We try to keep most of our listings here at least somewhat local-ish, but every now and then we suggest a bit of a road trip. And this weekend, for families with younger kids (a.k.a. LEGO fanatics), there’s definitely a pilgrimage worth taking – to Brickfest Live, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green Street in Pasadena. The two-day event is a place for “LEGO lovers of all sizes to celebrate, build new creations, and see some truly mind-blowing LEGO sculptures to help set the imagination free.” Attractions include a chance to meet the hosts of YouTube’s popular The Brick Show (and be featured in an upcoming video), a Brick Fest Derby where you can build and race your own LEGO derby car down one of 35-foot long timed tracks, collaborative building activities, “inspire stations” where you can add to existing LEGO cities, a video game arena with LEGO-themed games, a LEGO trivia contest, a LEGO mosaic-building activity, and the opportunity to purchase LEGO-related products from a wide variety LEGO vendors. In other words, it’s pretty much LEGO heaven.
Moving back closer to home, the first of a large number of art-related activities gets started at 10 a.m. on Saturday – a one-day workshop at LACMA: Drawing: Focus on Giacometti. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the galleries exploring the surface and forms of Alberto Giacometti’s bronze sculptures. Then learn to focus your eyes, mind, and hands as you venture through the surreal with simple drawing techniques that make you feel like a master. No prior drawing experience is required. Tickets are $30 for LACMA members, and $35 for the general public. Adults only. Pre-registration is required and art materials and parking fees are included in the tuition. All skill levels are welcome. For more information, call 323 857-6139.
Later, from 12 to 4 p.m., across the street at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, you can join the Invertigo Dance Theater for After It Happened: A Community Set Design Workshop. Participants will use collage, papier-mâché, and found objects to help set designer John Burton create a collaborative set piece to be used in an upcoming IDT production at the Ford Amphitheatre. All participants will be credited and offered discounted tickets to the production. Advanced registration is required. Tickets are $30 for CAFAM members and $40 for non-members.
If you prefer comedy to the visual arts, the renowned Second City Hollywood is having an Open House from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday. The event includes free workshops and shows for all ages. Workshop topics include adult, youth and musical improv, writing for film and TV, comedy writing, long-form improv and more. There will also be family-friendly comedy performances at 12, 1 and 3 p.m….and more grown-up shows at 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9:30 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended. Call 323.464.8542 to sign up. (And, yes, we did say “free”!)
For some slightly quieter family entertainment, join some lovely therapy dogs and their owners for the monthly BARK Kids Read to Dogs event at the John C. Fremont Library , 6121 Melrose Ave., at 2 p.m. on Saturday. BARK is an all-volunteer program that encourages children to increase their reading skills and self-confidence by reading aloud to certified therapy dogs. Studies show that reading to these dogs actually leads to improvement in reading skills. All the dogs are specially trained to work with children, and the owner is present at all times. All ages are welcome and, like all other library programs, it’s free.
Later in the day, there’s another art workshop opportunity at LACMA. In the “Clay Date” with Bon Vivant Studio, at 5 p.m., participants will visit the art of the ancient Americas collection to view ceramic figurines that combine human and animal elements, and myth and storytelling. Then you’ll retreat to the studio to work with hand-building coil and slab techniques to make your own creation in self-hardening no-fire clay…while enjoying a glass of wine and small bites. The class is led by artist Hadley Holliday, and tickets are $45 for LACMA members and $55 for the general public. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For your Saturday dinner, just a few blocks east, Whimsic Alley, 5464 Wilshire Blvd., will be hosting a Hobbit Dinner on Saturday, from 6 to 9 p.m. in its Great Hall. The event will celebrate the world of Middle Earth as Hobbits, elves, dwarves, men, and wizards come together in peace to dine, drink, and enjoy each other’s company. Tickets are $70 per person; ages 18+ only. Tickets include dinner, open bar, and entertainment. Call 310.453.2370 for tickets or more information.
