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

Chinatown Design Night
Chinatown Design Night
Photo by Osceola Refetoff

It takes a lot to upset New York–based celebrity art critic Jerry Saltz — but Bay Area artist Porous Walker and Santa Monica gallerist Daniel Rolnik have found a way. Despite being something of a trickster himself, Saltz is way not on board with "The Fake History of the World's" cohort of satire-loving visual artists and their insistence on making stupid art for smart people. This group show will combine an irreverent appreciation of outsider-art bravado with the caustic yet insightful appeal of a program like Comedy Central's Drunk History, complete with a slightly carnivalesque atmosphere of midway games, prizes and a bona fide Twitter war under the hashtag #Stupid0x200BArt0x200BMovement. Daniel Rolnik Gallery, 1431 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., June 12, 7-11 p.m.; free. (310) 729-3399, DanielBrolnikgallery.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Tonight kicks off 13 Fridays of free dance parties at the Music Center's Bring Your Own Dance Moves. Every other Friday this summer, L.A. DJs will spin tracks from 7 to 11 p.m., with a bar opening at 8. Kicking off BYODM are Peanut Butter Wolf, who travels the world in search of rare 45s; '80s dance and rap fixture Egyptian Lover; and Jimi Hey of Dublab, the nonprofit web radio station co-curating BYODM. (It alternates with Dance Downtown in the same location.) Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., June 12, 7 p.m.; free. (213) 972-7211, musiccenter.org. —Sascha Bos

The Los Angeles Design Festival has been popping up all over the city with unique installations, tours and marketplace festivities — but tonight LADF takes over a whole neighborhood. Chinatown — and specifically the Chung King Road plaza behind Hill Street — has been in the spotlight for its many art galleries and the huge crowds on their coordinated opening nights. At tonight's Chinatown Design Night + Pop-Up Market, it's the area's population of designers and makers feeling the glow of the red-lantern spotlight. With Chung King Road pillars Preen and Fifth Floor leading the charge, this block party features food, music and a rollicking pop-up market welcoming such diverse design talents as Birch & Bone, Capsule Labs, Delusions of Grandeur, Ink+Smog, Irving Place Studio, Janel Foo Glassworks, Laure Joliet Photography, Lumpkin Furniture, Post Studios, Rewilder, Stacy Wong Handmade and the Happening. 931 Chung King Road, Chinatown; Sat., June 13, 6-9 p.m.; free. (213) 625-2100, ladesignfestival.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

DJ Peanut Butter Wolf
DJ Peanut Butter Wolf
Photo by Stacy Lucier

There's no more divisive issue in big cities than gentrification — i.e., white, college-educated, middle-class hipsters moving into the 'hood. For folks on either side of the fence, Zócalo Public Square hosts "Is Gentrification L.A.'s Next Defining Issue?" to examine the political, cultural and economic effects of changing neighborhoods. KCRW news producer Saul Gonzalez leads this panel, with UCLA cityLAB director Dana Cuff, former city planning commissioner Maria Cabildo, the Actors Fund Western region director Keith McNutt and urban planner Gilda Haas. Museum of Contemporary Art, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Tue., June 16, 7:30 p.m.; free, reservations required. (213) 626-6222, zocalopublicsquare.org. —Siran Babayan

The Hammer's sixth annual Bloomsday Celebration honors the life of author James Joyce and the travails of character Leopold Bloom in Joyce's staggering novel Ulysses. June 16 is not only the date when the Dublin-set novel takes place but it's also the anniversary of the author's first date with his future wife, Nora. There'll be a live reading of passages from Ulysses by actors, music by Rattle the Knee and more Irish food and Guinness than you can shake a shillelagh at. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tue., June 16, 6:30-10 p.m.; free, tickets required for reading. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner


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