Welcome back to another edition of The Week Ahead, bringing all you cool cats out there as many noteworthy local events as I can find (if I missed any, I sincerely apologize). There’s lots of good stuff for kids, teens, and the fam this week, especially, including a punk-inspired art picnic, a nature club at the Zoo, a Get Lit poetry workshop, and several offerings from the Wilshire Branch Library. There’s also plenty of more adult-y type activities (G-rated, of course) and happenings as well. Have a looksy below for more details.
Arts, Culture, and Entertainment
Grand Performances will kick start the week with another free concert happening this Saturday, June 25 from 6-10 p.m. Curated by Roberto Carlos, Boleros De Noche is an annual music event series that strives to “preserve, uplift, and celebrate Latin American bolero music history in Los Angeles”, and this particular night will be all about Agustín Lara (aka El Músico Poeta – The Musical Poet), one of Mexico’s most beloved and influential composers. The musical lineup will feature ELLAS and Julian Torres, with Music Director Marco Godoy, and KXLU Los Angeles 88.9 FM DJs Erick Cifuentes and Ernesto Colin from “Serenata de Tríos”. The concert is free, but don’t forget to RSVP! Grand Performances take place at 350 South Grand Avenue in DTLA.
Pride Month is still going strong with the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s annual Pride Picnic happening at Hollywood Forever on Sunday, June 26 from 6-10 p.m. Benefiting the LGBT Center’s programs and services, this fun summer PRIDE night features music by DJ Nico Craig, drag performances by Amber Crane and Lauren Banall, and vogue performances from Chauncey Dominique. Specialty cocktails from Tito’s Handmade Vodka and LA’s best food trucks will be on site, including Vegan AF, Go Beyond the Bowl, and Go Fusion & Grill. Feel free to bring your own blanket, chairs, food and drinks. And don’t forget to pick up some free swag before you leave! Tickets range from $25-$450 (kids under 5 are free), with two exclusive VIP packages available. Proof of vaccination is required. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
And on Tuesday, June 28, Chevalier’s Books welcomes Sophia Benoit as she discusses her collection of essays, Well, This Is Exhausting with Priyanka Mattoo (RSVP here). “From Bustle columnist and Twitter sensation Sophia Benoit, this memoir-in-essays explores the ins and outs of modern womanhood–from finding feminism, the power of pop culture, and how to navigate life’s constant double standards.” Buy a copy of the book here. Award-winning journalist and professor, Kristin Marguerite Doidge will also be in town this week, on Wednesday, June 29, discussing and signing her new book Nora Ephron: A Biography. Nora Ephron (1941-2012) was one of the most popular and accomplished writers in American journalism and film. She “redefined the modern rom-com genre” with bestselling books and hit movies including When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and Julie & Julia. Order a copy of the book here. Please note that masks are required for both events.
And the historic Ebell of Los Angeles will be hosting speakers as well this week, for a staged reading of Lia Romeo’s new comedy The Lucky Ones on Wednesday, June 29. A cancer diagnosis forces two best friends to reconsider what their friendship means and how much it matters. “Centering the power of female friendship, The Lucky Ones illuminates the value of love in the face of death, and the value of friendship in the face of… well, everything.” The performance will be followed by a conversation with playwright Lia Romeo and Chelsea J. Smith, a cancer survivor and volunteer with the Cancer Hope Network. The cost is $20 per person. Proceeds benefit Cancer Hope Network and The Ebell of Los Angeles. Reading starts at 7:30 p.m.
Join the Holocaust Museum LA for its ongoing webinar series Holocaust Survivor Talk: Phil Raucher on Thursday, June 30 at 11 a.m. Phil Raucher was born in Poland in 1927. Aware of impending danger, Phil’s parents sent him and his brother to relatives in Wolbrom, Poland. When the war started in 1939, the Jews of Wolbrom were attacked in the streets. Fearful for their lives and their parents, Phil and his brother secretly took a train back home, where he was eventually deported to Germany and enslaved in a munitions factory. As the Russians approached, the camp authorities ordered all inmates to evacuate. Phil hid in a pile of bodies and stayed in the camp until liberation. He then returned to Poland and reunited with his sister and uncle. Register for the webinar here.
