Los Angeles Culture Challenge for October 2017: Norwegian Movies, CicLAvia, & Scandinavian AutumnFest

Los Angeles is one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the United States. Here are some special events happening in LA this month. Mark your calendars, but please check suitability for family members and confirm dates and times before heading out.

For Scandinavian enthusiasts, there are a few events this month!

Opening October 6 at Laemmle’s Royal Theatre in West Los Angeles and Town Center 5 in Encino is the Norwegian movie The King’s Choice directed by Erik Poppe. The movie is based on the true story about three dramatic days in April 1940 when the King of Norway was presented with an “unimaginable ultimatum” from the German armed forces: surrender or die. It is only playing for one week until October 12. See it while you can! I recommend it. I even took my kids to see it when it was screened at the Scandinavian Film Festival earlier this year so they could learn about the country of their heritage. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote a strong review of the movie: ‘The King’s Choice’ takes a gripping look at Norway’s little known conflict during WWII.

On Sunday, October 8, the Scadinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation will honor Leif Erikson, the first European to discover America, and John Ericsson, the designer of the revolutionary ironclad ship USS Monitor (1862), at their Leif Erikson Day Celebration at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

On Thursday, October 12, Norwegian film Vidar the Vampire will be screened at ScreamFest LA in Hollywood. The director will attend and do a Q&A following the film. For details on the screening, click here.

And finally, later in the month, on Sunday, October 22, Vasa Park Association will host their annual Scandinavian AutumnFest & Höstmarknad Celebration in Agoura which includes a Swedish meatball contest. More details are available in the description below.

One of my favorite LA events returns this month – CicLAvia. It has become a yearly tradition that they plan an event in Downtown LA in October, where it all started seven years ago. Echo Park is new to the route this year, which I’d love to check out. The big question is, who in my family will join me this year?

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

* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 7 & 8 *

L.A. Greek Fest, Saint Sophia Cathedral, Pico & Normandie Blvds, Friday, 10/6, – Sunday, 10/8. The L.A. Greek Fest is the largest and most iconic Greek food and wine festival in Los Angeles, California, bringing over 15,000 attendees together for a three-day weekend of all things Greek. Each day of festivities is a celebration of food, wine, dance, games, performances, and one-of-a-kind cultural experiences.

22nd Annual Multicultural Festival, Oxnard, Saturday, 10/7. Visit Oxnard for a day of music, dance, and cultural booths from around the world. The festival features live music and performers, food and vendor booths, exhibitors, demonstrations, arts & crafts, and plenty of family friendly activities. Every year, hundreds of guests look forward to coming together to celebrate the many diverse nations, languages, and cultures of the world.

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinatown, Saturday, 10/7, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Offered every first Saturday of the month). 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.

Live Mural Painting in Leimert Park, Leimert Park, Saturday, 10/7, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. The Fowler Museum at UCLA, LA Commons, and KAOS Network invite the public to watch world-class artists at work on the spontaneous creation of a new site-specific mural for the community of Leimert Park. This international collaboration between Brazilian artist Eder Muniz and LA-based artist collective RTN Crew will result in a large-scale spray paint mural highlighting cultural connections between the Sister Cities of Salvador, Bahia in Brazil and Los Angeles. The project is organized in conjunction with the Fowler’s exhibition Axé Bahia: The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis, part of the city-wide dialogue between Los Angeles and Latin American art through the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative.

Chinatown Moon Festival79th Annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 10/7, 5:00 p.m. The annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival celebrates the full harvest moon and is a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest, and to celebrate and share the generous bounty with family. Traditional Chinese cultural demonstrations alongside hot local bands and DJs mark a celebration uniquely Angeleno and uniquely Chinatown. Come by for the annual Dessert Eating Competition, or to taste Mooncake samples from Chinatown’s popular bakeries, or to take a peek at the full moon in her glory through scientific telescopes.

CicLAvia: Heart of LA, Downtown LA, Sunday, 10/8, 9:00 a.m. –  4:00 p.m. Leave your car behind and explore LA like you never have before. The Heart of LA route will allow you to explore Downtown LA, Echo Park, Chinatown, and Boyle Heights in a unique way. 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.

