For those not heading to Coachella this weekend, there are quite a few big events here in L.A.
If you have gifted children, or children you suspect may be gifted, LAUSD is holding its annual conference for parents of Gifted and Talented/Schools for Advanced Studies (GATE/SAS) students on Saturday morning at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools complex, 701 S. Catalina St.. This free parent event will help you learn more about the complexities of your gifted child. It features a screening of the documentary “Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age,” and a choice of workshops on social-emotional needs of gifted students, differentiated instruction, college preparation and planning, extended learning at home, parenting gifted/talented children…and more. Sign-in begins at 7:30 a.m. (no advance registration required), and the conference begins at 8:50.
Saturday is also Earth Day, so another great event for early risers would be the March for Science, which will proceed from downtown’s Pershing Square to City Hall starting at 11 a.m. The march is actually part of a larger Science Expo, which will run at Pershing Square from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be speakers starting at 10 a.m. at the Square, and a second group of speakers will hold forth at city hall starting at noon. Marchers are then asked to return to Pershing Square for the remainder of the afternoon, and to help pick up litter along the way.
Another great Earth Day event, especially for those with young kids who love big trucks, is the annual citywide Earth Day LA event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Exposition Park, where the LA Sanitation department will once again bring their giant trucks for kids to explore. There will also be more than 50 educational (and fun!) exhibits for the whole family to learn about sustainability. And, of course, free food, fun, giveaways, and entertainment. Admission is also free.
From Exposition Park, it’s just a hop and skip to the other really big event this weekend — the LA Times Festival of Books, which runs both Saturday and Sunday on the USC campus. This mega-celebration of all things literary began in 1996, and has grown to include author talks, books signings, live bands, poetry readings, chef demos, cultural entertainment and artists creating their work on site. There’s also a photography exhibit, film screenings followed by Q&As and discussion panels on some of today’s hottest topics. The Festival is free, but many events require prior ticketing, and some sell out very quickly…so be sure to check the full schedule at the link above.
Music lovers also have something to celebrate on Saturday, with the 10th annual Record Store Day. Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 by independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently owned record stores in the US and around the world. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, DJs spinning records, and more. See the list of participating stores to see if your favorite is among them.
And finally on Saturday, for some outdoor fun, check out the long-awaited Grand Opening of Los Angeles State Historic Park, near Chinatown. The event will be a day-long celebration with music (performances by the Grammy Award-winning Quetzal, Milck (Connie Lim of the Washington DC Women’s March), Subsuelo, Shaolin Monks and more), family-friendly activities and food trucks. The park provides 32 acres of open space for recreation and education. Visitors can wander pathways and enjoy a view of downtown, as well as discover and celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of Los Angeles.
Since Saturday’s so packed this week, it’s kind of nice that Sunday looks to be a bit quieter. You can catch the second day of the Festival of Books…or check out one of these two other events that caught our eye.
The first is the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust’s 25th Annual Yom HaShoah Day of Commemoration. The museum will be open at 10 a.m., and pre-ceremony programs will begin at 12 p.m., including a Yiddish poetry reading, conversation with Survivor artists, and the opening of the special exhibit Names Instead of Numbers: Prisoners of Dachau Concentration Camp. Then, at 2 p.m., hear keynote speakers John B. Emerson, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, 2013-2017, and Human Rights Activist Kimberly Marteau Emerson….along with special remarks by Sam Grundwerg, Consul General of Israel and Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone. All events are free and open to the public.
Later, at 4 p.m., at the Holman United Methodist Church, 3320 Adams Blvd., the Afro-American Chamber Orchestra presents “Lost Black Masterworks Unveiled,” a program of music by obscure African-American composers: Jonathan Bailey Holland, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, James Price Johnson, and Antonio Carlos Gomes. The concert includes “Yamekraw” (Rhapsody in Black), featuring pianist Janise White, by Johnson, Father of Stride Piano and a close friend of George Gershwin, which was recently discovered in a Riverside, California attic; “Symphony in A minor” by 21 year old Samuel Coleridge Taylor, an English Composer whose symphony has been recently discovered at the British Library; “O Guarany” by Antonio Carlos Gomes, a Brazilian Composer whose operatic overtures were unveiled by Brazilian musicologists; and the West Coast premiere of “Martha’s Waltz” by Dr. Jonathan Bailey Holland, Chair of Composition, Theory and History at Boston Conservatory and Harvard Award Recipient. Tickets are $20 general admission; $10 students with ID.
And finally, our weekly Metro reminder: from 8 p.m. Friday, April 21, through 6 a.m. Monday, April 24, the Wilshire/Fairfax intersection will be fully closed for the installation of street-level concrete decking to enable subway construction below. This closure extends from 6th St. to 8th St. on Fairfax Ave. and from Crescent Heights Blvd. to Spaulding Ave. on Wilshire Blvd. See https://www.metro.net/projects/notices/notice_purpleline_041917/ for full details and detours…and plan your travel accordingly.
Have a great weekend!