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

It's the future! On Wednesday!EXPAND
It's the future! On Wednesday!

The Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) maintains a database of Skid Row artists more than 500 individuals strong, and their creativity will be on display at the annual Festival for All Skid Row Artists. Now in its sixth year, the event showcases the diverse talents of this under­appreciated and underserved community, from visual art to music and everything in between. Performances by Vijay Gupta's Street Symphony and the Colburn School Choir, plus hands-on workshops, round out an event focused on building community and dispelling prejudice. With "gentrification" the buzzword on everyone's lips, it's important to see exactly who's getting pushed out to make room for downtown's new, wealthier set. Gladys Park, Sixth Street at Gladys Avenue, downtown; Sat.-Sun., Oct. 17-18, 1-5 p.m.; free. (213) 413-1077, lapovertydept.org. —Sascha Bos

After a successful summer at the Seattle Art Museum, "Disguise: Masks & Global African Art" comes to Westwood. This interactive, multimedia exhibit features traditional African masks, 3-D modeling software, neon lights and bizarre GoPro footage that may lead you to question your own sense of self. Featuring installations by 12 contemporary African and African-descended artists, "Disguise" reflects on costumes, rituals and the other ways in which we project a multitude of identities. The exhibit leads viewers on a disconcerting tour through a field of masked deer, a colorful meditation session and the busy streets of Lagos, Nigeria. Fowler Museum, 308. Charles E. Young Drive North, UCLA, Westwood; Sun., Oct. 18, noon-5 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues through March 13. (310) 825-4361, fowler.ucla.edu. —Sascha Bos

As part of L.A. Central Library's ALOUD lecture series, Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison moderates a discussion with Roberta Kaplan and Lillian Faderman. In her new book, Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA, which is also the name of the event, New York attorney Kaplan gives her account of how she fought the United States v. Windsor case, which brought down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013. Kaplan describes her relationship with Edith Windsor, who filed the lawsuit after the death of her wife in 2009, as well as her own life as a gay woman. Activist and scholar of lesbian history Faderman's book, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, chronicles the history of the modern LGBTQ movement, from the 1950s to the AIDS epidemic in the '80s to the recent fight for marriage equality. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown; Mon., Oct. 19, 7:15 p.m.; free, reservation required. (213) 228-7500, lfla.org.—Siran Babayan

Even though fashion sometimes seems like a fleeting art form, the tenacity and perspicacity it takes to present that art is a constant for couture majordomo Joe Zee, who talks tonight about his new memoir, That's What Fashion Is: Lessons and Stories From My Nonstop, Mostly Glamorous Life in Style. He's been a stylist and creative director at Elle magazine, and he's co-hosting the new ABC gabfest FABLife with Tyra Banks. Zee will clue you in on the realities behind the sartorial sorcery of the fashion world, even as he reveals the devotion that keeps him there. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Tue., Oct. 20, 7 p.m.; free, book is $29.99. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —David Cotner

Upcoming Events

Remember when Michael J. Fox showed up from the past at Smog City Brewing? Of course not — it hasn't happened yet. On the exact day that Marty McFly first arrived in The Future in Back to the Future Part II, Smog City celebrates by screening the entire trilogy and serving up its first Triple IPA, named "1.21 Gigawatts" in honor of Doc Brown. Although our present (thankfully) looks pretty different from director Robert Zemeckis' 1989 vision, Smog City has promised a hoverboard at tonight's event. If that's not The Future, we don't know what is. (Also look around for other BTTF Day events, including the artist collective Mothership's multimedia experience Bring Back the Future at Automata in Chinatown, part of the Live Arts Exchange festival.) Smog City Brewing, 1901 Del Amo Blvd., Ste. B, Torrance; Wed., Oct. 21, 4-9 p.m.; free. (310) 320-7664, smogcitybrewing.com. —Sascha Bos

Back for a third year, Lit Crawl L.A. promises "literary mayhem" at dozens of restaurants, theaters, galleries, bars and other venues in the NoHo Arts District. Following an opening program at the Laemmle NoHo 7, more than 200 authors and artists are scheduled to appear, including Concrete Blonde singer Johnette Napolitano, Los Angeles Times contributing editor and former L.A. Weekly writer Erin Aubry Kaplan, Los Angeles Times book critic David Ulin, NPR commentator S. Pearl Sharp, Emmy-winning actress Barbara Keegan and many others. The evening also packs in performances and additional readings, such as "Zombies vs. Vampires," an "All-Female Literary Smackdown," comics, poetry, LGBTQ stories and more. Laemmle's NoHo 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Wed., Oct. 21, 6 p.m.-mid.; free. (818) 762-4600, litcrawl.org. —Siran Babayan


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