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!

May 2017: Los Angeles Culture Challenge & Norwegian May 17th Celebrations

May is a big month for Norwegians worldwide. We celebrate our national day, Constitution Day, on May 17. On that day in 1814, Norway signed its constitution while it was still in a union with Sweden. The union with Sweden wasn’t dissolved until 1905. 17th of May celebrations worldwide are characterized by parades, traditional costumes, flags, and ice cream.

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 (details here). 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 21 (see details below).

But there’s more to May than Norway’s national day. Angelenos can take advantage of many special events and activities featuring a variety of countries and cultures. How will you explore the richness of Los Angeles this month?

* WEEKEND OF MAY 6 & 7 *

Cinco de Mayo Celebration, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, Olvera Street, Downtown LA, Friday, 5/5, through Sunday, 5/7. Celebrate Mexico’s victory over French forces in Puebla, Mexico, in 1862, with popular and traditional music, exhibitor booths, dancing, and food. The party has been going on at this site every Cinco de Mayo for 140 years.

REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival, Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/6, & Sunday, 5/7. Don’t miss the last weekend of the annual REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival. It’s a weekend full of adventurous short-film programs that will appeal to moviegoers of all ages. Magical, exhilarating works made by acclaimed filmmakers and up-and-coming auteurs showcase work from around the globe — including Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Russia, Taiwan, Belarus, Korea, The Netherlands, and Ukraine — to inspire the whole family. Festival highlights include the latest in both live action and animated shorts. See website for the schedule.

Cinco de Mayo Maracas, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Saturday, 5/6, & Sunday, 5/7, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 pm. Maracas came from the indigenous tribes in Latin American. This fun instrument is now used in other parts of the world, including Mexico. They were originally made out of gourds, seeds, and pebbles. Modern maracas can be made out of wood, metal, and plastic. Come visit Bowers Museum’s Art Studio where children can designs their own maracas made out of recycled materials. Activity is included with Kidseum admission, $8 for everyone over the age of 2 years old.

The Undiscovered Chinatown Tour, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/6, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 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. This tour is offered every first Saturday of the month.

Peru: Inca Feathered Textiles (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/7, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Come for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. A different culture and media are featured each Sunday.

Celebrate Israel Festival, Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, West Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/7, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. This year’s theme is Jerusalem: 50 Years of Reunification. The festival will give attendees the opportunity to visit various sites of Jerusalem, learn about the Old City, and travel back in time to learn about the history of Jerusalem. Attendees are encouraged to stop in the different pavilions throughout the park and meet the many organizations that will be offering hands–on projects and activities for the entire family. The day’s activities and events include musical performances, an artist marketplace, a kids zone and a teen area, an amusement park with rides, and food vendors serving traditional food and “street fare” (all 100% Kosher).

Eye on African Art (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/7, 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, see outstanding masks, sculptures, and textiles, and learn about the symbolism and importance of vision and in African art in the exhibition The Inner Eye: Vision and Transcendence in African Arts. In workshops, make your own art inspired by the exhibition.

Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, Irwindale, Saturdays & Sundays, ongoing until May 21. 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!

Roman Holidays, The Getty Villa, Malibu, Saturdays & Sundays, ongoing until September 3. You won’t need a passport to travel back in time at the Roman Holidays celebration this spring and summer. Discover the sights (and smells!) of ancient Rome, offer your prayers to Venus, read your future in a sheep’s liver, and enjoy live musical and comedy performances by the historically hysterical Troubadour Theater Company.

* WEEKEND OF MAY 13 & 14 *

The Undiscovered Chinatown Tour, Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/13, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. This is an additional tour held in conjunction with China Week. 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. 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. Wear comfortable walking shoes. You must RSVP as group size is limited.

Origami with Ruthie Kitagawa: Floral Cards, Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/13, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Learn to make a floral card just in time for Mother’s Day. Cost is $12 members, $15 non-members. Supplies and admission to museum are included. Limited to 10 participants. RSVP here.

Austria: Gustav Klimt Tree of Life Printmaking for Mother’s Day (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/14, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Come for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. A different culture and media are featured each Sunday.

Eye on African Art (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/14, 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, see outstanding masks, sculptures, and textiles, and learn about the symbolism and importance of vision and in African art in the exhibition The Inner Eye: Vision and Transcendence in African Arts. In workshops, make your own art inspired by the exhibition.

