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L.A. as Subject: The Transformative Culture of Los Angeles Communities was a four-year local and comparative research project of the Getty Research Institute initiated in 1995. It explored how we approach the study of Los Angeles. Designed to emphasize resource development, this project acknowledged the complex issues and challenges inherent in the study of Los Angeles—particularly as interest in examining broader historical and contemporary contexts of the LA region increased. LA as Subject addressed these issues by collaborating with diverse organizations, institutions, and communities to enhance existing resources and develop new resources that support new research scholarship on LA and also encourage the preservation, conservation, and display of local material culture. Through various project components, LA as Subject initiated collaborative partnerships with local universities, cultural institutions, and communities to contribute to:

  1. Identification and coordination of less visiblearchives and collections about the Los Angeles region.
  2. Development of new resource tools that could make the material culture of little known archives and collections more accessible to scholars, researchers, and community historians producing academic, artistic and community work on Los Angeles.
  3. Providing public and invitational forums through panels, lectures, and symposia to examine historical and contemporary topics on Los Angeles.

The primary goals of the LA as subject project were:

  • To identify and develop material resources that support new scholarship, research, and artistic production on the Los Angeles region
  • To facilitate a network of institutional and community relationships that promote greater sharing of historical resources among organizations
  • To engage the public in the process of critical inquiry about the region through community exhibitions, public forums, lectures, and symposia
  • To document and archive the program components of LA as Subject as a resource that supports future research.
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The J. Paul Getty Trust
The J. Paul Getty Trust