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

Get a crash course in John Hughes on Wednesday nightEXPAND
Get a crash course in John Hughes on Wednesday night

It's not just a catchy title. YouTube proto-megastar Shane Dawson has body dysmorphic disorder and he'll tell you all about it when he presents and signs I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays by Shane Dawson. It seems like forever ago (2008, at age 20) that he began his ascent to the top echelon of YouTube. Naturally, in that rise, a person tends to learn something about himself, and deep within Dawson's comedies were some realizations and hard truths. Think of his book as a sort of psychic unboxing. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., March 21, noon.; free. (626) 449-5320, vromansookstore.com. —David Cotner

Time to party like it's 1394 at LACMA'S seventh annual Nowruz Celebration to ring in the Persian New Year. Farhang Foundation and LACMA again join forces to present music, dance, short-film screenings, art exhibits, special cuisines and, yes, a backgammon tournament. The internationally acclaimed Iranian-American band KIOSK will close the night with an outdoor concert sure to make a fan of anyone experiencing their unique alternative sound for the first time. With the exception of Zohreh Jooya's multimedia performance, The Sounds of a Persian Spring, all events are free. (There's also a celebration downtown in Grand Park on March 21 from 1 to 5 p.m.) LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Sun., March 22, 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; free, Zohreh Jooya's performance $20. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org. —Orly Minazad

The band KIOSK performs at the Nowruz Celebration
The band KIOSK performs at the Nowruz Celebration

The Getty Museum's "J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free" features more than 60 watercolors and oil paintings that the British artist (1775-1851) created after the age of 60. In conjunction with the exhibit, "Does Artistic Greatness Only Come with Age?" poses the question of whether art is a young man's game, or, more broadly: "Is experience — in life, in art, in love and loss — necessary to create works that stand the test of time?" L.A. Times arts reporter Mike Boehm moderates a panel featuring painter Ed Moses, muralist Judithe Hernández and University of Minnesota music professor Karen Painter. Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Tue., March 24, 7 p.m.; free, resv. suggested. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu. —Siran Babayan

Midcentury modernism, sustainable practices, independent local designers, historic Manhattan renovations, Champagne receptions, eclectic contemporary on-site art gallery programs, state-of-the-art product releases, a national array of the shelter industry's editorial giants and, of course, reality television: These are just a few of the topics, figures and experiences that await attendees at Westweek, the iconic two-day symposium of art and design. The 2015 edition is officially called "Design Comes of Age" but, based on the explication of event topics, it really should be called "California Uber Alles," in honor of the proud boosterism of our homegrown visionaries. Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Wed., March 25-Thu., March 26, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. (310) 657-0800, pacificdesigncenter.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Opponents of the hotly discussed redesign of LACMA will face off with director Michael Govan in a Debate Over the New LACMA. Presented by KPCC and the 3rd Los Angeles Project, and moderated by the ever level-headed L.A. Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, the discussion will address the proposed dramatic reinvention of the museum complex — with its curved, amoeba-like design — and its effects on the Mid-Wilshire area. How will the coming Metro affect traffic? Will there really be a suspended train that toots every hour? And are they going to remove the fountains into which I've been throwing blue pennies for the past 20 years? I'd like to keep doing that. Thorne Hall, Occidental College, 1600 Campus Road, Eagle Rock; Wed., March 25, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 259-2677, oxy.edu/third-los-angeles-project. —David Cotner

Kirk Honeycutt discusses his new book, John Hughes: A Life in Film. Honeycutt chronicles the life and career of the "Teen King" director of such coming-of-age classics as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Honeycutt, former chief film critic at The Hollywood Reporter, interviewed the filmmaker, who died in 2009. The book includes behind-the-scenes stories of some of Hughes' productions, as well as new interviews with Judd Nelson, Matthew Broderick, Christopher Columbus, Steve Martin and others. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Wed., March 25, 7:30 p.m.; free. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com —Siran Babayan

Sci-Fiesta! would like to show you that "new science fiction from Bangladesh and Cuba" is a real thing. And not only real but apparently innovative, vibrant and, sort of like soccer, wildly popular everywhere else around the globe already. The good news is, tonight's free event helps U.S. audiences get all caught up with the future, by way of the fresh new work of two leading authors — Bangladesh's Saad Hossain and Cuba's Yoss, who is the subject of a new short film premiering tonight — along with lively conversation and music by Kennedy's Space Station. Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, 2225 Colorado Blvd.; Thu., March 26, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 226-1617, phonemebooks.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Tonight's Hammer Conversations discusses the challenges facing travelers by bringing together Department of Transportation managers from two of the biggest metropolises on the planet. L.A. DOT general manager Seleta Reynolds wrangles 2,000 employees and 6,500 miles of streets with an annual budget of slightly over half a billion dollars. Janette Sadik-Khan was the innovative NYC DOT commissioner from 2007 to 2013, and she had to deal with all that and ferries, too. Some potential questions at hand: why some street lamps stay on all day, how to solve the pothole problem and why is this light taking so long to change. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Thu., March 26, 7:30 p.m., free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —David Cotner

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

Upcoming Events

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >