Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

The Week Ahead – Events for July 8-14, 2023

Meditations on Crime: Book and Vinyl Launch, Film Screening, and Conversation will be happening at MOCA this Sat, July 8.

Howdy! I hope your holiday week was filled with joy and wonder and fireworks and BBQs, and that this week is just as enjoyable. I know, I know, it’s back to work time, but all the more reason to reward yourself, or a loved one, with an experience they won’t soon forget. I’m talkin’ ‘bout feminist character studies at MOCA, cool art/music mashups and sensory explosions, wine + 4-course gourmet farm-to-table dinners at the Zoo, Twilight strolls in a 120+ acre garden, and free concerts for all, per usual. So much quality over quantity this week, I’m impressed.

Arts, Culture, Food+Wine, and Twilight Strolls

I joyfully announce that Grand Performances, featuring Viver Brasil and DJ Muñeka, is the latest happening for this cherished (FREE) ongoing concert series, and it’s only a day away on Saturday, July 8 from 6-10 p.m.  Viver Brasil has commissioned its newest Co-Artistic Director, Vera Passos, to create Rezas E Folhas (Prayers & Leaves), “a genre-defying original work that posits Afro-Brazilian traditions of sacred herbalism as urgently necessary interventions against the ever-growing acts of climate injustice.”  Born out of Passos unique creative approach (that consists of four strategies), Rezas E Folhas “masterfully” blends traditional Afro-Brazilian dances and rhythms with experimental choreography and poignant storytelling. Hailing from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, Passos is a pioneering choreographer, seasoned teacher, and acclaimed performer with a deep-seated relationship to her roots. “My culture is my inspiration. When I dance, my feet speak with the earth… bringing ancestral messages of joy, resistance, and transformation.” Please RSVP here.

MOCA (Museum of the Contemporary Art) has several intriguing events on the calendar for you this week, including an afternoon with Jonah Freeman and Harper Simon on Saturday, July 8 from 4-6 p.m. Meditations on Crime: Book and Vinyl Launch, Film Screening, and Conversation, with the gentlemen mentioned above, will happen courtesy of the MOCA Store and Hat & Beard Press in celebration of the book’s publication. “Everyone is fascinated by crime,” says Simon. “…crime is a major theme in all songwriting.” That being said, Meditations on Crime is an ambitious multi-media project that includes memorable musical collaborations, a book he edited featuring notable essayists, and artwork from household names like Cindy Sherman and Julian Schnabel. Jonah Freeman is a visual artist and filmmaker who lives and works in NYC. Harper Simon is a writer and musician based in Los Angeles. Discussion and book signing will follow screening. FREE with RSVP.

Next up for MOCA is the How Close: Book Launch and Live Score with Brice Bischoff and Byron Westbrook at the MOCA STORE on Thursday, July 13 from 6-8 p.m. Artists Byron Westbrook and Brice Bischoff unite for an “immersive visual and sonic experience” where photography and music merge to produce an indelible sensory explosion. Westbrook, a highly acclaimed sound artist known for his innovative approach to composition, will create an original sonic landscape to complement Bischoff’s evocative visuals. “Westbrook’s live score will enhance the emotional impact, presence, and scale of each photograph, that transcends traditional art boundaries. Don’t miss this exceptional collaboration! A brief discussion and book signing will follow. FREE with RSVP.

And if sensory explosions aren’t quite your speed, then how about character studies? SORORITY: NOT ME at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA on Thursday, July 13 at 6 p.m. will consist of a series of said character studies with Gina Young. “What is it to play a role, become someone else? Does it come with any responsibilities?” Organized by award-winning writer, director, performer, curator, and founder of SORORITY Gina Young, this program presents a series of character studies by a coterie of queer women and nonbinary performing artists. “With its roots as a salon for new short works of theater, music, dance, and solo performance, SORORITY work is always in progress, often a bit dangerous, and somehow evokes the past and the future at the same time.” FREE with RSVP.

