August 2018 Los Angeles Culture Challenge: Don’t Miss an #OwnVoices Immigrant Film from Norway

Have you had a chance to try something new or explore a new-to-you area of Los Angeles this summer? Summertime offers some special multicultural events for Angelenos. There’s still time to take advantage!

Some exciting Norwegian film news! What Will People Say by Norwegian-Pakistani filmmaker Iram Haq opens today in Los Angeles. I saw this movie at AFI Fest this past fall and loved it. It’s a very powerful film about a first generation Norwegian teenager born of Pakistani immigrants in Oslo. The movie is about family, culture clash, honor, and shame. There were many gasp-out-loud moments in this film. It’s a thought-provoking and heart-breaking movie. I highly recommend it. It opened my eyes to a world very foreign to me, a world that could theoretically be right next to me without me knowing it. Read my full review here. It is playing at Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills and Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena. Visit Laemmle’s website to see showtimes. Don’t miss it!

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

* WEEKEND OF AUGUST 4 & 5 *

Big World Fun: Quattrosound, Ford Amphitheatre, Hollywood, Saturday, 8/4, 10:00 a.m. Hailing from Japan, Mexico, Guatemala, and the U.S., acoustic ensemble Quattrosound skillfully blends personal music influences with classical and jazz on violin, cello, guitar, percussion instruments and creative vocal arrangements. Perfect for children ages 4 to 12 and their families. Kids are admitted free; adults pay $5. Open seating, advanced reservations recommended. Pre-show craft activities start at 9:00 a.m. Families can also explore Los Angeles’ native wild animals along the Ford’s entryway gardens.

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Downtown LA, Saturday, 8/4, 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.

Family Amphitheater Performances: Delta Nove Featuring Lonnie Marshall, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Saturday, 8/4, 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. Get up and groove with the world funk sounds of Delta Nove and the “RUBBABoX” instruments of special guest performer Lonnie Marshall. Performance is included with museum admission, no reservations.

LACBC’s Sunday Funday: South LA, Sunday, 8/5, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Join LACBC as they explore South LA and ride to the Watts Towers. They’ll visit some historic landmarks and neighborhood gems and quench their thirst and refuel their tanks at Roi Choi’s famous spot, LoCoL. This ride is a no-drop ride (no rider left behind) with LACBC Ride Marshals. Riders should be able to keep a 10-12 MPH pace. Click here for more details and the RSVP.

Mexico: Teotihuacan Clay Bird Vessels (Barnsdall Arts Sunday), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 8/5, 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.

Ecuador Independence Day Parade and Festival, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, Downtown LA, Sunday, 8/5, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The Ecuadorian community of Los Angeles invites you to celebrate the independence of their homeland with a parade, traditional music, lively dancing, and tasty cuisine from this beautiful South American country. Activities take place in the historic Los Angeles Plaza, adjacent to Olvera Street. Free admission.

Andell Family Sundays: Printmaking in Italy, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, Sunday, 8/5, 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, explore the printmaking boom during the Italian Renaissance in the exhibition The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy and learn simple printmaking techniques in artist-led workshops.

Family Jam: Exploring Temple Traditions with Taiwan Academy, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 8/5, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Taiwanese temple festivals feature colorful parades and captivating performances that symbolize Taiwan’s cultural heritage. Families are invited to learn about these celebrations through hands-on painting activities, an introductory dance workshop, and a live performance provided by the Rowland Heights-based STC Foundation, dedicated to Asian arts and culture.

* WEEKEND OF AUGUST 11 & 12 *

Family Amphitheater Performances: La Victoria, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Saturday, 8/11, 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. Building upon strong foundations in Mexican folk music plus their everyday experiences as Chicanas living in LA, this female mariachi trio performs a sound that reflects their city. Playing both contemporary songs and folk standards, the trio takes audiences on an emotional and uplifting musical journey. In each song, Rodriguez’s violin drives the melodies, Calderón’s guitarrón provides the heartbeat, and Alfaro’s percussive and graceful guitar unifies. Performance is included with museum admission, no reservations.

France: Niki de Saint Phalle – Sculpture (Barnsdall Arts Sunday), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 8/12, 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.

Family Amphitheater Performances: Dexter Story Presents Tezeta West, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Sunday, 8/12, 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. Join composer, songwriter, arranger, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Dexter Story on a journey through Near Eastern and African music. Informed by his current ethnographic research at UCLA, Story has assembled a first-rate group of Armenian and Ethiopian musicians to explore the theme of nostalgia, also known as tezeta in Ethiopia’s national language Amharic. For this riveting performance, the musicians will celebrate the poignant and historic relationship between these two ancient cultures. Their repertoire includes both compositions and improvisational works that explore loss, displacement, migration, community, reclamation, dignity, and release. Performance is included with museum admission, no reservations.

Andell Family Sundays: Printmaking in Italy, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Sunday, 8/12, 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 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. This month, explore the printmaking boom during the Italian Renaissance in the exhibition The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy and learn simple printmaking techniques in artist-led workshops.

* WEEKEND OF AUGUST 18 & 19 *

Tiki Beach Festival “Ohana O Ke Kai”, Granada Beach in Belmont Shore, Long Beach, Saturday, 8/18, & Sunday, 8/19. Event highlights include Island Market Place & Cultural Center, traditional arts & crafts including tiki carving, Taste of Aloha food court, renowned masters of Island music & dance, “Night of Fire” torch lighting, fire knife dance, fire walk and Island music, kids’ zone and play areas, canoe rides and other activities, Sunday morning hula praise & worship service. Visit website for entertainment line-up.

Natsumatsuri Family Festival, Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown LA, Saturday, 8/18, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Join JANM for their annual summer celebration featuring Japanese and Japanese American performances, crafts, and activities. There all day activities and scheduled events. See website for details.

Ancient Egypt: Sarcophagus – Painting (Barnsdall Arts Sunday), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 8/19, 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.

Family Amphitheater Performances: Los Cambalache, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Sunday, 8/19, 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. Los Cambalache, named after the Spanish word that means “exchange,” is an East LA–based group of musicians who play son jarocho—a style of music from Veracruz, Mexico, shaped by indigenous, Spanish, and African cultures. In the spirit of the fandango, a traditional celebration of music and dance, dance along to this vibrant music!

Andell Family Sundays: Printmaking in Italy, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Sunday, 8/19, 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 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. This month, explore the printmaking boom during the Italian Renaissance in the exhibition The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy and learn simple printmaking techniques in artist-led workshops.

Family Jam: Making Music with Nathalia / Tocando Música con Nathalia, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 8/19, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Join us for an afternoon of instrument making and live music celebrating the Fowler’s diverse collections. Create your very own maracas and drums while listening to bilingual songs performed in Spanish and English by LA-based musician Nathalia. Drop-in instrument making from 1–4pm. Concert starts at 2pm.

* WEEKEND OF AUGUST 25 & 26 *

Los Angeles’ Birthday Celebration, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, Downtown LA, Saturday, 8/25, 6:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m. Celebrate the 237th anniversary of the founding of Los Angeles with Los Pobladores historic reenactments, a civic ceremony, artisan demonstrations, live entertainment, and free birthday cake! Bike or walk to El Pueblo from San Gabriel Mission following the historic nine-mile route of our first settlers. El Pueblo Historical Monument is also proud to present a classic collection of vintage automobiles, low riders, and first-rate motorcycles on display in and around the historic plaza.

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown LA, Saturday, 8/25, 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. Buy tickets here.

Undiscovered Chinatown Highlighted Walking Tour, Downtown LA, Saturday, 8/25, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. This highlighted walking tour is held in conjunction with the Chinatown Summer Nights event starting at 5 o’clock. Visit a temple, an herbal shop, art galleries, antique stores, and more! The 1 1/2 hour walking tour takes 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. For those interested, please rsvp online here.

Chinatown Summer Nights, Downtown LA, Saturday, 8/25, 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. This is the last Summer Nights event of the summer. Part food event, part summer party, Chinatown Summer Nights presents an exciting hot spot for Angelenos this summer. Taste the many culinary offerings of Chinatown and LA’s gourmet food trucks; sample the neighborhood’s wares; watch Chinese chefs perform cooking demonstrations; experience large-scale, outdoor video projections; take part in hands-on, Chinese cultural activities presented by local organizations and museums; sip on craft brews and dance in Central Plaza with 89.9 KCRW’s DJs.

Great Britain: Land Art Goldsworthy – Stone Painting (Barnsdall Art Sunday), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 8/26, 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.

Andell Family Sundays: Printmaking in Italy, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Sunday, 8/26, 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 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. This month, explore the printmaking boom during the Italian Renaissance in the exhibition The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy and learn simple printmaking techniques in artist-led workshops.

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 here with details. Thank you!

Los Angeles Culture Challenge: July 2018

It’s summertime. Seize the opportunity to do something new! Is there a new event or excursion that you could add to your calendar to make this month a little different from the others? Explore another part of town, take in a cultural festival, watch a performance, or do an arts activity. How will you explore the richness of Los Angeles this month?

