After graduating from Princeton with a degree in art history, Bettina Korek ’00 took a job at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and noticed how many people were unaware of the art scene in the city — many didn’t even know where the museum was. So a decade ago, she started an informal email newsletter for friends in which she would recommend exhibits she liked, called ForYourArt. Today her weekly email, which has 25,000 subscribers, is a go-to source for information on the art scene in Los Angeles. Headquartered in a sunny, 1,500-square-foot space across the street from the museum, ForYourArt also produces and promotes initiatives that make art more accessible to the public.
Korek sees herself as a bridge between art and those who want to engage with it but may not be sure how. “When you talk to people about art, it’s still intimidating,” she says. “The word ‘collecting’ is intimidating. The word ‘patron’ is confusing. We want to make people feel comfortable and excited about engaging with art.”
The ForYourArt website provides information on museums, galleries, lectures, and performances. ForYourArt puts on dozens of free events each year, including a lecture series on artists’ books. An event Korek organized last year with California artist John Baldessari drew an audience of more than 1,000. For a campaign that promoted arts education in L.A.’s public schools, Korek commissioned artists and curated images that were featured on city buses, bus shelters, billboards, and other public displays. ForYourArt also works outside of Los Angeles, collaborating with a foundation in Mexico City and hosting events in Miami, New York, London, and Venice.
Art, Korek says, “can be a fertile ground for experimenting with ideas that challenge how we think about everything.”