Barnsdall Art Sundays, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 10/8, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Every Sunday art instructors present a free art project featuring a different culture and media. All materials are provided.

Design/Diseño (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 10/8, 12:30 p.m. (Offered every Sunday in October). Make, look, and talk about art at Andell Family Sundays. This weekly family event features artist-led workshops and friendly gallery tours and activities thematically based on special exhibitions and LACMA’s permanent collection. During the month of October, explore how designers in California and Mexico shared ideas to create fabuloso design in the special exhibition Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985. Orale! Be inspired to make your own diseños. The exhibit is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a collaborative effort by arts institutions across Southern California to explore Latin American and Latino art in Los Angeles.

Family Jam: Mid-Autumn Festival with UCLA’s Music of China Ensemble, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 10/8, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Celebrate the Chinese and Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival with an afternoon of art-making and music by UCLA’s Music of China Ensemble. Create your very own paper lantern and find inspiration in the exhibition How to Make the Universe Right: The Art of Priests and Shamans from Vietnam and Southern China.

Leif Erikson Day Celebration, California Lutheran University (Overton Hall), Thousand Oaks, Sunday, 10/8, 2:30 p.m. At this event, the Scadinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation will honor Leif Erikson, the first European to discover America, and John Ericsson, the designer of the revolutionary ironclad ship USS Monitor (1862). The event will include a special video about USS Monitor’s great performance against Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia.

* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 14 & 15 *

Los Angeles Korean Festival, Seoul International Park, Normandie & Olympic Blvds, October 12 – October 15. This is a free four-day festival whose mission is to provide the community with the best possible outlet to learn about the roots and traditions of Korea. Entertaining performances will lighten up the festival’s main stage. Thoughtful cultural exhibitions will educate visitors about South Korea’s history and culture. Local restaurants as well as vendors from South Korea will present a wide variety of food in one space. The shopping space will consist of booths selling Korean products such as cosmetics, appliances, apparel, and accessories.

Transpacific Musiclands, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 10/14, 5:00 p.m. Come for an exciting outdoor concert event with performers from Latin America, Japan, and Los Angeles, held in conjunction with the exhibition Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo which is part of the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. Featured acts will include Afro-Latino jazz-rock fusion bands from East Los Angeles, a Los Angeles–based band with Peruvian and psychedelic roots, and a group from Japan that plays Mexican border music. For ticket information, please visit website.

Barnsdall Art Sundays, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 10/15, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Every Sunday art instructors present a free art project featuring a different culture and media. All materials are provided.

Design/Diseño (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 10/15, 12:30 p.m. (Offered every Sunday in October). Make, look, and talk about art at Andell Family Sundays. This weekly family event features artist-led workshops and friendly gallery tours and activities thematically based on special exhibitions and LACMA’s permanent collection. During the month of October, explore how designers in California and Mexico shared ideas to create fabuloso design in the special exhibition Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985. Orale! Be inspired to make your own diseños. The exhibit is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a collaborative effort by arts institutions across Southern California to explore Latin American and Latino art in Los Angeles.

* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 21 & 22 *

Edible Adventures: Vegetarian Little Tokyo Walk, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 10/21, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Take a healthy stroll through Little Tokyo and listen to neighborhood stories while sampling vegetarian fare from kabocha to edamame, capped off by a macrobiotic lunch. $48 members; $60 non-members. Food and museum admission included. Limited to 14 participants. To purchase tickets, please visit website.

Scandinavian AutumnFest & Höstmarknad Celebration, Vasa Park, Agoura, Sunday, 10/22, 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. AutumnFest offers a wide range of activities for the whole family. In addition to enjoying traditional foods of Sweden, you can be a judge in the 9th Annual Swedish Meatball Contest. You can buy beautifully crafted gifts and souvenirs and enjoy Scandinavian musicians and folk dancers, demonstrations, and a Viking reenactment group that shares stories about Viking times. There will be many activities for kids including a waterslide, an alpine tube slide, swimming, a rock climbing wall, and field games.

Barnsdall Art Sundays, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 10/22, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Every Sunday art instructors present a free art project featuring a different culture and media. All materials are provided.