* WEEKEND OF JUNE 30 & JULY 1 *

Big World Fun: Le Ballet Dembaya, Ford Amphitheatre, Hollywood, Saturday, June 30, 10:00 a.m. Le Ballet Dembaya will take you on a journey to the country of Guinea on the western coast of Africa through their uplifting and energetic percussion and dance. At pre-show activities starting at 9:00 a.m., kids can make bows and bowties from traditional African wax fabric as well as explore Los Angeles’ native wild animals, such as birds of prey, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, along the Ford’s entryway gardens. Perfect for children ages 4 to 12 and their families. Kids 12 and younger are admitted free; adults pay $5. Open seating, advanced reservations recommended. Visit website for more information.

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 6/30, 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. $12 members, $15 non-members. Museum admission is included. Limited to 20 participants. Buy tickets here.

Undiscovered Chinatown Highlighted Walking Tour, Downtown LA, Saturday, 6/30, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. This highlighted walking tour is held in conjunction with the Chinatown Summer Nights event starting at 5 o’clock.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. RSVP here.

Chinatown Summer Nights, Central Plaza, Downtown LA, Saturday, 6/30, 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Part food event, part summer party, Chinatown Summer Nights presents an exciting hot spot for Angelenos during the summer. Taste the many culinary offerings of Chinatown and LA’s gourmet food trucks; sample the neighborhood’s wares; watch Chinese chefs perform cooking demonstrations; experience large-scale, outdoor video projections; take part in hands-on, Chinese cultural activities presented by local organizations and museums; sip on craft brews and dance in Central Plaza with 89.9 KCRW’s DJs! Chinatown Summer Nights will also take place July 28 and August 25.

Sunday Funday: Tour of Santa Monica, Sunday, 7/1, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Join Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Santa Monica Spoke for the first Sunday Funday of the summer season! They’ll be taking in the cool coastal air as they explore the Michigan Ave greenway and get a preview of the 17th St corridor! They’ll be starting out at the 26th Street / Bergamot Station on the Expo Line meeting at 9:30 a.m., rolling at 10:00 a.m. There will be stops and water breaks along the way and is a perfect way to meet people and discover new neighborhoods. RSVP here. This ride is a no-drop ride (no rider left behind) with LACBC Ride Marshals. Riders should be able to keep a 10-12 MPH pace, and cover 12-15 miles.

Barnsdall Art Sundays, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 7/1, 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.

First Nations Now: Rhymes and Storytelling for Families, California Plaza, Downtown LA, Sunday, 7/1, 3:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. In conjunction with the First Peoples, New Voices series, MC RedCloud, Jessa Calderon, and Saginaw Grant (hereditary chief of the Sac and Fox Nation) will draw upon Indigenous elder and parental wisdom and traditions to share rhymes, words of wisdom, animal tales and origin stories from across Turtle Island. Family activities begin 30 minutes before each performance.

* WEEKEND OF JULY 7 & 8 *

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Downtown LA, Saturday, 7/7, 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. RSVP here.

Family Amphitheater Performances: Le Ballet Dembaya, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Saturday, 7/7, 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. With Guinea being their primary country of study, Le Ballet Dembaya practices traditional percussive rhythms, typically played on djembe and dundun drums, accompanied by intricate, polyrhythmic dances from various regions throughout West Africa. In hopes of preserving a beautiful cultural tradition, Dembaya’s members have dedicated themselves to studying and mastering this art, while exposing its powerful healing qualities. Included with museum admission, no reservations.

Barnsdall Art Sundays, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 7/8, 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. See website for more details.

Family Amphitheater Performances: Bula, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Sunday, 7/8, 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. Bula takes the amphitheater stage with Puerto Rican bomba music and dance. Started by Melody González and Hector Rivera, both previous recipients of Alliance for California Traditional Arts grants, the group strives to unite practitioners throughout the diaspora for educational presentations, performances, and community building. Included with museum admission, no reservations.

* WEEKEND OF JULY 14 & 15 *

38th Lotus Festival, Echo Lake Park, Los Angeles, Saturday, 7/14, and Sunday, 7/15, 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Come take in the 38th annual Lotus Festival this year hosting the People’s Republic of China. Free entertainment for the whole family! Enjoy a food court, Chinese Pavilion, silent auction, children’s area, handcrafted artwork, gift bazaar, Japanese teahouse ceremonies, Japanese origami workshop, and dragon boat races. Visit website to see the entertainment schedule for both days and a map of festival grounds. Free parking and shuttles at Logan/Montana and Temple/Glendale.

Family Amphitheater Performances: Ina Buckner-Barnette and Chazz Ross, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Saturday, 7/14, 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. Sing, drum, and “spread your wings” with Ina Buckner-Barnette (“The Sunshine Storyteller”) and Chazz Ross on a global storytelling adventure entitled We’re Better Together. Traverse the world with their multicultural stories, rhythms, and sounds. Their twenty-six djembe drums guarantee audience fun! Included with museum admission, no reservations.

Barnsdall Art Sundays, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 7/15, 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. See website for more details.

Family Amphitheater Performances: Pinkturban Multibandi, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Sunday, 7/15, 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. These eclectic musicians—from the world music–inspired electronic record label Pinkturban—join forces to create a unique blend of Bengali folk, Indian classical, Bollywood, and electronic dance music. Dressed in their finest kurtas and iconic pink turbans, the Multibandi have become notorious for their diverse blend of cultural and musical influences and their shared mission for peace. Wherever they go, they always deliver, they usually bring glow-sticks, and they always bring the party. Included with museum admission, no reservations.

* WEEKEND OF JULY 21 & 22 *

Family Amphitheater Performances: Dana Maman & Friends, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Saturday, 7/21, 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. Entitled Ba’it, which means “home” in Hebrew, this performance by Dana Maman is an exploration of the different music, dances, and cultural expressions collected through immigration. Maman’s journey begins in Israel, the land of her parents, with musical influences from both Morocco and Iran. The story then continues to Brazil via Africa and finally concludes in the comfort of her home in America. Included with museum admission, no reservations.

Barnsdall Art Sundays, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 7/22, 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. See website for more details.

* WEEKEND OF JULY 28 & 29 *

2018 Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival, Marine Stadium, Long Beach, Saturday 7/28, & Sunday, 7/29. In addition to hosting one of the largest dragon boat competitions in California, there will be Chinese traditional art demonstrations, Chinese acrobats, traditional dance, hip hop, music, and martial arts performances. Dragon boat racing is an amateur water sport that has its roots in an ancient folk ritual held over the past 2,000 years throughout southern China. Come for fun, food, and excitement!

Big World Fun: Kim Eung Hwa Korean Dance Company, Ford Amphitheatre, Hollywood, Saturday, 7/28, 10:00 a.m. Experience the grace and beauty of Korea with Kim Eung Hwa Korean Dance Company. With their colorful costumes, vibrant music and elegant dance moves, this renowned dance troupe will perform traditional Korean dance and music – a true feast for the senses. At pre-show activities starting at 9:00 a.m., kids can make a kaleidoscope inspired by the dancers’ colorful costumes as well as explore Los Angeles’ native wild animals, such as birds of prey, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, along the Ford’s entryway gardens. Perfect for children ages 4 to 12 and their families. Kids 12 and younger are admitted free; adults pay $5. Open seating, advanced reservations recommended. Visit website for more information.

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 7/28, 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. Takes place every last Saturday of the month.

Family Amphitheater Performances: One Grain of Sand Puppet Theater, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Saturday, 7/28, 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. Celebrate the strength and beauty of LA’s cultural diversity with Roar! Tiger, a fun-filled puppet show about friendship by One Grain of Sand Puppet Theater. In the show, a curious young Korean tiger travels the world and meets a jaguar from the Americas. But the two animals run into trouble because they can’t understand each other. How will they learn to overcome their differences and get along? This tabletop puppet show uses a mix of folk art–style puppets with live drumming. Performed in English, Korean, and Spanish. Included with museum admission, no reservations.

Undiscovered Chinatown Highlighted Walking Tour, Downtown LA, Saturday, 7/28, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. This highlighted walking tour is held in conjunction with the Chinatown Summer Nights event starting at 5 o’clock. Visit a temple, an herbal shop, art galleries, antique stores, and more! The 1 1/2 hour walking tour takes 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. For those interested, please rsvp online here.

Chinatown Summer Nights, Downtown LA, Saturday, 7/28, 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Part food event, part summer party, Chinatown Summer Nights presents an exciting hot spot for Angelenos this summer. Taste the many culinary offerings of Chinatown and LA’s gourmet food trucks; sample the neighborhood’s wares; watch Chinese chefs perform cooking demonstrations; experience large-scale, outdoor video projections; take part in hands-on, Chinese cultural activities presented by local organizations and museums; sip on craft brews and dance in Central Plaza with 89.9 KCRW’s DJs! The last Chinatown Summer Nights for this summer will take place August 25.

Barnsdall Art Sundays, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 7/29, 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.

