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

Weekend Buzz: Events for February 15-16, 2020

Ever wanted to be in a big “We are the World”-style video? You could get your chance this weekend with the Big Sunday volunteer organization.

Our post-Valentine’s Day weekend starts with a chance to show some love by adopting a new furry family member at LA Animal Services‘ “My Furry Valentine” event at all six city animal shelters. On both Saturday and Sunday adoption fees will be reduced for all dogs and puppies, and waived entirely for cats. “It is our goal to find a home for every pet residing within the six LA Animal Services Centers,” said Bill Crowe, Director of the Foundation. He continued, “Now is the perfect time to find your new love!” The event is co-sponsored by the Pet Care Foundation, so see either or for more information and shelter locations.

The biggest event this weekend is the second annual Frieze Art Fair, which takes over large chunks of Paramount Studios, 5555 Melrose Ave., from Friday through Sunday.  The festival includes a huge roster of solo exhibitions, as well as works presented by more than 70 galleries. There are also many related events, both official and unofficial, around the city. See the event website for the jam-packed, day-long schedules and tickets. (And watch the Buzz next week for coverage of the event!)

Also running all day on Saturday is the Groundlings’ Annual Open House, with comedy and improvisation performance classes and shows running from 10 a.m. through early evening at the Groundlings Theatre and School, 7307 Melrose Ave.  Whether you’re at the very beginning level or a veteran performer, you’ll find workshops that will help hone valuable skills.  The classes are just $10 each, and the performances are free.  There will also be food trucks, giveaways, music, a photo booth and more.  For the full schedule, and to sign up for classes, see the event link above.

For another visual arts event, TAG Gallery, 5458 Wilshire Blvd., is hosting its first pop-up style Gallery Art Walk, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The gallery’s 2020 member artists will be displaying art, merchandise and more—perfect for Valentine’s Day gift buying or adding to your collection.  Come meet some new artists, or say hello to those you may already know.

Meanwhile, just a few blocks west, the Craft Contemporary will host a Shizuka Kusano Trunk Show on both Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Visitors can browse and shop “rare handmade items from one of Japan’s most well-known embroidery artists.” (Kusano is also doing embroidery workshops at the museum this weekend, but – unfortunately – those are already sold out.)

Moving from Japan to France, the John C. Fremont branch library, 6121 Melrose Ave., will hold its semi-monthly French Conversation Class at 1 p.m. on Saturday.  Everyone is welcome to drop in to revive that rusty high school and/or college French, or just enjoy some great conversation with native Parisian Samba Magassa.  It’s free and open to everyone…and there may be some Valentine’s Day chocolates to share.

If you prefer silence to talking, at least in motion pictures, the American Cinematheque is hosting a program of “Treasures from the Silent Era” at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Film preservationist and founder of Lobster Films Serge Bromberg will present “Retour de Flamme,” “a lively journey through once-lost film archives from around the world.”  The program will include “the hilarious cinemas of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, as well the famous Lumière brothers, whose Cinematograph machine turns 125-years-old this year,” along with “the fantastical cinema of the magician-turned-filmmaker Georges Méliès.”  Bromberg will also provide his own live musical accompaniment, while telling the story of how he rediscovered a trove of Méliès’ lost films.  See the program link above for details and tickets.

Later, you could also stick around at the Egyptian for a screening of the 1972 film, “F.T.A.,” starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, which chronicles opposition to the Vietnam War.  The movie was produced by and stars Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland, and Fonda will be there in person to introduce the screening.  According to the Cinematheque, “Fonda and Sutherland, along with Holly Near, Michael Alaimo, Rita Martinson and Len Chandler, entertained American troops with a satirical revue called (in the polite version) “Free the Army.” The original theatrical release was curtailed under somewhat mysterious circumstances so the film was never widely seen and reemerges now as an essential piece of cinema and social history.”  There will also be a reception before the film, starting at 4:30 p.m. in the theater courtyard.

Moving into Sunday, you can celebrate Black History Month with the African History Month Festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the historic Leimert Park Village Plaza, 4337 Degnan Blvd.  There will be free events, panel discussions, live music, tasty food vendors and a big vendor marketplace.  People of all cutures and ethnicities are encouraged to attend this “day of positivity and celebration” that celebrates Black pride “and pays homage to those African Americans in the past and present making positive influences that have affected our lives.”

Later, for a look at Black history through a cinematic lens, head back to the Egyptian Theater, where the Cinematheque will present a double feature of “Nationtime-Gary” and “The Story of a Three-Day Pass,”, starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday (with a reception starting at 1 p.m., before the screenings).  In the first film, “avant-garde filmmaker William Greaves pays a visit to the 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana,” with narration by Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier, and appearances by Amiri Baraka, Richard Hatcher, Dick Gregory, Jesse Jackson, Coretta Scott King, Bobby Seale and Betty Shabazz (the widow of Malcom X), among others.  In the second film, director Melvin Van Peebles “delivers a biting indictment of racism in this transgressive love story based on his book, La Permission.”  The movie follows “a black U.S. soldier stationed at a military base outside Paris, who is smitten with…a sensitive young woman he meets at a nightclub.”

Also starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, and back at the Craft Contemporary, curators Holly Jerger and Andres Payan Estrada will lead a walkthrough of the museum’s second Clay Biennial, accompanied by exhibiting artists.  It’s free to all with museum admission, and it’s a great way to learn about the exhibit and those who created it.

For an event that combines music, video and just plain fun, the Big Sunday volunteer organization is making a new promotional video, which it describes as “Kind of a “We are the World” thing (except without Michael Jackson or Bruce Springsteen).”  The brand new song has already been recorded with four soloists and a choir of 12 (all of whom have some kind of prior involvement with Big Sunday), but they need a lot more voices to be part of the chorus, which will be filmed on Sunday, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at the Big Sunday headquarters, 6111 Melrose Ave.  If you’d like to be part of the project – and “You do NOT have to sing well. (Really.)” contact [email protected] to reserve your spot.  All ages are welcome, but space is limited.

Click to see full size flier.

Meanwhile, in case you haven’t heard, there’s an election coming up on March 3 (and, yes, voting actually starts as soon as February 22 at some new county-wide vote centers).  One of the big races on the ballot will be for the City Council representative in CD4, where current Councilmember David Ryu is running for re-election against two challengers, Sarah Kate Levy and Nithya Raman.  If you’d like to learn more about any or all of them, all three candidates will participate in a special CD4 candidate forum, at John Marshall High School, 3939 Tracy St., 90027, at 4 p.m. on Sunday.  Come hear what the candidates have to say on the big issues facing the city, and maybe get a chance to ask a question or two of your own.

And finally on Sunday, for another kind of spectacle, stop back at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., where the American Cinematheque will host a screening of Federico Fellini’s “Fellini’s Roma,” to celebrate the director’s 100th birthday. The 1972 film, starting at 7 p.m., “takes the audience on a vibrant journey, delivering an impassioned love letter to his country’s capitol, using “documentary footage, memories, impressionistic images and extravagant surrealism.” It’s described as “a kaleidoscopic portrait of Rome – one that is deeply personal, yet informed by culture and history.” In addition, before the main feature, Cineteca di Bologna Director Gianluca Farinelli will present a short compilation of clips and photos illuminating the filmmaker’s 40-year career.

Have a great weekend!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Latest Articles

.printfriendly { padding: 0 0 60px 50px; }