March 2019 Los Angeles Culture Challenge: Norwegian Shrimp & Art!

A new month means new opportunities to explore the rich diversity of Los Angeles. Some special events this month include Los Angeles Lantern Festival, festivals and activities for Nowruz (Iranian New Year), and Mardi Gras celebrations. One of my favorite LA events, CicLAvia, is taking place this weekend, Sunday, March 3, in the Culver City, Palms, and Mar Vista areas, and a new favorite Norwegian event, the Norwegian Church’s Annual Shrimp Party, will happen on Saturday, March 23. Read on for more details.

Before moving on, though, I’d like to give Scandinavian enthusiasts a heads-up about a favorite Scandinavian event returning at the beginning of next month. During the weekend of April 6 and 7, the 44th annual Scandinavian Festival will take place at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss it!

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

* WEEKEND OF MARCH 2 & 3 *

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 3/2, 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! This 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. Be prepared to wind your way through a myriad of alleyways, plaza stalls, and classical courtyards to discover the charm of LA’s Chinatown.

Los Angeles Lantern Festival, Chinese American Museum, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, Downtown LA, Saturday, 3/2, 12:00 p.m. –  6:00 p.m. The Chinese American Museum marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities with this annual festival which includes lantern making workshops, crafts, entertainment, artisans, children’s activities and cultural exhibits. Event will be held rain or shine!

30th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration, The Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles, Saturday, 3/2, & Sunday, 3/3. L.A.’s favorite Mardi Gras celebration returns for its 30th year straight. It features the finest New Orleans and Zydeco music, strolling parade bands, activities for kids, bead throwing, and much more.

CicLAvia – Culver City Meets Mar Vista + Palms, Sunday, 3/3, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Culver City, Mar Vista, and Palms will host the country’s largest open streets event! Streets will be closed to cars and open for cyclists, pedestrians, runners, and skaters to use as a recreational space. CicLAvia is not a race. There’s no starting point or finish line – begin where you like and enjoy the day your way.

Norouz Persian New Year Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 3/3, 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Welcome the Persian new year with dance, music and art from the richness of this ancient Iranian culture. Admire the beautiful haft-seen table (ornamental display of traditional items celebrating the beginning of spring) and enjoy a traditional Persian treat. Art projects include decorating scarves and eggs.

Andell Family Sundays—Flowers and Footprints: Art of Sri Lanka, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 3/3, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Offered every Sunday in March except 3/24). Make, look, and talk about art at Andell Family Sundays! Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 pm. This weekly family event features artist-led workshops and friendly gallery tours and activities thematically based on special exhibitions and LACMA’s permanent collection. Create memories together and have fun! This month, check out the exhibition The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka. From precious stones and intricate flower patterns to artworks symbolizing the Buddha’s footprints, be inspired to make your own art books and clay tiles in workshops.

Celebrating Mardi Gras, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 3/3, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. At 1:00 p.m. enjoy a concert with the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band. In advance of Mardi Gras, the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band takes the stage for an afternoon concert inspired by the exhibition New Orleans Second Line Parades. The Los Angeles-based band includes members from New Orleans who will pause throughout their performance to discuss the history of American music since 1803 (the year of the Louisiana Purchase) and leading up to the Swing Era. At 2:00-4:00 p.m., Fowler Families presents Little Mardi Gras with the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band. Follow the band in a lively procession into the Fowler’s Davis Courtyard, where jewelry-making and mask-decorating activities will be available to children of all ages.

* WEEKEND OF MARCH 9 & 10 *

France: Lascaux Cave Painting (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 3/10, 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.

Anime (Free Second Sunday), USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, Sunday, 3/10, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Discover the art of anime. Learn to draw your own anime-style characters, see an anime film, enjoy storytime for kids, and go on a docent tour of the special exhibition Tsuruya Kōkei: Modern Kabuki Prints Revised & Revisited.

