Wow! There’s a major piece of news that was announced today that basically exactly fits with a dream I have every year. Furthermore, I have been taking part in some meetings with all the University’s Deans, the President, and other key officials, about major aspects of USC’s future endeavours, and when the issue of strengthening the role of USC in the life of Los Angeles came up, I intended to mention my dream, but we ran out of time yesterday so I decided I’d mention it at today’s lunch meeting instead. So today at lunch I was about to be called on to make the point about local roles, and I’d decided give the specific examples I had in mind. I was going to suggest that we seek for things analogous to UCLA Live, and to the LA Times Festival of Books, as things we can do to open our doors to the city (even more than we do) and become well known to more people near and far as a regular contributor to the intellectual life of the city (I mean beyond the huge number of people who come to us for an education, and the many public events that we already host and/or sponsor). But I was not called on because the President, Max Nikias, looked at his watch and said he had an announcement to make since it was just past the embargo time that was put on the story.
What was his announcement? The LA Times Festival of Books is going to move to USC starting next year! (See also here.) We’ll be enlarging it, and bringing back the awards ceremony to the way it was, and more.
You’ve maybe read my many posts here about the LA Times Festival of Books, and the Awards ceremony, etc., which used to be held over on the UCLA campus. See the list of related posts at bottom for some. I’m really overjoyed about this news – Over the moon! Having it at USC makes sense for so very many reasons, not the least because the Festival moves more to the heart of the city, with a broader and more diverse cross-section of people in all directions (who’ll be able to connect to it by so many different bus routes, and the new subway line that is almost finished), and several of the city’s main museums across the street, not to mention downtown just up the road, and so on and so forth.
Of course I’m going to make sure to tell Max personally that we need the chocolate fountains back!