Family Amphitheater Performances: Santa Monica Youth Orchestra, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Sunday, 7/29, 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. This year, Santa Monica Youth Orchestra’s Opus 5 Music Camp takes the Skirball amphitheater stage for their final performance, “Songs of the Land: Exploring the Many Voices of Our World through the Arts.” The camp hosts musicians from France, China, Russia, and the Pan African Youth Orchestra of Ghana to work with students from all over LA to build community and learn musical styles from one another. Included with museum admission, no reservations.

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band – Nom, Nom, Nom, California Plaza, Downtown LA, Sunday, 7/29, 3:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. The bilingual kindie music superstars return with a tasty and educational performance highlighting healthy eating. You’ll hear how Goldilocks and the Three Bears got their food portions just right, what to pack in Little Red Riding Hood’s healthy picnic basket, and more.

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 here with details. Thank you!

18th Annual Los Angeles River Ride (2018): Finally My Chance

This year I was finally able to do the Los Angeles River Ride myself. Six years ago our family went to our first LA River Ride, but I wasn’t able to ride it since Doobie was too young for the Family Ride. I stayed with him in the parking lot for the younger riders’ mini-course and bike wash. Only Daddy and Sonny were able to ride along the river. Ever since that year I’ve wanted to ride along the river myself, ideally with the family, but other commitments always interfered. This year was finally my chance.

This year’s Los Angeles River Ride took place Sunday, June 3. Both kids had obligations, but I was able to get away to Griffith Park for the event. There were several rides to choose from: 2-mile Kids’ Ride, 15-mile Family Ride, 36-mile Ride, 68-mile Metric Century Plus, and Century Ride from Griffith Park to Long Beach and back, each ride starting at a different time in the morning. I chose the 15-mile ride since the next longer ride of 36 miles seemed a little daunting as my first experience (even though we’ve done that and more as a family on cycle tours in Europe previously).

There weren’t as many riders at the start line as I had expected, but then again this was the last of the rides to get started. Organizers started us in stages so we wouldn’t overwhelm the road or each other when we started. Due to construction, we had to ride about 3 miles on road through the park to get to the bike path. I had no issue with that, especially since my husband’s one complaint from our last experience was the interference with cars while riding over the freeway to get to the bike path. This year’s route was a little awkward just as we were getting to the bike path. We had to dismount, cross an intersection two ways, walk down a grassy slope, and then wind our way around tennis courts before joining the bike path. But it was not a big issue in the grand scheme of things.

Riding along the river was a wonderful experience. It’s really becoming a much more green space with lots of birdlife and opportunities for recreational use. Even though concrete still played a dominant role and at one point, but for a very short distance, the freeway buzzed by on the other side of the path, you could easily forget you were riding in the middle of big city metropolis.

The ride went from The Autry Museum in Griffith Park to Elysian Park and back. The turn-around point was not clear. Luckily, a volunteer had noticed that riders were continuing on and stationed himself so that he could tell us to turn around.

One of my favorite moments of the ride was coming upon Spoke Bicycle Café. It was a pit stop along the route. I thought the pit stop was going to be just a table with refreshments along the route so I hadn’t paid much attention to the details of it. It was indeed “just a table with refreshments” but the table was inside this very cool, laid-back, bicycle themed café. Spoke Café was its own little special world. I wished I wasn’t there alone so I could have hung out for a while and enjoyed the atmosphere, live music and all.

Another local discovery I made was La Colombe Frogtown, another café right along the bike path. This had a totally different vibe than Spoke Bicycle Café, much more modern and chic. I wasn’t in the mood for coffee, but the cold pressed juice by Liquiteria was perfect.

Eventually, it was time to pedal my way back to the start of the ride. I’ve decided that next time I do this event I’ll sign up for the longer ride. This 15-mile ride only took 1 ½ hours (excluding café stops). I would have loved to spend more time along the river. Who’d like to join me next time?

The yearly Los Angeles River Ride is organized by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) which is a membership-based nonprofit organization that works to make all communities in LA County healthy, safe, and fun places to ride a bike through advocacy, education, and outreach. You can help by becoming a member, donating, or joining a bike ride (see below for one coming up soon in Santa Monica!), plus more.

Coming up soon… Sunday Funday: Tour of Santa Monica on Sunday, July 1, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Join LACBC and local chapter Santa Monica Spoke for the first Sunday Funday of the summer season! They’ll be taking in the cool coastal air as they explore the Michigan Ave greenway and get a preview of the 17th St corridor. They’ll be starting out at the 26th Street / Bergamot Station on the Expo Line meeting at 9:30 a.m., rolling at 10:00 a.m. There will be stops and water breaks along the way and is a perfect way to meet people and discover new neighborhoods. RSVP here. This ride is a no-drop ride (no rider left behind) with LACBC Ride Marshals. Riders should be able to keep a 10-12 MPH pace, and cover 12-15 miles.

Los Angeles Culture Challenge: June 2018

Los Angeles is one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the United States, and summer is the perfect time to explore and take advantage of all that Los Angeles has to offer. Make a pact to visit a new area of Los Angeles or participate in a new activity—a cultural art project, a concert in a special outdoor setting, a festival celebrating a unique culture, or a bike ride exploring a new part of Los Angeles, just to mention a few options. The experience will open your eyes to the richness of where we live.

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

* WEEKEND OF JUNE 2 & 3 *

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Downtown LA, Saturday, 6/2, 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. This tour takes place every first Saturday of the month.

Family Festival: Ancient Egypt and India, Getty Center, Saturday, 6/2. Explore the ancient and contemporary art and culture of Egypt and India at this interactive festival inspired by the exhibitions Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India and Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World. Enjoy classical Indian dance, make crafts inspired by the Nile and the Pharaohs, or get up and dance Bollywood style. Free, no ticket required.

Spain: Spanish Tile (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 6/3, 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.

18th Annual Los Angeles River Ride, Autry Center in Griffith Park, Sunday, 6/3. What better way to explore the city we live in than by bike. Join over 2,000 other riders, and enjoy a great day of bicycling along the LA River and through DTLA to Long Beach. With five rides to choose from, ranging from 2 to 100 miles, there’s an experience for everyone at the LA River Ride. Bring out the little ones for a free 2-mile Kids’ Ride, or pedal with the whole family at our 15-mile Family Ride (one registration covers a family of 5!). Want a bigger challenge? Train up with our 36-mile Ride or dig into the Metric Century Plus, covering 68 miles. For those wanting to push it to the limit, the Century Ride will go from Griffith Park to Long Beach – and back – and is a great, flat route for first-time Century riders!

Kids in the Courtyard: Sculpting, Molding, Forging, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 6/3, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Discover the history of invention and technical sophistication that led African blacksmiths to transform iron into objects of life-changing utility and empowerment. Find inspiration in the Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths exhibition and learn how to mold clay using the same techniques in African iron forging.

* WEEKEND OF JUNE 9 & 10 *

The Big Irish Fair & Music Festival, Orange County Great Park, Irvine, Saturday, 6/9, & Sunday, 6/10. This family fun festival features 16 entertainment areas with over 1000 performers providing the fair visitor with hundreds of musicians, dancers, and bagpipes, plus sports, dogs, sheep, performers, and plenty of booths featuring imported Irish goods and displays. For the young folk, there will be a Children’s Leprechaun Kingdom with games, rides, Irish storytelling, and contests such as Freckle Face Kid, Red Haired Kid, and an Irish Baby contest. And not to leave out the old guys, there’ll be a Knobby Knees contest. And of course, there will be plenty of Irish food and beverages.

India: Ganesha Painting (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 6/10, 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.

Makers Fest, California African American Museum, Exposition Park, Sunday, 6/10, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Let your creativity flow at this all-ages affair featuring maker stations led by local artists. Learn from the pros of the community, including Yrneh Gabon, who uses raw clay vessels and sculpture to discuss water issues; Silas Munro, whose lettering design exercises will map and image our city; and Cole M. James, who will present a collage workshop centered on the narrative of preparing to breathe. Take home several creative treasures of your own! No prior art experience necessary; art materials provided.

* WEEKEND OF JUNE 16 & 17 *

Film Screening and Discussion—The Ito Sisters: An American Story, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 6/16, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Watch the 2017 documentary from director Antonia Grace Glenn which focuses on the experiences of Issei and Nisei women whose voices have largely been excluded from American history. At the heart of the film are three Nisei sisters who were born on a farm in the Sacramento River Delta and whose lives were directly impacted by significant historical events such as the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, the Great Depression, and World War II. The screening will be followed by a discussion. For more information, click here.

Father’s Day: Matisse Inspired Printmaking (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 6/17, 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.

* WEEKEND OF JUNE 23 & 24 *

32nd Annual Long Beach Bayou Festival, Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach, Saturday, 6/23, & Sunday, 6/24. Experience the Bayou with this two-day family festival featuring authentic Cajun and Creole food, cultural music, dance lessons, crawfish eating contests, a children’s corner with arts and crafts and other activities, and a Mardi Gras parade. There will also be live performances at the Zydeco Stage, Blues Stage, and Children’s Stage.

Canada: Totem Poles (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 6/24, 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.

