Culture and Education

Performing Arts

The Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, completed in 1967, is Los Angeles's chief center for music, drama, and dance. It is located near the Civic Center, and consists of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Ahmanson Theater, and the Mark Taper Forum. The Pavilion is the home of the Los Angeles Music Center Opera. The home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra is the Walt Disney Concert Hall. A series of open-air concerts by the Los Angeles Philharmonic is held each summer in the Hollywood Bowl. The city has many other sites for the performing arts, including the Henry Fonda, Pantages, Kodak, and Wilshire theaters.


Many museums are located in or near Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, on Wilshire Boulevard, consists of five structures built around a reflecting pool. It houses one of the largest art collections in the United States. Also outstanding are the J. Paul Getty Museum, in Malibu, and the Los Angeles Children's Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. In nearby San Marino is the small but renowned art collection of the Henry E. Huntington Library. Southwest Museum specializes in the cultures of American Indians. There is a notable display of art reproductions and stained glass in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale.

Extremely varied exhibits are found in the California Museum of Science and Industry in Exposition Park. Adjacent to it and equally diverse is the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The George C. Page La Brea Discoveries Museum, a branch of the county museum, contains the fossil remains of prehistoric animals found in the La Brea Tar Pits.

Universities and Colleges

Two major universities are located in Los Angeles: the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), west of Beverly Hills, and the University of Southern California (USC), south of the downtown area. Both have extensive campuses, large enrollments, and excellent facilities. The Irvine and Riverside branches of the University of California are also in the Los Angeles area. In nearby Pasadena is the highly regarded California Institute of Technology (Caltech). California State University at Los Angeles and California State University at Northridge are two of the newest and largest schools in the area.

Colleges and universities with smaller enrollments include Loyola Marymount University, Mount St. Mary's College, Occidental College, West Coast University, and Pepperdine University. There are also specialized schools and junior colleges.


The Los Angeles Public Library serves city residents through its main building downtown and numerous branches. The entire metropolitan area is served by the Los Angeles County Public Library System, consisting of five regional headquarters and 90 branches. There are also extensive library facilities at several of the institutions of higher learning. The Huntington Library, with thousands of rare books, including a Gutenberg Bible, is primarily a research library.