Norwegian Language Opportunities in Los Angeles

norwegian-alphabet-jana-johnson-schnoor

Norwegian Alphabet by Jana Johnson Schnoor

Norwegian is not in high demand so opportunities to learn and use the language here in Los Angeles are very limited. There are, however, two establishments that stand out as centers for Norwegian language and culture here in the Los Angeles area: Norwegian Church in San Pedro and Scandinavian Center in Thousand Oaks. At both places, you can not only pursue your interest in learning Norwegian, but you can also learn about Norwegian culture and customs. Continue reading

Guide to Norway’s Slow TV on Netflix

netflix-slow-tvIn August 2016, Netflix introduced Norway’s Slow TV to American viewers. I was curious about the Slow TV phenomenon that had enthralled Norwegians and now had arrived in the US.

According to Wikipedia, Slow TV is “a term used for a genre of live ‘marathon’ television coverage of an ordinary event in its complete length.” What I quickly learned was that not all the Netflix Slow TV offerings were true Slow TV. Some of the episodes were actually segments of a much longer original broadcast or documentaries of live broadcasts. I also learned that there are different sub-genres of Slow TV. Some are meditative and relaxing; others are informative and entertaining. Read on for an overview of Netflix’s Slow TV offerings.

Don’t have Netflix? You’ll find links to the programs elsewhere on the internet at the end of the post.

Continue reading

Hipp Hipp Hurra for Norge: 17th of May Celebrations at Nansen Field in Los Angeles (2016)

Doobie & SonnyNorway’s National Day snuck up on us this year even though it was on our calendar. We didn’t decide to attend the festivities at Nansen Field until the evening before. The next morning we rallied the troops, dug out our Norwegian flags (and once again remembered we need new ones for next year), and headed down to Rolling Hills Estates, about a 30-minute drive south of Los Angeles.

We arrived just in time. They had just started playing the national anthems and were raising the flags of the United States and Norway. We found a spot next to friends of ours and listened to greetings from Honorary Consul of Norway in Los Angeles, a sermon by the pastor of the Norwegian Seaman’s Church in San Pedro, and the traditional 17th of May speech.

17th of May CeremonyIt didn’t take long for Sonny and Doobie to head off to the open soccer goal on the huge empty field. But it also didn’t take long until they were overrun by little kids and their parents and had to abdicate the goal.

Photo courtesy of Sonny

Photo courtesy of Sonny

Something new to me this year that I really enjoyed and thought added greatly to the festive feel of the day were the musical performances. Continue reading

Scandinavian Film Festival LA 2016: Intense and Touching

Scandinavian Film FestivalIt’s that time of year again when the Scandinavian Film Festival takes place in Los Angeles over two weekends (Jan 9 &10 and 23 & 24). There were not a lot Norwegian films on the schedule this year, only the documentary Maiko: Dancing Girl (about a Japanese girl who becomes a star ballerina at the Norwegian National Ballet) and thriller/disaster movie Bølgen (The Wave). Luckily, The Wave fit into my schedule the first weekend, and I was even able to take 11-year-old Sonny. Continue reading

Los Angeles Culture Challenge for January 2016 & Scandinavian Film Festival LA

January 2016Happy New Year! Is one of your new year’s resolutions to get out more and take advantage of what your city has to offer and to experience something new? January offers many such opportunities for folks in Los Angeles. Popular recurring events continue, such as the weekly family art workshops at Barnsdall Art Park, monthly walking tours of Chinatown, and the annual Scandinavian Film Festival (which is already marked on my calendar, I plan to see the much anticipated Norwegian film The Wave). There are also special events such as the exhibition A Path Appears: Actions for a Better World at the Skirball and Toyota Symphonies for Youth at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. There’s a variety of activities from which to choose. What will you attempt?

* WEEKEND OF JANUARY 2 & 3 *

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking TourThe Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinatown, Downtown, Saturday 1/2, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Offered every first Saturday of the month). Visit a temple, an herbal shop, art galleries, antique stores, and more 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.

2016-Oshogatsu-Festival-Year-of-MonkeyOshogatsu Family Festival – Year of the Monkey, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown, Sunday 1/3, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Ring in the New Year and the Year of the Monkey with fun arts ‘n crafts, food, exciting cultural activities, and performances.

