RMIT University’s Centre for Urban Research is pleased to invite you to Dr Pablo Fuentenebro’s seminar: A city in the making: arts philanthropy and urban development in Los Angeles.

Seminar Brief

In recent years an increasing number of scholars have drawn our attention to the “geographies of the super-rich” (Beaverstock et al; Hay and Muller; Pow). From enclaves and gated communities to their direct involvement in large scale projects in downtown areas, the super-rich do not only constitute an emerging social category but have also become a group of highly influential individuals with a clear impact on questions of urban governance.

Following the call to develop critical geographies of the super-rich, this paper focuses on the case of philanthropists and art collectors. It looks, in particular, at the case of Eli Broad and his active involvement in the Los Angeles’ cultural and arts scene over the past forty years. From his pivotal role as founding chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) to his controversial position as trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and his later decision to build The Broad, a new contemporary art museum in downtown Los Angeles, this talk seeks to understand the influence that the super-rich can have the cultural and political agenda of the city.

This presentation is part of an ongoing research project on arts philanthropy and urban governance, which seeks to fill a significant knowledge gap in the field of urban geography, particularly in our understanding of the dynamics of private and philanthropic investment in cultural institutions.

More about Pablo

Pablo Fuentenebro is an Endeavour Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney. He is on a special leave from his work with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya. Pablo holds a PhD in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles. His doctoral dissertation focused on the cultural dimension of urbanisation, looking at the ways cities use architecture and cultural infrastructures to promote urban growth and regeneration, with a particular emphasis on modern art museums.

Image by Chris Goldberg via Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0


RMIT City campus, Building 15, level 3, Room 3 (Figtree Room)


Tuesday 28 July, 12.30pm – 1:30pm


Free entry, booking essential