A Message From The President

Kim McCleary Blue

July 2021

To Our Members and Supporters,

With the reopening of California, we are excited and looking forward to connecting with Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall members in person. Your feedback to our recent members’ survey was informative and directional – thank you!

For members (30%) ready to attend in-person events now, you will be pleased to hear that our first in-person members’ event takes place on Thursday, July 15 at the Skirball Cultural Center. We are grateful to Jocelyn Tetel, LAWACTH member and Senior Vice President, Advancement, for arranging an exclusive tour for Ai Weiwei: Trace exhibition. The monumental display, created in 2014 when the contemporary artist was under house arrest, portrays activists, prisoners of conscience, and advocates of free speech from around the world.

Besides museum tours, LAWACTH members enjoy attending film screenings (40%). We are thrilled to announce these screenings for your summer viewing pleasure.

Enemies of the State – Is an investigative thriller documentary about a family caught up in a government conspiracy. Does truth matter? Members can probe this question! Register here for the film screening viewing (July 16-18). Then, we invite our entire audience to join us for a public webinar with Director Sonia Kennebeck and Producer Ines Hofmann Kanna on Monday, July 19, at 11:00AM PDT. You can register here for the live filmmaker Q&A.

The Lost Leonardo – The Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) was the most expensive painting ever sold at auction ($450m), and yet, its origins, authenticity and the mystery around it made it an even bigger global sensation. Is it truly a work of Da Vinci, or a machination of the art world? Find out in August – date to be announced soon. Save your seat here.

Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power – US Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA13) cut her teeth as a volunteer for the Black Panther Party and was the lone vote in opposition to the broad authorization of military force following the September 11th attacks. This feature-length documentary will be shown in August – date to be announced soon.

On July 28, we will debut a brand new member-led program as part of our livestream lineup. Longtime member Maryam Zar will lead a virtual discussion on how global cities such as Berlin, Dublin, Philadelphia are confronting homelessness, and what Los Angeles has done, and can do, to best address this urgent issue. These discussions are member-initiated and held via GoToMeeting. Participants review a few preparatory materials on a specific topic, and arrive at the meeting to discuss the topic and materials with the member host and fellow members. Mrs. Zar was the founding Chair of the Pacific Palisades Taskforce on Homelessness, which was hailed by city, county and state leaders as a model micro-solution where community stakeholders came together and crafted a workable solution.

Speaking of our membership, I wish to offer these tributes. Thank you to everyone for your unwavering loyalty in viewing our livestreams since last March. Thank you for your donations, sponsorships and grants. Thank you to our board of directors for their participation as moderators and panelists. A heartfelt thank you to LAWACTH board member and Politics Professor Dan Schnur for hosting the weekly “Politics in the Time of Coronavirus.”

As we re-introduce in-person events, we will continue to offer livestreams in the morning timeframe (preferred by 50%). We are also committed to delivering value for your membership – I hope you are enjoying a complimentary one-year subscription to the Daily Chatter, an independent, fact-based, non-partisan newsletter exclusively dedicated to world news coverage.

Our relationship with you, our members, is central to our mission. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our Membership Manager, Krystsina Shabanava, at kshabanava@lawacth.org or by calling our office at 424.258.6160. She is available to assist current members as well as those wishing to join our nonprofit civic engagement forum.

Kim McCleary Blue
President & CEO
Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall