What Was Your Favorite Cultural Moment of 2010?

As you probably already know, Flavorpill works with a variety of amazing venue partners in each of our cities — from cultural institutions that have been around forever, like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to more indie hot spots, like The Empty Bottle in Chicago. Since these guys are literally on the ground when it comes to cool, cultural events, we’ve asked a handful of our featured venues to share their favorite cultural moments of the year with you. Click through to see what they said, and be sure to leave your own favorite moment in the comments.

“A highlight of the 2010 season for us was the launch of the White Light Festival, a new fall festival, which took place from October 28 through November 18, 2010. In its debut season, the festival explored the overtly spiritual manifestations of music’s transcendent power as revealed in different cultural traditions. The festival presented ten US and New York premieres and debuts by artists and companies from 15 countries.” – The Lincoln Center

“Delta Spirit’s show back in June. I’ve never seen a group of people more excited about a band I knew so little about. With a large sampling of songs from their most recent album, History From Below, Delta Spirit tore through a raucous sing-along set with an encore featuring covers of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘Shout’ by the Isley Brothers.” – Jared Levy, The Bowery Ballroom

“My favorite moment also embodies why Mercury is still great: Superstars like Ariel Pink play here on tour, so it’s a chance to get up close and personal with the band, no matter where you stand.” – Sean O’Kane, The Mercury Lounge

“My favorite cultural moment this year without a doubt was interviewing Jay-Z with Cornel West. It was deeply transformative moment. I knew close to nothing about Jay-Z, his music or his life story. Then came Decoded, his memoir, which I cannot recommend enough. Read it. Last week I wrote a Huffington Post piece on that experience and discovery.” – Paul Holdengraber, LIVE from the NYPL


Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, and Hahn Bin. Photo credit: Michael J. Palma

“The meeting of violin virtuoso Hahn Bin, in his Rubin Museum of Art debut, with performance art icon Laurie Anderson, September 19, 2010.” – Tim McHenry, Rubin Museum of Art

“My favorite moment of the year would have to be the return of Jeff Mangum. The show was incredible. I’ve never seen an audience that was so utterly at the disposal of a performer. Two shows in 2010 makes me hopeful for more in 2011.” – Dustin Nelson, (Le) Poisson Rouge

“I would definitely have to say LCD Soundsystem at The Fillmore… the whole show was just amazing.” – James Murphy, The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater

“We don’t have favorites, but a major highlight was our Gala Opening Night for the 2010/11 season with Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic with special guest tenor Juan Diego Flórez this past October.” – Leah Price, Walt Disney Concert Hall


Maira Kalman, Snickers, 2002, gouache on paper, 11 1/8 x 12 inches, courtesy of the artist and Julie Saul Gallery, New York.

“On Tuesday, November 16, Maira Kalman visited the Skirball Cultural Center for the opening of her exhibition, Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World). Over four hundred people showed up that night to hear from the celebrated artist speak about her life and work in a special illustrated artist’s talk. She told the audience many things, one thing that stands out is that she doesn’t paint with irony or sarcasm, she only paints what she falls in love with. Standing in the gallery filled with her paintings and idiosyncratic collection of things from her living room, the love emanates from her gouache. The most surprising moment of the night? The little gift from Maira Kalman awaiting each guest on their seat as they arrived for the talk: a Snickers bar!” – Lisa Delgin, Skirball Cultural Center

“I first saw OK Go at Bamboozle this year, and aside from their singles we all know (thanks to their viral videos), the show was pretty bland. What a difference your own show makes. Not only did they pump out more confetti than a Flaming Lips tour’s worth of shows, but each song saw something different happening onstage, including everything from lasers to light-up suits and even a 3-D video on the big screen behind them.” – Sean O’Kane, Terminal 5

“Before the release of LCD Soundsystem’s alleged final album, This Is Happening, Music Hall of Williamsburg hosted the band’s dress rehearsal for their summer tour. However, with a set including the recent single ‘Drunk Girls’ alongside the Sound of Silver classic ‘Us v Them,’ the show felt more like a victory lap than an audition.” – Jared Levy, Music Hall of Williamsburg

“I love the Levon Helm Band like no other band, and ‘It Makes No Difference’ is my favorite song of theirs. So when My Morning Jacket opened this Midnight Ramble at Levon Helm’s barn, I made it clear to everyone I went with that if Jim James sat in on ‘It Makes No Difference,’ there was a pretty good chance I’d need to wear a condom so as not to embarrass myself in public. He did but, thankfully, I didn’t.” – R. Zizmor, Bowery Presents


Inez van Dam and Paul McCarthy in the Lounge at REDCAT. Courtesy of REDCAT.

“My favorite moment was when Dutch theater ensemble Wunderbaum, inspired — or rather, ignited — by Rotterdam’s controversial Santa sculpture by LA-based artist Paul McCarthy (which includes a five-foot butt plug), spent three week’s in residence investigating arts funding in the U.S. and creating multimedia theater piece, Looking for Paul. Best part: they finally found McCarthy in the audience at a performance!” – Diana Wyenn, REDCAT

“Passion Pit played our club the first time in June of 2009 as a buzzy Bostonian quintet and returned to the Congress Theater in the spring of 2010, selling out the 4000 person room.  We’ve been on a similar journey with DJ superstar Girl Talk, hosting his sold out NYE show last year and welcoming him back in March 2011 after we first had him on our tiny stage back in 2006. We could not let 2010 turn to 2011 without noting the passing of one of our all time favorites, Jay Reatard. His January, 2010 passing was a real shock and a blow to us, the Chicago music community and fans of dangerous music across the world.  It’s hard to believe we’ll never have to worry about the beloved Memphis madman trying to steal our disco ball ever again.” – Christen Thomas, The Empty Bottle

“Our biggest event in 2010 was the opening of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, which added 45,000 square feet of exhibition space to LACMA. With the opening of Stark Bar and Ray’s (a new full service restaurant) in the spring of 2011, architect Renzo Piano’s vision will soon be completed for our campus. The Resnick Pavilion opened the first weekend in October and within 10 days welcomed over 40,000 visitors to the three inaugural exhibitions — Eye for the Sensual, Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, and Olmec: Colossal Masterworks from Ancient Mexico!” – Alex Capriotti, LACMA

“Patti Smith’s evening at LIVE from the NYPL on April 29th began with a visit to The Berg Collection, where NYPL curator Isaac Gewirtz had pulled a selection of rare materials, including relief etched prints by William Blake, Virginia Woolf’s walking stick, and Charlotte Bronte’s portable writing desk. In the conversation that followed with Director Paul Holdengraber, she spoke about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, her love of opera, and shared details about the life that unfolded after she arrived in the gritty New York of 1967. Beyond being a captivating storyteller, Patti Smith presented herself with a kind of grace and humility that fostered a genuine connection with the audience. She surprised us all by bringing her guitar and performing not one, but three songs, live.” – Meg Stemmler, LIVE from the NYPL