As all Angelenos (and the rest of the world) are aware, I’m sure, LA’s homeless situation is no joke…and if you’re looking for a way(s) to help, the 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count is your solution! It’s actually not taking place until the following week (Jan. 24, 25, and 26), but I thought a heads-up was in order so you have time to sign up, and you can find more info under the Community and Local Government section below. You can also catch the Monterey Jazz Festival at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a bunch of classic movie screenings and great public programs at the Academy Museum all week long, a very special Free Dance Day courtesy of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (that’s DADA to you), and more. Happy living!
Arts, Culture, and Entertainment
Were you born into a brood of creatives who are looking for a family friendly artsy event to attend? Well, what a coinkydink, because the Academy Museum’s education team has put together just that – a monthly series inspired by the museum’s exhibitions and screenings to create, learn, and have fun. This month’s Drop-in Workshops for Families will focus on the artistry of Special Effects Makeup inspired by classic films from 1988 in its Family Matinees series – Willow, Big Top Pee-wee, The Land Before Time, and Beetlejuice. What a great collection! There is a special place in my heart for every one of these movies, as they whisk me back to the magic of childhood. Join anytime (hence the term ‘drop-in’) on Saturday, January 14 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in the Shirley Temple Education Studio on the museum’s Lower Level. Be sure to check back for upcoming workshops, too. And if you’re a typical teen who’d rather not be seen with the fam, then maybe the Drop-In Workshop for Teens is the better option. You’ll also be learning about Special Effects Makeup this month, by makeup artist Robin Beauchesne, who has worked in both TV and film with credits including Captain America: Civil War, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and The Hunger Games. Beauchesne will give a makeup demo and talk about her career in the film industry. Day is Friday, January 20 and the time is 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Shirley Temple Education Studio). Please note that workshops are designed for teens ages 14 and up and first come, first served. Snacks will be provided. Workshop is free with museum admission, which is free for kids 17 and under with advance reservation. Then, finally after all that, there will also be screenings of such classic films as Big Top Pee-wee, Serpico, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Sunrise, Mike Henderson: The Blues and the Abstract Truth, and more! Check the full calendar for deets.
And the Academy’s neighbor and brother from another mother, LACMA, will play host to a printmaking workshop led by Self Help Graphics this Saturday, January 14 from 1-3:30 p.m. Printmaking Taller: Activist Graphics is presented in conjunction with current exhibit Pressing Politics: Revolutionary Graphics from Mexico and Germany – which opened on Oct 29 and is on view at Charles White Elementary School Gallery through Jun 2022. This family friendly drop-in workshop will teach relief printmaking techniques, so you can get in the game and create your own. All materials will be provided. Presented in person at the Charles White Elementary School Gallery at 2401 Wilshire Blvd. Validated parking is free at the 611 S. Carondelet St. parking garage next to the school. Just bring your parking ticket and the security officer in the gallery will validate it. The class is free; RSVP suggested.
In other great news, the Debbie Allen Dance Academy‘s (DADA) DANCE FREE DAY is happening on Sunday, January 15 from 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., with a buffet of classes available, including Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, African, Tap and Flamenco. Kids 8 and up will learn how to shake, shimmy, and sashay their way across a dance floor! You’ll need to register to participate – Sign up here! Please note that DFD is not for current students. Please feel free to email [email protected] with any questions. DADA is located at 1850 Manhattan Pl. What DADA is about, it the school’s own words: “With a focus on disenfranchised Black and Latino communities, the world class faculty and staff members of DADA use dance, theater, and performance to enrich, inspire and transform the lives of their students. With founding principles based on the belief that arts education defines discipline, creativity and self-confidence. These principles empower individuals whether they pursue a professional performing arts career or not. This is for LIFE!”
