August 12, 2020 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Meeting the Getty Scholars

A few months ago, I wrote a Brentwood Beat about something that could literally only happen in Brentwood.

My wife and I were walking down the street and, walking toward us was a couple going in the opposite direction.

We said hello, they sounded European, and we soon learned that they were “Getty Scholars,” walking back to their apartment on Sunset.

Getty Scholars come from all around the world, spending from three to nine months working out of the research institute up at The Getty Museum.

Their specialties could be anything. These are very smart and very accomplished people we’re talking about.

We got to know some of the scholars and got invited to an outdoor dinner there. We’ve made friends I know we’ll stay in touch with for years to come.

I suggested in my column, Brentwood Beat, that maybe some locals would like to host some Getty Scholars for a fun and most likely very enlightening dinner.

I got an email from Val Holwerda and Paul Kruger who said they were interested.

We got together – we live very close, as it turns out – and began brainstorming how this would work.

We agreed groups of up to nine – roughly half Brentwood hosts and half Getty Scholars – would be ideal.

Everything would be low-key, informal and conversational. Each Getty Scholar would be asked to speak for a few minutes on his or her specialty, maybe bringing along a little “show and tell.”

All we have to do is cook, pour a few drinks and be our charming selves.

We could start small and then keep expanding the circle. There are between 30 and 40 Getty Scholars living in Brentwood at any one time, and we are hoping we can do several dinners a month so all the scholars are included at least once before they return home.

The Getty Scholars are quite interested in this, as they don’t get that many opportunities to really connect with the locals. I’m not at all knowledgeable about art, but I’m enjoying this project and meeting some very interesting people as a result.

You can participate.

All we have to do, as hosts, is have maybe five scholars and four Brentwood residents (total, including the host), over for dinner. You don’t have to be part of a couple; many of The Getty Scholars are single or here on their own.

Brentwood hosts would take care of the dinner and the scholars would come and impress us with their vast knowledge. We’d help them get to know Brentwood a little better.

Each dinner of would be run as its own little event, so no host has to be concerned about taking on some big burden.

After meeting with Val Holwerda and Paul Kruger, we told The Getty things were starting to move.

Next thing you know, the four of us got invited up to The Getty where we got the red carpet treatment from Getty Scholar Program Director Alexa Sekyra, including lunch and a tour of the research area where the scholars do their work.

It was very interesting, and the views from up there even more amazing than the views from the museum itself.

The Getty is all in favor of this idea and is willing to lend organizational resources to facilitate all this. Alexa Sekyra’s assistant, Rebecca Man, will do all the emailing and scheduling – usually the hard part.

Interested in becoming one of our Brentwood ambassadors?  Ready to learn about art? If yes, please send me an email and we’ll add you to the list.  I can be reached at [email protected] 

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