultural identity in American life, with the aim of building a society in which everyone can feel at home.
The Asian elephant presides over the entrance to Noah’s Ark, one of the Skirball’s award winning permanent exhibitions. Almost all of the materials used to make the elephant are Asian in origin, including a gong from Thailand, vegetable steamers from Laos, handmade Lokta paper from Nepal, and bronze Thai rain drums engraved with decorative elephants. The deer sports shoehorns as ears. The elegant, endangered Grevy’s zebras are fabricated from wind turbines and keyboards.
Noah’s ark is an old story, so they chose to use old stuff. Stuff from attics, stuff from e-bay, and some stuff right off the street. Children and adults alike find a new sense of wonder exploring and becoming one with the animals, the ark and the thrill of creating the rain, thunder and lighting integral to Noah’s story.
Docents, puppeteers and guests all recreate the tale together in this interactive space.
Birds Fly, coyotes howl, giraffes stretch their long necks to get a better view, all at the guidance of visitors whims.
There is great joy found in the identification of the mundane objects used to craft the sculptures inhabiting this space of ingenious simplicity, movement, storytelling and playful artistic expression.
Not to mention a jungle gym of an ark to climb, crawl through, explore and learn from. This family friendly collection is a must see for locals and visitors to Los Angeles.
Current running at the Skirball, is Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution, the first comprehensive retrospective about the life and career of legendary rock impresario Bill Graham (1931–1991). Recognized as one of the most influential concert promoters in history, Graham launched the careers of countless rock & roll legends in the ’60s at his famed Fillmore Auditorium. He conceived of rock & roll as a powerful force for supporting humanitarian causes and was instrumental in the production of milestone benefit concerts such as Live Aid (1985) and Human Rights Now! (1988). As a promoter and manager, he worked with the biggest names in rock, including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones.
The Skirball’s exceptionally well produced exhibitions offer unique glimpses into traditional and non traditional Jewish heritage and culture that is fascinating, entertaining and delightfully educational.
Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Phone – 310-440-4500 web site – skirball.org