Humanities Division to expand teaching, research, outreach to downtown L.A.

Published: March 7, 2024
UCLA Humanities "Word to Action" graphic with Trust Building rising out of the pages of a book

Sean Brenner | March 7, 2024

Campus approves proposal for space in historic Trust Building

UCLA Humanities faculty, staff and students will soon have opportunities to expand the reach and impact of their work from a new hub in downtown Los Angeles.

The division is one of 31 campus units by approved the UCLA Downtown Programming Committee to take over space in the historic Trust Building, which UCLA acquired in 2023. The decision was announced today by Chancellor Gene Block and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Darnell Hunt.

Under the banner “Humanities DTLA: From Word to Action,” the division plans to use the space as a platform for building and strengthening current initiatives in urban and public humanities and other interdisciplinary humanities fields, and to facilitate crossover projects with other UCLA College divisions, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Global LA Commons.

Dean Alexandra Minna Stern said the division’s footprint in the Trust Building would provide seminar, studio and performance space, as well as offering a home base for partnerships with a range of DTLA-based humanities, community, social justice and arts organizations.

“I’m very encouraged about the learning, research and outreach possibilities the new space will provide,” Stern said. “Our downtown hub will offer students new chances to critically explore L.A. as a generator of literary, visual, sonic and community-based creativity; and faculty will have the opportunity to expand their repertoire of courses and contribute to UCLA’s community engagement mission.”

Other UCLA academic units will use the Trust Building to house programs in a range of disciplines including climate change, education for incarcerated individuals, labor and employment, homelessness and LGBTQ issues.

The Humanities Division and most of the other programs will begin moving into the Trust Building in 2025; space assignments and other details will be determined in the coming months.

“We are thrilled that this initial cohort of programs will engage members of the local community, position UCLA as a trusted leader and collaborator in our global city, and have a positive impact that will be felt in downtown and far beyond,” Block and Hunt wrote in their announcement.