Skirball-a-path-appearsA Path Appears: Actions for a Better World, Skirball Cultural Center, ongoing until February 21. Inspired by the bestselling book A Path Appears by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the exhibition is both a gallery installation and a community engagement project—a place where every visitor can take practical, results-driven steps to bring about social change. Get inspired inside innovatively designed pavilions exploring four critical humanitarian issues: education, health, good jobs, and empowerment. Tap into the power of grassroots action as you learn of organizations—both local and around the globe—that are developing workable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. Then join in building a better world as you engage with ActionLab, a mobile-friendly tool that uses storytelling to promote social change and spark a commitment to human rights.

* WEEKEND OF JANUARY 9 & 10 *

Scandinavian Film FestivalScandinavian Film Festival, Writers Guild Theater, Beverly Hills, Saturday 1/9 & Sunday 1/10 (also weekend of 1/23 & 1/24). This is a yearly showcase of films from northern Europe and its Baltic neighbors. During the course of two weekends, the festival screens not only films submitted by Nordic countries to the Academy for consideration in the “Best Foreign Language Film” category, but also other Nordic feature films, short movies, and documentaries. During the first weekend is the screening of Norwegian disaster film Bølgen (“The Wave“) followed by the Opening Gala and Ceremonies. See website for schedule and ticket information.

Barnsdall_Art_Park_SundaysAncient Rome: Lares Altar (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday 1/10, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Join instructor Quan Trang for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

Bowers_KwanzaaKwanzaa Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday 1/10, 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Celebrate the beauty and excitement of the African American cultural experience in America with a Kwanzaa ceremony, spoken word, drumming and dancing, and 3rd Degree Blues Band.

Free Second Sunday: Thailand, USC Pacific Asia MuseumUSC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, Sunday 1/10. The museum is one of a few U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Join them this Sunday as they celebrate the arts and culture of Thailand. Activities include Silk Road Story Time, an art activity, Spotlight Tours, and a music/dance/art demo by Thai Community Arts & Cultural Center. See website for schedule. In addition, visitors can peruse permanent and special exhibitions and explore a special interactive family-friendly exhibition called Journeys: The Silk Road which takes guests along the legendary trade route that linked Europe and Asia for more than a thousand years. Admission to the galleries and the day’s programming are free all day.

* MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WEEKEND OF JANUARY 16 & 17 & 18 *

Barnsdall_Art_Park_SundaysUSA: MLK Day Posters, “I Have a Dream” Painting (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday 1/17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Join instructor Quan Trang for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

CAAMCAAM’s Annual “Cake for King” Community Celebration, California African American Museum, Exposition Park, Monday 1/18, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CAAM invites the entire LA community to join them for their annual recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and his life’s work as a charismatic and dedicated leader of the modern civil rights movement. CAAM will offer an art workshop, documentaries, face painting, story time, and slices of homemade birthday cake (while supplies last).

* WEEKEND OF JANUARY 23 & 24 *

TSFYToyota Symphonies for Youth: City of Light: Debussy’s La Mer, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Downtown, Saturday 1/23 & 1/30 at 11:00 a.m. The LA Phil’s pioneering Symphonies for Youth mix music with fun and fantasy for children ages 5 to 11 (children under two not admitted). Tour the colorful and rich orchestral music of France with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in celebration of the LA Phil’s French festival. Come for the chance to experience a live orchestra through the fantasy of theater. Each performance is preceded by a choice of art workshops, including an instrumental petting zoo, dance, and more starting at 10am. Buy tickets in advance.

Scandinavian Film FestivalScandinavian Film Festival, Writers Guild Theater, Beverly Hills, Saturday 1/23 & Sunday 1/24. During the second and last weekend of this yearly showcase of films from northern Europe and its Baltic neighbors, you can view a children’s animated movie from Finland, Moomins On The Riviera, based on popular Finnish comic strips, among many other films. See website for schedule and ticket information.