CicLAvia – The Valley, Sunday, 6/24. For its June 2018 edition, CicLAvia is returning to the northeast San Fernando Valley to revisit the communities of Panorama City, Arleta, and Pacoima. CicLAvia – The Valley is a 4-mile route that travels along Van Nuys Blvd where public art, murals, vibrant local commercial corridors, and cultural venues invite you to experience the city’s northeast San Fernando Valley. Whether by bike, by foot, or by skateboard, you’ll get to know Pacoima, Arleta, and Panorama City in a new way.

* WEEKEND OF JUNE 30 & JULY 1 *

Big World Fun: Le Ballet Dembaya, Ford Amphitheatre, Hollywood, Saturday, June 30, 10:00 a.m. Le Ballet Dembaya will take you on a journey to the country of Guinea on the western coast of Africa through their uplifting and energetic percussion and dance. At pre-show activities starting at 9:00 a.m., kids can make bows and bowties from traditional African wax fabric as well as explore Los Angeles’ native wild animals, such as birds of prey, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, along the Ford’s entryway gardens. Children 12 and younger are free; adults pay $5. Open seating, advanced reservations recommended.

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 6/30, 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. $12 members, $15 non-members. Museum admission is included. Limited to 20 participants. Buy tickets here. This tour takes place every last Saturday of the month.

Undiscovered Chinatown Highlighted Walking Tour, Downtown LA, Saturday, 6/30, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. This highlighted walking tour is held in conjunction with the Chinatown Summer Nights event starting at 5 o’clock.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. For those interested, please rsvp online here.

Chinatown Summer Nights, Central Plaza, Downtown LA, Saturday, 6/30, 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Part food event, part summer party, Chinatown Summer Nights presents an exciting hot spot for Angelenos during the summer. Taste the many culinary offerings of Chinatown and LA’s gourmet food trucks; sample the neighborhood’s wares; watch Chinese chefs perform cooking demonstrations; experience large-scale, outdoor video projections; take part in hands-on, Chinese cultural activities presented by local organizations and museums; sip on craft brews and dance in Central Plaza with 89.9 KCRW’s DJs! Chinatown Summer Nights will also take place July 28 and August 25.

LACBC’s Sunday Funday: Santa Monica, Sunday, July 1, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Join LACBC and Santa Monica Spoke for the first Sunday Funday of the summer season! They’ll be taking in the cool coastal air as they explore the Michigan Ave greenway and get a preview of the 17th St corridor! They’ll be starting out at the 26th Street / Bergamot Station on the Expo Line meeting at 9:30 AM, rolling at 10 AM. There will be stops and water breaks along the way and is a perfect way to meet people and discover new neighborhoods. RSVP here. This ride is a no-drop ride (no rider left behind) with LACBC Ride Marshals. Riders should be able to keep a 10-12 MPH pace, and cover 12-15 miles.

First Nations Now: Rhymes and Storytelling for Families, California Plaza, Downtown LA, Sunday, 7/1, 3:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. In conjunction with the First Peoples, New Voices series, MC RedCloud, Jessa Calderon, and Saginaw Grant (hereditary chief of the Sac and Fox Nation) will draw upon Indigenous elder and parental wisdom and traditions to share rhymes, words of wisdom, animal tales and origin stories from across Turtle Island.

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 here with details. Thank you!

Proud to Be Norwegian at LA Galaxy’s Norwegian Heritage Night

I have many interests and I love it when there’s an overlap. In the latest case, it was Norway and soccer, in particular LA’s Major League Soccer team LA Galaxy. Earlier this year LA Galaxy signed two Norwegian players, Jørgen Skjelvik and Ola Kamara, and in honor of Norway’s Constitution Day (which was May 17) and the signing of these two Norwegian players, LA Galaxy showed its Norwegian pride with a special Norwegian Heritage Night at the StubHub Center in Carson.

My oldest son and I were thrilled to attend. There were limited tickets available for the event, and fans who scored tickets received a commemorative LA Galaxy/Norwegian flag scarf as well as a chance to attend a post-game session with the Norwegian players.

After the match, Kamara and Skjelvik joined fans for an intimate meet and greet. Fans were able to ask some questions, which mostly centered on being Norwegian in LA — such as how they celebrated the 17th of May (they were at the Seamen’s Church in San Pedro) and their favorite Norwegian food in LA (none yet!) — before the line began to move for autographs.

When we approached, Kamara admired Sonny’s Norwegian national team jersey. We had bought the jersey specifically for this occasion. Both Kamara and Skjelvik have played on Norway’s national team in the past and worn this jersey (and we’ll be cheering on Kamara when he plays with the Norwegian national team again on June 2 in Iceland and June 6 in Norway vs. Panama). Unfortunately, Sonny hadn’t had a chance to show the jersey during the game since it was too cold and he had to keep his sweatshirt on, so we were glad the opportunity presented now and it was noticed!

Skjelvik and Kamara were very gracious and friendly with everyone. They were happy to accommodate various photo shoots and items for signing. We were grateful for the commemorative scarves because they were the perfect item for signing.

And thank you, Miguel Magana at LA Galaxy, for the tickets and opportunity to attend Norwegian Heritage Night. It was a very well planned and executed event. We will gladly attend another.

Los Angeles Culture Challenge: May 2018 (17th of May Celebrations & LA Galaxy Norwegian Heritage Night!)

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 midweek is tough, there’s the annual Sunday celebration at Nansen Field in Rolling Hills Estates on May 20. But that’s not all for Norwegians in Los Angeles this May…

In honor of Norway’s Constitution Day and the signing of two Norwegian players, LA Galaxy will be showing its Norwegian pride with a special Norwegian Heritage Night at Stubhub Center in Carson on Friday, May 25. Come cheer on the LA Galaxy against the San Jose Earthquakes while waving a specially themed scarf and then stay for a post-game session to hear Jørgen Skjelvik and Ola Kamara talk about their Norwegian roots and how they’ve come to where they are now. Fans will also have a chance to get their autographs. These experiences and scarves are on a first come first served basis while supplies last. To buy tickets, click here. Feel free to reach out to Miguel Magana at mmagana@lagalaxy.com or call 310.630.4646 before your purchase to check availability.

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?

* Exhibits & Events Closing This Month *

Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, Irwindale, Saturdays & Sundays only, April 7 to May 20. Travel back to the 16th century and experience the glory of life during the Renaissance era. The faire provides “a cornucopia of diversity where we are unified in inviting our guests to enjoy an environment we have created to escape from the stresses and demands of the modern day.” There will be artisans of all media, entertainment galore, food trucks and booths, games and rides (including pony and camel rides), a Kids Kingdom (with games, crafts, storytelling, song, shows, and characters), and a gnome quest!

For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, Getty Gallery at Central Library, Downtown LA, closing May 25. In celebration of African American Heritage Month, Central Library is hosting the traveling exhibit For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, which examines the major role imagery played in the fight for racial and social equality from the 1940s through the 1970s. The exhibit shows how popular images—sometimes disturbing, sometimes entertaining, and sometimes overtly militant—played a crucial part in promoting important ideas about fairness and social equality and advancing civil rights during a key period in America’s history. The exhibit also focuses on the role of entertainment media, especially television, as an influential force in highlighting key civil rights events.

* Weekend of May 5 & 6 *

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, select cinemas in the Los Angeles area, May 3-12. Celebrating its 34th edition in 2018, 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, 5/5, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. This is a family-friendly, free community event. The parade will be a culturally rich and colorful event blending traditional Mexican cultural performances with Mexican American innovations including classic cars, traditional folklorico dancers, Aztec dancers, charro, floats, and a mariachi band. The parade will end and transition into a festival featuring food vendors, piñatas, face painting, informational booths, live performances, and entertainment.

Cinco de Mayo Celebration, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, Olvera Street, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/5, & Sunday, 5/6. Come and visit El Pueblo Historical Monument during the Cinco de Mayo weekend! El Pueblo will be hosting live entertainment in the historic Los Angeles Plaza. Enjoy mariachis, folklorico, and children’s arts and crafts. In addition, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes will be hosting Taco Madness on May 5 (5:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m., must be 21+ years old) and Family Day on May 6 (12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.).

Jewelry Workshop—The World of Washi: Beginner Class, Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/5, & Sunday, 5/6, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The World of Washi workshop series continues with two projects demonstrating that handmade washi beads can be unique and elegant: a delicate necklace crimped on a gold/silver chain and a memory-wire bracelet of semi-precious stones and washi danglies. The technical challenges will be crimping and looping. All materials will be provided. Bring a shoebox for supplies, a snack, and a willingness to learn. $64 members, $80 non-members; museum admission included. Limited to 12 participants. Buy tickets here.

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/5, 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.

China Week Celebration: Taste of Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/5, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Celebrate “New Chinatown” on its 80th anniversary with an exclusive “Taste of Chinatown” Walking Tour. A condensed walking tour of historical and cultural highlights in Chinatown will feature a sampling of Chinatown’s most delicious bites from classic favorites as well as trendy hot spots. Taste some of LA’s top restaurants and then learn about the history of New Chinatown and the Chinese-American story of Los Angeles with the Los Angeles Chinatown Business Improvement District. This ticketed event will include food (we will not be able to accommodate substitutions for dietary restrictions) plus beverage tastings and a 90-minute walking tour. Buy tickets here.

