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Things to Do in Downtown Los Angeles

Hotel Figueroa is proud to be at the center of DTLA’s ongoing cultural renaissance, which has curious, in-the-know visitors from around the world flocking to our endlessly dynamic and ever-changing neighborhood. Following are our carefully curated picks for what to see, do, eat, drink and explore in the buzzing heart of this spectacular city.

Things to Do in
Downtown Los Angeles

Hotel Figueroa is proud to be at the center of DTLA’s ongoing cultural renaissance, which has curious, in-the-know visitors from around the world flocking to our endlessly dynamic and ever-changing neighborhood. Following are our carefully curated picks for what to see, do, eat, drink and explore in the buzzing heart of this spectacular city.

The Academy Museum Los Angeles The Academy Museum Los Angeles The Academy Museum Los Angeles The Academy Museum Los Angeles

The Academy Museum is (Almost) Ready For Its Close-Up

The Academy Museum is (Almost) Ready For Its Close-Up

Eight years after it was announced that Los Angeles would be welcoming a museum worthy of its cinematic heritage, The Academy Museum is finally nearing its epic completion. As the $388 million project prepares for its debut in 2020, here’s what visitors can expect from the movie museum poised to be the world’s premier destination dedicated to the art, history, and science of filmmaking.   

Located on the grounds of the historic May Company Building, The Academy Museum is the long-awaited addition to Museum Row, a stretch along Wilshire Boulevard’s Miracle Mile between Western Avenue and Fairfax Avenue that’s also home to cultural institutions the Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Craft Contemporary, and the La Brea Tar Pits. Behind the design of the museum is famed Italian architect Renzo Piano, whose other projects include The Shard in London and NYC’s new Whitney Museum of American Art. At 300,000 square feet, The Academy Museum will span across two buildings: the May Company Building—which has been renamed the Saban Building—and a spherical addition that will feature an observation terrace and two theaters for film screenings and live performances. Gallery space will take up more than 50,000 square feet, and will accommodate permanent and temporary exhibitions, education centers, and event space.  

For more than a decade, The Academy has been collecting memorabilia for the museum’s permanent collection, acquiring items like a pair of Ruby Slippers used in The Wizard of Oz, the typewriter used by Joseph Stefano to write the script for Psycho, and tablets from The Ten Commandments. The collection also includes more than 12 million photographs, 80,000 scripts, 61,000 posters, and countless film and video assets, costume design drawings, contracts, manuscripts, storyboards, and set pieces.   

The museum will open with two inaugural temporary exhibits: “Regeneration: Black Cinema 1900-1970″ honoring the contributions of pioneering filmmakers like Oscar Micheaux, and a retrospective dedicated to the work of Hayao Miyazaki, the first exhibit of its kind to be presented in the United States. 

The Academy Museum is slated to open in 2020, but an exact date has yet to be confirmed. The Academy Museum, www.academymuseum.org

LAFW runway LAFW runway LAFW runway LAFW runway

What You Need To Know About L.A. Fashion Week

What You Need To Know About L.A. Fashion Week
Get Cultured: October 2019 Los Angeles Events Get Cultured: October 2019 Los Angeles Events Get Cultured: October 2019 Los Angeles Events Get Cultured: October 2019 Los Angeles Events

Get Cultured: October 2019 Los Angeles Events

Get Cultured: October 2019 Los Angeles Events
Inside Dtla’s Transfer Gallery Inside Dtla’s Transfer Gallery Inside Dtla’s Transfer Gallery Inside Dtla’s Transfer Gallery

Inside DTLA’s TRANSFER Gallery

Inside DTLA’s TRANSFER Gallery

There’s a new art gallery in town, and we’re obsessed. TRANSFER Gallery, a Brooklyn transplant, opened early this summer on Hope Street, across from FIDM and just a few minutes from Hotel Figueroa. But don’t expect paintings mounted on walls or sculptures perched atop white columns inside this loft-like space. Instead of peering at printed and framed photographs or examining pieces through acrylic cubes, you’ll come face-to face with digital art that, when effective, challenges how L.A. views, collects, and critiques virtual artwork. 

Behind TRANSFER is Kelani Nichole, a user experience strategist who works with startups when she’s not curating the computer-generated exhibitions featured in the gallery. Nichole opened the first TRANSFER space along Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Avenue in 2013 to support digital artists from around the world. In just five years, she produced more than 60 exhibitions there, before relocating her life and gallery to DTLA to be closer to many of her artists and entertainment clients. 

The West Coast iteration of TRANSFER Gallery continues the conversation around computer-based art, which addresses the friction between digital work and physical space with each show. “Liminal Territory,” the inaugural L.A. installations by Rick Silva and Sabrina Ratté, focused on the environment, and saw the artists employ 3D animation, aerial drone footage, photogrammetry and video to examine the implications of humans interacting with the physical world. Another piece, Cassie McQuarter’s “Black Room,” reflected on the artist’s bouts with insomnia, and is an interactive video game that can be viewed at the gallery and played at home. 

