In the upcoming month, Angelenos have a lot to choose from if they want to experience something out of the ordinary. Not only are there several Lunar New Year and African American History celebrations coming up, but there are also events highlighting Irish, Scottish, and South Pacific cultures. What will you choose to explore? I welcome feedback on any events you attend!
* WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY 1 & 2 *
Chinese New Year Celebration, Kidspace Museum, Pasadena, Saturday. Welcome the new year with an interactive dragon dance, a Chinese calligraphy station, tangram puzzles, Chinese drum making, cherry blossom painting, traditional Chinese games, and good fortune food. Visit the Busy Bee Learning Store at 11am and 1pm to meet Jennifer Wood, illustrator of the picture book Year of the Horse. She will read, lead an illustration activity, and autograph copies of her book. The event is free with admission and will run throughout the day, no sign-ups necessary.
Silk Road Story Time: Dragons, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, Saturday, 10:30am. Gather in the travelers’ tent for tales from along the Silk Road, plus a fun hands-on craft, Asian snack, and balloon. Free admission for kids ages 11 and under.
Chinese New Year Festival, Chinatown, Saturday 12-8pm & Sunday 12-5pm. Come and enjoy dance and martial arts performances, live musical entertainment, gourmet food trucks, a craft beer garden, demonstrations by cultural artisans, and a Capuchin monkey and trainer show. See website for detailed information and schedule of events.
115th Annual Golden Dragon Parade, Chinatown, Saturday, 1pm. The parade includes almost two dozen floats, multiple marching bands, government officials, various dignitaries, entertainers, local business leaders, and cultural groups.
Andell Family Sundays—Memory and Storytelling from Africa, LACMA, Sundays the 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd at 12:30-3:30pm. See art from Africa rarely seen in the United States in the special exhibition Shaping Power: Luba Masterworks from the Royal Museum for Central Africa. Design personal memory boards and your own royal objects in artist-led workshops. Don’t forget: children under 17 can get a free membership to LACMA through the NexGen program, which entitles them to bring an adult guest with them each time they visit.
Celebrating Black History Month, California African American Museum, Exposition Park, Sunday, 12-3pm. Join CAAM as they kick off Black History Month with a live performance program co-hosted by performer Toni Malone and actor/director Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter. The performance line-up includes musicians Jose Torres and Frank Ramirez, Ringo’s Kids choir and band, singer Yvette Cason, singer/dancer Dr. David Preston-Sharp, and Cliff Beach and his band.
* WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY 8 & 9 *
Fútbol: The Beautiful Game, LACMA, ongoing until July 20, 2014. “The exhibition examines football—nicknamed ‘the beautiful game’ by one sports commentator—and its significance in societies around the world. As a subject, football touches on issues of nationalism and identity, globalism and mass spectacle, as well as the common human experience shared by spectators from many cultures. Celebrating the sport on the eve of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the exhibition includes approximately thirty artists from around the world who work in video, photography, painting and sculpture.”
Kids in the Courtyard: Fantastic Figures, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Sunday, 1-4pm. Admire the figures in the exhibit From the Sepik River (Papua New Guinea) to Los Angeles and other monumental sculptures created around the world. Then make your own life-size guardian for your family’s house, using common household items.
* WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY 15 & 16 *
Silk Road Day: Traveling the Silk Road, Natural History Museum, Exposition Park, Saturday. Visit the temporary exhibit Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World. Journey through a desert oasis, spice markets, sea adventures, and more. The special day includes storytelling, shadow puppetry shows, music and dance performances, and a spices workshop. See website for schedule.
World City: Atlantic Steps, W.M. Keck Children’s Amphitheatre at The Music Center, Saturday, 11am and 12:30pm. Explore dance and music of Ireland. Along with the musical performance, a visual art workshop is offered to give children the opportunity to explore the featured culture through unique art-making projects.
21st Annual ScotsFestival & International Highland Games, Queen Mary, Long Beach, Saturday & Sunday 9am-6pm. Celebrate The Queen Mary’s Scottish heritage with a two-day festival offering a glimpse into Scotland’s rich culture and history featuring an array of activities from Highland athletics and dancing to Lowlands music and cuisine.
* WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY 22 & 23 *
African-American Art Festival, STAR Eco Station, Culver City, Saturday, 11am-4pm. Enjoy African drumming and dancing, art exhibits, interactive art projects, BBQ, games, and local vendors.
African-American Festival, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, Saturday and Sunday, 9am-5pm. Join the Aquarium of the Pacific as it hosts its twelfth annual African American Festival, celebrating the rich diversity of African American and African cultures. The weekend will feature live entertainment, arts and crafts, ethnic food, and more. Festival performers include Mardi Gras second line dancers, hip hop and break dancers, tap dancers, jazz musicians, interactive drum circles, West African dancers, and storytellers.
Family Jam: Maori Dance, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Sunday, 2-4pm. Watch and learn expressive Māori dance at 2:15pm in conjunction with Māori Cloaks, Māori Voices. Then make a pendant of your own shape and meaning inspired by pendants from around the world.