China Week Celebration: Performance@PAC: Soundscape, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, Saturday, 5/5, 7:00 p.m. Gather in the USC Pacific Asia Museum courtyard for an evening of experimental sights and sounds. Enjoy a concert exploring the similarities and differences in Chinese and Mexican music traditions featuring musicians Jie Ma and Martin Gallardo Jr. Explore the experimental media installations from USC Master Class: Cinematic and Media-Based Installations. Click here for ticket information.

Japan: Koi Kites (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/6, 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.

International Spring Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 5/6, 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Celebrate the bloom of spring with music, dance, and art making from around the world. Performances will feature traditional entertainment from Iran, Korea, Mexico, and China including J-Hoon Musical Ensemble and The OC Mariachi Kids. The J-Hoon Musical Ensemble is a youth dance and music group originating from New York City. The Ensemble’s repertoire is inspired by the musical tradition of the Kurdish region in northwestern Iran. Throughout its performances, the Ensemble not only aims to convey the joyous and festive character of the regional hymns and dances, but also the deeper spiritual and contemplative expressions which are at the core of this unique art form.

Celebrate Israel, Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, West Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/6, 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. This year’s theme is “70 Years of Zionism, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” Join thousands of Angelenos from all corners of the community as they come together to mark Israel’s 70th Independence Day. This year’s festival will give attendees the opportunity to go back in time and see, touch, and hear the history of Israel, learn about the innovations that came out of Israel, and take part in the entrepreneurial spirit of Israel. The day’s activities and events include musical performances, an artist marketplace, a kids zone, an amusement park with rides, and food vendors serving traditional food and “street fare” (all 100% Kosher). For more information and to buy tickets, visit festival website.

Teotihuacan City (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/6, 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 about the ancient city of Teotihuacan, Mexico, in the exhibition City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan. See how monumental sculptures, masks, and other objects give a glimpse into the lives of people who lived in there. In artist-led workshops, make your own art that speaks to the architecture, beliefs, and magic of this spectacular city.

China Week Celebration: Kun Opera in the Chinese Garden, Huntington Library Chinese Garden, San Marino, Sunday, 5/6, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Experience Chinese opera as it was enjoyed in centuries past during an informal performance in the Huntington Library’s Garden of Flowing Fragrance. Kun opera, or kunqu, is one of the oldest and most refined forms of opera in China. It was frequently staged in the private gardens of Suzhou during the 16th to 18th centuries. Free with general admission.

* Weekend of May 12 & 13 *

China Week Celebration: New Chinatown Dim Sum Tour, San Gabriel Square/Focus Plaza, San Gabriel, Saturday, 5/12, 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Explore authentic Cantonese cuisine in LA’s “New Chinatown” in San Gabriel. You’ll get an introduction to the tastiest restaurants in the area, from a crash course on Dim Sum to delicious Cantonese barbeque and fresh treats from a world-famous Cantonese bakery. Guests will be led on a route of 5-6 eateries on 3 walking blocks. The tour lasts about 4.5 hours. Enjoy over 10 unique tastings that may include Taiwanese beef roll and tea-infused chicken leg (Happy Kitchen), roasted duck and noodles (Sam Woo BBQ), assorted dim sum (Five Star Seafood), traditional breads (Kee Wah Bakery), and Taiwanese lychee shaved ice (Black Ball). For ticket information, click here.

China Week Celebration: Undiscovered Chinatown Tour, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/12, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 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.

JANM Free Family Day: Identity, My-dentity, Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/12, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Join JANM for a celebration of Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month and its exhibition, hapa.me – 15 years of the hapa project. Crafts, performances, storytelling, and other activities will explore themes of identity and personal heritage. See website for activities offered all day and scheduled activities.

China Week Celebration: Guzheng Performance, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Saturday, 5/12, 1:30 p.m. Celebrate China Week with a live guzheng performance featuring Candy Liang of Lotus Bud Guzheng Academy in the museum’s enchanting Ancient Arts of China Gallery. The guzheng, also known as the Chinese zither, is a Chinese plucked string instrument with a more than 2,500-year history. Tickets: free for members, free with general admission.

France: Mother’s Day Stained Glass Vase (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/13, 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.

Mother’s Day at USC PAM (Free Second Sunday), USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, Sunday, 5/13, 11:00 a.m. Enjoy free admission, an art activity inspired by Chinese art in the collection, and storytime for the whole family. This Sunday, make a vase as a gift for mother (12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.) and hear stories of China and mothers in the Silk Road Gallery (1:00 p.m.).

Teotihuacan City (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/13, 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 about the ancient city of Teotihuacan, Mexico, in the exhibition City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan. See how monumental sculptures, masks, and other objects give a glimpse into the lives of people who lived in there. In artist-led workshops, make your own art that speaks to the architecture, beliefs, and magic of this spectacular city.

Family Jam: Ready, Set, Play!, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 5/13, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Celebrate the traditional ball game pelota mixteca brought to California by Oaxacan emigrés by creating your very own colorful bouncy ball and enjoying live music from UCLA’s Music of Mexico Ensemble. Learn the science behind mixing colors and be sure to explore the photographs featured in our accompanying exhibition, Pelotas Oaxaqueñas, after the show! Drop-in art making from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Concert starts at 2:00 p.m.

* Weekend of May 19 & 20 *

Edible Adventures: Japanese Sweets and Street Art Walk, Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/19, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.This walk will introduce you to the many sculptures, murals, and other public artworks in Little Tokyo. Interspersed with the art will be a sampling of Asian sweets such as imagawayaki, dango, and mochi ice cream. $24 members, $30 non-members; museum admission included. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Limited to 15 participants. Buy tickets here.

Norwegian Constitution Day Festivities, Nansen Field, Rolling Hills Estates, Sunday, 5/20, 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. This is a true Norwegian celebration. It is a relaxing, laid-back event on a huge open field. The gates open at 9:30 a.m. and Norwegian waffles and coffee will be available. The official program kicks off at 11:00 a.m. with a welcome speech and the raising of the American and Norwegian flags. Program highlights include remarks by Norwegian Honorary Consul Michael Soroy, a Norwegian 17th of May church service, a musical performance, and a 17th of May speech. Then there’s a parade around the field which is followed by the sale of traditional Norwegian 17th of May foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, Solo, waffles, and ice cream. You’ll also find vendor stalls with Norwegian goods, and there will be plenty of games and prizes for the kids.

Inca: Feathered Pouch (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/20, 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.

Teotihuacan City (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/20, 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 about the ancient city of Teotihuacan, Mexico, in the exhibition City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan. See how monumental sculptures, masks, and other objects give a glimpse into the lives of people who lived in there. In artist-led workshops, make your own art that speaks to the architecture, beliefs, and magic of this spectacular city.

* Weekend of May 26 & 27 *

LA Galaxy Presents: Norwegian Heritage Night, Stubhub Center, Carson, Friday, 5/25, 8:00 p.m. In honor of Norway’s Constitution Day and the signing of two Norwegian players, Jørgen Skjelvik and Ola Kamara, LA Galaxy will be showing its Norwegian pride with a special Norwegian Heritage Night. Cheer on the LA Galaxy against the San Jose Earthquakes while waving a specially themed scarf and then stay for a post-game session to hear Jørgen Skjelvik and Ola Kamara talk about their Norwegian roots and how they’ve come to where they are now. Fans will also have a chance to get their autographs. These experiences and scarves are on a first come first served basis while supplies last. To buy tickets, click here. Feel free to reach out to Miguel Magana at mmagana@lagalaxy.com or call 310.630.4646 before your purchase to check availability.

REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival 2018, Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/26, & Sunday, 5/27. Don’t miss three action-packed weekends of short films highlighting the most innovative and magical animation techniques, as well as mesmerizing live-action films from around the world. Audiences of all ages will be inspired by these exhilarating works from more than two dozen countries including Argentina, Switzerland, Japan, Mexico, France, Belgium, Croatia, The Netherlands, and more!

Scottish Fest, Orange County Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa, Saturday, 5/26, & Sunday, 5/27. 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, 5/26, Sunday, 5/27, & Monday, 5/28. 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.

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/26, 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. Buy tickets here.

Guatemala: Mayan Masks (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/27, 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.

Teotihuacan City (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/27, 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 about the ancient city of Teotihuacan, Mexico, in the exhibition City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan. See how monumental sculptures, masks, and other objects give a glimpse into the lives of people who lived in there. In artist-led workshops, make your own art that speaks to the architecture, beliefs, and magic of this spectacular city.

* Ongoing Exhibits & Events *

KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, California Science Center, Exposition Park, opened March 24 and is open for a limited time. Celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb at the California Science Center with the largest King Tut exhibit ever to tour. Discover over 150 authentic artifacts from King Tut’s celebrated tomb – 60 of which have never traveled outside of Egypt, until now. In a dramatic new presentation, dazzling multimedia complements rare artifacts to take guests on an immersive journey of the pharaoh’s quest for immortality. Enhance your experience with the IMAX movie Mysteries of Egypt. It is strongly suggested to purchase tickets online in advance to avoid lines and possible sell-outs.

