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Old Culver City Courthouse Could Become a LACMA Satellite

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Culver City's already pretty artsy, but it might soon be adding a new county-sponsored outpost for the arts to its roster of galleries. County Supe Mark Ridley-Thomas is pushing to turn a 30,000-square-foot former county courthouse across from Veterans Memorial Park into a cultural center with potential outposts for some big names, both public and private, says the LA Times. Ridley-Thomas's camp says they're "working with LACMA and Sony and other arts organizations to come up with a final program" before they talk specific renovation plans.

The building has potential and plenty of options are being explored. There's nothing set in stone yet, but Ridley-Thomas is in talks with LACMA, which might be interested in using the worn-down space, post-renovation, as a satellite gallery. The museum has one satellite gallery already in MacArthur Park which they use for a once-yearly exhibit, but has a goal to open more satellites throughout the county. LACMA head Michael Govan says "it's super-preliminary," but that he liked the courthouse site: "It's an interesting place, a beautiful mid-century building with a courtyard that's closed in. It needs a little TLC."

Sony might also get in on the action via a sponsored "media-arts education hub.". In addition to those options, Ridley-Thomas has also talked about maybe using the space as an "arts incubator" where young arts nonprofits could use the space for little or no money while building their organizations.

Though not a courthouse anymore, the building isn't entirely vacant. Part of it has been used since 2006 as the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum, which oversees a large private collection of written documents that document the African-American experience. A rep for Ridley-Thomas says that they're "committed" to the library having a home and that they're open to having the library stay in the space once it becomes a cultural center, or to helping it move somewhere new.

Referred to for now as the Second District Arts and Cultural Center, the project recently received $6 million from the County Board of Supes and Ridley-Thomas hopes it'll be completely remodeled and ready for visitors in 2016.
· Mark Ridley-Thomas pushes planned $8-million Culver City arts center [LAT]

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