Lots of great things to do on this beautiful spring weekend, both indoors and out.
By the time you read this, the second annual March for Science Rally and Expo will be getting underway at downtown’s Pershing Square – but it won’t be too late to join in, as the event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, the “march” part will be replaced with a non-moving rally from 9-10 a.m., with speakers including Dr. Laura Danly, Senator Kevin de Leon, YouTube’s global head of family and learning Malik Ducard, Center for Biological Diversity climate scientist Dr. John Fleming, Cal State LA chemistry professor Dr. Carlos G. Gutiérrez, Children’s Hospital LA physician Dr. Mona Patel, volcanologist Jess Phoenix, neurobiologist Dr. Tepring Piquado, and TECHNOLOchicas ambassador and computer scientist Yadira Valadez. But the bigger part of the day will be devoted to a huge science Expo, with a wide variety of booths celebrating science through education, communication, policy, and outreach. There will also be live interactive demos, science-inspired entertainment, and a series of topic-focused information sessions. See the link above for more information.
Also bright and early both today and Sunday, starting at 10 a.m. the 15th Annual Theodore Payne Native Plant Garden Tour will be running throughout Los Angeles County, featuring 45 stunning public and private gardens. (Note: none of the gardens are in our immediate neighborhood…but there are five of them just south of us in the West Adams area, and many more around the general metro area.) The self-guided journey of exemplary landscapes shows off the beauty of native gardens, how they can be designed for any budget, and how each of us plays a critical role in supporting biodiversity. Each garden on the tour contains at least 50% native plants, working in harmony with Southern California’s climate, soil, natural vegetation, and native wildlife. Different gardens are open on each of the two days of the tour, so check the schedule at the above link. At each location, the native plants are labelled, and you’ll meet garden owners, designers, and docents who can tell you about the site’s unique challenges and characteristics.
For those more interested in cars than plants, head over to the Petersen Museum at 11 a.m. today, to learn “How to Build a Lowrider.” According to the museum, “This dynamic and one of kind experience will bring together top artisans and craftspeople in the LA lowrider scene who build award winning lowrider cars. They will demonstrate various customization and aesthetics techniques such as: Hydraulics, Upholstery, Engraving, Painting, Pin-striping, and Murals.” Many of the artisans you’ll see at work are featured in the museum’s current exhibition, “The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazón e Inspiración.” Additional lowrider cars will also be displayed at the event.
Later, at 2:00 this afternoon (Saturday), the Wilshire Branch Library, 149 N. St. Andrews Pl., will screen the award-winning documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro,” about the acclaimed writer James Baldwin. The screening is part of this year’s Big Read, an annual event sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in which everyone is encouraged to read and discuss the same book. This year, the book is “Citizen: An American Lyric.” by Claudia Rankine. (The library will have copies of the book available at the library, and the first three people who show up for the screening will receive free copies.) Today’s screening event will also feature a discussion of the film led by local actor and writer Tanya White.
This evening, the LaunchLA gallery, 170 S. La Brea, will host an opening reception, from 6-9 p.m., for its new group show, “Edge of Today,” featuring works by Todd Baxter, Brian Cooper, Daniel Dove and Siobhan McClure, and curated by McClure. The them of the show, which runs from today through May 12 (regular gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 12-6 p.m.), is work that contemplates the future. The featured artists “share an appreciation of sci-fi films, TV shows and books, yet they do not illustrate someone else’s future but rather create idiosyncratic alternates.” If you’d like to attend, please RSVP at the link above.
Moving from the future to a deep, dark past, the American Cinematheque is celebrating “Noir City: Hollywood – The 20th Annual Los Angeles Festival of Film Noir” for 10 days at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Billed as “the longest-running film noir festival in Los Angeles.” The festival features “a sizzling slate of sinister cinema,” with some new 35 mm prints struck expressly for this series. This weekend’s offerings include director Curtis Hanson’s 1997 “L.A. Confidential,” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and – at the same time on Sunday – a double feature of 1955’s “Kiss Me Deadly,” in which hard-headed private eye Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) “va-va-vooms his way through sunny and sinister Los Angeles in search of ‘the Great Whatsit'”…and “City of Fear,” featuring Vince Edwards as “an escaped con who thinks he’s stealing a cache of heroin, but is actually toting around enough radioactive material to destroy most of Los Angeles.”
And finally this evening, one dimension of L.A.’s present will take the stage in Homeward LA, a 10-day citywide event running from April 13 to April 22, with more than 20 productions of monologues based on stories from people who have experienced homelessness. Tonight at 7 p.m. there will be a performance at 1329 E. Third St., featuring stories from the lives of those who strive to find their way home. The goal is to increase awareness around the homeless crisis facing Los Angeles, and to raise funds for The Midnight Mission, a non-profit organization providing services to the homeless on Skid Row. (Brookside writer Laura Cohen helped to create one of the monologues on which the play is based.) For tickets, see https://hla1329eastthird.brownpapertickets.com/
Sunday is fairly light on day-specific events this week, but if you’re not catching up with the second day of the Theodore Payne native garden tour (see above), it would be a good day to join the Yom Hashoah Day of the Holocaust Commemoration event at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust at Pan Pacific Park. The event, starting at 2 p.m., focuses this year on the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. The Hon. Nancy H. Rubin, Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, will give a keynote address. Other participants include Rabbi Tal Sessler of Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel and Cantor Phil Baron of Valley Beth Shalom. Diplomats from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Romania and Switzerland, as well as a number of elected officials, will attend. There will also be a pre-ceremony event at 12:00 p.m., featuring a conversation with Holocaust survivors Alice Gerstel Weit and Simon Gronowski, reunited for the first time in 76 years. All events are free and open to the public. The Museum will also be open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with hourly docent-led tours.
Have a great weekend!