Visualizing Language: Oaxaca in L.A., Central Library, Downtown LA, extended until August 31. 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.

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 suggestions about future events and celebrations to include in upcoming months, please email me here with details. Thank you!

Los Angeles Culture Challenge: April 2018 (Scandinavian Festival & Festival of Books)

April is overflowing with special events and exhibitions featuring countries, cultures, and parts of town near and far. Three of my favorite Los Angeles events return this month: Scandinavian Festival at California Lutheran University, LA Times Festival of Books at USC, and CicLAvia in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. I highly recommend them all, but unfortunately, they all fall on the same weekend. Some difficult choices will have to be made.

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

* Weekend of April 7 & 8 *

Bunka-Sai Japanese Cultural Festival, Ken Miller Recreation Center, Torrance, Saturday, 4/7, & Sunday, 4/8. Come enjoy Japanese culture at the Bunka-Sai Festival sponsored by the Torrance Sister City Association. Enjoy children’s games and activities, tasty plate lunches, baked goods, craft items, and cultural performances. To see performance schedule, click here.

Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, Irwindale, Saturdays & Sundays only, April 7 to May 20. This is the opening weekend of the annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Travel back to the 16th century and experience the glory of life during the Renaissance era. Take in 13 stages offering a variety of entertainment all day long, a fully armored joust, the Queen and her glittering Court, arts and crafts, food and fine spirits, music, dance, parades, rides and games. There are also interactive adventure quests for all ages and opportunities to learn historic arts and crafts. Visit website for information on special events and themed weekends and a schedule of performances as well as a coupon to save on admission.

Opening Day: hapa.me – 15 years of the hapa project, Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown LA, April 7 – October 28. In this new exhibition, artist Kip Fulbeck continues his project, begun in 2001, of photographing persons who identify as “Hapa”—of mixed Asian/Pacific Islander descent—as a means of promoting awareness and positive acceptance of multiracial identity. hapa.me pairs the photographs and statements from the groundbreaking 2006 exhibition, kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa, with contemporary portraits of the same individuals and newly written statements, showing not only their physical changes in the ensuing years, but also changes in their perspectives and outlooks on the world. Click here to see a schedule of special activities to mark Opening Day.

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 4/7, 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.

Greece: Gods and Goddess Tile Mosaic (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 4/8, 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.

Tokyo City Cup & Japan Family Day 2018, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, Sunday, 4/8, 10:30 a.m. Each year the Tokyo City Cup Race is run to acknowledge and celebrate the partnership between two of the premier horse racing tracks in their respective countries. Japan Family Day at Santa Anita Park was started as a way to introduce Japanese traditional culture and to interact with the people of Southern California. Through the years, it has become one of the most popular spring festivals in the area. Featuring cultural events and demonstrations, Japanese/Asian/Fusion food booths, live entertainment, and special fun areas for kids and families, Japan Family Day has something for everyone. Visit website for schedule of events and coupon for free general admission.

Explore the Art of Printmaking (Free Second Sunday), USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, Sunday, 4/8, 11:00 a.m. Explore the art of printmaking with special guests from Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG). Artist from their Bario Mobile Art Studio will guide you through the process of making your own silkscreen printed poster. While you’re there, don’t miss your chance to go on a guided tour of Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century and listen to story time in the Silk Road Gallery. Free admission all day.

Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 4/8, 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. April’s festival features Taiko Center of Los Angeles and visiting artist Fuden Daiko from Fudenji Zen Monastery in Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy. Enjoy beautiful folk and classical dances, as well as koto and lute music of Japan. Feast your eyes on the work of world renown candy sculptor Shan Ichiyanagi. Round out the day with art projects and face painting for the entire family.

Panamanian Cosmos (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 4/8, 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, check out the animals (real and mythical) of ancient Panama in Creatures of the Earth, Sea, and Sky: Painting the Panamanian Cosmos. Painted on ceramics, these playful depictions of serpents, armadillos, fish, and other creatures will inspire your own clay pinch-pots and animal drawings in artist-led workshops.

Family Jam: Making Art and Music with Masanga Marimba, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 4/8, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Join us for an afternoon of art making and live music celebrating our Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA exhibition, Axé Bahia: The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis. Find inspiration in the galleries, use watercolors to recreate the colorful textiles worn by women in Bahia, and listen as the LA-based Masanga Marimba Ensemble plays traditional and popular music from Africa and Latin America. Drop-in art making from 1-4pm. Concert starts at 2pm.

* Weekend of April 14 & 15 *

20th Annual Chumash Day Powwow and Inter-Tribal Celebration, Malibu Bluffs Park, Malibu, Saturday, 4/14, & Sunday, 4/15. This year’s 20th annual Chumash Day Powwow will celebrate Native Americans from all over the country. Hundreds of tribes will gather at Malibu Bluffs Park. Native American food, craft vendors, tribal ceremonies, and dances will be a part of the event on both days.

Thailand: Thai New Year Puppets (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 4/15, 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.

Panamanian Cosmos (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 4/15, 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, check out the animals (real and mythical) of ancient Panama in Creatures of the Earth, Sea, and Sky: Painting the Panamanian Cosmos. Painted on ceramics, these playful depictions of serpents, armadillos, fish, and other creatures will inspire your own clay pinch-pots and animal drawings in artist-led workshops.

* Weekend of April 21 & 22 *

Scandinavian Festival, California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, Saturday, 4/21, & Sunday, 4/22. The Scandinavian Festival returns for the 43rd year. Both days of the festival are filled with music, dancing, food, lectures, demonstrations, vendors, and activities for young and old alike. The Viking Encampment and Sami Village will once again be present. Family activities include head wreath making with real flowers, raising the Maypole and dancing around it, learning the ancient Viking game Kubb, playing croquet, and a variety of arts and crafts representative of the Nordic countries.

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, USC Campus, Exposition Park, Saturday, 4/21, and Sunday, 4/22. Enjoy two days of not only books and authors, but also music, food, art, culture, and fun. The Festival of Books is Los Angeles Times’ annual celebration of ideas, creativity, and the written word. The Festival brings book lovers and fun seekers of all ages together with their favorite authors, artists, chefs, musicians, and entertainers.

CicLAvia: Heart of the Foothills, Foothills of San Gabriel Mountains, Sunday, 4/22, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CicLAvia kicks off 2018 with a brand new route, Heart of the Foothills. The country’s largest open streets event will connect the cities of San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, and Claremont. Streets will be closed to cars and open for cyclists, pedestrians, runners, and skaters to use as a recreational space.

Panamanian Cosmos (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 4/22, 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, check out the animals (real and mythical) of ancient Panama in Creatures of the Earth, Sea, and Sky: Painting the Panamanian Cosmos. Painted on ceramics, these playful depictions of serpents, armadillos, fish, and other creatures will inspire your own clay pinch-pots and animal drawings in artist-led workshops.

Kids in the Courtyard: Sail Away in Moche-Style, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 4/22, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Explore the magnificent tule reed boats illustrated on a Peruvian Moche-style vessel in the exhibition Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives. Surrounded by sea creatures, the boats are shown transporting people, most of whom are elaborately dressed. Design your own boat and watch it float in the Fowler’s fountain, your bathtub, the pool, or even the sea!

* Weekend of April 28 & 29 *

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 4/28, 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.

Ancient Sumer: Deer in a Thicket Sculpture (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 4/29, 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.

Panamanian Cosmos (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 4/29, 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, check out the animals (real and mythical) of ancient Panama in Creatures of the Earth, Sea, and Sky: Painting the Panamanian Cosmos. Painted on ceramics, these playful depictions of serpents, armadillos, fish, and other creatures will inspire your own clay pinch-pots and animal drawings in artist-led workshops.

* Ongoing Exhibits and Events *

KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, California Science Center, Exposition Park, opened March 24 and is open for a limited time. Celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb at the California Science Center with the largest King Tut exhibit ever to tour. Discover over 150 authentic artifacts from King Tut’s celebrated tomb – 60 of which have never traveled outside of Egypt, until now. In a dramatic new presentation, dazzling multimedia complements rare artifacts to take guests on an immersive journey of the pharaoh’s quest for immortality. Enhance your experience with the IMAX movie Mysteries of Egypt. It is strongly suggested to purchase tickets online in advance to avoid lines and possible sell-outs.

For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, Getty Gallery at Central Library, Downtown LA, February 1 – May 25. In celebration of African American Heritage Month, Central Library is hosting the traveling exhibit For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, which examines the major role imagery played in the fight for racial and social equality from the 1940s through the 1970s. The exhibit shows how popular images—sometimes disturbing, sometimes entertaining, and sometimes overtly militant—played a crucial part in promoting important ideas about fairness and social equality and advancing civil rights during a key period in America’s history. The exhibit also focuses on the role of entertainment media, especially television, as an influential force in highlighting key civil rights events.