Barnsdall_Art_Park_SundaysBali: Shadow Puppets (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday 1/24, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Join instructor Sarah Hage for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

* WEEKEND OF JANUARY 30 & 31 *

TSFYToyota Symphonies for Youth: City of Light: Debussy’s La Mer, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Downtown, Saturday 1/30 at 11:00 a.m. The LA Phil’s pioneering Symphonies for Youth mix music with fun and fantasy for children ages 5 to 11 (children under two not admitted). Tour the colorful and rich orchestral music of France with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in celebration of the LA Phil’s French festival. Come for the chance to experience a live orchestra through the fantasy of theater. Each performance is preceded by a choice of art workshops, including an instrumental petting zoo, dance, and more starting at 10am. Buy tickets in advance.

Barnsdall_Art_Park_SundaysItaly: Marionettes (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday 1/31, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Join instructor Sarah Hage for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

It’s Norwegian Christmas Time!

2015 plakat julebasar

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I’ve gotten used to the fact that the Norwegian Christmas Fair happens before I’ve even had a chance to plan my Thanksgiving. I look at it as a way to begin the whole holiday season. This year I was grateful to have an American friend whose other half is Norwegian join me for the excursion to San Pedro. We headed down Friday morning to be there when the fair opened.

I love the warm welcome we receive as we enter, and the offer of gløgg (mulled wine, in this case non-alcoholic) and pepperkaker (ginger snaps) certainly helps put you in the mood for what’s waiting inside. The inside of the church is festive with Christmas lights and decorations.

Just as you enter, you’ll see The Bakery. Don’t delay buying baked goods because they run out. I especially like the ones that come right out of the oven. I always buy to bring home. The after school treat that day for my boys was a fresh skolebolle each along with saft I’d bought from the church store.

Norwegian Christmas Fair BakeryIn the nave of the church you’ll find all the booths. They offer Scandinavian goods of all kinds, both imported from Scandinavia and homemade by members of the church. We arrived when the fair had just opened so the area around the booths was packed with eager shoppers. There was no way to take a picture that would actually show anything. I had to return and take pictures when all the first attendees were enjoying their lunches from the café. Continue reading

Los Angeles Culture Challenge for May 2015 & 17th of May Celebrations!

Los_Angeles_May_2015This month you have five full weekends to explore the richness of Los Angeles. And if you’re Norwegian, it’s an even more special month since we celebrate Norway’s Constitution Day on May 17. What areas of the world will you explore? Mexico, Greece, Africa, China, Israel, Scotland, India, France, or Norway? Or you can mix it up at an international children’s film festival. Seize the opportunity to try something new this month!

* WEEKEND OF MAY 2 & 3 *

REDCAT_1st_WeekendREDCAT International Children’s Film Festival, Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex, Saturday & Sunday until May 17. The 10th annual REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival features three weekends of adventurous short-film programs to appeal to moviegoers of all ages. Magical, exhilarating works made by acclaimed filmmakers and up-and-coming auteurs showcases work from around the globe—including Iran, Brazil, Sweden, Russia, Taiwan, Pakistan, Korea, The Netherlands, Ukraine—to inspire the whole family. Festival highlights include the latest in both live action and animated shorts. See website for full schedule and ticket information.

Renaissance Pleasure FaireRenaissance Pleasure Faire, Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, Irwindale, Saturdays & Sundays until May 17. 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, story-telling, song, shows, and characters), and a gnome quest!

Olvera StreetCinco de Mayo Celebration, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, Downtown, Saturday & Sunday, 10am-10pm.  El Pueblo hosts traditional Mexican dance and music, in honor of Mexico’s victory over the French in 1862. The party has been going on at this site every Cinco de Mayo for 140 years.

Barnsdall_GreeceGreece: Ancient Pottery (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Sunday, 10am-12pm. Participate in a free family art workshop in a real art studio. We’ve attended one of these art workshops and can attest to the value and fun of them. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

LACMA_african_textilesAndell Family Sundays—For Royalty and Ceremony: African Textiles, LACMA, Sunday, 12:30pm-3:30pm. Also May 10, 17, 24, and 31. Check out the intricate beading, elaborate feather work, and complex symbolism that show status and ceremony in the exhibition African Textiles and Adornment: Selections from the Marcel and Zaira Mis Collections. Make your own textile art in workshops.

