This weekend, celebrate Juneteenth and Father’s Day with events all around the city and neighborhood. For the first time since I’ve been writing this column, almost all the events are in person! One of the few virtual listings is the latest in the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Civics 101 Series, focusing on the city’s Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) Incentive Program.
Arts & Culture
The William Grant Still Arts Center presents a Juneteenth Live Concert as the closing reception of this year’s African American Composers’ Series on Saturday, June 19th at 3:00 p.m. The virtual concert will be coordinated by band leader and musician Marcus L. Miller, exploring the sounds of the composers or musical movements, and “bringing back musicians from the past while inducting new talent.” Featuring Kamau Daáood, Dwight Tribble, Gregg Wright, Maiya Sykes, Dexter Story, Mark Broyard, Derf Reklaw, Dale Williams and more. The event is free, but an RSVP to [email protected] is required to get the link to the show.
Movies are coming back at Hollywood Forever Cemetery! Watch a special Cinespia screening in partnership with LA Pride of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert on Saturday, June 26th at 9:00 p.m., with the season officially starting on July 4th with Dirty Dancing and fireworks. So get your tickets now, and in the meantime you can catch The Muppet Movie on Saturday, June 19th at 8:30 p.m. and Pretty Woman on Friday, June 25th at 8:30 p.m. at Cinespia’s drive-in set-up at the Greek Theater
Chevalier’s is also back to in-person book talks, and is welcoming Dan Glickman on Monday, June 21st at 7:00 p.m. to discuss his memoir Laughing At Myself: My Education in Congress, on the Farm, and at the Movies.
Community & History
Meanwhile, yard sales are back in the neighborhood, too – including a block-wide sale happening on Saturday, June 19th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the 100-200 block of N. Irving Blvd., between Beverly Blvd. and 1st St.
Leimert Park Plaza is is also reopening after more than three years of closures. To mark the occasion, the office of City Council Member Mark Ridley-Thomas will host a special Grand Re-Opening celebration in honor of Juneteenth on Saturday, June 19th at 11:00 a.m., featuring a performance of the S.H.I.N.E. Muwasi Drum Circle.
Another event honoring Juneteenth, on Saturday, June 19th at 1:00 p.m. is A Night at Club Alabam, celebrating the history of L.A.’s Central Avenue with the Central Avenue Dance Ensemble. The online event will be a vintage nightclub floor show with “Singers, Chorus Girls, Tap Dancing, Vernacular Jazz Dances, Vaudeville Acts, Ballroom Dancing, and Exotic Dances: Arabian Sword Dance (with dancing girls!), Flamenco (with live guitarist!), Mambo Caliente, and Tango Milonga (with live pianist).” The program “honors the diversity of Black talent that made the theaters and nightclubs of Central Avenue such vibrant hubs of entertainment” from the 1920s through the 1950s.
Of course, this Sunday is also Father’s Day, so if you’ve got dads or anyone who loves cars in your life, head to Beverly Hills on Sunday, June 20th at 10:00 a.m. for a Father’s Day Automobile Celebration: The Tour d’Elegance. The “moving parade of fifty of the world’s finest and most exotic automobiles driven by notable individuals from film and entertainment, top collectors and city officials” will be taking to the streets of Beverly Hills, with tour maps distributed at the event.
Finally, if you’ve heard the acronym “TOC” thrown around and don’t know what it means, or you do have a basic familiarity with the concept but still have questions about what exactly the Transit Oriented Communities Incentive Program means for your neighborhood, or you’re just interested in learning more about housing and land use policy in your community, check out the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Civics 101 Town Hall on Wednesday, June 23rd at 6:00 p.m.: Land Use 101: What and Where are Our Transit Oriented Communities? Speakers will include a City Planning rep, a pro-TOC housing advocate, and a land use planner who opposes the program. The event will also include an opportunity for attendees to give feedback and share questions and concerns.
Relatedly, the GWNC Land Use Committee also meets on Tuesday, June 22nd at 6:30 p.m.