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Kevin Roderick Guest/Host
Kevin Roderick

LA Observed

Kevin Roderick is founder, publisher and editor of LA Observed, a website covering local media, politics, news and culture. A native Angeleno, he has reported extensively about the politics, culture and history of Los Angeles and California.

Roderick launched LA Observed in 2003, now widely read by journalists, media professionals, bloggers and politicians and regularly cited in national media.

Before launching LA Observed, Roderick was Los Angeles bureau chief for the Industry Standard magazine. He spent two decades as staff writer, state editor and senior editor at the Los Angeles Times, supervising award-winning projects and front page stories. He shared in two Pulitzer Prizes awarded for staff coverage while an editor on the Metro staff.

A contributing writer at Los Angeles Magazine, Roderick's work has appeared in Smithsonian, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, C, the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles and LA Architect.

He co-authored Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles, a Los Angeles Times bestseller and finalist for the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association book of the year honor.

His first book, The San Fernando Valley: America's Suburb, won rave praise from California State Librarian Emeritus Kevin Starr and remains the leading work on the vast basin of 1.7 million inhabitants.

Roderick regularly appears in the media as a commentator on Los Angeles. He has been interviewed by the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Daily News and Los Angeles Business Journal as well as, NBC News, C-SPAN, NPR and American Public Media. He also appears regularly on local TV.

He has moderated programs for Zocalo and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and has been a journalism judge for PEN Center USA and the Online News Association. He is a former member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting.

Roderick is the director of the UCLA Newsroom website.

FROM Kevin Roderick

Design and Architecture

Otis College of Art and Design celebrates 100 Otis College of Art and Design was founded in 1918, but it’s been renamed and rebranded several times. Otis College of Art and Design turns 100 and hosts a big public celebration this weekend. It's on Veteran's Day weekend because the school has long welcomed vets (with help from the GI Bill). Otis students, circa 1930, cleaning their classroom under the direction of John Hubbard Rich (left) and Emily Steele. 100 years ago the conservative LA Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis left a house to the County of Los Angeles if they would turn it into an art school. Now the school is celebrating its centennial with a big public party this Veterans Day weekend. DnA explores moments in the school’s history, which track with LA’s growth as an art and design capital -- from its founding on Wilshire Boulevard  through its transition from what artist Billy Al Bengston calls its "constipated" years in the 1950s. Alum Garth Trinidad (yes, that’s KCRW’s own DJ Garth Trinidad) recalls the struggles in the 1990s and remarks on its blossoming in Westchester today. Edie Beaucage talks about being part of the new generation that has revived painting. But why is the celebration taking place on Veterans Day Weekend? Vets have long been part of the school’s “ethos” says school president Bruce Ferguson. Air Force veteran and muralist Darel Carey talks about making the transition from the military to art at Otis, as he paints an Op-Art mural for the school. Air Force veteran, muralist and Otis alumni Darel Carey tells DnA, “I've never felt when I was in the military like I was part of the establishment... And it's not like I exactly fit in in art school either.” Photo by Frances Anderton.

15 MIN, 18 SEC Nov 06, 2018



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