Charles Fletcher Lummis was a fascinating man who among many other things started out in 1885 as the L.A. Times' first city editor (after walking from Cincinnati to L.A.!), toiled as one of the area's first librarians and founded the Southwest Museum. At a time when Native Americans were treated as literal savages, he was an ardent supporter of Indian civil rights. As a journalist, Lummis celebrated the culture of the Southwestern tribes and exposed government mistreatment of Native Americans, at great risk to his own freedom and health, while also serving as an unofficial historical preservationist who sought to maintain California's crumbling missions. In keeping with Lummis' multicultural inclusiveness, the seventh annual Lummis Day festival encompasses a wide variety of poetry, music, dance and art at several locations in northeast L.A., including the Lummis House, a.k.a. El Alisal, which the writer built by hand out of arroyo stone. His granddaughter, the local poetry maven Suzanne Lummis, kicks off the festivities in the morning at the old casa, joined by fellow writers Hector Tobar, Judith Pacht, Mary Fitzpatrick and Jeremy Radin, followed by a group art show. At the nearby Heritage Square Museum, dancers, puppeteers, theater groups and an eclectic melange of musicians (ranging from Latin groups Conjunto Los Pochos and Orquesta Charangoa to roots-rock revivalists Triple Chicken Foot, Taiwanese pop band Dzian, Capoeira and rapper Maya Jupiter) vie for attention on three stages. Best of all, everything is free. The Lummis Home, 200 E. Avenue 43; and Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer St.; Sun., June 3, 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; free. (323) 225-2700.
Sun., June 3, 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., 2012