The Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West

The Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West

Nonprofit

LASA has been active since the summer of 2012. Our inaugural class of 20 high school juniors, one high school intern, two college interns, and seven high school teachers has met in a summer intensive Los Angeles history and culture seminar at The Huntington Library, and we've met one Saturday a month since then. Each Saturday session is focused on a different "node" of regional infrastructure. The day usually begin … Read More

LASA has been active since the summer of 2012. Our inaugural class of 20 high school juniors, one high school intern, two college interns, and seven high school teachers has met in a summer intensive Los Angeles history and culture seminar at The Huntington Library, and we've met one Saturday a month since then. Each Saturday session is focused on a different "node" of regional infrastructure. The day usually begins with a speaker and discussion, and then the LASA group goes into the field and to various sites which fit that day's themes. Our investigation of water started with a history overview of regional water development -- with rare documents -- and we then went to the dispersal facility for Colorado River water coming into the Metropolitan Water District system. Our business investigation took us to a private aerospace manufacturing facility, in business for 57 years, in Glendale, and a tour with that company's chief technologist. We ended that day with a discussion with Idealab executives and entrepreneurs. Our law enforcement day featured a morning with Connie Rice of the Advancement Project (we all read her book on the LAPD), and an afternoon tour with LAPD leaders of the new station and the regional 911 call center; we ended the day with a tour of SWAT team equipment and vehicles. For our investigation of regional transit and transit history, we began our day with seminars by experts from The Getty and the Automobile Club of Southern California on the history of automobiles, freeways, and railroads in the region. Following an on-foot journey from LAPL to Union Station, we met with the lead architectural design team tasked with re-imagining Union Station in the urban fabric of downtown (a stop at the Bradbury Building completed that day). A more recent investigation of the entertainment landscape of Los Angeles took us to AEG's Staples Center, the GRAMMY Museum, the Disney Concert Hall, and an end-of-the-day Bunker Hill discussion with the architecture critic of the Los Angeles Times.

We believe our LASA students are getting to know the region, getting to know one another, and beginning to build lasting ties to their home and one another through LASA's commitment to fostering engaged civic participation and civic education. We believe that we are off to a great start.


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