May 2019 Los Angeles Culture Challenge: Norwegian 17th of May Celebrations & More

May is a big month for Norwegians worldwide. We celebrate our national day, Constitution Day, on May 17. Here in Los Angeles, Norwegians can commemorate the day with a traditional celebration on the actual date of May 17 at the Norwegian Church in San Pedro. Or, if making it to San Pedro on a Friday is tough, there’s the annual Sunday celebration at Nansen Field in Rolling Hills Estates on Sunday, May 19.

But there’s more to May than Norway’s national day. Angelenos can take advantage of many special events and activities featuring a variety of countries and cultures.

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

* WEEKEND OF MAY 4 & 5 *

Photoville LA, Annenberg Space for Photography, Century City, Thursday, 5/2 – Sunday, 5/5. Photoville LA features exhibitions of local and international photographers, bringing together LA-based organizations and institutions and LA’s cultural and photographic community for two consecutive long weekends (this being the last of the two weekends) of nighttime projections, talks, workshops, and family-friendly activities all under the creative and magical environment created through exhibitions using repurposed shipping containers, photo cubes, and special installations making it a unique and festival atmosphere with multiple galleries for Angelenos to explore all for free.

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Select Cinemas in the Los Angeles Area, Thursday, 5/2 – Friday, 5/10. Celebrating its 35th edition in 2019, the festival will bring the best and brightest of new Asian Pacific American cinema to Los Angeles audiences. Check festival website for information and program schedule.

Venice Cinco de Mayo Parade & Festival, Oakwood Park, Venice, Saturday, 5/4, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Celebrate Mexican American heritage and history in Venice at the biggest Cinco de Mayo parade festival on the Westside. The Venice Cinco de Mayo Parade & Festival is a historical event in Venice that has existed for 59 years. The event originated in the 1960’s during the Chicano Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. The parade will be a culturally rich and festive event featuring Mexican American innovations and Venice’s finest classic cars. The parade will be followed by a festival with live music, food vendors, informational booths, Aztec dancers, Folklorico dancers, Mariachi, face painting, raffles, piñatas, games, and much more.

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Throughout Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/4, 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! 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. RSVP here.

Cinco de Mayo Celebration, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, Olvera Street, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/4, & Sunday, 5/5, 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Join the weekend celebration of Mexico’s surprise victory over French forces in Puebla, Mexico in 1862. The festive weekend festival features popular and traditional music, exhibitor booths, cultural dancing and plenty of delicious Mexican food.

“Taste of Chinatown” Walking Tour, Far East Plaza/Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/4, 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. This China Week exclusive “Taste of Chinatown” Walking Tour will feature a sampling of Chinatown’s most delicious bites, from classic favorites as well as trendy hot spots, calligraphy lesson, and conclude with a condensed walking tour of historical and cultural highlights of Chinatown. This ticketed event will include food and beverage (cannot accommodate substitutions for dietary restrictions), calligraphy lesson, and a 90-minute walking tour. Buy tickets here.

Mexico – Aztec Gods (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/5, 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.

Cinco de Mayo Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 5/5, 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Celebrate cultures from around the world with dance, music, art, and a special salute to Cinco de Mayo. Enjoy face painting, art projects such as amate bark painting and sand painting, and a free delicious treat!

The Art of Charles White (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/5, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Make, look, and talk about art at Andell Family Sundays. Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. 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 (also 5/12, 5/19, and 5/26), learn how love, hope, dignity, and education were important values in artist Charles White’s work. See how he combined his superb drawing skills with the social and political concerns of the 60s and 70s Black Arts movement. Inspired by White’s powerful work in the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective, make your own art in workshops.

* WEEKEND OF MAY 11 & 12 *

Undiscovered Chinatown Tour, Throughout Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/11, 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. This additional tour is held in conjunction with China Week May 1-14. 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.

Hungary – Floral Motif Wood Box (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/12, 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.

Celebrate Mothers at USC PAM (Free Second Sunday), USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, Sunday, 5/12, 11:00 a.m. Join USC PAM this Mother’s Day as you explore the Japanese art of flower arranging known as Ikebana. The tradition dates back to the 7th century when floral offerings were made at altars. What can be more meaningful to mom than an artful arrangement made by you? Enjoy free admission, an art activity, storytime, and a docent-led tour of the galleries and garden.

The Art of Charles White (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/12, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Make, look, and talk about art at Andell Family Sundays. Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. 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 (also 5/19 and 5/26), learn how love, hope, dignity, and education were important values in artist Charles White’s work. See how he combined his superb drawing skills with the social and political concerns of the 60s and 70s Black Arts movement. Inspired by White’s powerful work in the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective, make your own art in workshops.

