Daily digest: The Cooper Hewitt is reopening with free admission, Ai Weiwei returns to LACMA, and more

A Summer Of Art

Daily digest: The Cooper Hewitt is reopening with free admission, Ai Weiwei returns to LACMA, and more

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum on the Upper East Side of NYC (Ajay Suresh/Wikimedia Commons accessed under the CC BY 2.0 license)

Welcome back to another midweek roundup of the arts, architecture, urbanism, and more going-ons that you need to know.

Here’s the news items and long-form pieces to check out today:

FEMA doubles funding for its nascent community resilience project

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is reportedly doubling funding for its Pre-Disaster Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program, making up to $1 billion available for community preparedness across the country. Rather than swooping in after the fact, the agency is shifting towards more of a focus on increasing community-level climate change resilience although, at last tally, requests for assistance from across the country came in at more than $3.6 billion.

H/t to Construction Dive

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is reopening, with free admission

Manhattan’s Cooper Hewitt has been one of the rare museums to remain closed for the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as neighboring institutions and other Smithsonian Institute-operated museums reopened (albeit with reduced capacity). Now, the Cooper Hewitt has announced that it will reopen for design-hungry New Yorkers on June 10, with free admission through October 31. However, timed ticketing and a reduced operating capacity will still be in effect. The remaining Smithsonian institutions that remain closed will reportedly reopen on a rolling basis through August, according to the New York Times.

After 10 years, Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads returns to the LACMA

It’s been a long time coming, but Ai Weiwei’s circle of bronze zodiac animal heads will finally return to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art starting this weekend. From May 29 through June 13, exactly ten years after the exhibition first went on display, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads will be reinstalled on the Smidt Welcome Plaza to kick off the newly announced Legacies of Exchange: Chinese Contemporary Art from the Yuz Foundation exhibition.

H/t to LACMA Unframed

The $1.73 Billion West Gates building opens at LAX

The $1.73 billion, 750,000-square-foot West Gates building is finally open to the public, bringing room for up to 15 more aircraft to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Sitting directly next to the Tom Bradley International Terminal, the new annex is anchored by a soaring multi-story atrium and lounge space and a slew of high-tech upgrades like 5G and Wi-Fi 6 access.

H/t to CBS Los Angeles

The Biden Administration opens up the coast of California for floating wind turbines

More good news for offshore wind proponents: Yesterday the Biden administration announced that it would be opening up the waters off the California coastline for wind farms. Two sites, in particular, coastal Humboldt to the state’s north, and Morro Bay near central California have been targeted for the first projects. However, because of the deep waters, a new system of chained-in-place floating turbines will need to be devised, rather than anchoring any of the infrastructure directly to rock like most typical offshore wind farms.