September 2018 Los Angeles Culture Challenge: Much to offer for Scandinavian enthusiasts!

Just because the lazy days of summer are over doesn’t mean you can’t seize the opportunity to do something new! September offers many opportunities to enjoy some special multicultural events or explore new-to-you areas. And Scandinavian enthusiasts in particular are in for a treat.

One particular favorite LA event, CicLAvia, returns at the end of this month on Sunday, September 30. But this is not a regular CicLAvia event; it’s a special eight-mile street party to celebrate the LA Phil’s centennial season. The route goes between Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown LA and the Hollywood Bowl, and it will showcase LA’s creative spirit with 1800 musicians, artists, and dancers coming together to perform at the six hubs and along the route. It even includes a free concert at the Hollywood Bowl in the evening (concert details and ticket information here). Celebrate LA!: LA Phil 100 x CicLAvia looks to be an event not to be missed.

For Scandinavian enthusiasts, September has much to offer!

Not only are there two special Scandinavian festivals going on this month, but also Norwegian film, music, and an author are making their way to Los Angeles.

        

Neither of the two festivals are in the local Los Angeles area, but both could make for interesting excursions out of town. During the weekend of September 14 to 16, Solvang in Santa Barbara County celebrates its Danish heritage with the 82nd annual Solvang Danish Days festival. The following weekend, September 22 and 23, you can experience all things Viking and Scandinavian at the Vista Viking Festival in San Diego County.

      

Norwegian thriller “Revenge” by writer-director Kjersti Steinsbø opens August 31 and runs through September 6 at Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills. Using a false identity, Rebekka sets out to confront the man with whom she shares a dark secret about the death of her sister. She must face the consequences of her actions and decide how far she will to go to seek revenge. It is in Norwegian with English subtitles. The LA Times says, “Come for the chills, stay for the view…

Wardruna, a Norwegian music group, is coming to The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown LA on Friday, September 14. Their music has been featured in the History Channel series “Vikings.” Although Wardruna’s music shares characteristics with music typically labeled as folk, world, and/or ambient, none of these genres really describes their unique style. It truly must be experienced. And now’s your chance! Buy tickets here OR enter my giveaway for a pair of tickets!

Finally, Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård will be in town to discuss My Struggle: Book 6the long awaited final book in the My Struggle series. He will make two appearances. The first one is Saturday, September 22, at Skylight Books in Los Feliz. The second one on Sunday, September 23, at Aratani Theatre of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Downtown LA.

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

* LABOR DAY WEEKEND, SEPTEMBER 1, 2, & 3 *

E Hula Mau: Hula & Chant Competition, Friday, 8/31, to Monday, 9/3, Westin Hotel, Long Beach. E Hula Mau welcomes you to attend this year’s competition and festivities. There will be an Island food court (Kalua pig plate, Hulihuli chicken, Spam musubi, Manapua, shave ice, Macadamia nut cookies, poi mochi, kulolo, dried aku and poi, etc.), Polynesian Arts & Craft Fair, cultural workshops, and entertainment (see event schedule).

Orange International Street Festival, Old Town Orange Plaza, Orange, Friday, 8/31, to Sunday, 9/2. Every Labor Day Weekend, the Orange International Street Fair (OISF) in downtown Orange has been the place where friends, families and neighbors get together to experience a wide variety of food, music and dance from cultures and ethnicities throughout the world. This year’s theme is “Globally Good.” Visit website for event hours and parking information.

Long Beach Greek Festival by the Sea, Assumption of Blessed Virgin, Long Beach, Saturday, 9/1, to Monday, 9/3. Eat, drink, and dance all things Greek during this three-day event. Enjoy delicious Greek food (rotisserie chicken, gyros, Greek salads, roasted lamb, homemade Greek sweets, and more!), Greek beer and wine, live Greek music and dancing (lessons, too!), cooking demonstrations, specialty vendors, and carnival rides. Special live performance by Nikos Ganos from Greece on Sunday evening!

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 9/1, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 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. (Offered every first Saturday of the month).

Sunday Funday: Journey through Long Beach, Meet at Willow Street Station, Sunday, 9/2, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Join Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition for an extra special Sunday Funday led by local chapter Walk Bike Long Beach in collaboration with Journey to Justice. On this ride, riders will be accompanying a Journey to Justice group that is riding from Seattle to San Diego to advocate for a path to citizenship for all non-U.S. citizens. During the ride, Walk Bike Long Beach will give a tour of the area, focusing on the migrations and settlements of people across the city of Long Beach. Riders will also get a chance to taste local bites and refreshing beverages in the various communities visited. Visit website to register.