Technology-driven art is far from new—creators have produced video, audio, light, and graphic work for decades—but Nichole hopes TRANSFER encourages the public to engage deeper with pieces projected onto the gallery’s walls than they would if they saw the same work on a laptop or phone. Creating a physical space to view digital work also encourages the viewer to discuss the work rather than examine it in passing, and in presenting work that could often be found online, Nicole is determined to help digital artists find an audience that values their work both off and online.

TRANSFER Gallery is located at 1000 S Hope Street #420 LA, CA 90015. Check transfergallery.com for updates on gallery hours and the latest exhibitions. 

Discover More

We’re continually inspired by the creative energy of Downtown Los Angeles. For local recommendations—and to hear from the diverse individuals who make DTLA what it is today—head to our Meet You Downtown blog.

All About La’s Fidm Museum All About La’s Fidm Museum All About La’s Fidm Museum All About La’s Fidm Museum

All About LA’s FIDM Museum

All About LA’s FIDM Museum

All About the FIDM Museum

The DTLA Fashion Museum You Need to Visit

DTLA has a rich fashion and textile history that’s rarely celebrated on a global scale. The major exception is the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Museum, which honors and preserves the history of fashion, both on a regional and international level. 

All About La’s Fidm Museum

The collection on view at DTLA’s FIDM Museum.

Tonian Hohberg, who saw the need for a Southern California institution dedicated to art and design, first founded FIDM in 1969, with the museum opening just four years later. The museum’s first exhibit consisted of garments and items assembled by the school’s then Fashion Design Department faculty and staff, though the museum’s permanent collection would later grow to include items that date as far back as pre-18th century. The estate of Austrian-American and creator of the monokini Rudi Gernreich left the designer’s entire archive to the museum following Gernreich’s death in 1985, and the museum has amassed more than 15,000 since its inception including the Annette Green Fragrance Archive, Gianni Versace Menswear Archive, and the Michel Arnaud Photography Archive. The permanent collection also includes a selection of Hollywood costumes that date as far back as the 1920s and includes pieces worn by Lana Turner, Ingrid Bergman and Rudolph Valentino. 

All About La’s Fidm Museum

Inside the stunning FIDM Museum in DTLA.

Equally as impressive as the permanent collection are the temporary fashion, textile, and art exhibits regularly on display, ranging from presentations of costume from films like Star Wars and Alice in Wonderland to the annual “Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design” exhibit featuring looks seen in hit TV shows. During awards season, head to the museum to see costumes from Oscar-nominated films during the annual “Art Of Motion Picture Costume Design” exhibit, and FIDM’s graduating students showcase work for their senior thesis projects during the spring and fall. 

All About La’s Fidm Museum

A look over some of the FIDM’s beautiful fashion on view.

The FIDM Museum and Galleries is located at 919 South Grand Avenue, Suite 250 and admission is always free. The museum also provides access to an online exhibition feature powered by Google Arts and Culture and access to an online permanent collection

Discover More

We’re continually inspired by the creative energy of Downtown Los Angeles. For local recommendations—and to hear from the diverse individuals who make DTLA what it is today—head to our Meet You Downtown blog.

Inside The Music Center Plaza’s $41 Million Dtla Makeover Inside The Music Center Plaza’s $41 Million Dtla Makeover Inside The Music Center Plaza’s $41 Million Dtla Makeover Inside The Music Center Plaza’s $41 Million Dtla Makeover

Inside The Music Center Plaza’s $41 Million Makeover

Inside The Music Center Plaza’s $41 Million Makeover

Inside The Music Center Plaza’s $41 Million Makeover

More than five decades have passed since The Music Center began hosting the world’s most prestigious dance companies, theater productions, and musicians at venues along Grand Avenue. Now,  thanks to a $41 million makeover that took nearly two years to complete, the cultural destination’s plaza is poised to welcome more performers and guests for years to come.  

Home to the Ahmanson Theatre, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Mark Taper Forum, Grand Park and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Music Center is one of the most visited performing art centers in the world, with the DTLA plaza connecting the prestigious venues. It’s not uncommon for locals and visitors alike to enjoy meals or downtime in the plaza while waiting for a show to begin, and The Music Center regularly invites the public to attend events at the plaza like the free dance classes held in the summer as part of Dance DTLA. The goal of the renovation is to create a space where more people can participate, making it possible for the outdoor space to host larger gatherings like film screenings, performances, and community events.