Visualizing Language: Oaxaca in L.A., Central Library, Downtown LA, extended until August 31. 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.

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 suggestions about future events and celebrations to include in upcoming months, please email me here with details. Thank you!

Los Angeles Culture Challenge for March 2018: Norwegian Shrimp Fest!

A new month means new opportunities to explore the rich diversity of Los Angeles. If you haven’t already seen Cuba Is at Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City, see it this weekend before it closes. Other special events this month include Los Angeles Lantern Festival, Celebrating Nowruz: Iranian New Year, and a Norwegian Shrimp Fest! Read on for more details.

Before moving on, though, I’d like to give readers a heads-up about a special Scandinavian event happening next month. During the weekend of April 21 and 22, the Scandinavian Festival at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks will take place. Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss it!

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

* Weekend of March 3 & 4 *

Cuba Is, Annenberg Space for Photography, Century City, on display until Sunday, 3/4. 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.

Chinese Calligraphy & Brushpainting Classes, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, Saturday mornings starting 3/3. Longtime instructor Guang-Li (David) Zhang, a graduate of the Shanghai Art Academy, teaches beginner and advanced students Chinese Calligraphy and Brushpainting in mixed lecture and workshop classes. Six-week class sessions begin March 3. Visit website for details.

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 3/3, 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)

Los Angeles Lantern Festival, El Pueblo Historical Monument, Downtown LA, Saturday, 3/3, 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Join the Chinese American Museum for the 17th Annual Los Angeles Lantern Festival. The free signature event culminates the Lunar New Year festivities with engaging community booths, museum tours, live entertainment, music, arts & crafts, and food trucks.

Australia: Dream Painting Rain Stick (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 3/4, 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.

Caribbean Mardi Gras Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 3/4, 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Enjoy an upbeat musical performance by Upstream, SoCal’s premier live Reggae, Soca, Caribbean band, and an exciting dance performance by Caribbean Gems. There will be art projects and face painting for the whole family.

Andell Family Sundays—Waterlilies, Cherries, and French Landscapes, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 3/4, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Who doesn’t love Impressionism? Impressionist artists were pioneers in capturing lovely moments that often involved flowers, food, and beautiful places. Make discoveries in the galleries. Paint, draw, and see the light in artist-led workshops. (Offered every Sunday in March except 3/18)

* Weekend of March 10 & 11 *

Family Festival Celebrating the Getty Center’s 20th Anniversary, Getty Center, Los Angeles, Saturday, 3/10, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. As the Getty Center turns 20, they’re celebrating with an unforgettable birthday bash. Enjoy an engaging, immersive and fun day with some of the city’s best performers. Have your picture taken at the photo booth, make a wearable accessory inspired by the museum’s iconic tram, do some hip up with Versa-Style or hula with Keali’i O’Nalani, and then try your hand at their birthday games.

India: Rangoli Art (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 3/11, 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. Check website for updated schedule.

Free Second Sunday, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, Sunday, 3/11, 11:00 a.m. Explore the garden and architecture of the museum. Design and create a model of a garden with artist Gustavo Garcia, sketch al fresco from the Chinese style courtyard and building, go on a tour of nature in the collection, and listen to storytime in the galleries. At 1:00 p.m., join the launch of the new children’s book Natsumi! with a special reading by author Susan Lendroth and illustrator Priscilla Burris. A book signing will follow. Museum admission is free all day.

Celebrating Nowruz: Iranian New Year, UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 3/11, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Join Farhang Foundation for the 10th 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. Sima Bina performance at 6:00 p.m. is ticketed. Please see website for program information.

Andell Family Sundays—Waterlilies, Cherries, and French Landscapes, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 3/11, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Who doesn’t love Impressionism? Impressionist artists were pioneers in capturing lovely moments that often involved flowers, food, and beautiful places. Make discoveries in the galleries. Paint, draw, and see the light in artist-led workshops. (Offered every Sunday in March except 3/18)

Family Jam: Storytelling with Dena Atlantic, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 3/11, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Families and children of all ages are invited to discover Brazil’s cultural heritage as acclaimed storyteller Dena Atlantic performs interactive narratives inspired by the exhibition Axé Bahia: The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis. Be sure to explore related artworks after the show.

* Weekend of March 17 & 18 *

International Children’s Festival, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, Saturday, 3/17, & Sunday, 3/18. The annual International Children’s Festival celebrates the 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.

Annual Norwegian Shrimp Fest, Norwegian Church, San Pedro, Saturday, 3/17, 5:00 p.m. The Norwegian Church is hosting its annual shrimp fest. 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. Please RSVP by March 12 to losangeles@sjomannskirken.no.

* Weekend of March 24 & 25 *

USA: Cesar Chavez Inspired Still Life (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 3/25, 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. Check website for updated schedule.

Ukrainian Pysanka Festival, Ukrainian Culture Center, Los Angeles, Sunday, 3/25, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Learn to make traditional Ukrainian Easter eggs. Experience Ukrainian culture by viewing the work of many esteemed artists. Enjoy dance performances, music, and food.

Andell Family Sundays—Waterlilies, Cherries, and French Landscapes, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 3/25, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Who doesn’t love Impressionism? Impressionist artists were pioneers in capturing lovely moments that often involved flowers, food, and beautiful places. Make discoveries in the galleries. Paint, draw, and see the light in artist-led workshops. (Offered every Sunday in March except 3/18)

* Weekend of March 31 & April 1 *

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 3/31, 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.

Blessing of the Animals, Father Serra Park, Downtown LA, Saturday, 3/31. The Blessing of the Animals has been a part of Olvera Street since its founding in 1930, but its practice dates back to the 4th century, when San Antonio De Abad was named the patron saint of the animal kingdom and began to bless animals to promote good health. Bring your pets to be blessed. Blessing begins at 2pm and lasts for an hour. Line-up for the blessing begins at 1pm. There will be entertainment from 12pm to 5pm.

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!

Los Angeles Culture Challenge for February 2018: Nordic Spirit Symposium, Lunar New Year, African American History Month

February offers many opportunities to discover and explore the richness of Los Angeles. Especially plentiful are Lunar New Year celebrations and events celebrating and honoring African American history.

For Scandinavian enthusiasts, this month features the annual Nordic Spirit Symposium, a unique lecture and performance program presented by the Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation and California Lutheran University. This year’s topic is the Vikings’ arrival in America. The symposium takes place Friday, February 9, and Saturday, February 10, in Thousand Oaks. See more details below.

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

* New and Ongoing Exhibits *

For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, Getty Gallery at Central Library, Downtown LA, Thursday, February 1 – Friday, May 25, 2018. In celebration of African American Heritage Month, Central Library is hosting the traveling exhibit For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, which examines the major role imagery played in the fight for racial and social equality from the 1940s through the 1970s. The exhibit shows how popular images—sometimes disturbing, sometimes entertaining, and sometimes overtly militant—played a crucial part in promoting important ideas about fairness and social equality and advancing civil rights during a key period in America’s history. The exhibit also focuses on the role of entertainment media, especially television, as an influential force in highlighting key civil rights events.

Surface Tension by Ken Gonzales-Day: Murals, Signs, and Mark‐Making in LA, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, on display until February 25, 2018. See a new body of photographic work by interdisciplinary artist Ken Gonzales-Day examining the mural landscape of LA—from East LA to Venice Beach, from Pacoima to South LA. Featuring over 140 photographs, Surface Tension by Ken Gonzales-Day: Murals, Signs, and Mark‐Making in LA considers what the city’s walls reveal about its diverse communities.

Cuba Is, Annenberg Space for Photography, Century City, on display until March 4, 2018. 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.

Visualizing Language: Oaxaca in L.A., Central Library, Downtown LA, extended until August 31, 2018. 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.

* WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY 3 & 4 *

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinatown, Saturday, 2/3, 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.

Kids & Families Program: Placemaking Portraits, California African American Museum (CAAM), Exposition Park, Saturday, 2/3, 1:00 p.m – 3:00 p.m. Inspired by ideas and techniques from works in his exhibition Conditions and Forms for blck Longevity, artist Adler Guerrier will guide participants in an art-making workshop to draw, shape, and collage images of place.

Peking Acrobats, Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA, Saturday, 2/3, 8:00 p.m. The talented ensemble is world-renowned for their daring maneuvers, trick-cycling, precision tumbling, somersaulting, and gymnastics. They defy gravity with amazing displays of flexibility, contortion, and control. They push the envelope of human possibility with astonishing juggling dexterity and incredible balancing feats. Records of these acrobatic acts can be found as early as the Ch’in Dynasty (221 B.C. – 207 B.C.) and Chinese acrobats through the ages have continued to perfect what has become an evolving folk art form. Visit website for ticket information.

Asian Lunar New Year Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 2/4, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Celebrate the Year of the Dog with exciting music, dance, and art of Asia. Fun activities for the entire family. Lion and dragon dances and Changing Faces master are featured.

