March 2017: Los Angeles Culture Challenge & CicLAvia

A new month means new opportunities to explore the rich diversity of Los Angeles. Highlights this month include Brazilian Carnival and Chinese Lantern festivals, a celebration of Iranian New Year, and CicLAvia.

CicLAvia is one of my favorite LA events that happens 3 to 4 times a year around the greater LA area. On Sunday, March 26, it returns to a fan-favorite route, Culver City Meets Venice. Six miles of streets between Culver City and Venice will be closed to cars, and participants will be free to explore as cyclists, pedestrians, runners, or skaters. We did this route a year and a half ago as a family, and I hope to repeat it this month. There is no better way to get to know a part of town than to ride slowly through it stopping as you please along the way. There are hubs at both ends and one in the middle with special activities and food trucks.

I want to give readers a head’s up about a Scandinavian event happening the very first days of next month, April 1 and 2, the Scandinavian Festival at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss it!

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

* WEEKEND OF MARCH 4 & 5 *

The Undiscovered Chinatown Tour, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 3/4, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Visit a temple, an herbal shop, art galleries, antique stores, and more! The 2 1/2 hour walking tour will take visitors to a number of off-the-beaten-track points of interest and will guide those interested in shopping to some of Chinatown’s best bargains and its trendiest shops. 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. You must RSVP as group size is limited. This tour is offered every first Saturday of the month.

Chinese American Museum’s Lantern Festival, El Pueblo Historical Monument, Downtown LA, Saturday, 3/4, 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Join Angelenos beneath Chinese lanterns in the vibrancy of Downtown L.A. for the 16th annual Los Angeles Lantern Festival. The free signature event marks the closing of the Lunar New Year festivities with engaging community booths, live entertainment, music, arts & crafts, and food trucks.

Morocco: Mirrors (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 3/5, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Come for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

Carnival Family Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 3/5, 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Celebrate at the Bowers Museum with Carnival-inspired art projects, music, and live performances.

Andell Family Sundays—Art of the German Renaissance, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 3/5 (offered every Sunday in March), 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Art and craftsmanship flourished during the German Renaissance. See the exhibition Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach and be inspired by armor, prints, and paintings to create your own enlightened works.

* WEEKEND OF MARCH 11 & 12 *

Edible Adventures: Graze Little Tokyo, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 3/11, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. On this culinary walking tour, explore the hidden corners of Little Tokyo and hear stories of the neighborhood’s past while sampling tasty dishes from its restaurants. Food stops will include renowned mochi makers Fugetsu-Do, mochi ice cream inventors Mikawaya, and popular imagawayaki (red bean cake) seller Mitsuru Café, while neighborhood stops will include Union Church of Los Angeles/East West Players, Koyasan Beikoku Betsuin of Los Angeles, JACCC Plaza and James Irvine Japanese Garden, and Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple, among others. Cost is $28 members; $35 non-members. Museum admission and five food samplings are included. Limited to 15 participants make sure to RSVP.

Ireland: Book of Kells Letters with Composite Animals (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 3/12, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Come for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

Celebrating Nowruz: The Iranian New Year, Royce Hall at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 3/12, 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Join Farhang Foundation as they celebrate Iranian New Year (Nowruz). The event will feature live performances, music, dance, storytelling and calligraphy for children, a traditional Iranian costume parade, and more.

Andell Family Sundays—Art of the German Renaissance, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 3/12 (offered every Sunday in March), 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Art and craftsmanship flourished during the German Renaissance. See the exhibition Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach and be inspired by armor, prints, and paintings to create your own enlightened works. Special on March 12: Act!vated Story Theatre will perform fun tales.

Family Jam: Bollywood and Bhangra!, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 3/12, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Come for a spectacular Bollywood and Bhangra dance lesson and performance with Blue13 Dance Company. You’ll have the opportunity to create jewelry to wear as you practice your new moves. Make sure to admire the jewelry in Enduring Splendor: Jewelry of India’s Thar Desert. Family Jam is an interactive performance featuring musicians, artists, and other performers from all over the world. Families learn dance moves, songs and stories from a variety of cultures. No reservation required. Family Jam is free of charge.

* WEEKEND OF MARCH 18 & 19 *

Annual Norwegian Shrimp Feast, Norwegian Church, San Pedro, Saturday, 3/18, 5:00 p.m. The Church is hosting its annual shrimp feast. Enjoy genuine Arctic shrimp, Norwegian “loff” (freshly baked white bread), mayonnaise, and everything else that belongs! For those who do not eat shrimp, lasagna will be served. Cost: adults $25, children $5, and families $50. You must RSVP by March 9 to losangeles@sjomannskirken.no.

India: Moghul Painting of the Deities (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 3/19, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Come for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

Andell Family Sundays—Art of the German Renaissance, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 3/19 (offered every Sunday in March), 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Art and craftsmanship flourished during the German Renaissance. See the exhibition Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach and be inspired by armor, prints, and paintings to create your own enlightened works.

* WEEKEND OF MARCH 25 & 26 *

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 3/25, 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Relive history and learn about present-day Little Tokyo with JANM docents. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Weather permitting. Buy tickets in advance. Cost is $12 members, $15 non-members. Museum admission is included. Limited to 20 participants.

CicLAvia – Culver City Meets Venice, Culver City/Mar Vista/Venice, Sunday, 3/26, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Leave your car behind and explore LA like you never have before. The “Culver City Meets Venice” route is a fan-favorite. Streets will be closed to cars and open for cyclists, pedestrians, runners, and skaters to use as a recreational space. You will enjoy the sights, music, food, and culture that make LA such a vibrant city.

Andell Family Sundays—Art of the German Renaissance, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 3/26 (offered every Sunday in March), 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Art and craftsmanship flourished during the German Renaissance. See the exhibition Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach and be inspired by armor, prints, and paintings to create your own enlightened works.

Kids in the Courtyard: Prints and Patterns, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 3/26, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. What does our clothing communicate? Be inspired by the dazzling and colorful prints in African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style and create your own textile design. Take a selfie of your design creations in front of an African-print cloth backdrop. No reservation required. Kids in the Courtyard is free of charge.

If you have suggestions about future events and celebrations to include in upcoming months, please email me here with details. Feel free to add events for this month in the comments below. I also welcome feedback on any events you have attended. Thank you!

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