Fowler Families: Yoga for Little Travelers, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 5/12, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Join families of all skill levels as Alex Reed leads participants in a 45-minute imaginative yoga session featuring mindful play, breathing exercises, and relaxing stretches. Little yogis (ages 4+) are invited to pack their bags and join Alex on a whimsical journey around the world during this new monthly yoga series. At 2:00 p.m., join Fowler Educators for a family-friendly guided tour highlighting artwork from the session’s destinations in our permanent exhibition Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives. Yoga mats will be provided, but feel free to bring your own! Space is limited to 15 participants, and this program is first-come, first-served.

* WEEKEND OF MAY 18 & 19 *

LA Opera: “Viva La Zarzuela”, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/18, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Zarzuela is a popular type of Spanish-language musical theater. It’s fun, fiery, melodic, silly, energetic… It’s a guaranteed dose of drama and excitement for both performers and audiences. LA Opera’s Zarzuela Project partners with the Mariachi Conservatory offering an afternoon of free public performances highlighting the beautiful and melodic musical theater tradition popular throughout Spain and Latin America.

Norwegian Constitution Day at Nansen Field, Rolling Hills Estates, Sunday, 5/19, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. This is a true Norwegian celebration. It’s a relaxing, laid-back event on a huge open field. The official program kicks off at 11:00 a.m. with a Norwegian 17th of May church service followed by the raising of the American and Norwegian flags, 17th of May speech, parade, and then food, cakes, and games. Solo, waffles, and ice cream will be for sale! You’ll also find vendor stalls with Norwegian goods and there will be plenty of games and prizes for the kids.

USA – Gee’s Bend African-American Paper Quilts (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/19, 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.

Fowler Families: Let’s Experiment! Wearable and Sustainable Art, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 5/19, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Is it possible for an artwork to be both wearable and sustainable? Explore this question with Fowler Educators by examining objects from around the world before designing a small item of adornment, such as a crown, bracelet, or necklace using upcycled and repurposed materials. It’s time to experiment with unconventional art supplies while creating something beautiful! Find inspiration on a 15-minute guided tour in our permanent exhibition Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives at 12:15 p.m., 12:45 p.m., and 1:15 p.m. (For ages 5+)

Celebrate Israel, Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, West Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/19, 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Join thousands of Angelenos from all corners of the community as they come together to mark Israel’s 71st Independence Day. The day’s activities and events include musical performances throughout the day, a marketplace with artists from Israel and local vendors, a kids space, amusement rides, camel rides & petting zoo, food vendors serving traditional food and “street fare” (all 100% Kosher), and more! For more information and to buy tickets, visit festival website.

The Art of Charles White (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/19, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Make, look, and talk about art at Andell Family Sundays. Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. 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 (also 5/26), learn how love, hope, dignity, and education were important values in artist Charles White’s work. See how he combined his superb drawing skills with the social and political concerns of the 60s and 70s Black Arts movement. Inspired by White’s powerful work in the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective, make your own art in workshops.

* WEEKEND OF MAY 25 & 26 *

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/25, 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Learn about past and present-day Little Tokyo on a walking tour led by an in-the-know JANM docent. From murals to monuments, explore both the popular and lesser-known gems of this bustling neighborhood. $12 members, $15 non-members. Museum admission included. Comfortable walking shoes recommended. Weather permitting. Limited to 20 participants.

Scottish Fest, Orange County Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa, Saturday, 5/25, & Sunday, 5/26, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Enjoy a festival of Celtic entertainment and food. There will be competitions in Piping & Drumming, Highland Dancing, and Scottish Athletics as well as a full schedule of entertainment. The Massed Bands will perform at the opening ceremony on Saturday starting at 12:00 p.m. and at the closing ceremonies on Sunday starting at 5:00 p.m.

Valley Greek Festival, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Northridge, Saturday, 5/25, Sunday, 5/26, & Monday, 5/27, 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Enjoy a cultural experience for all ages with live music, dancing, gourmet food, homemade pastries, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, a Greek market, and a variety of shopping boutiques. The festival evokes the sights, sounds and tastes that define the traditional Greek way of life. Enjoy the hospitality of the Valley’s Greek community and experience the simple pleasures of life in a Greek village.

India – Madubani Fish Print-Making (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/26, 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.

The Art of Charles White (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/26, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Make, look, and talk about art at Andell Family Sundays. Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. 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, learn how love, hope, dignity, and education were important values in artist Charles White’s work. See how he combined his superb drawing skills with the social and political concerns of the 60s and 70s Black Arts movement. Inspired by White’s powerful work in the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective, make your own art 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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