NeueHouse Hollywood, the ultra posh, members–only co-working space where the power players of entertainment, fashion, music, tech and art all come together to work and play really is as exclusive as it sounds. But this year, it's started to become a resource for the L.A. creative community beyond the confines of its VIP member base.
Best understood as the Soho House of co-working spaces (though no relation), the first NeueHouse opened in 2013 in New York, with its Hollywood sibling taking over the iconic CBS Radio Building on Sunset in 2015. Designer David Rockwell (of Nobu restaurant fame) turned it into a 70,000-square-foot luxury office hangout, boasting a mix of open desk workspaces, meeting rooms, restaurants, bars and even recording studios. Thanks to a unique lineup of programming that can only come together in LA, NeueHouse Hollywood is fully coming into its own.
The space is constantly referenced in the news for playing host to Hollywood afterparties, but a fairly mind-blowing series of community-based dialogues, screenings and special events (exclusive to NeueHouse members and guests of the event partners) has been creating something unique not only among co-working spaces, but to Los Angeles itself.
"When NeueHouse Hollywood opened in 2015, a co-working space with a cultural platform was still a relatively new concept," says Meredith Rogers, NeueHouse Hollywood's director of programming. "As a result, we really relied on the member community we were building within to collaborate with us in order to reach a broader LA audience. Partnering with pillars of the LA creative community — FORM (a multi-disciplinary art conference), A Club Called Rhonda, The Hammer Museum, LACMA, CAP UCLA, etc. — has allowed us to connect to the greater cultural offerings of our city."
Every WeWork and CrossCampus hosts community events, but they don't usually include Al Gore, Ai Weiwei or Adam Rippon. And neither does NeueHouse New York, for that matter.
"New York and L.A. differ so much in the way cultural information is consumed or communicated," says Rogers. "In L.A. we are in our cars constantly, going from point A to point B. Where do you serendipitously collide with something if you weren't intentionally seeking it out? Where do you go to hear Jay-Z's production designer speak if you are not niche in the music world? Or discover a new poetry press in London or listen to Werner Herzog read a page from his new book? All the while meeting new people not in your specific industry."
NeueHouse Hollywood is becoming the place that happens — even if you're not there.
Earlier this year, the space started broadcasting these talks on their Facebook page, making them available for the first time ever to non-members (*cough* podcast potential *cough*). And now they're honing in on some really cool programming series: The Female Entrepreneur, a lineup of panel discussions and one-on-one dialogues (in partnership with GirlBoss) with events this summer featuring Katerina Schneider of Ritual Vitamins, Moj Mahdara of Beautycon and Payal Kadakia of ClassPass, to name a few; Creative Couples, shining a spotlight on powerhouse collaborative duos like Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer, founders of Witchsy; and New Pioneers, highlighting innovators pushing their respective industries forward. A talk with Willo Perron, creative director for Jay-Z, Rihanna, Nike, Adidas, St. Vincent and many others, kicked off this series in April.
"Certain things do well here that don't in New York and vice-versa," says Rogers. "For example, we have hosted a series of very successful soundbaths with Lord Jones. When we first started, I'm not sure many New Yorkers even knew what a soundbath was, [though it's] a normal part of the L.A. lexicon! Our audiences differ in New York and LA just as the city's fabric differs. Business and fashion focused events tend to see more interest in New York, whereas in Hollywood, music and wellness draws a bigger audience."
"However, film — the universal language — does well everywhere," she notes.
Art is becoming an increasingly prominent industry in Los Angeles, and this is reflected in the NeueHouse Hollywood community. In April, NeueHouse partnered with Blum and Poe to open their first exhibit in New York (one of the longest established arts capitals in the world). According to Rogers, we can expect a similar program in Hollywood in 2019.
NeueHouse Hollywood isn't just exploring art as an industry in its programming, but how it can create reality-altering, multi-sensory experiences, something that Museum of Ice Cream and 14th Factory-loving Angelenos seem addicted to. In June, Rogers is planning a cello and Himalayan sound showcase from singer-songwriter Lo-Fang, and soon after that, she hopes to unveil an elevated séance in the cavernous Studio A (the largest space in NeueHouse Hollywood). "Can you imagine if Rodarte designed a beautiful séance led by the high oracle of LA with music by Kelsey Lu?" Rogers asks. "You can't go to the Arclight for that."
NeueHouse Hollywood's next art-focused event is Thursday, May 17: a talk with LAXART's Hamza Walker and the role that alternative art spaces have played in the 21st century. And for the first time, the guest list is open to more than NeueHouse members! Up to 10 LA Weekly readers can RSVP here on a strictly first come, first serve basis.
Alternative to What: Hamza Walker & the Relaunch of LAXART will be held Thursday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the conversation begins promptly at 7 p.m.
NeueHouse Hollywood, 121 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood; (323) 337-1420, neuehouse.com.
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