Lots of great ways to spend your Earth Day weekend this year!
First up, the Garden School Foundation, which provides garden education programs to a number of local elementary schools, is holding its annual Fiesta de la Huerta food and craft fair fundraiser , from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its home base at 24th St. Elementary School, 2055 W. 24th St. This year’s Fiesta will feature a composting petting zoo, a garden scavenger hunt, and a craft corner where you and yours can make up-cycled planters, lavender bundles, and more. There will also be kid-friendly garden-inspired activities, delicious food from celebrated LA restaurants, an Earth Day plant sale from the solar greenhouse, fun cooking demos for kids & adults, face painting, live entertainment, and interactive games. See the link above for more details.
If the GSF’s petting zoo inspires you to think about a new furry friend for your own home, L.A. Animal Services and the Pet Care Foundation will be hosting a Chi-Pitty-Kitty Adoption Event at all L.A. City animal shelters, both Saturday and Sunday, April 21st and 22nd. The event, at which all dog and cat adoptions will be reduced by $50, will call particular attention to the high volume of chihuahuas, pit bull terriers and cats now looking for furver homes. The adoption fee also includes vaccinations, microchip, and spaying or neutering. (An additional $20 license fee will apply to all L.A. City residents who adopt dogs that are 4 months and older.) To find the shelter nearest you, see http://www.laanimalservices.com.
The really big event in central LA this weekend is the 23rd annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, held on the University of Southern California campus. The event began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. Since then, the festival has grown into a vibrant celebration of all of the arts, and of our dynamic, innovative and unique metropolis. More than 150,000 people attend each year, making it the largest festival of its kind in the United States. There will be author talks, readings, performances of all kinds, book signings, and much, much, more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, but some specific events require tickets. For detailed schedule and all other information, see http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks
For another great literary option, without the huge crowds, the John C. Fremont library, 6121 Melrose Ave., will host a discussion at 2 p.m. on Saturday of “Citizen: An American Lyric,” by MacArthur Genius Award Winner Claudia Rankine. The book, a groundbreaking work of poetry that combines prose, visual art, photographs, quotes, film scripts, and more, touches on race relations, gender roles, sexuality, identity, and other timely cultural issues. It’s also Los Angeles’ “Big Read” selection for the year. Copies are available at the library for free (thanks to a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts), and the discussion will be led by USC Professor of English, Margaret Russett, who led last year’s riveting Big Read discussion of “The Poetry of Emily Dickinson.”
Also on Saturday afternoon, just a bit east at 5617 Melrose Ave., you can get back into the Earth Day and school garden groove, with a fundraiser at Fancifull Fine Food and Baskets that will raise money for the school garden program at Van Ness Ave. Elementary School. For just $20, you’ll experience an afternoon of conviviality and great wine pourings (focusing on spring wines and the foods that pair with them – including cheeses and chocolates), as well as the satisfaction that you’re making a difference in the lives of our local students. There will also be information on sustainable wines and foods, gardening experts, giveaways, and a raffle. Tickets available https://www.eventbrite.com/e/van-ness-elementary-school-edible-garden-fundraiser-tickets-44035040993 or at the door.
Later, at 7:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday evenings, the Noir City: Hollywood, 20th Annual Los Angeles Festival of Film Noir continues at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Saturday night’s show is a triple feature of “The Prowler,” “M,” and “The Big Night”…while Sunday’s program is a double-feature of “Act of Violence” and “Night Has a Thousand Eyes.”
On Sunday morning, the mood will be much lighter as the Miracle Mile Toy Hall presents a special Knight Training Academy at 11 a.m. This medieval themed pop-up event will provide an introduction to two upcoming fencing classes for kids. If your children like to “swashbuckle” at home, the session will give them a chance to do it for real in a safe environment, with a sport that can help them gain balance, better reflexes, confidence, and self-esteem. Learning to fence through Medieval fencing games and drills will makes each lesson fun and memorable, exposing kids to the sense of respect and discipline that have always been equally important aspects of the medieval kingdom and the sport. All safety gear will be provided and classes will begin with plastic foils (or foam swords depending on age range).
Later, and just a bit west on Wilshire, the Craft and Folk Art Museum will feature an afternoon of clay art. First, from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Melting Point: Movements in Contemporary Clay artist Wayne Perry will be on site with his pottery wheel, throwing clay and sharing his unique approach to ceramics, community art making workshops, and public art. Then, starting at 2 p.m., join Melting Point exhibiting artists Brian Benfer, Julia Haft-Candell, and Kristen Morgin for a deeper look into their distinctive practices and processes, followed by a brief discussion about the history of clay and the relevance of the ceramic object in the contemporary world. Space for the discussion is limited, so please RSVP required to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to attend.
And finally, on Sunday, it’s back to healthy foods with an event, from 1 to 5 p.m., celebrating Café Gratitude Larchmont’s 7-year anniversary. The plant-based gourmet restaurant will be hosting The Colorful Community Anniversary event filled with food, drinks, music and a ton of fun activities including a photo booth, coloring wall and a discussion on gratitude. The event, hosted by comedian Justin Willman, will also feature a pop-up art gallery by artist Jon Marro, as well as his new book, Keepers of Color, with readings and performances by Ben Lee, Josh Radnor and Jason Mraz! Advance admission is only $25 and includes “I Am Colorful,” colorful tacos made with blue corn tortillas, served alongside GT’s Kombucha, juice flights and parfait style drinks. The festivities will be capped off with Café Gratitude’s version of a “funfetti” birthday cake. Admission is $30 at the door, or $45 with a copy of Keepers of Color.
Have a great weekend!