Showing posts with label Century City Chamber of Commerce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Century City Chamber of Commerce. Show all posts

Friday, April 24, 2015

A New Public Sculpture Exhibition Returns to Century City

"Godot" by Bret Price. Photo by Matthew Fried.

LOS ANGELES (April 24, 2015) — A second unique, year-long public art exhibition — creating an encounter between art and the public realm — has arrived in Century City. Century City Sculpture 2015 features 20 abstract pieces by 10 nationally and internationally renowned artists. This is the second exhibition organized by the Sculpture Committee of the Century City Chamber of Commerce Arts Council and the Century City Arts & Culture Foundation.
Carl Schlosberg, curator and member of the Arts Council remarks, “The mission of the exhibition is to bring to the public a sense of spirit, to provoke their imagination and arouse their curiosity.”

Susan Bursk, President & CEO of the Century City Chamber of Commerce adds, “Bringing public art to Century City for all to enjoy is a mark of a strong community commitment to the increased cultural life of this very special area.”

The 2015 exhibition is expansive, and will be visible throughout the community in front of office buildings, plazas, parkways and green belts. In contrast to the Council’s first exhibition last year of Gwynn Murrill’s bronze animals, this collection exclusively features abstract art.

The Art/The Sites
The Avenue of the Stars median holds Jeffery Laudenslager’s three soaring, 22-foot kinetic works of titanium and stainless steel. Propelled by air and wind currents, the sculptures create unlimited shapes and forms. Marlene Louchheim’s two-part polished bronze and silver nickel sculpture, Full of Nature, and Bret Price’s galvanized, painted steel Roll-Up and his 30-foot tall High Hopes, also enhance the median. At The Irvine Company’s Fox Plaza (2121 Avenue of the Stars), Price’s painted steel Zig Zag animates a grassy area.
 "Orpheus" by Jeffery Laudenslager. Photo by Matthew Fried.

The Hines property’s (10100 Santa Monica Boulevard) front grass area features two bronze and steel sculptures, Diamaru XVI and Mia’s Enso, by Michael Todd. In the west garden, installed on an intriguing base of weathered wood, is Irondress, a cast iron sculpture by Peter Shelton, courtesy of L.A. Louver Gallery. The lobby is the setting for four abstract sculptures: mixed media works, Blah, Blah, Blah and The Tornado by Mark Lere, and Matt Wedel’s ceramic works, Gem, 2007 and Rock, 2010, courtesy of L.A. Louver Gallery.

Nearby at the Equity Office building (1999 Avenue of the Stars) is South African sculptor Edoardo Villa’s abstracted female reclining figure, set in a dramatic garden of succulents. Bret Price’s bright red Godot stands in front of the Constellation Place building (10250 Constellation Boulevard). Price’s steel Ball of Chain is installed on Century Park East, in front of the circular driveway of Watt Plaza (1875-1925 Century Park East), along with David Buckingham’s colorful steel Big X. Further down the street, on a gentle knoll in front of the Century Plaza Towers (2029-2049 Century Park East), visitors can view Ken Bortolazzo’s stainless steel Hexad, 1999.

This exhibition supported and funded solely by the following stakeholders of Century City, including Century City BID Association; Carl Schlosberg Fine Arts; Constellation Place; DiMascio & Berardo; InterContinental Hotel; L.A. Louver Gallery; Leslie Sacks Contemporary; Watt Plaza; Bank of America; Century City Homeowners Alliance; Century Park; Charles Schwab; Gainsborough Capital; Greenberg Glusker; Irvine Company’s Fox Plaza; Los Angeles Modern Auctions; Lee Bronson; Loeb & Loeb, LLP; U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; ValleyCrest Landscape Companies; CDG LA; Denenberg Fine Arts; Dr. & Mrs. Hamlin Emory; H.S. Consulting; Georgina & Alan Rothenberg; and Carole Schiffer.
"Full of Nature" by Marlene Louchheim. Photo by Matthew Fried.

Sculpture tours, lectures and events will be available to the community. For more information, visit, or contact the Century City Chamber at (310) 553-2222

About the Century City Chamber of Commerce
The mission of the Century City Chamber of Commerce is to promote the best interests of Century City and its membership, serving as the unifying voice for business development and civic growth, through effective communication, events and programs making Century City the preferred place to live, work, visit and shop within the City of Los Angeles.