Fowler_family_jam_meditationFamily Jam: Family Meditation and Concert, Fowler Museum Courtyard at UCLA, Sunday, 2pm-4pm. Join acclaimed Chinese musicians from the Bridges East and West Music Festival for a serene concert and meditation for all ages. Experience the transforming qualities of tai-chi with Professor Shibin Zhou, contemplate an artwork in the Intersections gallery, and see how artists from the India-based Sahmat Collective shared works of art to promote peace. Then, create a fan to keep you cool during the hot summer months.

* WEEKEND OF MAY 9 & 10 *

REDCAT_2nd_WeekendREDCAT International Children’s Film Festival, Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex, Saturday & Sunday until May 17. This is the second weekend of the 10th annual REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival which features adventurous short-film programs that appeal to moviegoers of all ages. Magical, exhilarating works made by acclaimed filmmakers and up-and-coming auteurs showcases work from around the globe—including Iran, Brazil, Sweden, Russia, Taiwan, Pakistan, Korea, The Netherlands, Ukraine—to inspire the whole family. Festival highlights include the latest in both live action and animated shorts. See website for full schedule and ticket information.

World_City_Kulu_MeleWorld City Series: Kùlú Mèlé, W.M. Keck Children’s Amphitheatre at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Saturday, 11am and 12:30pm. Enjoy music and dance by Kùlú Mèlé African Dance and Drum Ensemble. This Philadelphia-based group is known for infusing African dance with urban American flair. Their World City performance will feature their Afro-Cuban repertoire with rhythms such as rumba and dances, one with roots in the Yoruba religion and another by way of Congo. Free visual arts workshops, designed by Music Center Teaching Artists, are available during each World City engagement. See website for ticket reservation information.

Barnsdall_ChinaChina: Paper Flower Cutting (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Sunday, 10am-12pm. Participate in a free family art workshop in a real art studio. We’ve attended one of these art workshops and can attest to the value and fun of them. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

LACMA_african_textilesAndell Family Sundays—For Royalty and Ceremony: African Textiles, LACMA, Sunday, 12:30pm-3:30pm. Also May 17, 24, and 31. Check out the intricate beading, elaborate feather work, and complex symbolism that show status and ceremony in the exhibition African Textiles and Adornment: Selections from the Marcel and Zaira Mis Collections. Make your own textile art in workshops.

* WEEKEND OF MAY 16 & 17 *

REDCAT_3rd_WeekendREDCAT International Children’s Film Festival, Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex, Saturday & Sunday. This is the final weekend of the 10th annual REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival which features adventurous short-film programs that appeal to moviegoers of all ages. Magical, exhilarating works made by acclaimed filmmakers and up-and-coming auteurs showcases work from around the globe—including Iran, Brazil, Sweden, Russia, Taiwan, Pakistan, Korea, The Netherlands, Ukraine—to inspire the whole family. Festival highlights include the latest in both live action and animated shorts. See website for full schedule and ticket information.

Parade time at Nansen FieldNorwegian Constitution Day Festivities at Nansen Field, Rolling Hills Estates, Sunday, 11am. This is a true Norwegian celebration hosted by the Norwegian Church Abroad. It is a relaxing, laid-back event on a huge open field. The field opens at 9:30am and the festivities kick off at 11 o’clock with a Norwegian 17th of May church service, a flag raising, and a 17th of May speech. Then there’s a parade led by a marching band followed by the sale of traditional Norwegian 17th of May foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, Solo, waffles, and ice cream. There are also vendor stalls with Norwegian goods and plenty of games and prizes for the kids. Read about one of our earlier celebrations at Nansen Field here.

17mai_Norwegian_Church_San_PedroNorway’s National Day Celebration, Norway’s Church Abroad, San Pedro, Sunday, 5pm. The Church always hosts a traditional Norwegian “17. mai” celebration on the actual day at 17:00. So this year you can get a lot of Norwegian in on one day. Typical Norwegian foods will be served—pølser, rundstykker, bløtkaker, marsipankaker, brus, and coffee. There will also be games for kids of all ages and ice cream prizes for all. And of course, it wouldn’t be a typical 17. mai celebration without speeches and a parade around the neighborhood. And of course the store is open so you can stock up on Scandinavian goodies.

