UTLA teachers outside. Froo-froo inside.
While Bill Clinton and other members of the froo-froo class drank white wine and dined on finger food inside the new Broad Museum in Los Angeles, a thousand L.A. teachers protested the role many of the rich inside played in promoting charter schools and defeating California’s Prop 30, a proposal to raise taxes to fund public schools, including arts program funding.
Jay Davis, an art teacher at Augustus F. Hawkins High School, spoke to the assembled protesters about the importance of art in schools and communities.
“We’re grateful to send a clear message together to say that arts literacy isn’t something you just buy and hang on a wall, or simply absorb through a passing gaze in a museum,” Davis said.
Beyond arts funding, protesters raised concerns with Broad’s charter school plan, which, according to (UTLA President Alex) Caputo-Pearl, will entail “half a billion to a billion dollars” to fund charter schools, taking students out of LAUSD schools.
Caputo-Pearl said charter schools, which are not managed transparently by a public entity, do not have to follow the same guidelines as public schools, are prone to specially pick students for admission and do not facilitate a public process for teachers to interact with parents.
The Los Angeles Times was gushing in reporting about the party thrown by billionaire Eli and his wife, Edye Broad.
Another gala opening Friday for nearly 700 more guests, and another star-studded guest list — with former President Clinton topping the list of celebrities, artists, art collectors, arts professionals and friends of Eli and Edye Broad, the couple behind L.A.’s new contemporary art museum.
“We had so many people to invite that we had to split [the party] into two nights,” said Eli Broad, as he greeted early arrivals on the plaza beside the dramatic honeycombed facade of fiberglass-reinforced concrete
Like the other guests, Clinton toured the museum before dinner, except that the Broads acted as his personal tour guides.
“I love it,” Clinton said in a casual conversation in the third-floor galleries. “Giving this gift to people is a huge deal. I was thinking about the difference in always trying to change things in a big way and in trying just to make things better for people with the lives they have. It’s really important, the idea of democratizing access to art.”
Of his friendship with the Broads, Clinton turned to them and asked, “What year did you come and sit in the living room with me?” Edye Broad noted that Clinton daughter Chelsea, now an active figure in the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, had been a baby at the time and that Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of State, had been Eli’s lawyer. After settling on 1983, Clinton said, “I looked up one day and Eli was in my living room, and my life has never been the same.”
On Friday evening, less formal than Thursday’s event, Heyler showed off the silver flats she paired with her stylish black slacks. “I’ve done a lot of walking for a number of days on a lot of gallery floors that are concrete,” she said.
The invitation specified cocktail attire, yet as usual in Los Angeles, many guests dressed as they pleased — in a range of fashions from surfer shorts to designer duds.
After touring the museum, guests crossed Grand Avenue for dinner and entertainment, beginning with a 49-piece band, in a glass structure surrounded by views of the surrounding arts venues.
Outside The Broad museum, teachers protested in sweltering temperatures near 100.