Okay, so this ain’t exactly local, but when one of my all time fav places in LA has a new happening on the calendar, I’m compelled to share. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, located in San Marino, announced its Twilight Garden Strolls schedule and I’m giddy as a schoolboy. Starting Sunday, July 9 through Sunday, August 20, you’re invited to explore the 120+ acres of gardens with friends and family, or solo, in those precious last hours of the summer sun. The Huntington’s eateries will also be open later than usual, as will the fabulous Huntington Store. Please note that the Galleries, Library, Conservatory, and Children’s Garden will all close at their regular times. Twilight Hours and Dates are as follows: July 9, July 23 and Aug. 4 from 4:30 – 8 p.m. and Aug. 13 and Aug. 20 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. Advance ticket requiredTickets are $5-$20 and FREE for Members. Regular hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (daily); closed Tues.

And the LA Zoo maintains its status as a local shining star with the continuation of its Sustainable Wine + Dinner Series on Thursday, July 13 from 6-9 p.m. This week, Pisoni Family Vineyards will be providing the wine pairing for each of the Zoo’s own executive chef, Eileen Aguilera, gourmet farm-to-table, 4-course menu. Delicacies include Goat Cheese Stuffed Purple Potato Bites, Chilled Cucumber Soup with Feta, Coffee Rubbed Duck Breast with Root Vegetable Puree, Broccolini, Cipollini Onions, and Tart Cherry Reduction, with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and delightful blends to complement the food, and Ube Cream Puffs to finish. The evening will also include thoughtful takes from curators, keepers, and winery reps on conservation and sustainability that might just change your perspective on things. The cost is $175 per person and $165 for Members. Tickets sell out fast, so make haste!

Fan favorite Jazz at LACMA triumphs again this week with Connected: Richie Goods and Chien Chien Lu on Friday, July 14 from 6-8 p.m. Like many people during lockdown, Goods and Chien started asking tough questions that included many conversations about the Black Lives Matter movement and the rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans. Their friendship grew as they also explored the stereotypical discord between their respective communities, and as things often go between creatives, these discussions resulted in a special collaboration. NY bassist Richie Goods is one of the industry’s most versatile bass players and the youngest person ever inducted into the Pittsburgh Jazz Hall of Fame. Chien Chien Lu is a vibraphonist, percussionist, and composer whose Taiwanese upbringing, classical music education, and passion for R&B is what makes her sound so unique. Jazz at LACMA is free and open to all.

And lastly (again), for now, Zoo Friday Nights at the LA Zoo continues to delight the (informed) masses this Friday, July 14 with another Friday night event from 6-9 p.m. Happening now through August 18, you’re invited to come see what the zoo animals and your fellow humans get up to during the twilight hours. Enjoy live music, a family dance party and games, and interactive education stations at no additional charge, plus paid add-ons like carousel rides, tasty treats, and full bars for the adult kids. Music and food trucks on-site this week include Pulp Vixen and DJ Johnny Hawkes, with Baby’s Badass Burgers, Cousin’s Maine Lobster, Burnt to a Crisp Texas Smokehouse, Wetzel’s Pretzels, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, and Jay’z Tacos trucks to satisfy all your hearts desires. Tickets are $25 for adults; $20 for kids and $15 for members

Local Government 

The Mid City West Neighborhood Council took a well deserved break last week, but is back in action with a General Board meeting on Tuesday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m. Check Mid City’s calendar for a full schedule of meetings. Please Note: all MCW meetings will now be held at the Pan Pacific Park Senior Center (lunch room) located at 141 S. Gardner St.

And your local NC, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council has one meeting on the schedule to end things right, and it’s the General Board meeting on Wednesday, July 12 at 6:30 p.m. All Board meetings take place on the Second Wednesday of each month at the Ebell of Los Angeles (743 S. Lucerne Blvd). Check the GWNC’s website for agendas, cancellations, and full schedule

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Julia Christiansen
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.

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