Celebrate_IsraelCelebrate Israel Festival, Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, West Los Angeles, Sunday, 11am-6pm. Come celebrate Israel’s 67th Independence Day. This year’s theme is Jerusalem of Gold and attendees will have the opportunity to visit various sites of Jerusalem, learn about the Old City, participate in various hands-on projects, and experience the city’s magic. The day’s activities and events include musical performances (main event is Shlomi Shabat); an artists pavilion showcasing local Jewish and Israeli artists with their jewelry, crafts, gifts, and home decor; a kids zone and a teen area; a technology pavilion to see latest Israeli innovation and hear Ted-style presentation; and an amusement park with rides.

Barnsdall_USAUSA: Land Art (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Sunday, 10am-12pm. Participate in a free family art workshop in a real art studio. We’ve attended one of these art workshops and can attest to the value and fun of them. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

LACMA_african_textilesAndell Family Sundays—For Royalty and Ceremony: African Textiles, LACMA, Sunday, 12:30pm-3:30pm. Also May 24 and 31.Check out the intricate beading, elaborate feather work, and complex symbolism that show status and ceremony in the exhibition African Textiles and Adornment: Selections from the Marcel and Zaira Mis Collections. Make your own textile art in workshops.

* MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND MAY 23 & 24 *

Scottish_FestScottish Fest, Orange County Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa, Saturday & Sunday, 9am-6pm. 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.

Greek_Festival42nd Annual Valley Greek Festival, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Northridge, Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, 1pm-9pm. 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.

Barnsdall_IndiaIndia: Rangoli Art (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Sunday, 10am-12pm. Participate in a free family art workshop in a real art studio. We’ve attended one of these art workshops and can attest to the value and fun of them. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

LACMA_african_textilesAndell Family Sundays—For Royalty and Ceremony: African Textiles, LACMA, Sunday, 12:30pm-3:30pm. Check out the intricate beading, elaborate feather work, and complex symbolism that show status and ceremony in the exhibition African Textiles and Adornment: Selections from the Marcel and Zaira Mis Collections. Make your own textile art in workshops.

* WEEKEND OF MAY 30 & 31 *

Barnsdall_FranceFrance: Matisse-Inspired Paper Cut-Outs (Family Art Workshop), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Sunday, 10am-12pm. Participate in a free family art workshop in a real art studio. We’ve attended one of these art workshops and can attest to the value and fun of them. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

LACMA_african_textilesAndell Family Sundays—For Royalty and Ceremony: African Textiles, LACMA, Sunday, 12:30pm-3:30pm. Check out the intricate beading, elaborate feather work, and complex symbolism that show status and ceremony in the exhibition African Textiles and Adornment: Selections from the Marcel and Zaira Mis Collections. Make your own textile art in workshops.

Los Angeles Culture Challenge for April 2015 & Scandinavian Festival!

Culture Challege April 2015Once again it’s time to think about what parts of the world you’d like to explore all while staying close to home. The Scandinavian Festival is always on my calendar for April. I’ve been with my family several times. This year, however, the boys will be busy with sports that weekend. Therefore, I will be heading out to the festival alone on the Sunday of the festival to volunteer at an entrance gate. I’m looking forward to this new way of experiencing the event, and maybe I’ll even see some familiar faces come through. Scroll down to Weekend of April 18 & 19 to read more about the Scandinavian Festival. I hope you’ll consider coming!

* WEEKEND OF APRIL 4 & 5 *

Renaissance Pleasure FaireRenaissance Pleasure Faire, Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, Irwindale, Saturdays & Sundays, April 4 to May 17. 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, entertainment, food trucks and booths, games and rides (including pony and camel rides), a Kids Kingdom (with games, crafts, story-telling, song, and shows), and a gnome quest!

dead-sea-scrolls-the-exhibitionDead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition, California Science Museum, Exposition Park, ongoing until September 7. Come discover the most significant archaeological find of the last century—the Dead Sea Scrolls. This special exhibition explores the science and significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls, manuscripts written and hidden in caves 2000 years ago and not discovered until 1947. Additional highlights include a three-ton stone from Jerusalem’s Western Wall, limestone capitals from the first temple period (1000-586 BCE), ossuaries from the early Roman period, and an ancient signature preserved for millennia on the Archer Seal. Enhance your experience with a viewing of Jerusalem 3D at the IMAX theater.

