It’s a big week for history lovers of all kinds, including those of you partial to pre-history. Not only are there a number of opportunities to learn more about Los Angeles’ history, the Natural History Museum’s Dino Fest and the Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival are both this week. Plus it’s Hispanic Heritage Month, so you can attend film screenings, musical performances, and book discussions to celebrate.
Arts & Culture
Every Monday, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, presents virtual concerts for “Music Monday.” On Monday, September 21st at 12:30 p.m., enjoy jazz pianist and educator Gary Matsumoto. He’s performed with artists including George Benson, Haley Reinhart, Gordon Goodwin, and Macy Gray. You can stream the performance on JFLA’s Facebook page.
On Tuesday, September 22nd at 6:30 p.m., join the Ford for Sonic Solidarity, an “exploration of the camaraderie in the Latinx music scene”, as part of their State of LA! Series which “offers a unique look at the culture makers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders who are shaping the future of the arts in Los Angeles.” Sonic Solidarity will be moderated by ILY Magazine Editor-in-Chief Erika Ramirez, and features Solidarity for Sanctuary founder Doris Muñoz and music industry insider Geraldine Leibot, who’s worked groups like The Roots, D’Angelo, and The Internet, plus performances from UMI, Ambar Lucid, and Amindi.
The Cinemauto Drive-In Movie Experience downtown continues through Saturday, September 19th with presentation of the movie Selena. In addition to the movie, you can explore a community market, merch, food, and music. Tickets start at $115, and benefit the Homeboy Industries Art Academy and the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, while honoring Hispanic Heritage Month. Learn more and purchase tickets here.
The Los Angeles Public Library’s Libros Festival , a free bilingual book festival for the whole family, will take place next Saturday, September 26th, but this week there are a few events gearing up for the main event. On Tuesday, September 22nd at 4:00 p.m., YA author Alex Sanchez joins for LAPL’s TEENtastic Tuesdays. Sanchez has published eight novels and his most recent work is You Brought Me The Ocean, a graphic novel for DC Comics. Wednesday, September 23rd at 4:00 p.m., hear from childrens’ author Laura Lacámara who will “provide a brief description of her inspiration and creative process; a view into her Cuban-American background, and has a fun drawing demonstration based on characters and animals from her books.”
This week the selection of book talks presented by Larchmont’s own Chevalier’s celebrate the work of two different Los Angeles icons. Monday, September 21st at 7:00 p.m., listen to artist Janna Ireland explore the work and legacy of architect Paul R. Williams: the first licensed Black architect west of the Mississippi who was known as “Hollywood’s Architect” and designed classic LA sites like the Theme Building at LAX, and many houses in Hancock Park and Windsor Square. Ireland’s book, Regarding Paul R. Williams: A Photographer’s View takes you inside many of those locations and “gives the reader a vision of Williams that is both universal and highly personal.” Thursday, September 24th at 7:00 p.m. Darin Strauss joins Chevalier’s to discuss The Queen of Tuesday, which blends fact and fiction to imagine the provocative story of Lucille Ball.
For even more drama and intrigue, catch the Independent Shakespeare Company’s immersive digital version of Romeo and Juliet through September 27th as part of the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival: Living Room Edition. This Romeo and Juliet will be unlike any production you’ve seen, and “will use live performance, film, animation, and social media to create a digital experience of the play.”
Community & History
For everyone who’s taken part in a Jurassic Park movie marathon this pandemic, get excited for the Natural History Museum’s Dino Fest where you can, “celebrate this rich history of exploration and join us for a week-long online festival celebrating dinosaurs, their prehistoric past, and the science that brings their world back to life.”The free online events will take place from Tuesday, September 22nd to Friday, September 25th that include discussions with paleontologists, field experts, dinosaur puppet meet and greets, and more.
To learn about somewhat more recent history, on Monday, September 21st at 12:00 p.m. join the Ebell of Los Angeles and Historian and Author Alison Rose Jefferson as she shares her research on early African American Leisure Sites and their impact today. Dr. Jefferson’s book Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era examines the segregation at public places like recreational sites, beaches, and mountains, and “examines these public places holding a central place in the long freedom rights struggle.” There is a suggested $10 donation for the event.
For more local history, check out the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society’s free Zoom webinar on “The History, Architecture, and Stories of Wilshire Blvd” on Wednesday, September 23rd at 5:00 p.m., with Sharon Boorstin whose article about an architectural driving tour of Wilshire Boulevard appeared in the Los Angeles Times in July. RSVP here.
A local event you can attend IRL is an end-of-summer yard sale this Saturday, September 19th from 8:00am – 2:00pm at 565 N. Irving Blvd. The organizers advertise “lots of trendy women’s clothing (all clothing priced under $10!) Browse through household items, furniture, and much more!”
In the GWNC’s second installment of its LA Civics 101 series, stakeholders will learn more about how our city government actually works with City Council 101 on Wednesday, September 23rd at 7:00pm, including special guest Nicholas Greif, the Chief of Staff to Councilmember David Ryu (CD 4). The program will cover “what councilmembers actually do day to day, what they control when it comes to land use & the budget, and more!” If you have any questions you’d like answered about how City Council works or if you want to suggest future topics for the series, you can send them to [email protected].
The GWNC Land Use Committee meeting is also this week on Tuesday, September 22nd at 6:30 p.m. The agenda, board documents, and link to join will be posted at GreaterWilshire.org.