About The Century City Arts & Culture Foundation
The Century City Arts & Culture Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization, affiliated with the Arts Council of the Century City Chamber of Commerce. It is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and providing leadership in Century City and its surrounding communities through the promotion and support of a broad range of artistic activities and initiatives. The Foundation serves the community by its inclusive programs promoting educational activities, increasing enjoyment and appreciation of the arts, serving as a resource for art and culture and facilitating the economic vitality of Century City.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Citizen of the Year

(This article originally appeared in the May 13th, 2013 edition of the Century City News)

by Michael Douglas Carlin
A year and a half I have sat next to Carl Schlossberg who has recently been named Citizen of the Year by the Century City Chamber of Commerce. I have sat next to him at the Art Council and the Sculpture Committee meetings and I have been his student. I have listened to his eloquent talks about the importance of art. I have learned to appreciate so much more the expressions of artists that enrich our lives. I was there that very first day when he presented his vision for the very first curated public art show along Avenue of the Stars. He bridged the gap for all of us newbies to public art by showing us how it would look. He spoon fed us until his vision became our vision. He spoon fed the building managers, city officials, board of the Chamber, sponsors, landscaping experts, building inspectors, and publicity people. We all had the experience of a lifetime as we walked the project through from inception to fruition. We all learned from his skilled hand and benefitted from knowledge he spent his lifetime acquiring.

We grew from the experience. We were all touched by his passion for the arts. We all borrowed his tremendous stature in the world of art and it is time to recognize the heft he has brought to Century City to match the heft that is all around us within this “one of a kind” community.

The previous Citizens of the Year have all been worthy recipients but honoring Carl Schlossberg has a special sweetness as he has giving us the gift of art to appreciate in Century City.


The Century City Chamber of Commerce announced its Citizen of the Year honorees for 2013: Carl Schlosberg, Fine Arts Dealer and Curator, and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P, a litigation-focused law firm that has gained national recognition for its pro bono representations. An awards luncheon will take place at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on Thursday, May 23, 2013. For more than 30 years, the Century City Chamber of Commerce has selected an individual and company who exemplify excellence in corporate and community relations to bestow its highest civic recognition award, Citizen of the Year. Keynote Speaker, Dan Schnur, Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC, will address the audience at this annual event that attracts more than 200 civic leaders and business professionals from the greater Los Angeles area. As an expert in political strategy, campaign communication and government reform, Dan will share insight on the race results for Los Angeles’ Mayor, City Controller and City Attorney, which are held two days prior to the awards luncheon.

Carl Schlosberg, the 2013 Individual Citizen of the Year, has been a fine arts dealer for more than 40 years. He has exhibited sculpture in the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills to the fields and parks of Malibu. Carl’s most recent project was as curator of the one-mile outdoor exhibition, “Gwynn Murrill on Avenue of the Stars.”

Carl has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles magazine, Daily News and other notable publications. Carl has been Chairman of the Sculpture Garden Committee of the University of Judaism; has led private tours of major sculpture gardens in the Northeast; and is a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Skirball Cultural Center. He currently chairs the Sculpture Committee of the Century City Chamber of Commerce Arts Council.

The 2013 Corporate Citizen of the Year, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., is a litigation firm with clients from Fortune 500 corporations and emerging markets to entrepreneurs and individuals as both plaintiffs and defendants. The firm, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary and has more than 240 lawyers located in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York and Naples, FL, has long been recognized for its pro bono work.

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. has received The National Law Journal’s 2011 Pro Bono Award and was selected as a Pro Bono Firm of 2010 by Law360. The American Lawyer ranked the firm eighth in the country in the 2011 Pro Bono Survey, and twice named the firm to the A-List (2007 and 2004). The firm has also regularly received a top ranking for litigation from Chambers USA and was chosen as a “Go-To Law Firm” by Corporate Counsel. Its Century City office is comprised of approximately 40 attorneys and is the recipient of the Citizen of the Year award.

“We are thrilled to name Carl Schlosberg and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi as our Individual and Corporate Citizens of the Year,” says Susan Bursk, President and CEO of the Century City Chamber of Commerce. “They are dedicated to serving the needs of those in the local community and beyond, making them very deserving of the award.”