If you’d rather grow your own – dinner, that is – the Los Angeles Garden Council will be holding a composting workshop on Saturday, at 6 p.m. at the Mariposa-Nabi Primary Center’s Community Garden, 961 S. Mariposa Ave. Composting is all about letting nature do its thing, but it doesn’t always feel like a natural task. So let Michael Martinez, of LA Compost, show you how to incorporate composting into your garden, kitchen and life. The free, hands-on workshop will help you feel a little more eco-friendly…and your plants will be sure to love it, too. For more information, contact Noelle at 323.989.3237 or email@example.com
Finally on Saturday, it’s back to LACMA (a truly happening place this weekend!) for The Indian Legacy of Terry Riley, a special concert at 7:30 p.m., featuring the music inspired by Minimalist pioneer Terry Riley and informed by the Indian ragas that have served as a source of inspiration for much of Riley’s work. With a program and ensemble hand-picked by the composer, the concert features some of Riley’s classic works, along with a number of raga-based pieces. The ensemble includes longtime Riley collaborator George Brooks, saxophone; Osam Ezzeldin, piano; and from India, the wonderful Carnatic violinist and vocalist, Ganesh Rajagopalan. Tickets are $25 for LACMA members and seniors (65+); $30 general admission; $10 students with ID.
Sunday dawns with the monthly Breakfast Club Cruise-In starting at 8 a.m. on the 3rd floor of the Petersen Automotive Museum parking structure, where you can stroll through rows of classic, custom, and exotic cars, trucks, motorcycles and more. Complimentary parking, coffee & bagels are provided. Petersen members will have also have early access to the museum from 9am–10am by showing their membership cards.
After breakfast with the cars, LACMA hosts what may be the weekend’s most unusual event – a consultation with the Hereafter Institute, the brainchild of 2015 Art + Technology Lab grant recipient Gabriel Barcia-Colombo. Participants will have the opportunity to plan their digital afterlife and learn about the artist’s proposed technological solutions for the preservation of the digital soul. Options for digital preservation include 3D body scanning, wearable memorialization, and the embedding of personal data into everyday objects. This a timed entry experience with tickets available from 10 am–1:30 pm and 3–4:30 pm on Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28. It’s free, but only waiting list spots are still available. To be added to the list, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your name, address, and phone number. Requests will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Another one-of-a kind event can be found from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, in the basement of downtown’s Grand Central Market, where the Los Angeles Visionaries Association will hold its monthly salon. This month, the focus is on electronic music, specifically and the sub-genre known as Circuit Bending. According to LAVA, “Circuit Bending is the creative rewiring of pre-existing circuits to make new media. Often these circuits are found in inexpensive children’s toys and “obsolete” devices. Important aspects of Circuit Bending are the D.I.Y (Do It Yourself) autodidactic nature of immediate exploration into new electronic sounds and the ability to engage in instrument building without the need for an electrical engineering degree.” The event will include artists Andy Ben, Jeff Boynton and Mona Jean Cedar, and will explore the implications of Circuit Bending through performance, documentary video and education. It’s free, but reservations are required to provide a head-count for the venue. Each attendee mus sign up individually. Also, at 2 pm., after the salon, LAVA will host a free walking tour, Broadway on My Mind, which will highlight the “lost tunnels of Hill Street and Broadway.”
Finally, back on the Miracle Mile, the folks from Invertigo will be back at the Craft and Folk Art Museum at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, for a Storytelling Through Movement dance workshop. This is an all-ages and all-abilities workshop using movement to tell a story and create a unique dance installation in CAFAM’s exhibition space. It’s free, but space is limited, so RSVPs are required at email@example.com
And last, but never least, please remember that Wilshire Blvd. will be closed from La Brea to Highland again this week (10 pm Friday through 6 a.m. Monday), for Metro subway construction. (Full details at https://www.metro.net/projects/notices/notice_purpleline_082516/ …and sections of the 101 freeway through downtown and Hollywood will also be closed for the installation of wire loop detectors from 1 to 5 a.m. on Sunday (as well as those same hours Monday-Wednesday). Avoid those trouble spots if you can…and have a great weekend!