2023 Villa Aurora Program Highlights

© Mirko Lux

Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House – Joint Project

Frieze Projects: Against the Edge

In a first-time collaboration with Frieze Art Fair, Villa Aurora and Thomas Mann House were part of what Cultured Magazine called Frieze's "biggest program yet" (Cultured Magazine, February 2nd, 2023). Curated by Jay Ezra Nayssan as part of the Frieze Los Angeles Projects, the exhibition Against the Edge brought the works of contemporary artists into dialogue with cultural sites across the Westside. Against this backdrop and our historic landmarks, works by Kelly Akashi were exclusively displayed at Villa Aurora. In conjunction with the Thomas Mann House’s annual topic "The Political Mandate of the Arts," works by artist Nicola L. were exhibited at the Thomas Mann House.

In addition to the exhibitions at Villa Aurora and the Thomas Mann House, Frieze Projects: Against the Edge also included installations by Tony Cokes at Beyond Baroque in Venice and Julie Becker at Del Vaz Projects in Santa Monica. To explore how each of these places connected narratives of liberation, creativity, exile, and occlusion specific to the sites, please visit our VATMH YouTube channel.


Villa Aurora Program Highlights

Politics and Fiction: Lion Feuchtwanger’s The Oppermanns

Lion Feuchtwanger’s 1933 novel The Oppermanns narrates the fall of a prominent German Jewish family caused by the Nazis‘ rise to power, chronicling historical events almost contemporaneously. It is also Feuchtwanger’s last work set in his own century. The Oppermanns became a point of departure for a discussion about political arts, which is often dismissed as propaganda "but is in fact the only available corrective to the real and actual propaganda of entrenched power” (Joshua Cohen). Poignantly, the event took place at Feuchtwanger’s exile residence in Pacific Palisades, where he found refuge from Nazi prosecution and, again, became a target of government surveillance.

An event in cooperation with USC Libraries.

This event was in connection with the Thomas Mann House annual conference, “Arts in Times of Crises: The Role of Artists in Weakened Democracies,” which took place from November 18-19, 2023. It will be published on the VATMH YouTube channel on December 28th.



“The loudest possible cry against war” - Villa Aurora takes center stage at the Academy Awards 2023

All Quiet On The Western Front, directed by Villa Aurora Alumnus Edward Berger, won an astounding four Oscars at the 95th Academy Awards tonight. In addition to being recognized as Best International Feature, the film was acknowledged for Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design.

Villa Aurora was honored to celebrate the nine nominations for All Quiet On The Western Front in the presence of German Minister of State for Culture and the Media Claudia Roth. Director Edward Berger, together with Nele Müller-Stöfen, was filmmaker-in-residence at Villa Aurora in 2015, a time which he describes as formative in his development and career as a filmmaker.

For more impressions of the reception at Villa Aurora, please visit the VATMH YouTube channel!



Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra performs works by Cathy Milliken for the opening of the California Festival

We had the pleasure of hosting a concert of three compositions for voice and strings by our composer-in-residence, Cathy Milliken, as part of the California Festival. The Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, performed by Milliken in the salon of Villa Aurora, works by Nina Shekhar and Arnold Schoenberg, completed the program.

Cathy Milliken is an international award-winning performer and composer known for her evocative instrumental and vocal works.

Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, based in Los Angeles and recognized as one of the world's leading conductorless orchestras, is dedicated to enriching lives through exhilarating concert experiences, artistic excellence, musician leadership, and connecting with diverse communities.