Pomona, CA (June 19, 2019) – The LA County Fair is poppin’ with a plethora of partners for its 2019 end-of-summer party, with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) providing artwork from its collection, the Autry Museum sharing a flare of western history and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® offering a bit of floral brilliance.
Also sharing their experiences with Fairguests: the Discovery Cube, who’ll bring its science programming to share with school children during the FairKids Field Trip program; the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and La Brea Tar Pits, offering their expertise with visits from a paleontologist; and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes brings its LA Troka mobile gardening workshop.
Partners were announced at a press conference held in front of Chris Burden’s Urban Light at LACMA on June 19.
“With these partnerships, we have raised the bar on what a county fair can be,” said Miguel A. Santana, President & CEO of Fairplex. “We thoroughly embrace our nostalgic traditions – with farm animals, food on a stick and carnival rides – but now we’ve incorporated elements of cultural components that contribute to the rich diversity of Los Angeles and Southern California. And that’s perfect this year, since we are celebrating pop culture at the Fair.”
The Fair’s theme is “Fair Goes Pop,” a celebration of LA Pop Culture. The Fair runs Aug. 30-Sept. 22.
LACMA will be lending the Fair an artwork by film and video artist Christopher Richmond as part of the Fair exhibition at the Millard Sheets Art Gallery. LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan said LACMA’s collaboration with the LA County Fair is a special opportunity for the museum to reach audiences throughout LA County.
“As LA County’s art museum, LACMA has an ever growing commitment to sharing its collections with audiences throughout Southern California and beyond,” said Michael Govan. “We are excited to bring Christopher Richmond’s dynamic work to new audiences, especially from the Inland Empire, and hope this will inspire conversations about the intersection of art and film.”
Richmond’s piece, Available Light, is a 16mm color film with sound transferred to HD. The contrast to old-school art gallery installations once de rigueur at the Fair is enough to draw curious eyes. In the past few years, the Millard Sheets Art Center has embraced modern art. That fits in particularly well with this year’s pop art Fair theme.
W. Richard West, Jr., President and CEO of the Autry Museum of the American West, said he’s thrilled to be partnering with the Fair. As part of the Autry’s collaboration with the Fair, the museum is providing reproductions of nostalgic posters and speakers on a variety of topics related to the art, history, and cultures of Los Angeles and the broader American West.
“Having our museum’s name in front of the 1.2 million guests who attend the Fair creates the possibility of new eyes discovering the Autry and everything we have to offer,” West said. “This collaboration also opens a door to introducing Fairguests to lesser-known aspects of the American West and the many ‘imagined Wests’ that have been represented in popular culture over the years.”
The Tournament of Roses is providing neon signs and educational components on Rose Parade floats to the Fair’s Flower & Garden Pavilion, which, this year, is themed “Pops of Color.” The Rose Parade® fits perfectly into the Fair’s pop culture theme. Plus it continues the Fair’s longstanding relationship with the Tournament of Roses. In the recent past, the winner of the Fair’s High School Marching Band Competition earned a spot in the Rose Parade.
“We are pleased to be working with the LA County Fair again,” said David Eads, executive director, CEO of the Tournament of Roses. “Both the Rose Parade and the Fair have such history as Southern California traditions, it’s a perfect fit for us to partner.”
The Natural History Museum and La Plaza de Cultura y Artes also have worked with the Fair in previous years, with NHM providing paleontologists to the Fair and La Plaza bringing out LA Troka, its mobile culinary and garden workshop wagon. The addition of the La Brea Tar Pits fits perfectly as one of the iconic LA scenes being recreated at the Fair is a pair of wooly mammoths fighting extinction in pits of tar.
Engaging external iconic institutions to boost Fair programming and experiences is a step Santana and his team has embraced since he took the helm three years ago.
“One of Fairplex’s guiding principles is to celebrate that which is uniquely Southern California, so to partner with such exemplary organizations like LACMA, the Tournament of Roses and our other cultural institutions is a no-brainer,” Santana said. “Being able to share resources, audiences and programming is a benefit to all, especially the Southern California community.”