Segerstrom Center to Host DO THE ARTS MAKE US BETTER PEOPLE? Panel, 2/11

Do the Arts Make Us Better People? That is the question at hand when The New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean, Getty Trust President and CEO James Cuno and Segerstrom Center for the Arts President Terrence W. Dwyer take part in a Zocalo Public Square panel discussion about the role the arts play in shaping our lives. This special event takes place in Samueli Theater at Segerstrom Center on February 11 at 7:30 p.m. and will be moderated by Jori Finkel, contributing arts writer for The New York Times. There will be a free reception following the discussion.

To those who have careers in the arts, there can be instances where they find themselves defending their career choice. Can the value of the arts be quantified? How do the arts change our lives and our behavior in ways we don't expect and often can't put into words? Can experiencing a sublime work of art or the majesty of an opera not just bring us pleasure but also make us more humane people? While some research suggests that reading fiction makes us more empathetic and that listening to music can make us happier, it is difficult to measure the inspiration that can come from a streak of light across a canvas, the way a story set in a foreign land can shift a worldview and why getting fully immersed in a performance can evoke such profound reactions. During this illuminating conversation, the three guest speakers will explore such topics.

Segerstrom Center President Terrence W. Dwyer said, "The Center is proud to partner with the Getty and to welcome Susan Orlean from The New Yorker for this Zo?calo Public Square event. This is the sort of program that allows us to engage more with the community and to be a catalyst for change for the positive and productive exchange of ideas. We're pleased to have these types of opportunities where we can come together and explore topical issues, particularly as they relate to the state of the arts in our society and culture."

"The Getty is committed to advancing the public conversation about the purpose and meaning of the arts in our lives," said James Cuno, President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. "And there are no better partners in this endeavor than the Segerstrom Center and Zo?calo Public Square."

Tickets for this event are free and reservations are recommended by visiting or clicking here. For general Segerstrom Center box office questions, call (714) 556-2787. The TTY number is (714) 556-2746.

Susan Orlean is staff writer at The New Yorker. She is the author of many books, including The Orchid Thief, which was adapted for Spike Jonze's film Adaptation.

James Cuno is president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, a cultural and philanthropic institution. Previously, he was director of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.

Terrence W. Dwyer is president of Segerstrom Center for the Arts, which presents a wide variety of the most significant national and international productions of music, dance, and theater to Southern California.

Zocalo Public Square, a project of the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University, is a not- for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism. It partners with educational, cultural, and philanthropic institutions to present free public events and conferences in cities across the U.S. and beyond, and publish original daily journalism syndicated to more than 100 media outlets nationwide.

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is unique as both an acclaimed arts institution and as a multi- disciplinary cultural campus. It is committed to supporting artistic excellence on all of its stages, offering unsurpassed experiences, and engaging the entire community in new and exciting ways through the unique power of live performance and a diverse array of inspiring programs.

Previously called the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Center is Orange County's largest non-profit arts organization and owns and operates the 3,000-seat Segerstrom Hall and intimate 250-seat Founders Hall, which opened in 1986, and the 2,000-seat Rene?e and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, which opened in 2006 and also houses the 500-seat Samueli Theater, the Lawrence and Kristina Dodge Education Center's studio performance space and Boeing Education Lab. A spacious arts plaza anchors Segerstrom Center for Arts and is home to numerous free performances throughout the year as part of Segerstrom Center for the Arts' ongoing Free for All series.

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