This weekend, nature seems to be the big theme in local events. First, though, you still have a chance to lend a hand with a great volunteer project during the Month of Big Sundays…and there are a number of options this weekend very close to home.
In another direction, for those who like to shop, check out the annual Used Stuff Sale – a huge multi-family sale throughout the beautiful gated Lafayette Square neighborhood, just south of Venice Blvd. and west of Crenshaw (enter from St. Charles Place, off Crenshaw Blvd.). Hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday…and you never know what treasures you’ll find.
From Lafayette Square, it’s just a bit further south and east to the Natural History Museum, which is hosting its annual Bug Fair from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. The two-day festival celebrates our winged, multi-legged, squirmy, and sometimes bug-eyed friends. Activities include more than 50 exhibitors showcasing and selling insect products and merchandise, one-on-one interactions with museum research and collections staff, bug chef cooking demos and tastings, bug-inspired performances and presentations, hands-on activities and more. Early access for museum members begins at 9 a.m., with no reservations required. Non-member admissions begin at 9:30, and advance ticket purchases are recommended. (Oh, and we can’t help noticing: how great is it that this is sponsored by Western Exterminators?)
Also in the nature groove, the Garden School Foundation, which provides garden education programs to many local schools (including Wilshire Crest Elementary), will be holding its annual Fiesta de la Huerta from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, at its home base garden at 24th Street Elementary School, 2055 W. 24th St. The event includes kid-friendly garden activities and arts and crafts, professional cooking, gardening and DIY workshops, live music, food, raffles and more. Admission to the event is free with a suggested donation of $5. (Some activities are ticketed separately.) All ticket sales go directly to funding Seed-to-Table Programming for grades K-5 in Title-1 schools across Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, back in the Larchmont area, Frances, the newest STAR Volunteer Reader at the John C. Fremont Library (6121 Melrose Ave.), will read to kids of all ages in the library’s children’s reading room from 12:00-2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Stop by any time during her shift, and learn how your child can earn a free book. All ages welcome, and of course, this and all other library programs are always free.
Later, over in Miracle Mile, the Craft and Folk Art Museum will host the monthly meeting of the Yarn Bombing Los Angeles Knit Graffiti Collective from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The event is free and open to the public. Come and find out what your local guerrilla knitters are up to, share projects you’re working on, and enjoy good conversation. All skill levels are welcome and encouraged!
On Saturday evening, from 6 to 9 p.m., head over to the Launch LA gallery, 170 S. La Brea, for an opening reception for “Qualia,” a solo exhibition of local artist Christine Weir’s latest body of works exploring the mental and emotional complexities of contemporary life. Weir works entirely with graphite, painstakingly crafting works with layer upon layer of meticulous pencil-strokes, many of them catching and reflecting beautiful colors of light off their metallic surfaces.
If you’re in a movie mood on Saturday evening, there are a couple of great options.
Cinespia, the outdoor movie series at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, will host a 20th anniversary screening of Boogie Nights – a tour-de-force look at the porn industry in 1970s Los Angeles. Mark Wahlberg stars as a well endowed but naive dishwasher who becomes one of the biz’s greatest heroes…but the sparkling story also reveals the darkness at the edges of the glamor and dazzle of our most glittering era. Also starring Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, John C Reilly, Heather Graham and Don Cheadle. Gates open at 6:45 p.m. and the movie starts at 8.
If you like even older film classics, try the American Cinematheque’s screening of new digital restorations of two Louise Brooks silent films, “Diary of a Lost Girl,” and “Beggers of Life,” starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. To set the scene, there will also be a live musical performance by the Chapwinds wind ensemble, at 6:15 p.m. in the theater courtyard, of music from the Weimar Republic era.
Finally on Saturday night, LACMA is offering a limited number of complimentary tickets (instead of the usual $30 price) for a special Art & Music concert featuring György Kurtág Jr. and Lukas Ligeti, two of today’s leading contemporary composers with Hungarian roots, in celebration of the Moholy-Nagy: Future Present exhibit. The composers, along with their ensembles, will perform optoacoustic, electronic, multi-media, and acoustic works inspired by the art of László Moholy-Nagy. The first half of the concert brings together prominent innovators from different corners of new music – jazz trombonist and stalwart of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde László Gőz, composer György Kurtág Jr., and cimbalom extraordinaire Miklós Lukács – in performance complemented by opto-acoustic projections. The second part of the concert is devoted to maverick composer Lukas Ligeti. This unique audio/video concert includes a live optoacoustic visualization: the notes and sounds from the stage are translated into optical signs in real time, conjuring up the visual universe of László Moholy-Nagy. The duality of the visual and the acoustic is upheld throughout the performance, as composed pieces are accompanied by animated sequences and improvisations by real-time animation with the aid of a computer program developed for the performance. The event starts at 7:30 p.m., and if you’re interested in the free tickets, contact Tim Deegan at [email protected] no later than noon on Saturday. For full price tickets, see the link above.
Sunday dawns with another nature-themed event, the 2017 Mid-City West Community Council’s GreenFest and Sustainable Garden Tour, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pan Pacific Park. The free event offers food, music, activities for the whole family, and programming on topics of sustainability. Visitors can also embark on a garden tour through the neighborhood showcasing landscapes which are CA Native, drought tolerant, edible, and/or sustainable. It’s co-organized by the Mid City West Community Council and the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, along with nearly 25 other community organizations.
Meanwhile, another of our local-area neighborhood councils, the Olympic Park Neighborhood Council, is holding an International Flair of Cultures from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Queen Anne Park, 1240 West Blvd. The free event celebrates our diverse community with food, live music, cultural dances and more.
Later on Sunday, it’s back to LACMA for more music, with a free 6 p.m. concert by the Crossroads Chamber Orchestra, with Alexander Treger and Henry Shin, Conductors. The group will perform Barber: Adagio for Strings, Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major, K. 271, and Bloch: Concerto Grosso with Piano Obbligato. The Elizabeth Mandell Music Institute (EMMI) evolved from the Crossroads school’s unique music major program, instituted in 1978 by the Elizabeth Heller Mandell family and the Clarence E. Heller Foundation in honor and memory of Elizabeth Heller Mandell, a trustee of Crossroads and a supporter of the arts in Los Angeles. Since 1981, more than 150 musicians have graduated from the program, and many have gone on to have distinguished professional careers as performers or teachers and mentors.
And finally on Sunday, you can cap off another great weekend with a special movie night at the Petersen Museum, featuring The Speed Merchants, the classic story of the 1972 Manufacturer’s Championship as narrated by drivers Mario Andretti (Ferrari 312P) and Vic Elford (Alfa Romeo T33TT/3). The movie takes you behind the scenes at Daytona, Sebring, the Targa Florio, the Nurburgring and Watkins Glen, with classic racing footage and interviews with Brian Redman, Jacky Ickx and others. The film starts at 7 p.m. and is free (including parking) for museum members and up to three guests. Non-member tickets are $5 per couple, and $10 for parking. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.
And of course, we won’t leave you without reminding you to be aware that installation of street-level concrete decking for the Purple Line Subway construction project will close the Wilshire/Fairfax intersection from 8 p.m. tonight (Friday) through 6 a.m. Monday. This will be the last weekend closure of that intersection, as work (and street closures) will move further west next week. For full closure and detour details, see https://t.e2ma.net/click/bt4bz/bluq1s/7pbs8h