This Ambitious Young Entrepreneur Has Big Plans To Revamp The Arts Scene In Los Angeles

bettina korek

Amanda Marsalis

Bettina Korek is on a mission to make the art world, often seen as standoffish, accessible to everyone.After a stint in the development and communications departments of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the 33-year-old L.A. native and Princeton University graduate founded ForYourArt, which is aimed at increasing arts engagement in her hometown.

Click here to spend a day with Bettina >
The company, which launched in 2006, publishes a widely read weekly newsletter listing art-related events and cultural happenings in L.A., and recently launched a similar publication in New York.

In March, ForYourArt opened a brick-and-mortar space in downtown L.A. that hosts short-term events and exhibits in coordination with museums and other partners around the city. The inaugural event was a 24-hour doughnut buffet in collaboration with LACMA’s 24-hour screening of Christian Marclay’s The Clock, and in mid-June it will host a pop-up shop for Highland Park-based Pop-Hop Books & Print.

The space was inspired by a new crop of West coast tech incubators, including Launchpad L.A., Science Inc., and Muckerlab, Korek told the Los Angeles Times, saying “They all operate in different ways, from providing office space to mentoring. But they share this experimental spirit, this spirit of helping to incubate activities, that we can bring to the arts.”

Ultimately, Korek hopes to get people to see and engage with art, and perhaps even to become patrons themselves.

Between meeting with potential collaborators and overseeing installations in the Wilshire Blvd. space, Korek’s days are jam-packed. She took along a camera on a recent work day and told us (in her own words) what she did.

I like to plan ahead! Wendy Smith (business and media strategist) came by our new space at 6020 Wilshire Blvd. to discuss programming for the fall. The doughnut in the background is a sculpture from 24 Hour doughnut City – our launch event on March 24.

You can read about the event here. Stay tuned for an announcement of all our Fall activities at the new space!

Off to a quick meeting with Erica Redling at Redling Fine Art talk about artist Liz Glynn's book launch that is coming up. I love these chandeliers that she made for the Black Box, a temporary space for performance that she produced as part of the Getty and LAXART's Pacific Standard Time Public Art and Performance Festival, which took place this past January.

Read more about LAXART here.

Next stop was my friend and designer Scott Sternberg's (Band of Outsiders) studio to talk about artist collaborations.

I caught up with food writer Krista Simmons and Sarah Williams of ForYourArt over coconut kale smoothies at Naturewell in Silver Lake (my favourite) to plan for our upcoming project New Art(isanal) Now—a one day food biennial. Krista selected the doughnuts for our first project in the new space, Around the Clock: 24 Hour doughnut City.

Lisa Sitko Amour showed me around an installation plan for a planter show that she and another L.A. ceramicist I love, Matt Merkel Hess, are doing in the space this fall that is timed to coincide with the great ceramicist Ken Price's exhibition at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), across the street.

We swung by Pop-Hop bookstore in Highland Park to meet with Sarah Balcomb and Robey Clark about the 3 day pop up event they are doing in the ForYourArt space in June. The events will be part of the Muse Artwalk that LACMA organizes in the neighbourhood as well.

I stopped by LACMA to meet up with Abby Bangser who, amongst other things, oversees the President's Circle Avant-Garde group that I started.

We took a look at Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass, which will open this summer, and checked out Chris Burden's Metropolis – an art installation / megalopolis with 1,100 Hot Wheel cars!

Back at the space, we are installing for a screening and DJ.

Time to head home–long day!

But with this LA traffic, maybe not so fast.

Now see how a famous New Yorker spends his days.

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