Family Jam: Storytelling with Dena Atlantic, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood, Sunday, 5/14, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Storyteller Dena Atlantic will delight with interactive tales from around the world, including stories of the Trickster Spider Anansi from West Africa.

* WEEKEND OF MAY 20 & 21 *

Ancient Egypt: Cartouche and Painted Deities (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/21, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Come for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. A different culture and media are featured each Sunday.

Norwegian Constitution Day FestivitiesParade time at Nansen Field, Nansen Field, Rolling Hills Estates, Sunday, 5/21, 11:00 a.m. This is a true Norwegian celebration. It is a relaxing, laid-back event on a huge open field. The field opens at 9:30am and the program kicks off at 10:50am with the hoisting of the American and Norwegian flags. Program highlights include a Norwegian 17th of May church service 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 our celebrations at Nansen Field last year here.

Eye on African Art (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/21, 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, see outstanding masks, sculptures, and textiles, and learn about the symbolism and importance of vision and in African art in the exhibition The Inner Eye: Vision and Transcendence in African Arts. In workshops, make your own art inspired by the exhibition.

Kids in the Courtyard: African-Print Fashion Tomorrow!, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Sunday, 5/21, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Come for a day of activities celebrating the colorful and rich designs in African-Print Fashion Now! Families can create accessories from patches of African-print and enjoy family-focused guided tours of the exhibition. Finally, enjoy a showcase of artwork by fashion students in the high school arts program artworxLA, inspired by the exhibition.

* WEEKEND OF MAY 27 & 28 *

Little Tokyo Walking Tour, Japanese American National Museum, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/27, 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. RSVP here. Cost is $12 members, $15 non-members. Museum admission is included. Limited to 20 participants.

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

 

Valley Greek Festival, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Northridge, Saturday, 5/27, Sunday, 5/28, & Monday, 5/29. 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.

Eye on African Art (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/28, 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, see outstanding masks, sculptures, and textiles, and learn about the symbolism and importance of vision and in African art in the exhibition The Inner Eye: Vision and Transcendence in African Arts. In workshops, make your own art inspired by the exhibition.

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 the details. Thank you!

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

Celebrating the Norwegian Constitution’s 200th Anniversary

We pretty much overdosed on Norwegian culture this past weekend when we celebrated Norway’s Constitution Day. Maybe that’s par for the course since it was the 200th anniversary of the constitution. (A fact we learned, it’s the oldest constitution in Europe and the second oldest in the world after USA’s!) Every year there are two main events in the Los Angeles area to celebrate the Norwegian holiday. The first one is always on the actual day of May 17th at the Norwegian Church in San Pedro, and the other one is on the closest Sunday at Nansen Field in Rolling Hills Estates. We’ve never attended both in one year, but this year we did, and they were one right after the other!Nansen Field parade

The celebration at the Norwegian Church has traditionally been hard for us to attend since it means driving to San Pedro, about 30 miles away, on a weekday after school for a 5 o’clock event. After-school activities, sports, homework, and traffic have made that close to impossible. But this year, the seventeenth of May fell on a Saturday so many of the factors prohibiting us from going in the past were a non-issue this year. I seized the opportunity. As did over 500 other people! It was the biggest gathering ever. Continue reading

Celebrating Norway’s Constitution Day in Los Angeles

For me, celebrating Norway’s 17th of May in Los Angeles began by vicariously experiencing it through pictures posted on Facebook by Norwegian friends. I woke up to a newsfeed filled with bold and bright Norwegian flags, happy families dressed in beautiful bunads, and smiling kids in parades. It was a lovely start to the day and I much appreciated them sharing their celebrations!

(Photos courtesy of M. Eriksen, E. Strøm-Gundersen, and S. Mjeldheim)

(Photos courtesy of M. Eriksen, E. Strøm-Gundersen, and S. Mjeldheim)

Ideally, I would have attended the festivities at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in San Pedro that day. It’s a simple celebration with traditional foods (hot dogs, waffles, and Solo are our favorites), a parade around the block waving flags and singing, speeches, and fun and games for the kids. And let’s not forget the ice cream! But this year, “17. mai” fell on a Friday and the kids had after-school commitments until 5 o’clock. The idea of driving in Friday afternoon traffic to San Pedro was unfathomable.

Moods of Norway LA infoSo I had to find an alternate way to mark the day. I had seen that the store Moods of Norway was having a celebration. I was intrigued. Continue reading