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking TourThe Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinatown, Saturday, 10:30am-1pm. 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.

BowersJapanese Cherry Blossom Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Sunday, 11am-3:30pm. On the first Sunday of every month, Bowers Museum offers free tickets to the museum, Kidseum, and all activities. On this Sunday, enjoy the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival as well. There will be art projects such as cherry blossom water colors painting, fish prints, and face painting, as well as classical dance, folk dance, and musical performances with traditional instruments (koto, shamisen, and taiko).

* WEEKEND OF APRIL 11 & 12 *

ChumashDay17th Annual Chumash Day Powwow and Inter-Tribal Celebration, Malibu Bluffs Park, Saturday & Sunday. This year’s 17th 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. Grand Entry will take place 1pm at Saturday and 12pm on Sunday.

World_City_DakhaBrakhaWorld City Series: DakhaBrakha, W.M. Keck Children’s Amphitheatre at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Saturday, 11am and 12:30pm. Come enjoy DakhaBrakha, a quartet from Kiev, Ukraine, with a musical spectrum that ranges from intimate to riotous, producing an unexpected new world music on drums, accordions, and cello. Free visual arts workshops, designed by Music Center Teaching Artists, are available during each World City engagement. See website for ticket reservation information.

Kids in the Courtyard_Home ArtKids in the Courtyard: Home Is Where the Art Is, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Saturday, 1pm-4pm. Whether it’s the towering mosaics of Watts Towers or the stained glass of Echo Park’s “Randy Land,” Los Angeles is filled with inventive architecture. In this program, explore the photographs of fantastically decorated homes from Spain in the exhibition Singular Spaces and consider the architectural creativity in your neighborhood. Then contribute to a group fort-building project using recycled materials in the Fowler Courtyard and create a colorful wind chime to liven up your own home.

Barnsdall Japan

Japan: Sumi Ink Fan Painting, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Sunday, 10am-12pm. Participate in a free family art workshop in a real art studio. We’ve attended one of these art workshops and can attest to the value and fun of them. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

 

LACMA_Renaissance ReunionAndell Family Sundays—Renaissance Reunion, LACMA, Sunday (also April 19), 12:30pm-3:30pm. Like long-lost family members, four paintings that were separated centuries ago are reunited at LACMA! First, see them in the exhibition Four Allegories by Veronese: A Rediscovery and a Reunion. Then, make your own Renaissance-inspired art in artist-led workshops.

* WEEKEND OF APRIL 18 & 19 *

Viking-VillageScandinavian Festival, Cal Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, Saturday & SundayBoth days of the festival are filled with lively music, traditional dancing, a bustling Nordic food court, lectures on history and culture, food and craft demonstrations, vendors, and activities for young and old alike. The Viking Encampment and Sami Village will once again be present. And this year there will be a Vintage Car and Motorcycle Exhibition featuring Volvos, Saabs, and other Scandinavian vehicles. Highlights of family activities include making head wreaths with real flowers, crafting a traditional wooden butter knife, raising and dancing around the Maypole, learning the ancient Viking game Kubb, and playing Croquet. This is really a fun-filled family festival not to be missed!

LAT_Festival_of_BooksLos Angeles Times Festival of Books, USC Campus, Saturday & Sunday. Enjoy two days of not only books and authors, but also live music, poetry readings, comedy performances, photography exhibits, film screenings followed by Q&A’s, artists creating work on-site, and chef demonstrations. There are open-air stages with performances and readings by entertainers and authors (free, schedule here) and indoor discussions on a variety of topics (ticket info here). We’ve attended as a family and enjoyed wandering the grounds, listening to children’s authors read their stories (in 2012, the kids were excited to hear David Shannon and Jeff Kinney and this year Jeff Kinney returns), and eating from the food trucks.