Russia: Onion Dome Architecture (Barnsdall Arts Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 9/2, 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. See website for more details.

International Jazz Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 9/2, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Celebrate this universal sound with your family and friends! Festival will feature Charmaine Clamor, Queen of Jazzipino; Yukiko Matsuyama, international recording artist and Koto master; and the Steve Johnson Quintet.

Art of the Pacific Islands (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles, Sunday, 9/2, 12:30 p.m. 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. This month, check out LACMA’s installation of art from various Pacific Islands. Be inspired by a drum in the shape of a whale from Papua New Guinea or a textile from the Hawaiian Islands. In artist-led workshops, learn simple hula dance and create patterned textiles. (Offered every Sunday in September).

Broad Fest, The Broad Stage, Santa Monica, Sunday, 9/2, 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Broad Fest returns for an afternoon of music and dance performances, food trucks and activities for kids and adults alike. DJ Anthony Valadez brings his musical flare to this year’s festival between exuberant performances by Jungle Fire serving up their musical recipe for Afro-Caribbean funk, Element Band & Ara Dabandjian with their melodic contemporary Armenian groove, and the all-female percussion and vocal group, Adaawe, blending African, R&B, Jazz, Latin and Reggae. The Edye Second Space will turn into a movie house with family-friendly films from Hollywood Shorts after an interactive drum circle led by Anindo Marshall and Adaawe artists. On the dance floor, SMC Global Motion dancers, led by faculty member Bernard Keali’i Ceballos, will demonstrate and teach social dances throughout the day. Admission is free.

* WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 8 & 9 *

Edible Adventures: Little Tokyo Sushi Graze, Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown LA, Saturday, 9/8, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Dive deep into one of Los Angeles’ most historic neighborhoods while grazing on sushi made by Little Tokyo’s talented chefs. Begin with the “Sushi 101” class to learn about the history and etiquette of this cuisine, then proceed on to stops at several neighborhood restaurants. Visit website for ticket information.

Maihashi: Make Your Own Reusable Chopsticks, Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown LA, Saturday, 9/8, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Versatile and timeless, chopsticks are a fundamental utensil for many Asian cuisines. In this workshop led by local woodworker Steve Hatanaka, attendees will create their own personal reusable chopsticks, also known as maihashi. Reusable chopsticks speak to the Japanese concept of mottainai, an effort to not be wasteful. Open to ages 8 and older, but minors must be accompanied by an adult. Visit website for ticket information.

Israel: New Year Marc Chagall Inspired Paintings (Barnsdall Arts Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 9/9, 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. See website for more details.

Art of the Pacific Islands (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles, Sunday, 9/9, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 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. This month, check out LACMA’s installation of art from various Pacific Islands. Be inspired by a drum in the shape of a whale from Papua New Guinea or a textile from the Hawaiian Islands. In artist-led workshops, learn simple hula dance and create patterned textiles. (Offered every Sunday in September).

* WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 15 & 16 *

Solvang Danish Days, Solvang (Santa Barbara County), Friday, 9/14, – Sunday, 9/16. Solvang has been celebrating its Danish heritage at this annual festival since 1936. Events and activities take place all over town and include live music, comedy shows, Hans Christian Andersen storytellings, a parade each day, a Viking encampment with historical reenactments bringing Viking times to life, and a Living History Festival with artisans, craftspeople, storytellers, and interactive activities for all ages. There’s even a special kids area with snacks, beverages, games, and fun (including LEGOS!). Don’t miss the æbleskiver breakfasts and eating contests as well as the Old World Artisans Marketplace with demonstrations and artisanal hand-crafted items including Scandinavian arts & crafts, woodworking, paper-cutting, rosemaling, fabric art, jewelry, and pottery.

Mexican Independence Day, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, Downtown LA, Saturday, 9/15 & Sunday, 9/16. Celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain with popular and traditional entertainment, cultural activities, historic displays, food, artisan exhibits and more. ¡Viva México!

Best Ride: Forgotten History of Venice, Meet at Downtown Santa Monica Metro Station, Sunday, 9/16, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Join Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) for a local’s guided bike ride through Venice to explore the area’s forgotten and hidden history. Visit historical landmarks, listen to stories from lifelong residents, and meet the Black community that built the Oakwood/Venice neighborhood. Metro Bike Share bikes will be available free of charge. Click here to RSVP.

Mexico: Amatle Bark Painting (Barnsdall Arts Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 9/16, 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. See website for more details.