Get Cultured: September 2019 Los Angeles Events Copy

As part of the renovation, The Music Center’s “Peace on Earth” sculpture—created by Jacques Lipchitz and dedicated in 1969—was relocated from the main square and positioned to a new level, while the space now has additional access points from Grand Avenue. Newly installed escalators and elevators make the trip to the plaza easier for those that require ADA access, and the plaza’s capacity has now doubled to 5,000 thanks to the expansive design. The new Lisa Specht Welcome Center will help keep visitors informed about local events, and the renovation added permanent public restrooms and ambitious new culinary options.  

Guests can now grab a drink at a new outpost from beloved coffee shop Go Get Em Tiger, or at The Mullin Wine, a wine bar featuring offerings curated by local wine shops. The Music Center plaza’s makeover also marks the debut of Abernathy, a 125-seat full-service restaurant with a rotating dining concept, hosting a different chef—and menu—for just three months at a time. Shirley Chung of Ms. Chi in Culver City serves as the first chef featured at Abernathy. Gardens, landscaped vistas, and a reinstated fountain complement the revamped outdoor space, and new LED screens invite guests to create digital art.

Get Cultured: September 2019 Los Angeles Events Copy

The re-opening of the plaza also came with a $12 million gift from City Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski and her Ring-Miscikowski /The Ring Foundation to support the new TMC Arts Fund, which is dedicated to making high-quality arts and educational programs produced at the plaza available for all. 

Discover More

We’re continually inspired by the creative energy of Downtown Los Angeles. For local recommendations—and to hear from the diverse individuals who make DTLA what it is today—head to our Meet You Downtown blog.

Get Cultured: September 2019 Los Angeles Events Get Cultured: September 2019 Los Angeles Events Get Cultured: September 2019 Los Angeles Events Get Cultured: September 2019 Los Angeles Events

Get Cultured: September 2019 Los Angeles Events

Get Cultured: September 2019 Los Angeles Events
Must See Now: Fidm’s Art Of Television Costume Design Must See Now: Fidm’s Art Of Television Costume Design Must See Now: Fidm’s Art Of Television Costume Design Must See Now: Fidm’s Art Of Television Costume Design

Must See Now: FIDM’s Art of Television Costume Design

Must See Now: FIDM’s Art of Television Costume Design

If it were possible to reward a museum with an honor for “Most Fashionable Exhibit,” the annual presentation at FIDM Museum dedicated entirely to costumes featured on today’s most popular TV shows would take the top prize.

When done well, a show’s costumes can reveal insightful details about the characters, enrich the world of the series, and aid in propelling the show’s storyline. The “Art of Television Costume Design” exhibit, now in its 13th year, pays homage to the costume designs that do just that.

Must See Now: FIDM's Art Of Television Costume Design

To celebrate the latest crop of Emmy-nominated shows that have all received nods for “Outstanding Costumes,” as well as looks from shows that are fan favorites, the Television Academy teamed up with FIDM Museum to showcase more than 100 ensembles featured 23 different shows. The exhibit, which is free and open to the public at FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, lets visitors see the work of costume designers, costume supervisors and assistant costume designers up close, as the exhibit highlights costumes that spans genres and time periods.

Among the 100-plus costumes are looks from Emmy-nominated period show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, contemporary shows like black-ish, and costumes from the final season of Game of Thrones, including one of Daenerys’ coats worn by Emilia Clarke. Also on view: looks from the celebrity singing competition The Masked Singer, where the apparel was just as memorable as the performances, along with looks seen on Veep, Gotham, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Outlander. The hand-painted leather jacket worn by Ashton Sanders in HBO’s Native Son is even more evocative when examined in-person, and few costumes can compete with the over-the-top, deliciously 80s ballroom looks from Pose on FX.

Must See Now: Fidm’s Art Of Television Costume Design

Close to 950 guests attended the exhibition’s opening gala, including designers Michelle R. Cole (“Black-ish”), Lou Eyrich (“Pose”) Alix Friedberg (“Sharp Obects”), Jennifer Rogien (“Russian Doll”),  Cynthia Summers(“A Series of Unfortunate Events”),  Marina Toybina (“The Masked Singer”), Allyson Fanger (“Grace and Frankie”), Steven Lee (“Dancing with the Stars”),  Zaldy Goco (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”) and Beth Morgan (“GLOW”).

The “Art of Television Costume Design” exhibit at the FIDM, just a 7-minute walk from Hotel Figueroa, runs from August 20 to October 26, 10AM-5PM Tuesday through Saturday. Photos courtesy of FIDM Museum.

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Local Favorites

From dazzling entertainment venues, to some of country’s foremost museums and art galleries, to cutting-edge shopping and dining options, DTLA offers an endless array of can’t-miss destinations just steps from Hotel Figueroa. Click on the map for a quick preview of some of our must-see spots.

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