Sponsors include Century Park, Watt Plaza, Fox Studios, Williams Data Management, Westfield, The Plaza, Constellation Place, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, L.L.P., and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. The 2013 Citizen of the Year Awards Luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. To reserve your seat or company table, please visit the Chamber’s website at: or call the office at 310-553-2222.

The Century City Chamber of Commerce is a vibrant and dynamic organization, and one of Los Angeles’ most active, involved and relationship-driven chambers. The Chamber places special emphasis on its members working together through its councils to build better relationships and create effective programs and events that help businesses expand their reach into the marketplace. For more information on the Chamber, visit our website or contact our office.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Samantha Martinez Takes The Gavel At The Century City Chamber

(This article originally appeared in the Feb 8th, 2011 print edition of the Century City News)

Samantha Martinez takes over the heavy gavel at the Century City Chamber of Commerce. Heavy because of the legacy of those that preceded her but in her hands the gavel appears to move effortlessly.

There is something happening over at the Century City Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is rising to new heights. I credit the staff, Starlyn and Amber that are dedicated to their jobs. I also credit Chamber President and CEO, Susan Bursk. The Executive Committee and the Board, too, have been proactive through a tough economy. The many council chairs and committee members have also done their part to put on interesting events and attract new membership. Samantha picks up the gavel at a time when the Chamber is firing on all cylinders. But the spirit of complacency has no place here and Samantha isn’t about to rest on Chamber Laurels.

I recently attended a retreat for the board of directors put on by the Chamber. The day began early and breakfast was provided along with really strong coffee (a must for early mornings). The discussion centered on building value for members and our role as directors of the board. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky opened the meeting calling on all of us to stay involved in Government at this critical time in the history of Los Angeles. Zev knows that Century City by definition means involvement.

I was reminded about a recent board meeting where there was a spirited discussion about endorsing a measure that was on the California ballot. Some were for the measure and some against… but more than the discussion was the process that was at play here. The myth of a rubberstamp board was dispelled, as was the myth that the chamber is the puppet of a few of the building managers. Samantha led the discussion. Samantha allowed all of the stakeholders with a dog in this fight adequate time.

Opinions from all sides of the issue were heard and the vote was taken. The result was a function of the votes: No back room deals… no coercion! This is a functional Chamber in a functional part of the city amidst so many dysfunctional companies, clubs and organizations that are in Los Angeles. The members that get so much from their Chamber Membership are those that work their membership by participating. Those that choose not to participate my not get as much out of their memberships but the opportunity to capitalize on membership’s value is available for everybody that sits at the table and the Chamber invites more to join and avail themselves of the value that is offered.

Mike Holwick is the immediate past Chairman of the Board and comes with a pedigree of three generations of involvement in Century City. Samantha is the previous Chair of the Government Affairs Council and sits at the intersection of Chamber Activities and access to Government Officials. Samantha is well versed on all of the issues that government struggles to solve and as Chairperson of the Chamber sits ready to give her opinion to officials when she is asked. They would do well to listen to the answers as they might find their struggle to overcome challenges less entangled when listening to Samantha’s voice of reason. Samantha waits patiently to allow all points of view to be heard before summing up all of those opinions into an intelligent platform that everyone somehow agrees with.

Just when you thought the Chamber had peaked and risen to the heights that limit it… you find that there is a plan in play to reach new heights never before thought to be attainable. Those who looked at Chamber Membership in the past and failed to hear the call need to revisit the value of Chamber Membership and get involved in shaping a new, more vibrant, and more important, Century City. Samantha is sure to be an important part of ushering in this new era.

Michael Douglas Carlin is the director of the movies Luvicide and American Federale. Recently he completed a ten-year stint as the Publisher and Editor of the Century City News. Here his articles turned into three books: Rise a Knight, A Prescription for Peace, and Peaceful Protests.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Venture Philanthropy

(Originally appeared in the August 15, 2004 edition of the Century City News)

By Courtney Ryan Fitzgerald

There’s a lot of money in this town.  And money isn’t just about power.  It’s about responsibility. 