Art of the Pacific Islands (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles, Sunday, 9/16, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 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. This month, check out LACMA’s installation of art from various Pacific Islands. Be inspired by a drum in the shape of a whale from Papua New Guinea or a textile from the Hawaiian Islands. In artist-led workshops, learn simple hula dance and create patterned textiles. (Offered every Sunday in September).

* WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 22 & 23 *

LA Film Festival, various venues in the Los Angeles area (Beverly Hills, Culver City, Hollywood, Playa Vista, Santa Monica), Thursday, 9/20, to Friday, 9/28. The LA Film Festival is a premier platform for new works from emerging and established independent storytellers with unique voices and innovative visions. It showcases compelling independent films, series and episodic work from emerging storytellers, alongside filmmaker-driven studio titles.

Pasadena Greek Fest, Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church, Pasadena, Friday, 9/21, to Sunday, 9/23. Enjoy performances of Greek dancing and music; talks on cuisine, history, and travel; and tastes of Greek foods such as gyros, souvlaki, moussaka, and baklava. A special Kid’s Zone entertains kids with bouncy inflatables, games and a climbing wall.

Vista Viking Festival, Vista (North San Diego County), Saturday, 9/22, & Sunday, 9/23. Make your way to Vista to see, share, and sample all things Viking and Scandinavian. Learn about Viking life in the living history encampments of the Viking Village and watch exciting Viking battles on the field. At the Viking Marketplace, peruse and purchase beautiful Nordic merchandise and arts and crafts, both handmade and imported. At the Weapons Range, expert instructors will train you in the skills of axe throwing, spear throwing, and archery. In addition to these events and activities, enjoy a variety of live entertainment all day long on two stages. There are also arts and crafts and games for children, delicious Nordic food throughout the grounds, beer gardens, and unique Viking competitions.

China: Autumn Festival Lantern (Barnsdall Arts Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 9/23, 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. See website for more details.

Art of the Pacific Islands (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles, Sunday, 9/9, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 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. This month, check out LACMA’s installation of art from various Pacific Islands. Be inspired by a drum in the shape of a whale from Papua New Guinea or a textile from the Hawaiian Islands. In artist-led workshops, learn simple hula dance and create patterned textiles. (Offered every Sunday in September).

* WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 29 & 30 *

Baja Splash Cultural Festival, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, Saturday, 9/29, & Sunday, 9/30. In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month and Mexican Independence Day, the Aquarium of the Pacific will host its sixteenth annual Baja Splash Cultural Festival featuring live entertainment, crafts, educational programs, ethnic cuisine, and much more. Mariachi music, Mexican folkloric and Aztec dance troupes, interactive mural painting, Salvadoran dance, Guatemalan performances, and other special programs are featured.

37th Annual Watts Tower Day of the Drum Festival & 42nd Annual Simon Rodia Watts Tower Jazz Festival, The Watts Towers Arts Center Campus, Saturday, 9/29, & Sunday, 9/30. Festivities will honor Ndugu Chancler, a world-renowned American pop, funk, and jazz drummer. He further developed his skills and shared his talent as a studio musician, composer, producer, and university professor. Details to come soon.

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown LA, Saturday, 9/29, 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. $12 members, $15 non-members. Museum admission is included. Limited to 20 participants. (Offered every last Saturday of the month).

Celebrate LA!: LA Phil 100 x CicLAvia, Downtown LA & Hollywood, Sunday, 9/30, 9:00 a.m. Be a part of a massive, free 8-mile street party connecting Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. CicLAvia is partnering with the LA Phil and Community Arts Resources (CARS) and clearing the roadways between Walt Disney Concert Hall and Hollywood, transforming them into an auto-free zone where you can walk, run, skate, scoot, bike, and wander however you like! Six hubs along the route will feature art, food trucks, screen-printing, kid-friendly fun, and dancing, as well as live music from LA’s best musicians. The evening ends with a free concert at the Hollywood Bowl (concert details and ticket information here).

Art of the Pacific Islands (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles, Sunday, 9/30, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 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. This month, check out LACMA’s installation of art from various Pacific Islands. Be inspired by a drum in the shape of a whale from Papua New Guinea or a textile from the Hawaiian Islands. In artist-led workshops, learn simple hula dance and create patterned textiles. (Offered every Sunday in September).

80th Annual Mid-Autumn Moon FestivalChinatown Moon Festival, Central and Mandarin Plazas, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 9/30, 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.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 mark a celebration uniquely Angeleno and uniquely Chinatown. Come by for the annual Dessert Eating Competition, to taste Mooncake samples from Chinatown’s popular bakeries, or to take a peek at the full moon in her glory through scientific telescopes.

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

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