On January 23, APA Los Angeles’ Young & Emerging Planning Professionals (YEPP) hosted an arts and cultural planning programs with Metro. 30+ planners were treated to an evening of art, cultural planning discussions, and a jazz concert.
Carol Holben, Metro Art Docent, kicked off the evening with a Union Station and Metro rail art tour highlighting remarkable installations and murals at several locations. After exploring the many art pieces located within Union Station, attendees were guided through the outdoor installations at the Wilshire/Vermont station and learned the history and cultural significance of the murals located at the MacArthur Park station.
To learn more about Metro Art Moves art tours, please visit: http://www.metro.net/about/art/art-tours/
Returning back to Union Station, the group gathered for drinks and appetizers at Traxx restaurant. Here, Maya Emsden, Deputy Executive Officer of Metro Countywide Planning’s Art and Design Program, spoke broadly about the Art and Design division’s programs and goals. Maya lead an engaging conversation on the various Metro cultural planning efforts and highlighted some of her favorite success stories.
To learn more about Metro Art, please visit: http://www.metro.net/about/art/
Afterwards, the group enjoyed the talents of the jazz group Kamasi Washington + The Next Step in the gorgeous Historic Fred Harvey Room as part of Metro Presents cultural programming. At intermission, Heidi Zeller, Creative Service Manager of the Art and Design Program at Metro, spoke to attendees about the Metro Presents program, how Metro’s art program is being implemented as part of the Union Station Master Plan, and Metro’s ongoing efforts to make Union Station a cultural destination for Angelenos.
To learn more about the Metro Presents events at Union Station, please visit: http://www.metro.net/about/union-station/
Thanks again to Metro for facilitating such a fantastic event!
Maya Emsden, DEO, Countywide Planning’s Art and Design Program – Metro
Maya Emsden oversees the Art and Design Program at Los Angeles Metro. During her tenure Metro has received over 100 art and design awards, was named the “America’s Best” by the American Public Transportation Association, and earned recognition from the AIA, SEGD, PRSA, the USDOT, the NEA, Harvard University, EMBARQ/World Research Institute and the World Bank for its innovative and effective art and design programs. Maya served as an Arts Commissioner for the City of Santa Monica and president of the Santa Monica Arts Foundation. She currently serves on the American Public Transportation Association’s Urban Design working group providing advice on the development of national best practices and standards in the fields of art and design in transportation. Maya received her bachelor degrees in Political Science and Art History from Wheaton College (Norton, Massachusetts) and did graduate work at Institut de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, Switzerland).
Carol Holben, Metro Art Docent – Metro
Carol Holben (born and raised Southern Californian) earned a Master of Social Work from the University of California, Los Angeles. Holben’s interest in volunteering as a Metro Art Docent comes stems from her life-long interest in art—she worked as a volunteer on a Surrealist Festival at the University of Durham, England and at Venice Family Clinic Art Walks, holds a certificate in fashion design from FIDM – and her love of public transportation made it a natural once retirement allowed her the time. Holben worked at Metro in Human Resources, as program director for Big Sisters of Los Angeles, and as manager of the Employee Assistance Team at the Long Beach Service Center for Value Options. She is an associate instructor for the Transportation Safety Institute. Holben served on the South Central Family Health Center Board of Directors for 19 years and volunteered as co-manager of a Skid Row food project for four years.
Heidi Zeller, Creative Services Manager, Countywide Planning’s Art and Design Program – Metro
Heidi is an arts organizer and cultural planner. Heidi is currently a Creative Services Manager for Metro where she organizes the Metro Presents series of arts and cultural programs at Union Station. Previously, Heidi has managed public art projects for the Craft and Folk Art Museum and Freewaves, a media arts organization. She serves on the boards of Freewaves and CicLAvia. Heidi holds a dual master’s degree in Public Art Studies and Urban Planning from the University of Southern California, where she focused on the role of the arts and artists in enriching public space and civic dialogue.