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Ovation TV to pair first with MOCA in series partnership

January 28, 2008|Diane Haithman | Times Staff Writer

A co-production by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and Ovation TV will be the first in a series of collaborations between cultural institutions and the cable arts network to create programming intended to raise the profiles of both partners.

As part of a long-term initiative to be announced today, the network and MOCA have produced a 10-minute video about MOCA's upcoming exhibition "Collecting Collections," opening Feb. 10. The video includes interviews with art collectors, donors and artists and will be part of the exhibition as well as air on Ovation.

Other local institutions that have committed to partner with the network include Los Angeles Opera, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and P.S. Arts. On the list elsewhere in the nation are New York's Museum of Modern Art and Harlem School of the Arts, the New Orleans Center for Creative Artists/Riverfront, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, which plans a video similar to the MOCA piece for a May 31-Sept. 21 exhibition of art by Jeff Koons. The Chicago video will include interviews with Koons and exhibition curator Francesco Bonami.

The partnerships, said Ovation TV Executive Vice President Chad E. Gutstein, will "allow access to media that were heretofore prohibitively expensive or completely unavailable to cultural institutions and arts educational facilities in this country."

Gutstein added, however, that at least in the near future these partnerships will take the form of public service announcements and other short-form programming. In other words, don't expect the relationship with Los Angeles Opera to result in full-length opera productions immediately available on Ovation TV.

"There are lots of guild rules and union rules that opera houses themselves are working out," Gutstein said. "Many things have to change before we can do something like that. But we are working on many different things with our partners, and the idea is to get as much content as possible with them, and through them, into the marketplace."

The MOCA video will be shown not only during the "Collecting Collections" exhibition in MOCA's Reading Room but also on the museum's website. Concurrently with the exhibition, Ovation will make the piece available on the TV network, its website and VOD (video on demand). Ovation TV serves 25 million subscribers nationwide, with satellite carriage on DirecTV (Channel 274) and Dish Network in the Los Angeles area.

"The intent would definitely be to have platforms running on the ground -- that is, actually at the institutions -- online and on air," said Gaynor Strachan Chun, Ovation's senior vice president for marketing.

MOCA spokeswoman Lyn Winter, who said the museum's video would also be broken down into a series of one-minute programs for use on Ovation, expressed enthusiasm about the potential for online uses of the video.

"I think it's really exciting," Winter said. "This kind of content is what we're moving toward. The Internet is becoming more and more like television."

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diane.haithman@latimes.com

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