Weekly Fun: Events to Guide Your Free Time

Photo: photoacumen/Flickr/Creative Commons License

This week, let the art of the city soak over you. Los Angeles, despite its superficial misgivings, is teeming with art and culture, some that dates back hundreds of years. And while it's always fun to head for the beach or obsessively plan your Saturday night, spending some time indoors with the art that has come to define L.A. is never a bad thing. Here are the best artsy fartsy events going on this week, plus some regular ol' stuff in case you get burned out on all that culture.

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First up is The Getty Center's look at Angeleno artist Ed Ruscha. The famed connoisseur of all things L.A. has a retrospective of local landscapes on display at The Getty, each image with a focus on the emerging car culture and expanding urbanity of the city. The mostly black and white photographs capture a coast in transition, as the suburban sprawl began to speed ever eastward, and the primary thoroughfares through the city grew and took shape. You'll also be able to find the inimitable works of artist Llyn Foulkes on display at The Hammer Museum this week in Westwood. The groundbreaking painter and musician has compiled a collection totaling over 150 works that span his career, from the postcard paintings of the 1960s through his late 1970s "bloody head" series and the continuing social commentary of today. Or, you can head downtown to REDCAT to catch a conversation with CalArts president Steven D. Lavine about gentrification and updating the urban fabric. The On Cities and Creativity panel discussion will feature artists, architects and the director of L.A.'s Department of Cultural Affairs tossing around the most intriguing topics in regards to urbanization and the future of large cities throughout the world.

On Thursday you can expand your mind to include the growing prison industrial complex in America, as artists and political activists tackle the touchy subject from the SPARC Building in Venice. Dubbed Art, Words and Protest, the free evening event will focus on changing the way America deals with incarceration, and identifying actionable points for interested parties to begin to work to change the existing paradigm. Or, if you're just looking for a few laughs, enjoy a night of IMPRO(vs)TANDUP at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood. The indie comedy stalwart has long been a home for all sorts of comedy, but rarely have the two different forms of funny clashed so publicly. The event will feature improvisers attempting to bring more laughs per minute to the waiting audience than a series of stand up comedians,, including Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani. You could also wait for the weekend to soak up some culture at downtown's Pico House, a historic L.A. site if ever there was one. The afternoon L.A. Heritage Day event is family-friendly and focuses on the cultures that have made Los Angeles the city we know today. There will be workshops, tours, discussion panels and more.

Barring all of that high faultin' stuff, what's a normal person to do this week? Drink! On Tuesday, there's a handy Littlefork whiskey tasting happening in Hollywood. The monthly event runs every second Tuesday from 6pm to 8pm, and this month's whiskey of choice comes from Buffalo Trace, whose Eagle Rare Single Barrel and White Dog alternatives are sure to confuse and amuse your tongue. On Thursday, head to Echo Park for a Sunset Beer Co. Beer Float night, in conjunction with local brewers Golden Road. Not only will Tony Yanow and folks be taking over the Sunset Beer taps, they'll be providing rare pours to float along with some Chunk-n-Chips ice cream. And on Saturday, the Spring Craft Beer Festival returns to the Santa Fe Springs swap meet. The informal affair costs $25 at the door ($20 in advance) and features five free pours from breweries such as Bootlegger's, Drake's, Lagunitas, Anchor Steam and more. There will also be food trucks on hand, as well as the usual swap meet collection of leather goods and cover bands.

Get out and enjoy all of the art and culture that Los Angeles has to offer this week. Of course, there are more events than could be listed here, so be sure to check up on our constantly updating events page for great ideas all week long.

For more weekly events visit kcet.org/events.

About the Author

Farley Elliott is a freelance food writer and comedian. He currently writes for KCET.org, SeriousEats.com, LAist.com, and L.A. Weekly. You can catch Farley doing comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood.
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