“Century City has a higher concentration of financial advisors, attorneys, and CPAs than any other city I can think of,” says Mary Buffett, mother to the heirs of Omaha sage, Warren Buffett.  Ms. Buffett, author of Buffettology, along with Omninet Capital president, Ben Nazarian, and Lathem & Watkins’ Barry Sanders, will speak at the Century City Plaza on September 22nd during a lunch and panel discussion about “Using Wealth to Effect Social Change.” As Ms. Buffett indicates, this town at the summit of the fifth largest economy in the world certainly has the ability to exercise “powerful influence.”  The hundreds projected to attend this power lunch will have plenty on their plates, indeed.

Warren Buffett’s ex-daughter-in-law certainly knows the curious nuances of philanthropy.  When I was married, all of the family would have a chance to review various requests of the foundation each year.  It was an educational experience,” she says. “It was always impressive that the foundation’s gifts were specifically focused on helping abortion rights and other population control groups, universities, teachers, students, and, most recently, hospitals.”

It’s a bit risky for high-profile billionaires to give money to controversial causes like abortion rights.  But business can be risky by definition.  Likewise, sometimes with philanthropy, too: the greater the risk, the greater the reward.  “Using the venture capital model,” explains Brian Weiner, founder of the Law & Business Council and originator of September’s panel discussion, “venture philanthropy breaks away from the traditional charitable giving model in that people are now funding new research and scientific experiments aimed at receiving measurable returns on civic investment.  This leads to much greater breakthroughs in the effort to find a cure or solution to a particular social problem.”

September’s luncheon will focus in part on the future of the next generation of philanthropists and their finding these social solutions.  What risks will Warren Buffett’s granddaughters take with their inheritance? “They are the future leaders of the community,” underscores Weiner, “they are the ones who will be sitting on the boards and making the decisions and having the ability to do a tremendous amount of good for the community with both their wealth and their influence.”

If generations X, Y, and Z are ill-prepared, where will their money go? “Family foundations are only required to give a minimum of 5% of the total assets to charity,” clarifies Weiner, “they can keep it literally sitting in the family foundation forever.  They don’t have to give it.  Knowing this, a lot of community foundations and local charities are very concerned about getting on the radar screen of these next generations.”

According to Ms. Buffett, there’s a certain community accountability that comes with affluence.  No one lives in a vacuum.   The wrong thing would be to ignore our interdependence,” she says. “For a person with privilege, it is his or her responsibility to realize the capacity one has to create change.” 

The same goes for the corporate world, too.  Rather than focusing on the notion of a “supply chain,” corporations should focus on the greater good for the greater number result that the notion of a “value chain” provides environmentally, socially, and in all points between. 

“I believe that people more fortunate than most have a certain responsibility to our planet and other people to create conditions that allow for sustainability,” continues Ms. Buffett. “As the Great Law of The Iroquois Confederacy states: ‘In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.’”

So, how does this particular Buffett choose to be philanthropic, exactly?  She’s an ambassador for Greenstar, a non-profit providing solar power and e-commerce to developing countries.  She hosts benefit art showings. She purchases products made by responsible companies and teaches her children to care for their neighbors.  Whether that means visiting a local nursing home or gathering trash on the street,” says Buffett, “any small or large task is contributing to a better world.”

In today’s tightfisted governmental climate, philanthropy has even become crucial, if not essential, to society’s conservation.  “It is a sad state of affairs when our health care system fails to meet people’s basic requirements,” says Ms. Buffett.  Where the government gaps, private individuals have to step in to make up the difference, like Warren Buffett recently did by giving $6 million to UCSF for recruiting new faculty and exploring novel therapies in the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the Comprehensive Cancer Center.  “Private support of this kind is critically important to the long term success of this and many other programs,” says Ms. Buffett.

Are people of the next generation in tune enough with today’s social issues and political misgivings to follow the Mary Buffett model?  Or could philanthropy fall by the wayside, while civilization gets Scrooged into regression? September 22nd is about making sure that doesn’t happen.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Century City Historical Remembrances

(Originally appeared in the July 1, 2004 edition of the Century City News)

I’m sitting in the living room of the Katz’s. The view is spectacular. As the sun goes down the lights of Century City begin to glow and the view goes from spectacular to breathtaking. Harold begins to thumb through albums that he has carefully prepared over the years for occasions just like this. He reminisces about his role in the development of Century City and I feel the love he has for the people and the buildings that have become such a Mecca for business.

