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

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

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

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

* WEEKEND OF MAY 4 & 5 *

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

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

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

Undiscovered Chinatown Walking Tour, Throughout Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/4, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Offered every first Saturday of the month). Visit a temple, an herbal shop, art galleries, antique stores, and more! The 2 1/2 hour walking tour will take visitors to a number of off-the-beaten-track points of interest and will guide those interested in shopping to some of Chinatown’s best bargains and its trendiest shops. Wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to wind your way through a myriad of alleyways, plaza stalls, and classical courtyards to discover the charm of L.A’s Chinatown. RSVP here.

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

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

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

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

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

* WEEKEND OF MAY 11 & 12 *

Undiscovered Chinatown Tour, Throughout Chinatown, Downtown LA, Saturday, 5/11, 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. This additional tour is held in conjunction with China Week May 1-14. Visit a temple, an herbal shop, art galleries, antique stores, and more! The 2 1/2 hour walking tour will take visitors to a number of off-the-beaten-track points of interest and will guide those interested in shopping to some of Chinatown’s best bargains and its trendiest shops. Wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to wind your way through a myriad of alleyways, plaza stalls, and classical courtyards to discover the charm of L.A’s Chinatown. You must RSVP as group size is limited.

Hungary – Floral Motif Wood Box (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/12, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Come for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

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

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

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

* WEEKEND OF MAY 18 & 19 *

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

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

USA – Gee’s Bend African-American Paper Quilts (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/19, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Come for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

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

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

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

* WEEKEND OF MAY 25 & 26 *

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

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

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

India – Madubani Fish Print-Making (Barnsdall Art Sundays), Junior Arts Center at Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, Sunday, 5/26, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Come for a free family art workshop in a real art studio. All materials are provided. Each Sunday a different culture and media are featured.

The Art of Charles White (Andell Family Sundays), LACMA, Los Angeles, Sunday, 5/26, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Make, look, and talk about art at Andell Family Sundays. Drop in anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. This weekly family event features artist-led workshops and friendly gallery tours and activities thematically based on special exhibitions and LACMA’s permanent collection. This month, learn how love, hope, dignity, and education were important values in artist Charles White’s work. See how he combined his superb drawing skills with the social and political concerns of the 60s and 70s Black Arts movement. Inspired by White’s powerful work in the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective, make your own art in workshops.

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

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? Continue reading

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