As of this past Thursday, September 22, fall has made its official debut, but that doesn’t mean it’s cold out yet, so I invite and encourage you to partake in some open-air activities this week. Let’s see, there’s three free (say that 10 times fast) outdoor concerts I can see here on the sched, along with a River Fest, costume designer fashion show, the Los Angeles Libros Bilingual Book Fest, and some thought-provoking indoor stuff like book talks and 100 yr-old panorama painting discussions. And with so much free knowledge and fun at your fingertips, it’d be a crime not to indulge.
Arts, Culture, and Other Cool Stuff
It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month, people, and what better way to celebrate than with a free Bilingual Book Festival the whole fam can enjoy. The Los Angeles Libros Festival is back in-person on Saturday, September 24 with a day chock-full of entertainment for all ages, featuring Spanish-language and bilingual storytelling, workshops, poetry, award-winning authors, and musical performances; including Latin Grammy-winning dynamic duo 123 Andrés, whose music will get everyone in the mood for dancing and learning (bilingually, of course). The festivities will take place from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the historic Central Library on 5th Street in DTLA. Get free tickets here. Fun Fact: The Central Library was designed by NY architect Bertram Goodhue and completed in 1926. It has been designated a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Next up, for NHHM is Chilean songstress, performer, activist, and pianist Francisca Valenzuela, who’ll be closing out the Grand Performances season with a bang this Saturday, September 24 from 6-10 p.m. Multi-hypenate Valenzuela has been described as a force of nature, who’s been “at the forefront of indie music and conversations that give visibility to feminine voices”. Also performing is Renee Goust, a Mexican-American singer-songwriter who “skillfully reframes traditional Mexican music to be more inclusive.” And Boyle Heights-based DJ Que Madre will be the opener; mixing hip hop, r&b, cumbia, reggaeton, world tunes and beyond! RSVP here. Grand Performances takes place at 350 S. Grand Ave. in DTLA. Check out the event page for more info.
Chevalier’s Books is at it again with four events on the calendar this week, including three in-store happenings and one virtual for good measure. This enticing and eclectic mix of discussions and get togethers include a Los Angeles Poetry Downtown Pop-Up on Saturday, September 24 from 1-2 p.m.; Neon Yang on The Genesis of Misery (this is the virtual one) on Tuesday, September 27 at 1 p.m.; and Santino Zafarana in-store discussing and signing his book Think Before You Shoot: The Art of Taking Creative Photographs on Thursday, September 29 from 6-7 p.m. Come gather ‘round as the Sicilian born photographer and teacher discusses why images matter and how to create consistently powerful and captivating ones. Check the calendar for the full list of events. Please note that masks are still required in-store.
LACMA , too, is bringing you the good stuff again this week, starting with Procession: An Evocation for McQueen on Sunday evening, September 25. Head over to the museum from 7-8 p.m. for a fashion and music performance alongside the exhibition Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse. Watch as visual artist San Cha and fashion designer Olima tell the story of how McQueen influenced LA’s Latine, queer, nightlife, and DIY cultures. Check the event link for more details.
Then, on Thursday, September 29 from 6-8 p.m., it’s Holding Histories: Indigenous Artworks of Colombia, where Indigenous collaborators from the Arhuaco community in Colombia share their knowledge and perspective on Ancient Colombian artworks in the collection, and reflect on their experience of working with LACMA in developing the exhibition The Portable Universe / El Universo en Tus Manos: Thought and Splendor of Indigenous Colombia. Experience a unique presentation, ceremony, and Q&A with Arhuaco Elders. This event takes place in person at the museum; RSVP required.
And closing things out is trusty old Jazz at LACMA on Friday, September 30, featuring vocalist and recording artist Sherry Williams. After a nearly five decade career, Williams has worked with such legendary musicians as Hubert Laws, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Patrice Rushen, Roy McCurdy, and so many more. The concert will take place from 6-8 p.m. out on the main plaza. Seating is limited and first come, first served. Masks are still required in all indoor spaces at LACMA.
