Boy, are we all going to be busy this weekend!
Starting bright and early, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles is holding tours of Hollywood Forever Cemetery, sharing the life stories (including the scandals!) of early Hollywood’s pioneers, movie stars and moguls. The 2-1/2-hour docent-led walking tour will also feature living history “visits” with several of the luminaries buried there. Tours will depart every 20 minutes between 10 a.m. and noon, and will last about 2 1/2 hours each. Tickets are $15 for ADSLA members and $20 for non-members…and if you join the organization between now and the tour, your ticket will be free.
Moving from departed souls to soul with a whole lotta life in it, the 12th Annual Taste of Soul Family Festival – the city’s largest street festival – takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Crenshaw Blvd., just south of Coliseum St. The free, family friendly event features all things “soulful,” including food from local restaurants, live entertainment, displays from local artists, exhibits from local businesses and organizations, and lots and lots of great music. This year’s theme is a Salute to the Legacy of Motown, and entertainment includes live performances by the legendary Ohio Players and Gap Band. (Note: parking can be difficult for this one because of the crowds, so taking Metro is strongly advised.)
In a more serious vein, your civic engagement opportunity this week takes place at 11:00 on Saturday morning, when City Council Member Ryu, the LA Department of Transportation and the LA Fire Department will host a 6th Street Safety Community Meeting to provide more information about traffic and safety issues, and proposed improvements and mitigations, along the 6th Street corridor between Fairfax and La Brea Avenues. Location is the Pan Pacific Park Recreation Center Auditorium, 7600 Beverly Blvd., and the meeting is open to the public. For more information, contact [email protected]
Back in the culture and history groove, this weekend (both Saturday and Sunday) also brings the great free neighborhood tours of the annual L.A. Commons 7th Annual Found L.A: Festival of Neighborhoods . This year, going along with the big Pacific Standard Time theme, the event focuses on Latino culture and Latino artists who have shaped L.A. Tours include art studio/gallery hopping in Highland Park; a visit in Chinatown with Homegirl Café and Homeboy Bakery; exploration of Pico Union’s Salvador Corridor; Pacoima’s Mural Mile; Lincoln Heights’ Plaza De La Raza; Mexican and Japanese dance in Little Tokyo; and a visit in Boyle Heights with artist Lilia Ramirez, among others. Again, the tours are free, but signups are required at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/la-commons-1484982620
Latino culture and tradition also takes center stage this weekend with a free tamale-making class at 12 p.m. on Saturday at the John C. Fremont Library, 6121 Melrose Ave. Led by award-winning tamale maker Sandi “Mama” Romero, you can learn to make homemade tamales just in time for the holidays.
Later, you can celebrate another long-time Los Angeles tradition – Los Angeles High School, which originally opened in downtown LA in 1873, but moved to its permanent and current location at Olympic and Rimpau on September 10, 1917. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, there will be a big Roman Renaissance Centennial Gala to celebrate the school and raise money for its programs, at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Special guests will include LAHS alumni George Takei, the actor and social justice activist best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu on “Star Trek;” Milt Larsen, magician, entertainer extraordinaire and founder of the legendary Magic Castle; and Gerry Brown, Grammy Award-winning recording engineer and producer, who is credited on more than 47 platinum and gold records.
Tickets are $150 and are available at http://harrison-lahs.org/centennial-individual-event-tickets/ Contact Joyce Kleifield, [email protected] or (323) 428-9607 with questions or for more information.
Saturday evening is also the second night of the New Urbanism Film Festival, which brings a number of critical current issues (homelessness, housing, water, etc.) into focus at the ACME Theater, 135 N. La Brea. Saturday’s offerings include three feature-length documentaries: “The Longest Straw” (about water importation in Los Angeles), “Bicycle Revolution” (three films on bicycle transportation around the world), “Priced Out” (gentrification in Portland, OR), “Tony – The Movie” (a homeless man’s search for housing in San Diego). Also, Urban Design-themed short films and awards, and a comedy show about “The Worst Building in Los Angeles.”
Hispanic culture will also be featured on the big screen on Saturday night, with the American Cinematheque’s Recent Spanish Cinema series at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. The 20-year-old annual festival has exposed countless Angelenos to Spanish culture, from art and music to food, fashion and more. Saturday’s show, starting at 7:30 p.m. is a double feature of “The Bar” and “A Stroke of Luck.” In the first film, customers trapped in a bar by an unknown shooter turn on each other while trying to figure out how to survive and escape…and in the second, a town teetering on bankruptcy pins its hopes on a large lottery prize…but the winning ticket was sold at a local brothel and the men who purchased it are afraid to reveal their identities.
Finally on Saturday, for the art-minded, the Wallspace Gallery, 607 N. La Brea, will host an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. for the new solo exhibition “Central Avenue,” by artist Kymm Swank. Swank is an abstract painter whose works are based on the urban landscape. For her second solo exhibition at Wallspace she will present work from two recent series: Central Avenue and St. Louis No 2, which capture the atmosphere and feelings of those cities in acrylic and spray paintings on panel with resin. The event is free, but please RSVP to [email protected] if you’d like to attend.
On Sunday, the mood turns more celebratory, with a Halloween Hoedown at the Wilshire Rotary Pumpkin Patch at 568 N. Larchmont Blvd. From 2 to 4 p.m., Rob Faucette and the C Words (Country is not a dirty word!) will be performing country, bluegrass and folk music. There will also be hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, lemonade and iced tea for sale. Come by and enjoy the music and buy your Halloween pumpkins too –100% of net proceeds go to charity.