Andell Family Sundays—Renaissance Reunion, LACMA, Sunday, 12:30pm-3:30pm. Like long-lost family members, four paintings that were separated centuries ago are reunited at LACMA! First, see them in the exhibition Four Allegories by Veronese: A Rediscovery and a Reunion. Then, make your own Renaissance-inspired art in artist-led workshops.

* WEEKEND OF APRIL 25 & 26 *

Bunka Sai Festival43rd Annual Bunka-Sai Japanese Cultural Festival, Ken Miller Recreation Center, Torrance, Saturday & Sunday. Enjoy Japanese culture at the Bunka-Sai Festival sponsored by the Torrance Sister City Association. There will be an anime contest, kamishibai storytelling, various martial arts, musical and dance performances, ikebana and bonsai floral displays, shodo calligraphy and tea ceremony, traditional crafts and dolls, boutiques, games for children, hourly drawings, and food.

Barnsdall IndiaIndia: Warli Art, Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Sunday, 10am-12pm. Participate in a free family art workshop in a real art studio. We’ve attended one of these art workshops and can attest to the value and fun of them. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

Scandinavian Film Festival LA 2015: Transported Back to Norway

SFFLA headerEvery year I look forward to the Scandinavian Film Festival LA (SFFLA) with an odd combination of excitement and uncertainty. I’m always eager to watch a Norwegian movie or two in Norwegian, but I usually never know anything about the films that are going to be screened. Only one year was I familiar with one of the films. That was 2013, the year when Kon-Tiki had been nominated for a Golden Globe and it was on the Oscar shortlist for best foreign film. That year I attended the festival, even the opening gala and buffet, with great anticipation.

As usual this year, I asked my parents if they knew anything about the Norwegian films, but they didn’t know much. When they go to see movies in Norway, they usually see American ones.

1001 Grams movie posterThere were many Norwegian films in different genres being screened this year: the documentary Optimistene (The Optimists), the movie Eventyrland (It’s Only Make Believe), Norway’s official Oscar submission 1001 Gram (1001 Grams), thriller Pionér (Pioneer), and crime thriller Kraftidioten (In Order of Disappearance). The only one they had heard anything about it was 1001 Gram. They thought they had heard it was good. That was enough for me to put it on my calendar. Continue reading

Norwegian Language Courses in Los Angeles

Bunad and reading* For more current information, please go to my new post: Norwegian Language Opportunities in Los Angeles. *

Occasionally, I receive inquiries from people in the Los Angeles area wanting to learn Norwegian. Norwegian is not in high demand so opportunities are very limited, if not non-existent. However, in the new year, the Norwegian Church in San Pedro will offer a course in conversational Norwegian with some emphasis on Norwegian culture and lifestyle. Starting January 10, 2015, instructor Olaug Macmillan will lead a class on Saturdays from 11am to 1pm for 10 weeks. A textbook will be available for purchase in class. The suggested donation for the whole course is $50. A minimum of 10 students is required. Please contact the Church at losangeles@sjomannskirken.no for more information.

Norwegian porridge(To make your trip to the Church even more worthwhile on the day of class, stay for some traditional Norwegian porridge. Every Saturday they serve porridge at 2 o’clock.)

The Church also offers a Norwegian course for children in grades 1 to 10. Skolegjengen currently meets every other Sunday at 1 o’clock. The fall semester is drawing to a close, but you can contact the Church about joining in the new year or next fall.

Skolegjengen consists of children who have Norwegian as a first or second language. All students work on the same topics, but tasks are adapted to different ages and levels. Students are taught Norwegian and given projects and activities about Norwegian culture, history, and geography. One parent must speak fluent Norwegian.

Skolegjengen 17 maiSkolegjengen performs at the Christmas Bazaar, Christmas service, and 17th of May celebrations at the Church. We had the pleasure of hearing them at this year’s 17th of May celebrations and they were a wonderful addition.

For more information on Skolegjengen, contact instructors Fredrik fbo@sjomannskirken.no or Marianne mhb@sjomannskirken.no.

* For more current information, please go to my new post: Norwegian Language Opportunities in Los Angeles. *