The whole theory of the Centers mode was to have public transportation. The Beverly Hills Freeway and the Subway were supposed to be built to support the Century City. The Beverly Hills Freeway was killed by Beverly Hills because they wanted it cut and covered. Harold suggested that they issue a bond to pay for the cover and Caltrans would pay for the cut. The state had bought most of the right of way from the Hollywood Freeway and had torn down most of the homes. In the end Ronald Reagan killed the project sighting the protection of Beverly Hills’ property values as the reason.

The subway didn’t fare much better. The metro was going to come down Wilshire and Santa Monica then it was going to angle into Century City then it would angle back to Wilshire to catch Westwood and then follow Wilshire Blvd. to the beach. A bill was passed in the United States Congress that forbids the Metro to extend west of Vermont. If the subway is every going to connect with Century City it will now take an act of Congress.

Century City was originally intended by Alcoa to be a city where everybody walked to work.  The executive the secretaries, the mailroom clerks. What happened is that the land values escalated so quickly that none of the workers could afford to own property.

“Life is what happens while you are making plans”, says Harold, quoting Jon Lennon. People were going to walk to work and that didn’t happen. There was going to be a Beverly Hills Freeway and that didn’t happen. There was supposed to be subway stations and that didn’t happen. Traffic steadily worsened and the solution was a few “well placed” Traffic Control Officers that really improved the traffic. The Officers would direct traffic through a red light if it improved the flow. The job those Officers did has been replaced by computer assisted signals.

Harold’s wife Jan reminisces about her time in Century City. Jan remembers Jerry Asher showing her a mock up of Century City that was in the first building built – one of the Gateway buildings. Her business (Janway Staffing) now resides in West Los Angeles around the corner for Century City but many of her clients are still located in Century City. Jan was the founder of the “Women’s Network” which later became the woman’s council.

It all began when Alcoa bought the land from Fox so that they could prove buildings could be built with aluminum. Alcoa built the two gateway buildings, the shopping center and the two 1901 buildings. In 1969 I began with Bob Hatfield. I went to Hatfield and told him it was time to have a chamber of commerce. He assigned John McComb to me and it began as the Century City Civic Council which later became the Century City Chamber of Commerce. In ’72 Harold became the president serving two consecutive terms.

They welcomed Harold into the Alcoa family and listened to his advice and guidance. They sold off the east side of Century Park East to developers. Here we find very little space around the buildings. The Alcoa guys were top notch. “Look at the setbacks on Avenue of the Stars - look at the fountain, and the greenery. These guys just wanted a showplace.” Says Katz.

During Katz term as president the chamber sponsored “Girl Watching Week” which stirred the following response from the Los Angeles Chapter of NOW:

Mr. Harold Katz
Century City Chamber of Commerce

In these days of social awareness it’s regrettable that responsible professional women and men must still take time from their busy schedules to protest remnants of social injustice such a remnant is Century City’s laughingly outmoded but none the less outrageously offensive girl watching week. We protest Girl Watching Week because it invades the privacy of women who must work or shop in Century City. It invades the privacy of Century City Girls your terminology not ours by forcing them either to remain indoors for a week or submit meekly to the unwanted leering scrutiny of girl watchers. Since you remain unaware of the fact that women  deplore being unwitted participants in a vulgar circus please expect that we will use all means available to us including economic pressure to enlighten you to the damage that girl watching week does to your civic image and to the bitter resentment that it inspires in the majority of your shopping public.

With all sincerity,

Virginia L. Carter President
Los Angeles National Organization of Women

Century City Officials have defended the celebration  as a light hearted tribute to the beauty and charm of the women who work and visit the new city complex. We’ve had constant comments from people all over the world that Century City was unique as a location for seeing lovely women, stated Harold Katz, and every one refers to it as girl watching consequently we decided to stage an annual girl watching week. We certainly did not consider the event in any way to be offensive or a vulgar circus as the women’s lib advocate insists on describing it. It’s a good humor tribute to women and the fact that men love looking at beautiful women.

It must be time to go the Hyatt has just turned off their lights.