As founding artistic director of Smart Gals Christine Louise Berry (pictured) says she's has been putting on her successful Speakeasy literary salons, along with other performance and arty events, "since before there was valet parking in Silver Lake." That's a decade in hipster years, kids. As part of Barnsdall Park Municipal Gallery's Actions, Conversations and Intersections Exhibition, you can view the complete collection of commemorative bookmarks created for Speakeasy. And Sunday's Winter Performance Picnic features live music and theater from artists Brendan Constantine, Lori Yeghiayan and others, along with coffee and yummies. Such past Speakeasy writers as John Albert, Noël Alumit, Aimee Bender, Francesca Lia Block and S.A. Griffin may stop by to read. And you can enjoy a quiet read in the comforting Reading Preserve. Says Berry of her long run, "Smart Gals is recession-proof! That means we'll never let you down by closing our doors for lack of funds. Nor will we hound you for cash (although we like cash, and it's all tax-deductible and such). But we make things happen because we believe there is a vibrant, alternative community to the one we're sold here in Los Angeles." Of Speakeasy's many highlights over the years, she cites "setting up clandestine performances in MacArthur Park and discovering that indeed, the theater of life around that lake is way more intriguing than anything we could create."
Sun., Feb. 7, 2 p.m., 2010