Put on your curiosity caps everyone – this looks like a great weekend for learning…about our city and much, much more.
On Saturday, you can kick off your educational adventures with an opportunity to learn about the City’s new African American Context project. Presented by SurveyLA, the event invites the public to help identify themes and resources that detail African American history and community in Los Angeles. In addition to Central Avenue, the well-known vibrant and long-term hub of African American culture, the project will also cover Boyle Heights, Watts, Little Tokyo (during World War II), West Adams/West Jefferson, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, Venice, and Pacoima. The goal is to provide a framework for the evaluation and historic designation of places associated with important African American individuals, groups, organizations, businesses, and social and cultural institutions, as they relate to themes of religion and spirituality, social and civic life, commerce, labor, deed restrictions and segregation, civil rights, architecture, and the entertainment industry, including film, music, and radio. This particular meeting will provide an overview of the project and an opportunity to share information regarding significant places, people, dates, and events associated with Los Angeles’ African American history. Hours are 10 a.m. to noon at Holman United Methodist Church, 3320 W. Adams Boulevard (on-site parking is available at the corner of W. Adams and 4th Avenue). RSVP to
https://SurveyLA_AfricanAmerican_Context.Eventbrite.com…or contact Sara Delgadillo Cruz at [email protected] or (213) 978-1189 for more information.
For a more fantastic perspective on past, present and future – head over to Whimsic Alley, 5464 Wilshire Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, for a Time Travel Craft Faire. Nearly 20 vendors will present their unique clothing, jewelry, decor, toys and more…many with literary, fantasy, and other fun themes…and there will be prize raffles every hour throughout the day.
Back in a more realistic, but still historic, vein, travel just a few more blocks west, to the Craft and Folk Art Museum, for a class on making tintypes, the early nineteenth century photographic process. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., instructor Jason Mads will take inspiration from the museum’s current photography exhibition – Focus Iran 2 – to stage portraits and teach the classic imaging technique. Registration is $165 / $155 members, and includes materials and a tintype portrait (there’s also a $20 discount per person if you sign up with a group of friends).
Switching to more science-based education on Saturday afternoon, there’s a panel discussion on climate change, focusing on action at the state, city, and personal levels. Hosted by neighborhood residents Laura Foti Cohen and Julie Stromberg (chair of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Sustainability Committee), featured speakers will include District 26 State Senator Ben Allen, City of Los Angeles Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer Lauren Faber-O’Connor, Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioner Bill Funderburk, Jr., and Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteer Dan Kegel. The event runs from 2-4 p.m. at Cohen’s residence in Brookside. Contact [email protected] for information and to RSVP.
A bit later, it’s back to history – this time musical history – as the William Grant Still Arts Center, 2520 S. West View St., presents a free opening reception and concert for “Nearly Gone Gal: The Rescued Archives of Nellie Lutcher,” as part of its 9th Annual African American Composer Series. The exhibit, which runs from March 11-June 10, features the personal and discarded archives of vocalist, pianist, and songwriter Nellie Lutcher, credited as an influence on Nina Simone and the sound of jazz and pop music in the 1950s and 60s. The materials in the exhibit are drawn from a collection rescued by West Adams Heights resident Billie Green, and include studio portraits, intimate family photos, contacts, handwritten charts and music and much more. The opening runs from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, and will feature a special live performance from X Factor finalist Elaine Gibbs, as well as other special guests.
If dance is more your style, check out LACMA‘s presentation of Trisha Brown: In Plain Site Los Angeles. Starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, the event is part of In Plain Site Los Angeles, a week-long series of performances by the legendary Trisha Brown Dance Company in different venues across the city (including, in addition to LACMA, the Broad and the Getty Museum, as well as Hauser Wirth & Schimmel Gallery). The program traces Brown’s choreographic exploration of sculpture, architecture, and spatial design in dialogue with visual arts. The performances at LACMA will start at Chris Burden’s Urban Light and move progressively toward Zev Yaroslavsky Plaza. (Please note that, due to the nature of the program, the audience is expected to stand and follow the dancers.)
Finally, on this very busy Saturday, you can end your day with a 7 p.m. screening of the ever-popular 1980 comedy, The Blues Brothers, starring John Belushi and Dan Akroyd, at the Petersen Museum. In the movie, brothers Jake and Elwood Blues, after Jake’s release from prison, return to their old Catholic boarding school and stage a performance to help raise money to keep it open. Popcorn will be provided…and parking is available in the Petersen’s parking structure for $12.
On Sunday, you can sleep in, and then start your day with some good literature. The Grand Park Book Fest, in the Olive Court at downtown’s Grand Park , runs from 12-5 p.m. on Sunday, and – in collaboration with the City of Los Angeles’ Big Read, focusing on the poetry of Emily Dickinson – will feature performances by Cut Chemist + Hymnal, David Prather and Mayda Del Valle. Free hands-on activities include creating your own pieces of poetic genius with PUBLISH! by Writ Large Press, constructing handmade books using dried plant specimens, a photo booth with Victorian-era props and prose, free writing advice, 826LA’s never-ending story, and pop-up bookshops for literary lovers big and small.
The book theme also continues later, back at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, with “Exploding-Book-Making with Rachel Curry,” a CraftLab Family Workshop. Drop in any time between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m on Sunday, and join book artist Rachel Curry to fold, glue, upcycle materials and use basic printmaking techniques to make your own “bombastic” pop-up books. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children and free for members.
And finally, on Sunday, it’s back to the movies – with a foodie twist – as the American Cinematheque presents a talk on L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants, and a screening of the original 1937 version of “A Star is Born,” at the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Blvd.. In the first part of the program, which begins at 2 p.m., chef George Geary will present an illustrated program on classic Los Angeles restaurants – including the cultural history (and recipes) of elite eateries like Scandia, celebrity haunts such as the Brown Derby and later Ma Maison, nightclubs such as the Coconut Grove and Hollywood Boulevard’s own hot fudge legend, ice cream parlor C.C. Brown’s. Geary will also sign his recent book, “L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants: Celebrating the Famous Places Where Hollywood Ate, Drank and Played.” After Geary’s talk, the old Hollywood theme continues with the classic movie screening, in which Janet Gaynor stars as a Hollywood hopeful whose star rises while that of the alcoholic actor she loves (Fredric March) falls.
And last but not least, once again, due to continued utility work, there will be no subway-construction related closures of Wilshire Blvd. near the Wilshire/Fairfax intersection this weekend, so traffic should be flowing normally in the area.
Have a great weekend!