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

A harajuku fashion walk will take place in Little Tokyo on Sunday.EXPAND
A harajuku fashion walk will take place in Little Tokyo on Sunday.
Photos by Shannon Cottrell

Mariachi isn't just for the hombres. At ¡Viva la Mujer! Celebrating Women in Mariachi, Leonor X. Perez, founder of the Mariachi Women's Foundation, discusses the women performing the Mexican folk-music style. Then L.A.'s mariachi queens, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, rock the stage of La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. A screening of Que Caramba Es la Vida, the 2014 documentary that highlighted the struggles of female mariachi performers in a macho world, closes out the night. Can't get enough mariachi? Catch LAPCA's exhibit "Corazón de la Comunidad: Mariachi in Los Angeles," on view through Nov. 13. La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown; Fri., July 24, 7 p.m.; free. (888) 488-8083, lapca.org/content/viva-la-mujer-celebrating-women-mariachi. —Sascha Bos

Be Street is a great urban art, fashion and music magazine in France, with seven years of glossy, gorgeous issues covering the gamut of street styles in Europe and beyond. This summer, Be Street officially rolls out its first U.S. edition by coming straight to L.A. — kicking off with something a bit more unofficial. It invited 70 artists from around the world to participate in "Bootleg Bart," its first public L.A. event. It's a soft launch with a giant party, and an illicit homage not only to The Simpsons but also to the '90s, when artists appropriated Bart's likeness for their own subversive purposes, and to right now, when a new generation of artists is using the character to have a cow of its own. HNYPT, 212 W. 12th St., downtown; Sat.-Sun., July 25-26, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; free. (213) 769-8040, be-street.com/en/bootlegbart. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Tenor saxophone thunderstorm Kamasi Washington made huge waves with his recent The Epic, a three-CD concept album stewing the wildly varied strains of black and other progressive musics past, present and future. The album's jazzy, funky, hip-hoppy and electronic reference points grew out of the rocky political times in which these musical styles were born. With 65-92: The Rhythm Changes but the Struggle Remains, Washington brings his local crew to address the sound and fury of L.A.'s racial struggles as part of Grand Performances' Los Angeles Aftershocks series, focusing on the effects of L.A.'s game-changing events of 1965 and 1992. Grand Performances at California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., July 25, 8 p.m.; free. (213) 687-2190, grandperformances.org. —John Payne

A festival celebrates women in mariachi
A festival celebrates women in mariachi
Photo by Timothy Norris

Tokyo's Harajuku neighborhood has been a mecca for experimental fashion and Japanese youth culture for decades, but there was no official Harajuku Fashion Walk before Junnyan, creator of popular street-style blog Harajuku Kids, set the celebration in motion. With an adorable YouTube video, he's invited communities all over the world to participate in the first International Harajuku Fashion Walk Day. The Little Tokyo contingent will be strutting its stuff this afternoon — so grab your most kawaii outfit and channel that rainbow-haired icon, or come to watch the spectacle. Parade departs from Weller Court, 123 Astronaut E.S. Onizuka St., downtown; Sun., July 26, 4:30 p.m.; free. (213) 680-1032, facebook.com/events/500245646808241. —Sascha Bos

Upcoming Events

See how we're doing in our never-ending campaign to conquer other worlds when Jet Propulsion Lab historian Erik M. Conway chats about his new book, Exploration and Engineering: The Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Quest for Mars. Even as the public goes nuts for flavor-of-the-week Pluto, JPL doggedly pursues its decades-long mission to traverse and chronicle the data coming out of various plucky little rovers motoring across the Red Planet. Yet these triumphs were not without setbacks: Cuts in funding, missing missions and managerial twaddle tested the patience of even the most pragmatic minds among them. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Tue., July 28, 7 p.m.; free, book is $34.95. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. —David Cotner

Museum as Retail Space (MaRS) presents a series of garden parties with performance art and video screenings at its hybrid gallery and design space downtown. For the next four Thursdays, Regional, International & Extraterrestrial sets up a new way to encounter contemporary art. Curated by Lisa Jugert to examine issues of domesticity, history and outsideness, the works of these diverse artists seem particularly well suited to the space's mission. The videos are on view during MaRS' regular hours (Tue.-Sat., 12-7 p.m.), but the addition of on-site performance art enriches an already lively experience. Museum as Retail Space, 649 S. Anderson St., Boyle Heights; Thu., July 30, Aug. 6, 13 & 20, 7-10 p.m.; free. (323) 526-8097, marsgallery.net/summerseries2015. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Emmy-winning ESPN producer Justine Gubar writes about the ugly side of sports fandom in her new book, Fanaticus: Mischief and Madness in the Modern Sports Fan. After a firsthand account of being shamed online by Ohio State University fans, Gubar began examining the psychology and history of violence among sports followers, from ancient times to Bryan Stow. Gubar looks back on some of the most notable riots, mainly in college athletics and among notoriously violent soccer hooligans in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Gubar also interviews athletes, industry insiders, historians and scientists, and questions the role alcohol, parents and social media play in unsportsmanlike conduct. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Thu., July 30, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

Upcoming Events


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