10 Great Free Things to Do in L.A. This Week

The Renegade Craft Fair in 2014EXPAND
The Renegade Craft Fair in 2014
Photo by Ky Gale and Danielle Burke

Bergamot Station has been through a lot of changes in the 20 years since its quasi-abandoned train depot was transformed into a gallery hub. With the new Metro rail station coming, it's the perfect time to remind everyone that Bergamot is alive and well. With collaborators including the Pennington Dance Group, Greg Christy, Lili Haydn, Victoria Looseleaf, Kate Crash and Michael Maio, "Kate Johnson: EVERYWHERE in BETWEEN" is the third in a series of "artist interventions" using video projections, dance, live music and high-minded, cross-platform hijinks to enfold the sprawling entirety of the property into a singular, site-specific environmental experience. Bergamot Station Art Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., July 11, 8-10:30 p.m.; free. (310) 453-3711, 18thstreet.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Highland Park's Avenue 50 Studio, founded in 2000, is a pillar of the burgeoning Northeast L.A. art scene. Its ever-expanding programs have focused on the depth and diversity of Chicano and Latino heritage and its contributions to L.A. culture. July's pairing of solo exhibitions perfectly encapsulates this goal, as "Roberto Gutierrez: Elegy to the Sixth Street Bridge" and "Louis Jacinto: Punk Meets Art" each explore our collective relationship to the city's past. Gutierrez offers a series of elegant paintings in interpretive homage to the gorgeous but unstable and soon-to-be-replaced Sixth Street Bridge connecting downtown to East L.A., while Jacinto exhibits photographs of striking moments from the golden age of punk that happened far from Hollywood nightclubs. Avenue 50 Studio, 131 N. Avenue 50, Highland Park; Sat., July 11, 7-10 p.m.; free. Exhibitions continue Tue.-Thu. & Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., through Aug. 1. (323) 258-1435, avenue50studio.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Renegade Craft Fair, Chicago's famous DIY traveling bazaar, returns to L.A. Featuring hundreds of talented artisans, it's the ultimate pop-up purveyor of indie crafts, from woodworking to bookbinding and everything between. Local artist Jessica Ceballos creates custom poems as KXLU DJs play summer tunes, and the Magnolia Photo Booth offers props to help document the day. Expect hand-dyed yarn from the Yarnover Truck and yummy street food from local food trucks. And if the sun is too strong or you need a break from finding the perfect pet accessory or handmade housewares, kick back and relax in the Finders Keepers Vintage village. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown.; Sat.-Sun., July 11-12, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. renegadecraft.com. —Tanja M. Laden

Kendrick Lamar made headlines in June for visiting a poetry slam at the New Jersey high school where his album To Pimp a Butterfly was used to teach Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye. But Brian Mooney isn't the only teacher using hip-hop in the classroom: The hip-hop education movement is gaining momentum nationwide as a way for students to explore complex themes in literature. Hip-Hop Logic: The Role of Hip-Hop in 21st-Century Education & Poetics celebrates this artistic intersection with performances and lectures by musicians, poets (including L.A. poet laureate Luis Rodriguez) and educators including California Teachers of the Year Alan Sitomer and Alex Kajitani. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sun., July 12, 3:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Sascha Bos

More of the Renegade Craft Fair
More of the Renegade Craft Fair
Photo by Ky Gale and Danielle Burke

If there's one thing documentaries have taught us over the years, it's that nearly every artist of note kept secret records of his or her private thoughts and correspondence just waiting to be unearthed. The Godfather himself was no exception, as demonstrated by Listen to Me Marlon. USC presents a free screening of the innovative doc ahead of its July 31 release. USC, 900 W. 34th St., University Park; Mon., July 13, 7 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (213) 740-2804, cinema.usc.edu. —Michael Nordine

Tonight's Hammer Forum, Recent Rulings by the Supreme Court, will highlight how SCOTUS has profoundly affected modern American life over the last few weeks. While the bulk of the discussion between University of Pennsylvania law prof Tobias Barrington Wolff and Constitutional Accountability Center counsel Elizabeth Wydra will spotlight the court's decisions on Obamacare and LGBTQ rights, also up for grabs are abortion-clinic closures, how the Texas DMV can reject specialty Confederate flag license plates and how the EPA overreached on limiting emissions of mercury and other toxins from power plants. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Wed., July 15, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner

Art icon David Hockney not only blends painting and photography but also Britain and California. The compressed acrobatics of his saturated palette, ambient light, architectural space, unfurling landscapes and multipoint perspective have captured acclaim and instigated vigorous debate for decades already, but Hockney himself feels no need to slow his roll, remaining as prolific and pointed as ever. L.A. Louver and London's Annely Juda Fine Art are thus able to jointly offer "David Hockney: Painting and Photography," an exhibition of bright, bold, brand-new works, all made in the last two years, signaling a fresh examination of the evolving relationship between his two great loves. L.A. Louver, 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice; Wed., July 15, 6-8 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thu., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; through Sept. 4, and Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., through Sept. 19. (310) 822-4955, lalouver.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Emerson College assistant professor Miranda Banks discusses her 2014 book, The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild. Banks chronicles the business end of the Writers Guild of America, dating back to its founding as the Screen Writers Guild in 1933. The author looks at some of the union's key moments — the introduction of sound, television, McCarthyism, various strikes, new media. Banks also interviewed more than 50 screenwriters, including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Norman Lear, and features such memorabilia from the WGA Archive as photographs and scripts, drafts and storyboards for Alice in Wonderland, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Grey's Anatomy. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Wed., July 15, 7 p.m.; free, book is $34.95. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

A consortium dedicated to creative women, Women's Center for Creative Work (WCCW) recognizes that creativity isn't just expressed with oils on canvas but also through technology. Open Tech Lab is a monthly event for anyone with questions about CSS, HTML, FTP or anything else related to the practical application of science in the name of art. A professional software engineer is on hand to offer advice for those using technology in their artworks or for anyone who just wants to know more about technology without being judged for their lack of knowledge. Women's Center for Creative Work, 2425 Glover Place, Frogtown; Thu., July 16, 6-10 p.m.; free. womenscenterforcreativework.com. —Tanja M. Laden

If you've ever wondered how Mad Men's Don Draper displayed flashes of soul amidst his overwhelming soullessness, series co-producer Josh Weltman is the reason. Tonight, Weltman discusses and signs Seducing Strangers: How to Get People to Buy What You're Selling (The Little Black Book of Advertising Secrets). Expounding on the concept, Weltman explains, "This book is for people ... who go to work and — using words, pictures, music and stories — are expected to make shit happen." It's the antithesis of the cynicism suffusing most ad campaigns, and it doesn't treat people as statistics or targets. Obviously, I'm sold! Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Thu., July 16, 7 p.m.; free, book is $16.95. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —David Cotner


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