From Seeds to Psychedelics: Returning to the roots of well-being with new ideas drawn from ancient ways is the overall theme of this season of First Fridays at the Natural History Museum. The event looks to “the power of plants and fungi to save us.” Explore the museum after hours with live music, DJs, topical discussions, signature cocktails, and more. In its (insert sad face) last installment of the season, on Friday, July 1, the theme will be Mushroom Magic, with discussions moderated by Dr. Yewande Pearse, a neuroscientist and science communicator. Festivities will begin at 5 p.m. Tickets are free for members and $20 for non-members. I repeat, this is the last First Friday on the sched, so don’t miss out! Check out the museum’s full calendar here. Museum Hours are 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., daily, and closed on Tuesday.
Kids, Teens, and Family
Come play in the dirt on Saturday, June 25, when the LA Zoo welcomes back the Family Nature Club program. In partnership with the LA Department of Recreation and Parks, these free nature play mornings will take place on the last Saturday of every month from 9-10:30 a.m. Enjoy loosely structured outdoor play, exploring nature through art and building, observation and imagination. Families, caregivers, and children of all ages are welcome. No registration is required. The location is off of Griffith Park Dr., near the Merry-Go-Round and Shane’s Inspiration playground. The program is facilitated by the L.A. Zoo Learning and Engagement staff.
Next up for fam-time, Family Weekend Workshops: Punk Family Picnic at The Broad on Sunday, June 26 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Bring a picnic to the outdoor East West Plaza and make it a day by participating in punk-inspired art making activities. Enjoy a reading from Afro-Punk Festival co-founder and graphic novelist James Spooner, DJ sets, and a live musical performance by The Groans. Families may also view artworks by Barbara Kruger (pic shown is an Untitled piece from 1995). Copies of Spooner’s graphic novel, The High Desert, will also be available for purchase at the event from Rep.Club (a concept bookshop and creative space curated by Blackness in Los Angeles). Please note that capacity is limited and entrance is not guaranteed without a reservation. This event is designed for kids ages 3 and up. Bonus: There will be a scavenger hunt in the third-floor galleries!
We’ve also got an evening of Film and Poetry with Carlos López Estrada and Get Lit going down at the Academy Museum this Sunday, June 26. Join the Youth Programs team as they welcome director Carlos López Estrada and youth poetry organization and education nonprofit, Get Lit for a talk and workshop for teens. Director of Oscar-nominated film Raya and the Last Dragon, Carlos López Estrada will speak about the influence and inclusion of poetry in his films, discuss his collaboration with Get Lit on his 2020 film Summertime, present movie clips, and do a Q&A. The evening will also feature spoken word performances and a poetry workshop, led by Get Lit poets, during which teens can create poems about themselves, their communities, and their city. Tickets are free for teens and their families. The program will take place in the Ted Mann Theater (lower level) from 5-7 p.m. Check out the museum’s full calendar here.
And lastly, come out to your neighborhood library, the Wilshire Branch Library more specifically, and experience Dances From Around the World led by Teresa Smith on Tuesday, June 28 from 4-5 p.m. Learn about a variety of dances including ballet, the Charleston, and more. This is an in-person event designed for kids and teens. Next on the schedule is the Cookies and Comic Books Club monthly Zoom event on Tuesday, June 28 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. If you love graphic novels (and you’re age 16 and up) then this is the club for you. This month group members will discuss Hellboy Vol. 1: Seed Of Destruction by Mike Mignola, which is available with your library card on hoopla. And finally, bring your guitar, banjo, fiddle, tambourine, mandolin, or just your voice to the library’s garden for an evening of playing and singing favorite folk songs at Hootenanny! on Wednesday, June 29 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. This special event will be led by singer, songwriter and musician, Skip Heller.
Your local NC, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council has just one meeting on the schedule this week for the Land Use Committee on Tuesday, June 28 at 6:30 p.m. Click here to view the calendar for details.
And the Mid City West Neighborhood Council will wrap up our events list with several gatherings on the books, starting with the Arts and Recreation Committee on Monday, June 27, followed by the Social and Racial Equity Committee on Tuesday, June 28 and weekly, in-person Wednesday Walks on Wednesday, June 29 will close out the week. Click here to check Mid City’s calendar for details.
About Julia Christiansen
Julia is a native Angeleno and jack of all trades, having worked in television, visual effects, professional sports, health and wellness, and custom design. She currently resides in El Segundo.