Missing all those free summer live jazz concerts, but don’t mind paying for it if need be? Then you’re in the right place. The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling, Lakecia Benjamin, Christian Sands, Yasushi Nakamura & Clarence Penn, gettin’ down at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Friday, January 20 at 8 p.m. This incredible roster of superb jazz musicians will be the entertainment at one of the jazz world’s longest-running and most-iconic events, the Monterey Jazz Festival. Celebrating its 65th year with a “must-hear once-in-a-lifetime” ensemble (that’s pronounced on-som-bluh). Featuring Tony and Grammy Award-winning NEA Jazz Master vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, alongside Grammy Award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling and critically acclaimed rising-star saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, directed by visionary pianist Christian Sands and anchored by his longtime rhythm section, bassist Yasushi Nakamura and drummer Clarence Penn. Hell yeah! Get your tickets here ($51-$104).
Lunar New Year is upon us, people, so you better get hoppin’ because 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit! And the L.A. Zoo is putting itself into the YOTR mix with its LUNAR NEW YEAR NIGHTS. Come with friends and/or fam to enjoy an all ages showcase of spectacular Chinese Cultural performances by Wushu Shaolin Entertainment. Performances will take place throughout the night in Treetops Terrace, and here’s the schedule: Dragon Dance Parade – 6:30 p.m. – Chinese Dancers – 7 p.m. – Lion Dance Performance – 7:30 p.m. – Wushu Warriors Live – 8 p.m. – Legend of the Dragon Show – 8:30 p.m. – Legend of Mulan Show – 9 p.m. and Chinese Calligraphy Demonstration from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Bonus: there will also be food trucks Café Vietnam and Rice Balls of Fire. Take advantage of this weekends only good time from now through January 22. Get tickets here. And if you didn’t get a chance to see the L.A. Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow display around the holidays, you can still see if for yourself until Sunday, January 22. Explore an immersive landscape filled with animal, blooming flower, and towering tree lantern sculptures for a wildlife-centered experience that’s “as inspiring as it is breathtaking”. Hours are from 6–10 p.m.; box office is open from 5:45-9 p.m. Tickets range from $27-$34 on Value Nights and $32-$39 on Premium Nights. Check the website for dates. Kids 2 and under are free!
Community and Local Government
Your local NC, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, is back in business this troisième (that’s French for third) week of the year with a solo Outreach Committee meeting on Tuesday, January 17 at 6:30 p.m. Click here to view the calendar for deets.
Hold on to your public service calendars with both hands, people, because it’s about to get heavy. The Mid City West Neighborhood Council is back again with a full schedule of meetings starting on Tuesday, January 17 for both the Homelessness, Refugees, and Renters’ Rights (HRRRTs) Committee and Public Safety and Well-Being Committee, followed by weekly in-person Wednesday Walks and the Transportation and Sustainability Committee on Wednesday, January 18. And finishing up the week with the Outreach and Civic Engagement Committee on Thursday, January 19. Click here to check MCW’s calendar for details.
And Big Sunday is giving you every opportunity to be a do-gooder this MLK Day, Monday, January 16, at its annual MLK Day event, back in person for the first time since you know what. Like always, it will be a big, wonderful block party with lots of ways for people of all ages to help, with the goal of putting together 2,023 winter clothing kits for all kinds of lovely people who are struggling. There will be lots of activities, including arts projects, a Civil Rights Exhibit, Big Sunday’s Something in Common Project, live music from the Blue Breeze Band, and of course, a big, delicious community breakfast. The event will take place at 24th St. Elementary School from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Unfortunately, after checking the website one last time, they are currently at capacity for the event (which is a good thing), but you can still help Big Sunday all year round by donating money or goods today! Learn more here.
Lastly, but certainly not leastly, is a Heads Up for The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count taking place on Tuesday, January 24, 25, and 26, covering all of LA County except the cities of Glendale, Pasadena, and Long Beach, which conduct their own counts. The data collected is an essential component in understanding the scope and nature of homelessness and helps the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and its partners deliver services where they are needed most. Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis that takes the support of our entire community to end. LAHSA is a joint powers authority of the city and county of LA, created in 1993 to help address this long standing crisis. Each of these four components plays a vital role in understanding the state of homelessness in Los Angeles: Demographics Surveys, Shelter / Institutional Count, Youth Count, and Street Count. Sign up to volunteer here..
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.