If you’re lucky enough to be able to enjoy the long weekend and gear up for what is sure to be a busy news week with the Inauguration on Wednesday, attend one of the many interesting events happening this week — including film screenings that honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., discussions about other Black pioneers like architect Paul Williams.
Arts & Culture
Black Hollywood Education Resource Center’s 11th Annual Youth Diversity Film Festival for Middle and High School Students is happening online now through January 31st. The festival features “film screenings and panel dialogues [that] are an opportunity for emerging young directors to showcase their skills, talent and vision, while giving the audience a chance to view and discuss the artistry, passion and sacrifice involved in the independent film making process.” Festival screening passes cost $25, adult day passes are $10, and student passes are $5…but the panel discussions are free and open to all.
The William Grant Still Art Center’s Annual Black Doll Show, “All Dolled Up: A 40 Year Celebration of the WGSAC Annual Black Doll Show” is ongoing through February 20th. Among the events, you can join Nawili Grey today (Saturday, January 16 at 2:00 p.m.), for a doll making workshop on making wrap dolls with simple items found in your home. This workshop will be on Instagram Live with a feed directly to the Art Center’s Facebook page.
The Cinelounge Drive-In, behind the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, is showing MLK/FBI every day through Thursday, January 21st, at various times. The film, directed by Sam Pollard, uses a trove of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and unsealed by the National Archives, to tell the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and J. Edgar Hoover: “two powerful, iconic figures who, despite all of their differences, saw themselves in the same way, as a protector of liberty–a guardian of the American dream. Yet their view of that dream could not have been more opposed, and to examine their strange and tortured relationship is to ask questions as central to our time as it was to theirs. What is “free,” what is “American”? What do we mean when we use those words, and who controls the definitions?”
Ahead of Wednesday’s historic inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, on Monday, January 18th at 7:00 p.m., Larchmont’s own Chevalier’s (newly located across the street!) is hosting a discussion with Dan Morain, the author of Kamala’s Way: An American Life, “a revelatory biography of the first Black woman to stand for Vice President, charting how the daughter of two immigrants in segregated California became one of this country’s most effective power players.”
On Thursday, January 21st at 4:00 p.m., join the Los Angeles Public Library and photographer Janna Ireland as she “discusses famed Los Angeles architect Paul R. Williams (the first Black member of the American Institute of Architects) and her project to photograph many of his built works around Southern California.” Ireland recently published a book of her photographs of Williams’ buildings in Regarding Paul R. Williams: A Photographer’s View. The conversation is part of the Library’s ongoing LA Made Series.
History & Community
Minority Health Institute and UCLA BRITE Center for Science, Research and Policy have teamed up for “a virtual town hall with some of the nations’ premier COVID-19 experts and historically Black institutions and organization leaders to address facts, fears and myths pertaining to COVID-19 vaccination as we fight to protect and save Black lives” on Saturday, January 16th at 9:00 a.m.
Esotouric’s weekly webinar is getting the star treatment this week with silent film locations sleuth John Bengtson, who will provide a virtual 1920s L.A. history tour on Saturday, January 16th at 12:00 p.m. “John Bengtson’s “Silent Echoes in Westlake” Early Los Angeles Film Locations” will help you “to travel in the footsteps of the great silent film comedians Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd” and “discover the actual buildings and boulevards that appear in some of the greatest comic scenes ever filmed, and marvel at John’s dogged detective work, using vintage photos, maps and primary source material to pinpoint exactly where the camera stood.”
For more iconic LA buildings, check out the Los Angeles Conservancy’s virtual tours of Art Deco Los Angeles on Wednesday, January 20th 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday, January 27th at 6:00 p.m., and “get up close and virtual to marvel at the incredible detail of these structures, with their brilliant colors and lush materials” and “learn how Art Deco made its way to L.A., and why it became such a defining architectural style in the city.”
If you’ve been using this pandemic as an excuse to break out an old bicycle or get a new one, join Metro and LA County Bicycle Coalition’s Bicycling 101: Riding the LA River Path online class on Thursday, January 21st at 6:00 p.m. You’ll “learn about how to best approach riding the LA and San Gabriel Rivers that serve as great north-south connectors throughout the LA region,” and “will cover accessing the river paths, safety tips for riding along the rivers, and etiquette for the communities you’ll be riding through along with many more great tips.”
The Civilian Oversight Commission for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is hosting a virtual commission meeting on Thursday, January 21st at 9:00 a.m. they are encouraging the public to attend, “as the Commission works to boost transparency & accountability, community input is vital to the ongoing analysis of the department’s policies, practices & procedures.”