Design/Diseño (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 10/22, 12:30 p.m. (Offered every Sunday in October). Make, look, and talk about art at Andell Family Sundays. This weekly family event features artist-led workshops and friendly gallery tours and activities thematically based on special exhibitions and LACMA’s permanent collection. During the month of October, explore how designers in California and Mexico shared ideas to create fabuloso design in the special exhibition Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985. Orale! Be inspired to make your own diseños. The exhibit is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a collaborative effort by arts institutions across Southern California to explore Latin American and Latino art in Los Angeles.

* WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 28 & 29 *

Dia de los Muertos Festival, El Pueblo Historical Monument, Downtown LA, Wednesday, 10/25, – Thursday, 11/2. Olvera Street is home to a colorful celebration that takes place over nine days. Merging ancient traditions with modern-day interpretations, you are invited to join in honoring deceased loved ones. Each evening, colorful and vibrant novenario processions take place at 7:00 p.m. The traditional, pre-Columbian procession evokes special memories of deceased loved ones with colorful pageantry and indigenous blessings. Pan de muerto (sweet bread) and champurrado (a Mexican hot beverage) are provided after the processions. During the festival days on the weekend, there is entertainment and face painting throughout the day. Community altars, or “Las Ofrendas”, are on display in the plaza.

Asian World Film Festival, Culver City, Wednesday, 10/25 – Thursday, 11/2. The Asian World Film Festival brings the best of a broad selection of Asian World cinema to Los Angeles in order to draw greater recognition to the region’s wealth of filmmakers. The festival screens films from 50 countries across Asia spanning from Turkey to Japan and Russia to India.

 

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 10/28, 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (Offered every last Saturday of the month). 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. To purchase tickets, please visit website.

Dia de Los Muertos, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, Saturday, 10/28, 12:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Spend an eventful day watching as the cemetery comes to life with joyful celebrations. Highlights include a vibrant traditional procession with traditional Aztec blessings and regional musical dance group dedications, 100+ altars created by members of the community to their ancestors and loved ones, four stages featuring music and theatrical performances, an art exhibition in the Cathedral Mausoleum, and a wide variety of Day of the Dead arts and crafts available for purchase. See website for complete schedule and ticket information.

Kids in the Courtyard: Teaching with Tithu, Fowler Museum Courtyard, UCLA, Sunday, 10/29, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Certain artworks are central to children’s education, including dolls. Explore the role of Katsina dolls (Tithu) in North American Hopi communities and learn how art can be used to teach children of all ages. Find inspiration in the Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives exhibition and construct your own paper doll based on your family’s history.

* ONGOING EXHIBITIONS *
Visualizing Language: Oaxaca in L.A., Central Library, Downtown LA. The exhibition celebrates the rich social fabric of Los Angeles through the lens of the city’s vibrant Oaxacan community — specifically, the Zapotec communities which make up one of the largest Indigenous groups in Mexico and Los Angeles. The Oaxacan artist collective Tlacolulokos has created a series of new murals for the Central Library’s historic rotunda that explore language and culture as a key lifeline sustaining the shared experience between Mexico, Los Angeles, and beyond, with a look at how migration and the socio-political environment shape identity and cultural traditions. It is presented by The Library Foundation of LA and the LA Public Library as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a collaborative effort by arts institutions across Southern California to explore Latin American and Latino art in Los Angeles. It is on display until January 31, 2018.

Cuba Is, Annenberg Space for Photography, Century City. Revealing complexities both on and off the island, Cuba Is explores aspects of Cuba not easily accessed by foreigners, and sometimes not even by Cubans themselves. Born from indigenous, African and European roots, divergent politics and limitations in communication and commerce, the Cuba seen in this exhibition goes beyond the folklore and offers new insight into its current reality. Over 120 photos feature subjects ranging from defiant youth known as “Frikis” to the hard-partying children of the 1%, the underground system of sharing digital content—“El paquete”—to Miami’s Chonga girls. It is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a collaborative effort by arts institutions across Southern California to explore Latin American and Latino art in Los Angeles. It is on display until March 4, 2018.

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

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