With the next Los Angeles Olympics a mere five years away, Culver City got a start on how to do what with an open invitation workshop at the Multi-Purpose Room at the Vets Memorial Building on July 22, 2023 from 9:30 to noon. A group of almost fifty people showed up to toss ideas, some wearing long-time cherished ‘LA84’ t-shirts and hats; this crowd was committed.
Some opening remarks by Culver City’s Economic Development Director Elaine Warner noted that while Culver City would not be hosting any sporting events for the Olympics, the games would be ripe with opportunities for arts, culture and fun. Warner introduced City Council member Dan O’Brien, who offered a few remarks on what the games might mean for Culver City, and he introduced Council member Freddy Puza, who spoke briefly about the cultural and artistic innovations that the Olympics might help to foster. O’Brien and Puza are both on the City Councils Olympic Subcommittee, so their presence at the event was a sign that the city is committed to taking part in the games.
A brief history of the Olympics in Culver City – including the still notable local lore of Helms Bakery being the official Olympic Bread of the 1932 Los Angeles games – gave a lot of connections from the original LA Olympics.
Four tables were available for the conversation; Infrastructure, Policy, Arts and Culture, and Tourism. The participants had the option to choose where they began the conversation and where they went next, keeping the flow organic and the energy up.
While it was just a first call for ideas, the city will be offering many more opportunities to connect. Five years may seem like a long time, but the Olympics will be in Paris next summer. It will be Los Angeles again very soon.