Villa Aurora – Artists Residence and Cultural Meeting Point in Los Angeles



Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades is a place where German, European and American culture meet.

Originally the private domicile of German-Jewish novelist Lion Feuchtwanger who had bought the villa in Pacific Palisades in 1943, Villa Aurora quickly became the meeting place for exiled German intellectuals and their American colleagues.  Artists and scholars from different disciplines gathered at Villa Aurora for readings and musical evenings, for celebrations and discussions. Albert Einstein, Bertold Brecht,Thomas Mann and Heinrich Mann, Fritz Lang, Arnold Schoenberg, Kurt Weill and many more were part of this eclectic cultural group.

After extensive renovations, Villa Aurora picked up on its tradition in 1995, and since then has continued to be a meeting place for the arts again. With its Artist-in-Residence Grants Villa Aurora awards up to 12 scholarships every year in the areas of literature, fine art, film and music in the German-American cultural exchange program. The villa itself beautifully restored to its former grandeur is listed on the historical register.

Events at the Villa Aurora

Villa Aurora hosts many cultural events throughout the year that open up the splendid residence and location to the public.  Some exciting events coming up as soon as this week are listed below:

– Music Memory Metamorphosis – 

Los Angeles | April 20, 2013 (7:30 pm)

Viktor Ullmann:
Piano Sonata Nr. 7 (1944) &
“The Lay of Love and Death of the Cornet Christoph Rilke” (1944)
12 excerpts from the poem by Rainer Maria Rilke for speaker and piano

As Cinematic-Musical-Montage

Produced and directed by Gwyneth Bravo with the support of REZN8’s founder Paul Sidlo and featuring live performances by Neal Stulberg and pianist Steven Vanhauwaert, this multi-media program presents composer Viktor Ullmann’s final 1944 works—the Piano Sonata No.7 and his melodrama The Lay of Love and Death of Cornet Christopher Rilke — against a cinematic backdrop. In the spirit of early film and Erwin Piscator’s experimental Berlin theater of the 1920s, the production re-imagines the theater and concert hall as a cinematic space where the live performance of these works takes place inside a cinematic framework, where a kaleidoscope of projected and slowly shifting montage images serves as a visual counterpoint to the poetry and music. Employing a postmodern compositional aesthetic, her film, which Robert Elias, President of the OREL Foundation, describes as “a moving and beautifully wrought immersive work of art,” unfolds in thirteen, short movements and is composed of a series of densely-textured images constructed from the superimposition and animation of a multi-layered and harmonically-conceived series of visual elements.

Neal Stulberg, Recitation
Steven Vanhauwaert, Piano
Paul Sidlo, Technical Production & Design
Gwyneth Bravo, Producer & Artistic Director

For more information and tickets, please go to the following website:
Admission: Members & Students $10, General Admission $25


 – Two Who Dared – 

Los Angeles | Saturday, April 27@ 7:00 p.m.

A documentary by Artemis Joukowsky III                                                       USA, 2012, 76 min., digital                                                                                           Presented by Villa Aurora, Artemis Joukowsky III and Robert Lemelson

Q & A and reception for the filmmaker after the screening.

This film tells the story of Unitarian minister, Waitstill Sharp and his wife Martha who, just days prior to the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, left their young children in Wellesley, Massachusetts to help save thousands being persecuted in Eastern Europe.

Who were these American heroes? What drove their willingness to put the well-being of strangers over that of themselves and their family?

Waitstill and Martha were also involved in the Feuchtwangers’ escape from France. They are two of only three Americans who have been honored as “Righteous Among Nations” by Yad Vashem.  Two Who Dared has received a number of awards in 2012 including the Special Jury Prize from the Amsterdam Film Festival; Official Selection, River’s Edge Film Festival, and Redemptive Storyteller Award, Redemptive Film Festival

The screening at Villa Aurora is part of a grassroots, community-based effort, at synagogues, churches, theaters, and schools; in cities world-wide!

For more information visit
RSVP required at – you will receive a confirmation.


–  Bis an die Grenze – Up to the border –

Los Angeles | Thursday, May 2 @ 7:00 p.m.

A documentary by Claus Oppermann and Gerald Grote                Germany, 2011, 95 min.                                                                                                   Presented by Villa Aurora and Pacific Palisades Film Festival

Sunday, August 13th 1961, the government of the German Democratic Republic lays the foundation stone for the “ugliest monument in the world”. A whole city is in a state of shock. At first the “atrocious century-construction“ is watched in disbelief. Then people start pulling their 8mm-cameras out of their cupboards to capture the images of the events.

On the basis of these extraordinary, widely unknown recordings and found footage, Claus Oppermann und Gerald Grote’s first feature film tells many impressive but forgotten stories about the rise of the Berlin Wall in 1961 to its fall in 1989, about the division of Germany and a bloody borderline through the middle of Europe.

The Wall, 155 km long, symbol of the Cold War, photographed and filmed million-fold, seen from a private and personal point of view. A unique documentary, put together out of hundreds of previously unreleased substandard films that have never been seen like this before. Many private archives were opened for the first time – a time travel, well worth seeing.

For more information visit
Free for members / General $ 5
RSVP required at



Location: Villa Aurora, 520 Paseo Miramar, Los Angeles, CA 90272

Street parking is available on Los Liones Drive. Event Shuttle service starts usually one hour prior to an event and will start from Los Liones Drive, off Sunset Boulevard two blocks North-East of Pacific Coast Highway.

Please do not park on the Topanga State Park Lot!

To Listen to an Audio Report on the Villa Aurora by PRI on click here : PRI- Villa Aurora Audio

Villa Aurora
German Mission in the United States
Photo Credit: Villa Aurora

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