Metropolitan Fashion Week 2022 will be in the house (well, actually, in the plaza) at the Original Farmers Market on Thursday, September 29 from 6-7 p.m., hosting the opening ceremony of its annual costume designer’s competition. Celebrating the world of fashion and costume designers, MFW will be showcasing “one-of-a-kind” works of wearable art inspired by global architecture, made by designers from all over the world! The Market’s trolley tracks will become the runway, and you, the show’s attendees, will be the judges! This event is open to the public and fun for all ages. Fun Fact: MFW was founded in Seattle in 2012 and will celebrate its 10th bday this year. The Closing Night Gala will take place at LA City Hall on Saturday, October 1. MFW supports You Are The Angel, a NY-based non-profit org. that is providing food, medical supplies, and psychosocial support to the victims of the war in Ukraine.
And finally, the last KCRW Summer Nights of the year is going down on a school night, Thursday, September 29 from 6-9 p.m. (Ah, youth. I remember when I used to go out on weeknights.) The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA and the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo will play host again this week to a party on the courtyard. The event will feature live sets from KCRW DJs SiLVA and Anthony Valadez, food trucks, a beer garden and free after hours access to both museums. Come out and dance the early night away fo free! Register for the event here.
History and Community
Housed in the historic Union Theatre, the Velaslavasay Panorama is one of LA’s first “purpose-built” cinemas, and where the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles will be hosting its upcoming in-person event, Shenyang By Way of Los Angeles on Saturday, September 24 from 4-6:30 p.m. Panoramic paintings were very popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries, transporting viewers to distant lands through giant canvases filled with landscapes and cityscapes, as does the star of this event, the Shengjing Panorama. This 360-degree depiction of Shenyang, China (around the years 1910–1930) marks the end of Chinese dynastic rule and the birth of the South Manchurian Railway System. It is the world’s first ever USA-China collab of its kind, painted by masters of the Luxun Academy of Fine Art. The afternoon will feature a lecture on the history of the Panorama with Founding Director Sara Velas, followed by a viewing and light refreshments in the garden. Tickets are $22.
And even more exciting news, the Friends of the LA River (FoLAR) will present its first ever River Fest this year on Sunday, September 25. FoLAR and its partners are excited to celebrate the River’s “deep connection to art, environmental justice, community health, and climate adaptation.” This open-air festival will be hosted at the scenic LA State Historic Park, bringing together food trucks and environmental films on a 45 ft. screen, with a green carpet and photo booth to boot! Raffles featuring items from simplehuman, REI, and Patagonia, a kayak, and exclusive FoLAR swag will also be happening. So bring a blanket and relax as you watch stories about environmental justice, community leadership, and Indigenous perspectives on nature and the River, all while supporting FoLAR in its committed vision of a vibrant, equitable LA River. In other words, it’s a win-win. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. and close around 9 p.m.
“Yes, of course we’re hosting Books ‘n Brunch! The pandemic can’t hold us back from getting books to the folks that love them!” is what the peeps at Big Sunday said, and they’re sticking to their word this Sunday, September 25. Big Sunday’s Annual Books ‘n Brunch sorting event will be large and in charge this weekend, sorting books collected just for kids and young adults this time ’round. And if you can’t make it out to help in person, no worries, there are still plenty of other ways to pitch in by donating your books, purchasing books from the book wishlist, or being an event sponsor. They will need an army of hands to sort through all the books, so if you’re able they’d surely appreciate the help. The event will take place outdoors in the Big Sunday parking lot from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. Learn more here. Big Sunday’s mission is to unite people to improve lives, build community, and give everyone a sense of belonging.
What a coincidence! It’s Thinking of You Week and I was just thinking about you! Just because it’s the tail end of the international weeklong celebration (September 19-25) of the magic of sending greeting cards existing to remind us about the power of a handwritten note, it doesn’t mean it has to end here. Join in the fun (anytime) by choosing seven people who deserve a card, just because they do, and delight in how much it’ll mean to them and you! Bonus: In honor of this special week, neighborhood darling and Larchmont staple, Landis Gifts and Stationery will be giving a 20% discount on select cards through the end of the week (meaning, Sunday the 25th).
Your local NC, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council has two meetings on the books this week – a Land Use Committee meeting on Tuesday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m. and a Transportation Committee meeting on Wednesday, September 28. Click here to view the calendar for deets.
And the Mid City West Neighborhood Council has just three virtual assemblages on the sched this week. It starts on Tuesday, September 27 with the Social and Racial Equity Committee, followed by weekly Wednesday Walks on Wednesday, September 28; and an Ad Hoc Election Committee meeting on Thursday, September 29. 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.