November 2016: Los Angeles Culture Challenge & Norwegian Christmas Fair

november-2016Los Angeles is one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the United States. There are many special events happening in LA in November. I challenge you to discover the richness of where we live. Choose one or two events and mark your calendars, but please check suitability for family members and confirm dates and times before heading out.

November is the month when Norwegians can kick off the holiday season with the Norwegian Church’s annual Christmas Fair, a highlight of the year and a favorite event of mine. You are warmly welcomed with gløgg and ginger snaps, and then Christmas decorations, music, candles, and the smell of freshly baked goods set the mood as you wander the booths filled with Scandinavian goods of all kinds. Don’t forget to enjoy a meal of traditional Norwegian foods in the church’s cafe and to buy Norwegian Christmas foods and baked goods before you leave.

How will you explore the diverse richness of Los Angeles this month?

* WEEKEND OF NOVEMBER 5 & 6 *

Arpa International Film Festival, Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood, Thursday, 11/3 – Sunday, 11/6. The annual Arpa International Film Festival is a dynamic forum for international cinema with a special focus on the work of filmmakers who explore the issues of diaspora, exile, and multiculturalism. A strong emphasis is placed on ideals of independent thought, artistic vision, cultural diversity, and social understanding.

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking TourThe Undiscovered Chinatown Tour, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 11/5, 10:30am-1pm. Visit a temple, an herbal shop, art galleries, antique stores, and more when guided to the unique treasures–not to mention great bargains–to be found in Chinatown. Wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to wind your way through a myriad of alleyways, plaza stalls, and classical courtyards to discover the charm of L.A.’s Chinatown. RSVP is required as group size is limited. This tour is offered every first Saturday of the month.

bowers-mexican-day-of-deadMexican Day of the Dead Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 11/6, 11am-3:30pm. Join in a celebration of Life as departed loved ones are honored. Leave a note of love on the beautiful ofrenda (memorial offering) for that person or pet that continues to be loved and missed. Then celebrate life with music, dance, and art with the popular Mariachi Kids, Las Estrellas Folklorico of the Orange County School of the Arts, Xipe Totec Danza Azteca, classical guitarist Joel Aceves and Estudiatina del Sol. Decorate sugar skulls and calavera masks and create many other Day of the Dead art projects while enjoying hot Mexican chocolate and pan de muerto.

Russia: Onion Dome Architecture (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 11/6, 10am-12pm. Join instructors for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured. All materials are provided.

family_jam_sounds_of_cubaFamily Jam: Sounds of Cuba, Fowler Museum Courtyard, UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 2pm-4pm. Listen to the exciting rhythms of Cuban music by Afro-Cuban band SitaraSon (2–3pm) and then create a drum to play your own beats. This event is offered in conjunction with the exhibition Nkame: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón.

* WEEKEND OF NOVEMBER 12 & 13 *

AFI Festafi-fest, Various Venues, Hollywood, Thursday, 11/10 – Thursday, 11/17. This is American Film Institute’s annual celebration of international cinema from modern masters and emerging filmmakers. It features nightly red-carpet galas, special screenings, conversations, and tributes.

Red Nation Film Festival, Various Venues, Los Angeles, Friday, 11/11 – Monday, 11/21. This year marks the 13th year of showcasing features, documentaries, shorts, music videos, and comedy specials that are produced from the heart of Indian Country USA and International Indigenous Nations by emerging and established American Indian/Non­-Indian filmmakers.

Spain: Traditional Tile Motif (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 11/13, 10am-12pm. Join instructors for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured. All materials are provided.

* WEEKEND OF NOVEMBER 19 & 20 *

JulebasarNorwegian Christmas Fair/Julebasar, Sjømannskirken/Norwegian Seaman’s Church, San Pedro, Friday, 11/18 – Sunday, 11/20. The third weekend in November is the annual Norwegian Christmas Bazaar at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church. Christmas decorations, music, candles, and the smell of freshly baked goods set the mood as you wander the booths filled with Scandinavian goods of all kinds. There are raffle drawings with wonderful prizes, traditional foods served in the church’s cafe, baked goods for sale in the church’s bakery, and Norwegian Christmas food available in the church’s store. There will also be a children’s Christmas Workshop from 12pm to 2:30pm on Saturday.

great-la-walkThe Great Los Angeles Walk, Pico Boulevard, Saturday, 11/19, 9am. There’s no better way to get to know our city and experience its richness than by walking across it! Every year, on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, hundreds of walkers start this free urban hike on one side of the city and, about 9 hours and 17 miles later, end up at the other. It is a low-key event, and you can hop on or off the walk whenever you’d like. Now with Metro Expo Line open, getting to and from the start and finish will be much easier. The walk will be starting at Grand Hope Park located next to FIDM at the corner of 9th Street and Hope at 9am and then continue along Pico all the way to the beach. To join the walk, just send an email to greatlawalk@mail.com.

African Tales, California African American Museum, Exposition Park, Saturday, 11/19, 2pm. Storytelling preserves history, traditions, and ideas and brings them to life. Inspired by The Ease of Fiction, bring your family to hear wonderful folk tales from Nigeria, Botswana, Egypt, and Rwanda told by master storyteller Michael D. McCarty.

Mariachi Festival26th Annual Mariachi Festival and Community Fair, Mariachi Plaza, Boyle Heights, Sunday, 11/20, 9:30am-7pm. The 26th Annual Mariachi Festival will be held at the 40-year-old landmark, Mariachi Plaza, in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Local mariachi groups will perform during the day-long program. There will also be arts activities, photo opportunities, art exhibitions, food, and information booths.

Native American: Dreamcatchers (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 11/20, 10am-12pm. Join instructors for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured. All materials are provided.

family-jam-ucla-kyodo-taikoFamily Jam: UCLA Kyodo Taiko, Fowler Museum Courtyard, UCLA,Westwood, Sunday, 11/20, 2pm-4pm. Admire works by Japanese fiber artists in the exhibition The Box Project: Uncommon Threads. Then experiment with fiber to make a colorful Taiko-inspired headband of your own. Afterward, enjoy a performance by the UCLA group Kyodo Taiko (3–4pm).

* WEEKEND OF NOVEMBER 26 & 27 *

Africa: Endangered Species – Recycled Animal Sculpture (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 11/27, 10am-12pm. Join instructors for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured. All materials are provided.

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