On Saturday, you can start your weekend early with some great civic education at the 2017 Congress of Neighborhoods, sponsored by the Los Angeled Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. The annual conference, designed especially for members of neighborhood councils, but open – and useful! – to all city residents, runs from 7:45 to 4:30 p,m. on Saturday at Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., 90012. Participants can attend a wide variety of workshops (more than 40 in all), network with elected officials and staff from every city department, join regional and citywide alliances of neighborhood councils, and share stories, experiences and successes with other active neighbors from across the city. Free breakfast, lunch and parking are also included, if you register in advance at the link above.
Back on Larchmont Blvd., the Larchmont Village Sidewalk Sale should provide some great browsing – not to mention bargains, deals and specials – this weekend. It runs from Friday through Sunday, during business hours along the boulevard.
And while you’re bargain-shopping, be sure to check out the monthly Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, which runs from 12-4 p.m. on Friday and 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the John C. Fremont library, 6121 Melrose Ave. As always, they’ll have great books, CDs and DVDs at amazing prices, with all going directly to support the library.
On Saturday evening, there are two local art openings you might want to check out. The first is the opening reception for The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility, a new exhibit at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, which will be part of the city-wide Pacific Standard Time project this year. This particular show presents the work of contemporary artists who explore the border as a physical reality (place), as a subject (imagination), and as a site for production and solution (possibility). Featured artists include Teddy Cruz, Adrian Esparza, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, and Ana Serrano. The opening reception is from 6:30 – 9 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $12 for the public, or free for CAFAM members.
The second opening on Saturday night will be for the show “Reality of Nature,” at the LaunchLA gallery, 170 S. La Brea. Curated by Kristine Schomaker, the show features works by Andrea Bersaglieri, Catherine Ruane, Constance Mallinson, Devon Tsuno, Erika Lizée, Jeanne Dunn, Jennifer Gunlock, JJ L’Heureux, Marie Thibeault, Samantha Fields, Steve Seleska, Terry Arena and Virginia Katz. According to the show’s description, “This group of 13 artists working in painting, photography, drawing, as well as quasi-sculptural and saliently hybrid mediums, each takes the real-world mess and muddle into account, using both experience and concept to explore the conflicts and confluences between what we want and what we have when it comes to living in a world the belongs to both Man and Nature.” The reception runs from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to attend.
For those in more of a vintage film mood, the American Cinematheque is screening a double feature of 1976’s “The Witch Who Came in from the Sea” and 1975’s “Lady Cocoa,” at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The first is a psychedelic horror tale, starring Millie Perkins as a murderous woman haunted by childhood trauma and abuse…and the second features Lola Falana as a convict who gets a 24-hour pass out of jail that proves unexpectedly dangerous. There will be a discussion between films with director Matt Cimber and stars Millie Perkins and John F. Goff.
On Sunday, you can start with something for the kids as the Autry Museum of the American West, in Griffith Park, hosts a Lego Derby – its own version of classic pinewood derby toy car races. From 1-4 p.m., kids will create their own Lego cars and race them on a downhill track. The event is associated with the museum’s current Play exhibit, which features more than 200 historic objects from the Autry’s diverse collections, exploring the role of toys and games across cultures and over time. The Lego Derby is free with museum admission.
Back in the Miracle Mile area, CAFAM will be holding a Piñata Making Party/CraftLab Family Workshop for all ages. Drop in any time between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday to learn both basic and traditional piñata-making techniques from the Piñata Design Studio. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children, and free for museum members
Later, just down the street at the Petersen Museum, there will be a screening of the classic feminist road movie “Thelma and Louise,” starring Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon as a waitress and housewife who run away from their dreary lives on a fateful road trip. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, and the movie starts at 7. Light refreshments and snacks will be served…and tickets are only $5 per couple, with $12 parking. Admission for museum members is free, with up to three guests, and $10 parking.
For even older classic cinema on Sunday evening, you could also return to the Egyptian Theater, where the American Cinematheque is presenting an Ava Gardner Double Feature, starting at 7 p.m. The first film is “The Barefoot Contessa,” starring Humphrey Bogart as a filmmaker who discovers peasant girl Garner dancing in a nightclub and turns her into a star…and the second is “The Killers,” which catapulted both Gardner and Burt Lancaster to superstardom. Authors Kendra Bean and Anthony Uzarowski will also sign their book, “Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies,” in the theater lobby, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Finally, a couple of Metro street closure notices. First, on Saturday from 2 a.m. to 11 p.m., eastbound Wilshire between Crenshaw and Western will be closed for sewer system relocation. And, second, there will be a full closure of Wilshire, between Fairfax and La Cienega, all weekend, for pre-decking work on that section of the street.
Drive safely…and have a great weekend!