Celebrating Nowruz: Iranian New Year, UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 3/10, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Join Farhang Foundation for the 11th annual celebration of Nowruz at UCLA’s Royce Hall and Dickson Courts. The event includes musical performances, children’s activities, dancers, a Haft Sîn display, and the annual Persian Costume “Spring Walk” open to children and adults of all ages. The Nowruz event is free. Parisa performance at 6:00 p.m. is ticketed. Please see website for program information.

Andell Family Sundays—Flowers and Footprints: Art of Sri Lanka, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 3/10, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Offered every Sunday in March except 3/24). Make, look, and talk about art at Andell Family Sundays! Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 pm. This weekly family event features artist-led workshops and friendly gallery tours and activities thematically based on special exhibitions and LACMA’s permanent collection. Create memories together and have fun! This month, check out the exhibition The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka. From precious stones and intricate flower patterns to artworks symbolizing the Buddha’s footprints, be inspired to make your own art books and clay tiles in workshops.

* WEEKEND OF MARCH 16 & 17 *

International Children’s Festival, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, Saturday, 3/16, & Sunday, 3/17. The annual International Children’s Festival celebrates the amazing talents of children of many cultures. West African, Mexican, Pacific Islander, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Persian, Irish, Slovak, and Czech dance are among the children’s performances, along with martial arts demonstrations and an international children’s choir. Kids of all ages can partake in a percussion circle, Japanese origami, Native American crafts, and Pacific Islander traditional children’s games.

Ireland: Celtic Animal Art (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 3/17, 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—Flowers and Footprints: Art of Sri Lanka, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 3/17, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Offered every Sunday in March except 3/24). Make, look, and talk about art at Andell Family Sundays! Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 pm. This weekly family event features artist-led workshops and friendly gallery tours and activities thematically based on special exhibitions and LACMA’s permanent collection. Create memories together and have fun! This month, check out the exhibition The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka. From precious stones and intricate flower patterns to artworks symbolizing the Buddha’s footprints, be inspired to make your own art books and clay tiles in workshops.

* WEEKEND OF MARCH 23 & 24 *

Annual Norwegian Shrimp Party, Norwegian Church, San Pedro, Saturday, 3/23, 3:00 p.m. Come enjoy shrimp the Norwegian way: peel-your-own Arctic shrimp with freshly baked “loff” (white bread), Norwegian Mills mayonnaise, and dill along with potato salad. (Based on last year’s event but not confirmed for this year yet, for those who do not eat shrimp, there will be lasagna.) Cost: adults $25, children $5, families $50.) Please RSVP to Margrete at mbe@sjomannskirken.no.

Borderless: Scandinavia Opening Reception, Gabba Gallery, Los Angeles, Saturday, 3/23, 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Gabba Gallery presents Borderless: Scandinavia, the second exhibition in their international series, Borderless, which showcases outstanding artists from different parts of the globe. This show will feature work by three Scandinavian artists: Ari Behn (Norway/Denmark), Espen Eiborg (Norway), and Mikael Persbrandt (Sweden). The opening reception is free and open to the public. No RSVP required. Visit website for more details. After the opening reception, the exhibit will be on view through April 6 (normal gallery hours Wednesday through Saturday noon – 3:00 p.m. or by appointment).

Persia: Tiles – Nowruz Festival (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 3/24, 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.

* WEEKEND OF MARCH 30 & 31 *

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 3/30, 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. $12 members, $15 non-members. Museum admission is included. Limited to 20 participants.

India: Wahrli Art (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 3/31, 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—Flowers and Footprints: Art of Sri Lanka, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 3/31, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Offered every Sunday in March except 3/24). Make, look, and talk about art at Andell Family Sundays! Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 pm. This weekly family event features artist-led workshops and friendly gallery tours and activities thematically based on special exhibitions and LACMA’s permanent collection. Create memories together and have fun! This month, check out the exhibition The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka. From precious stones and intricate flower patterns to artworks symbolizing the Buddha’s footprints, be inspired to make your own art books and clay tiles in workshops.

Feel free to add events for the current month in the comments below. If you have suggestions about future events and celebrations to include in upcoming months, please email the details. Thank you!

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