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

Cheeses of Europe
Cheeses of Europe

Eat cheese
Whether it comes from goats, sheep or cows, cheese is available in such a wide range of textures and flavors that it could take an entire lifetime to appreciate them all.
At the Cheeses of Europe, for one day, Angelenos have the opportunity to indulge in the region that’s been serving up countless varieties for centuries. This free event includes a cheese-themed art exhibit featuring Les Filles à Fromages, a series of photographs by Thomas Laisné. Whether you’re a casual cheese-fancier or a true turophile (yes, there’s a word for cheese lovers), this is your opportunity to taste, appreciate and buy some fine cheese. Central Plaza at Santa Monica Place, 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica; Fri., Jan. 16, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; free. thecheesesofeurope.com. —Tanja M. Laden

Think about selfies
If you hate how the #selfie phenomenon is hijacking our cameras, brains and social media feeds — with people documenting their own narcissistic randomness instead of the world around them — you are not alone. Artist Annie Terrazzo has had enough, too. Her latest series, “Kill Your Selfie,” employs her trademark style of mixed-media collage combining newsprint with original drawing in the service of taking the hot air out of this balloon. Opening Friday in Chinatown with an ironically photogenic DJ party, Terrazzo’s work is a dynamic, graphically tight, wittily sexualized collection of images that reference popular culture, historical portraiture and in-your-face (pun intended) visual oversaturation that just might inspire you to point the camera outward for a change. Red Pipe Gallery, 978 Chung King Road, Chinatown; Fri., Jan. 16, 7-10 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Wed.-Sat., noon-5 p.m., through Jan. 24. (424) 226-2485, redpipe?gallery.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot 

Celebrate MLK Day through art and activism
Sister Corita Kent was one of the most influential, tireless and innovative social-justice activists in L.A. history — and a gifted visual artist as well. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and as part of the run-up to the Pasadena Museum of California Art’s June survey of her work, join a coalition of arts-based progressives in this morning’s Get With the Action: A Community Art Festival. Start with a free, public art-making workshop in preparation for a joyful, noisy procession through Old Town from the church to the Day One community center to PMCA and back to the church for a food-truck picnic and general confab on what art can do to make the world a better, more beautiful and sustainable place to live. All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena; Sat., Jan. 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; free. (626) 568-3665, pmcaonline.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Listen to an awesome artist
Like Little Richard? Love high-heeled ladies’ footwear? So does interdisciplinary visual artist Hudson Marquez, whose exhibition of new paintings, “Rhythm and Shoes,” is installed at Hollywood avant-brow emporium La Luz de Jesus. Marquez, a founding member of the genre-smashing Ant Farm/Cadillac Ranch collective, is poetically coy in his statements as to the early influence of Nawlins music clubs on his life’s aesthetic. But he’ll get wordier at this Sunday afternoon’s gallery talk explaining the connections in his colorful, quirky, hilarious and rather dark narratives between icons of subversive R&B history and the alarming allure of the stiletto. La Luz de Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Sun., Jan. 18, 2-4 p.m., free. Exhibition continues Mon.-Wed., 11-7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 11-9 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m.; through Feb. 1. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

A work by Annie Terrazzo
A work by Annie Terrazzo
Courtesy of the artist

Upcoming Events

Learn about our surveillance state
Ever get the feeling you’re being watched? The America Under Surveillance Hammer Forum will address all manner of menacing acronyms when journalist Julia Angwin and author James Bamford sit down to confirm your worst fears. Angwin spent more than a dozen years at the Wall Street Journal digging into the finer points of global surveillance, while Bamford has written three books on the NSA and even spent a little time in Russia hanging out with public enemy No. 1 Edward Snowden. If anybody is equipped to tell you how paranoid to be, it’s these two. Turn off your location services and refrain from signing up for any mailing lists. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Tue., Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Sean J. O’Connell

Figure out what's going on with race today
As part of the Central Library’s ALOUD lecture series, former L.A. Weekly staff writer and L.A. Times op-ed columnist Erin Aubry Kaplan moderates Who We Be: Race and Image at the Twilight of the Obama Era, a panel discussion on racial polarization, with Jeff Chang and Justin Simien. Journalist and music critic Chang discusses race in the last 50 years in his new book, Who We Be: The Colorization of America, which includes essays, art and comic strips. In his feature film debut, Dear White People (winner of the 2014 Sundance Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent), director Simien follows a group of African-American students in the Obama generation attending a mostly white Ivy League school. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; Wed., Jan. 21, 7:15 p.m.; free, standby only. lfla.org. —Siran Babayan

See the last Ramone
Marky Ramone discusses his new memoir, Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone, with music journalist Jim Ruland. As the sole surviving Rock and Roll Hall of Fame–inducted member of The Ramones, Ramone (born Marc Bell) gets to have the last word on the band, from his nearly 15 years as drummer to his bandmates’ personality clashes to tensions surrounding the recording of 1980’s controversial, Phil Spector–produced album End of the Century. In the book, Ramone also opens up about his battle with alcohol addiction and his pre- and post-Ramones stints with The Misfits, Wayne County & the Backstreet Boys, Richard Hell & the Voidoids and — currently — his own Ramones cover band, Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg. Vroman’s, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Wed., Jan 21, 7 p.m.; free. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —Siran Babayan


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