It’s Oscar weekend in Los Angeles, which means there are many ways to anticipate and celebrate the big event. (It also means you should probably stay far away from the Hollywood and Highland area this weekend, unless you’re being picked up in a limo to walk the red carpet on Sunday night.) But almost surprisingly, there are some non-Oscar activities worth checking out, too.
First, as we often recommend, start your morning with a little civic involvement…and consider a run for your local neighborhood council. Both the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council and Mid-City West Community Council are currently taking registrations for candidates for their May 1 board member elections. If you’ve been thinking about becoming more involved in your neighborhood, this is a great way to do it. Whether you’ve been active in neighborhood issues for a long time or are just getting involved, you’ll learn more about what’s going on, how the city works, and how you can make a difference. For more information, see the GWNC’s candidate flier or the Mid-City West candidate information page. Registration for both councils ends on Wednesday, March 2, so this weekend is a great time to contemplate and complete your registration. If you do decide to sign up, you can do it online at http://empowerla.org/nccr/
Later this morning, learn how to evaluate your garden as a mini-watershed, create a living soil sponge that holds onto water, treat rainwater as a resource, choose the right plants for the right place, irrigate efficiently and manage your landscape for long-term beauty…at a California-Friendly Landscaping workshop at the headquarters of the Los Angeles Beautification team, 17 41 N. Cherokee, 900248. The workshop starts at 9 a.m. and will help you understand how to create gardens that thrive in our local climate, use resources wisely and look beautiful all year around.
In the afternoon, you can take the kids to meet some great new canine friends at the monthly BARK – Kids Read to Dogs event, 2:00 p.m. at the John C. Fremont Library, 6121 Melrose Ave. It’s free and open to all ages…and the ultra-patient therapy dogs charm everyone who visits.
Later, start your Oscar celebrations a day early, with an afternoon and evening of events at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. The day starts with a special Oscar-themed broadcast of KPCC’s Air Talk with Larry Mantle at 1:30 p.m, and then includes discussion panels with Oscar-nominated directors and production designers, and screenings of nominated live-action, animated and documentary shorts. See the Cinematheque event page for show times and more information.
On Sunday, if you’re in the mood for a different kind of fantasy entertainment, check out the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Reef, 1933 S. Broadway, 90007. Special guests will include actors, comic book artists and others, including Jim Starlin, Ming-Na Wen, Helen Slater, Tracy Scoggins, Katrina Law, Veronica Taylor, Garret Wang and Chuck Patton. There will also be exhibits and a full selection of merchandise sales, including comic books, toys and collectibles.
Returning to more film-related fun, join photographer Firooz Zahedi on Sunday, at 12 p.m. in LACMA‘s Bing Theater, as he discusses his 35 years of friendship with Elizabeth Taylor, along with guests actress Kate Burton and director Charles Shyer. Zahedi’s intimate portrayal of Taylor in Iran, Europe, and Hollywood will be illustrated with never-before-seen photographs, which also appear in his new book, My Elizabeth (Gliteratti, 2016). The program will be followed by a book signing. Free and open to the public.
After LACMA, duck across the street to the Craft and Folk Art Museum and get a jump on next week’s LA Zine Fest with an Ama-ZINE Workshop at 1. p.m. Create your own self-published work by learning how to fold and construct an 8-page zine and fill it with collage, poetry, storytelling, interviews, comics, or anything else you like. The L.A. Zine Fest traveling zine library will be on display, along with a button making station. Tools (and inspiration) provided. $10/$5 members (includes materials)
Finally, as the evening’s big show gets closer, you can enjoy a group viewing experience by joining Cinefamily for its Doug Benson watches the oscars + potluck event. Before the Oscar telecast, they’ll tape a new episode of the “Dining With Doug And Karen” podcast — hosted by Doug Benson and Karen Anderson. Note that this will be a true potluck, so please bring a dish (drinks and chips NOT encouraged) that will impress Doug & Karen with your culinary chops as they sample everyone’s creations live on the podcast. Podcast event begins at 3 p.m, with Oscar viewing from approximately 5 to 9 p.m. NOTE: To help track attendance, you must pre-register for “first-come, first-serve” admission, via the link above. (And your registration does not guarantee you a seat.)
Enjoy the Oscars…and good luck in your pick pools!