Andell Family Sundays—Painted in México, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 2/4 (offered every Sunday in February), 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Check out the spectacular paintings in the exhibition Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici. Look for La Virgen de Guadalupe, angels, other religious figures, and spiritual iconography painted in a uniquely Mexican style. Make your own art inspired by the exhibition. Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.

* WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY 10 & 11 *

Pan African Film + Arts Festival, Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw, Thursday, 2/8, through Monday, 2/19. This is the first weekend of the Pan African Film + Arts Festival (PAFF) where people from around the globe gather to attend the largest Black film festival in the United States. From a $100 million blockbuster premiere to newly emerging Hollywood talent, the festival showcases a broad spectrum of Black creative works from all over the globe, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes.

2018 Nordic Spirit Symposium: Vikings Reach America: First Contact, California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, Friday, 2/9, & Saturday, 2/10. The Icelandic Sagas tell of Norse voyages to Vinland around 1000 A.D. In the 1960s, a site at the northern tip of Newfoundland was confirmed as a Norse site occupied around 1000 A.D. by archaeological work conducted by Anne Stine and Helge Ingstad. After working with the Ingstads, Birgitta Wallace continued their research. This symposium will discuss this site in Newfoundland as well as discuss the location of Vinland and other sites named in the sagas. Included in the discussions will be the Norse who occupied Greenland for 500 years — the launching point for the voyages to Vinland, and of the natives the Norse likely encountered. The program will also include a discussion of the occupation of sub-Arctic eastern Canada from about 8000 years before and up to the Vikings arrival. The Vikings’ arrival is recognized as the first contact between peoples of European descent and natives of the American continent.

Film Matinee: Kon-Tiki, Norwegian Seamen’s Church, San Pedro, Saturday, 2/10, 12:00 p.m. Come enjoy waffles and drinks while watching Kon-Tiki, a Norwegian biographical drama film from 2012 about Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl and his 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition. The Kon-Tiki expedition was an epic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific Ocean on a balsawood raft in an effort to prove that it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times. It was directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg and was nominated for the Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film in 2013.

29th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration, The Original Farmers Market, 3rd & Fairfax, Saturday, 2/10, & Sunday, 2/11, 12:00 p.m. L.A.’s favorite Mardi Gras celebration returns for its 29th year straight. It features the finest New Orleans and Zydeco music, strolling parade bands, activities for kids, bead throwing, and much more.

China: Lunar New Year Dragon or Dog Puppet (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 2/11, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Join instructors for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured. All materials are provided.

Andell Family Sundays—Painted in México, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 2/11 (offered every Sunday in February), 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Check out the spectacular paintings in the exhibition Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici. Look for La Virgen de Guadalupe, angels, other religious figures, and spiritual iconography painted in a uniquely Mexican style. Make your own art inspired by the exhibition. Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Family Jam: Celebrating Carnaval, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 2/11, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Join Fowler Museum for a celebration of Bahia’s Carnaval: a Brazilian springtime celebration famous for gorgeous parades, music, and costumes! Celebration features face painting, jewelry making, and mask decorating, as well as an Afro-Brazilian samba-reggae performance by Batalá Los Angeles and a guided story time in the Axé Bahia exhibition, where you will take a magical journey to Brazil.

* WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY 17 & 18 *

Chinese New Year Festival @ Central Plaza, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 2/17, 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. There will be artisan booths featuring brush painting, calligraphy, candy sculpture, clay sculpture, and face painting; arts and craft workshops; a craft and vintage market; a culinary stage; entertainment on Central Plaza Main Stage; live music; roaming performances; food trucks and food booths; a craft beer garden; and more.

119th Annual Golden Dragon Parade, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 2/17, 1:00 p.m. In celebrating over one hundred years of tradition, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles presents the 119th Annual Golden Dragon Parade. With over thousands of individuals lining the parade route and thousands viewing the telecast each year, this colorful celebration along North Broadway in Chinatown has become the premiere cultural event in the Southern California Asian-American Community. The parade includes almost two dozen floats, multiple marching bands, government officials, various dignitaries, entertainers, local business leaders, and cultural groups.

Chinese New Year Festival, The Huntington, Pasadena, Saturday, 2/17, & Sunday, 2/18. Celebrate the Lunar New Year at The Huntington as the Year of the Dog begins. Families can enjoy crowd-pleasing lion dancers, amazing performances from a mask-changing artist, plus choreographed martial arts demonstrations, Chinese music, food, and much more. The festivities will take place in and around the Chinese Garden and other performance spaces. See website for full schedule of events.

Pan African Film + Arts Festival, Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw, Thursday, 2/8, through Monday, 2/19. This is the last weekend of PAFF where people from around the globe gather to attend the largest Black film festival in the United States. From a $100 million blockbuster premiere to newly emerging Hollywood talent, the festival showcases a broad spectrum of Black creative works from all over the globe, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes.

Tibet: Losar New Year Festival Puppet (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 2/18, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Join instructors for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured. All materials are provided.

Andell Family Sundays—Painted in México, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 2/18 (offered every Sunday in February), 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Check out the spectacular paintings in the exhibition Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici. Look for La Virgen de Guadalupe, angels, other religious figures, and spiritual iconography painted in a uniquely Mexican style. Make your own art inspired by the exhibition. Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Kids in the Courtyard: Setting the Table, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 2/18, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. What kind of meal would you eat if you were to dine with kings in Cameroon? Find inspiration in our exhibition Dining with Kings: Hospitality and Ceremony in the Cameroon Grassfields and learn how certain patterns signify a person’s power before designing a placemat to use during your next meal.

* WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY 24 & 25 *

African-American Festival, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, Saturday, 2/24, & Sunday, 2/25. Join the Aquarium of the Pacific as it hosts its sixteenth annual African-American Festival, celebrating the rich diversity of African-American and African cultures. The weekend will feature live entertainment and arts and crafts. Festival performers include Mardi Gras second line dancers, hip hop and break dancers, jazz musicians, interactive drum circles, West African dancers, and storytellers.

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 2/24, 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.

African-American Art Festival, STAR Eco Station, Culver City, Saturday, 2/24, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Enjoy African drumming and dancing, art exhibits, interactive art projects, BBQ, games, and local vendors at this outdoor festival at STAR Eco Station, an environmental science museum and exotic wildlife rescue center.

Origami with Ruthie Kitagawa: Hinamatsuri Cards, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 2/24, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Make a Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day) greeting card for your friends and family. $12 members, $15 non-members. Supplies and museum admission is included. Limited to 10 participants.

USA: African American Story Quilt (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 2/25, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Join instructors for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured. All materials are provided.

Turbante-se/Turban Yourself: A Head Wrap Workshop, KOAS Network, Leimert Park, Sunday, 2/25, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Join Brazilian-born artist Thaís Muniz for a workshop exploring the history of head wraps and turbans in Brazil and the broader Afro-Atlantic diaspora. At 12:00 p.m. enjoy a 30-minute talk on the history of head wraps at KAOS Network. From 12:30-3:00 p.m. drop by Fowler Museum’s table outside KAOS and watch Muniz demonstrate a range of styles with participants. The artist will wrap volunteers on a first come, first served basis, ages 13 and up. This event is part of the Leimert Park Art Walk, 1:00-8:00 p.m.

Andell Family Sundays—Painted in México, LACMA, Miracle Mile, Sunday, 2/25 (offered every Sunday in February), 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Check out the spectacular paintings in the exhibition Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici. Look for La Virgen de Guadalupe, angels, other religious figures, and spiritual iconography painted in a uniquely Mexican style. Make your own art inspired by the exhibition. Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Kids & Families Program: Symbols in Copper, California African American Museum (CAAM), Exposition Park, Sunday, 2/25, 1:00 p.m – 3:00 p.m. On the final day of Circles and Circuits I: History and Art of the Chinese Caribbean Diaspora, participate in a family workshop inspired by the images in the copper matting of Albert Chong’s Throne for the Gorilla Spirits, 1993. Chong’s work uses symbolism to celebrate the diversity of mankind. Meet the artist and make impressions of meaningful symbols in soft copper to create a frame for a small photograph. Suitable for third grade and up.

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!

Los Angeles Culture Challenge for January 2018: Scandinavian Film Festival LA & PST:LA/LA

Is one of your new year’s resolutions to explore more of the many diverse cultural opportunities that Los Angeles has to offer? There’s lots to choose from this month, especially with the art initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA that’s going on right now. It’s a collaborative effort from arts institutions across Southern California that explores Latin American and Latino art in Los Angeles. Some exhibitions end at the end of the month. You can sort exhibitions by theme, neighborhood, venue, and media which makes the whole process of deciding what to see where less overwhelming. I have visited three exhibitions (listed below) and found them all interesting and worth the visit.

One of my favorite Scandinavian events returns this month. The Scandinavian Film Festival LA opens this weekend in Beverly Hills. I always look forward to seeing what’s being offered and hope there’s a movie that will transport me back to Norway through language and setting or bring alive a part of Norwegian history for me. I also don’t mind being an armchair traveler to other countries in the region. For a look at what’s being offered this year, check out Scandinavian Film Festival 2018: A Preview.

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