Night of Ideas at the NHM

The Los Angeles program for Night of Ideas (La Nuit des Idées), an annual, worldwide event that celebrates the stream of ideas between countries, cultures, and generations. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County event is part of a five-city U.S. series of these all-night marathons featuring discussions, screenings and performances.

While this year’s programming will be announced in early January, last year’s Los Angeles line-up featured a live “Liminal Sound Bath” with Jónsi of Sigur Rós, Alex Somers, and Paul Corley—an experience that unfolded in the landmark North American Mammal Hall. There was also a performance about climate change by Los Angeles Baroque, led by seismologist Lucy Jones; a vegan fashion show organized by Emmanuelle Rienda and Le Frenchlab to kick off Vegan Fashion Week; screenings of French films from the Fonds régionaux d’artcontemporain (Regional collections of contemporary art – Frac); and musical performances by DJ Bobby French and DJ Mr. Swift. Prominent speakers and panelists will include architect Kulapat Yantrasast, President of the French National Museum of Natural History Bruno David, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Robert Lempert.

The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC), the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S, jointly announce the second annual Los Angeles edition of Night of Ideas on Friday, January 31, 2020 from 5:30 to 11 pm at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) in Exposition Park.

The 2020 global edition taking place simultaneously in 150 cities and 65 countries across the world will discuss the theme “Being Alive” and kick off the NHM season of First Friday night-time events. The program will celebrate the concept of what it means to be alive as an individual, as a member of a community, and as part of a larger ecosystem. This FREE, public program explores humanity’s relationship with the world and other species via talks, films, performances, music and interactive discussions through the lenses of science, philosophy, art, nature, and culture.

At the heart of this year’s iteration is the question of ecological balance and humanity’s relationship with the world and other species. It invites discussion around the questions raised by scientific research, technological changes at the intersection of humans and machines, as well as changes to living things. ‘Being Alive’ can be understood as a command, a call to awareness, an action and a commitment. What is being alive? What is our place in the living world? How does “Being Alive” impose on us to take action? These will be the questions at the heart of the 2020 ‘Night of Ideas.’ 

The goal of the ‘Night of Ideas’ is to celebrate the stream of ideas between countries, cultures, topics and generations. Every year, the initiative provides opportunities to discover the latest artistic developments, listen to experts speak about their fields, and to participate in the discussion of contemporary topical issues. As in previous years, the theme will inspire programs that feature performing artists and contemporary musicians.

Free, RSVP required. The full schedule of speakers and performers will be announced in January. Tickets will be available January 7, 2020 here.

This event is sponsored by XPrize and Bank of America with additional support from Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Institut Francais, the Michael Silver Foundation and media partner KCRW.

Night of Ideas 

Friday, January 31, 2020 

from 5:30 to 11 pm

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM)

900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007

About The Night of Ideas:

Co-produced by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., the Institut Français, Paris, and local partners since 2015, Night of Ideas aims to encourage and foster discussion across cultures and generations.

The first Los Angeles edition took place in 2017 and gathered thousands of people. The intellectual marathon has expanded around the country, taking different shapes depending on regional partners and local expectations.

In 2020, Night of Ideas will take place in five U.S. cities: Norfolk (Jan. 25), Chicago (Jan. 30), Miami (Jan. 30), Los Angeles (Jan. 31), Boston (Jan. 31), San Francisco (Feb. 1), and New York (Feb. 1).

Learn more about the worldwide event by visiting

About the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County  
The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) include the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park (NHM), La Brea Tar Pits, and the William S. Hart Museum. They operate under the collective vision to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds. The museums hold one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history—more than 35 million objects. Using these collections for groundbreaking scientific and historic research, the museums also incorporate them into nature and culture exploration in L.A. neighborhoods, and a slate of community science programs—creating a natural history museum experience that explores the past, but increasingly addresses the present and the future.

The Natural History Museum is located at 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Visit

About the Consulate General of France in the U.S:

The Consulate General of France in Los Angeles represents France’s cultural, scientific, academic, political and economic interests in South California and four other states (South Nevada, Arizona, Nouveau Mexique, Colorado). While providing various consular services to French nationals, the French Consul platform promotes cooperation, innovation and mutual understanding between France and the U.S.

About the Cultural Services of the French Embassy:

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, intellectuals, and innovators to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions, and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts. Learn more at

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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