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

John Dean talks about Watergate on Sunday
John Dean talks about Watergate on Sunday

The "-palooza" suffix is epically overused in modern slang, but when it comes to lowbrow emporium La Luz de Jesus and its annual open-call group show, Laluzapalooza, it's spot-on times a million. Last year's call resulted in some 16,000 submissions and an exhibition featuring "only" a few hundred of them. The gallery sorted through this onslaught in search of the best of the fresh for this 29th edition, embracing the unique curatorial opportunity to show some of the contemporary urban-art movement's biggest names in post-illustration, pop surrealism, and innovative mixed media alongside a new generation of indie outsider stars. La Luz de Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Fri., March 6, 8-11 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m., through March 29. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

The 14th annual DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music & Books is a two-day, multimedia showcase of independent musicians, filmmakers and writers. The theme is "For Mature Audiences Only," but it's not what you think. Rather than describing X-rated content creators, the motif refers to creative people over the age of 30. This year's convention explores the challenges they face in industries that value cheap, young labor over that of seasoned professionals, despite the fact that the latter's ideas often reflect a priceless perspective. The convention features free panels on social media and marketing, as well as "war stories" about the DIY world. There's also the ticketed DIY Film Festival and DIY Music Festival and the yearly DIY Book Festival East Meets West Awards. With any luck, someone will answer the question: "When did 30 start to mean 'mature'?" DIY Music Festival: Bardot, 1737 Vine St., Hlywd.; Fri., March 6, noon-2 p.m. DIY Film Festival: Lyric-Hyperion Theatre & Cafe, 2106 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; Fri., March 6, 3-7 p.m. DIY Book Festival East Meets West Awards: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., March 7, 7-10 p.m. Tickets to all three are $125. Panel discussions: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., March 7, 1, 2:30 & 4 p.m.; free. (323) 665-8080, diyconvention.com. —Tanja M. Laden

Spook Show
Spook Show

March Madness takes on new meaning at the third annual Spook Show, an all-day, outdoor, Halloween-themed festival helmed by the La Mirada creepateria known as Halloween Club. October is just too long to wait for fans of all things fiendish, freaky, gothy and ghoulish. From clothing and jewelry to collectibles and crafts to props and toys, vendors will be haunting you with spooky stuff. In addition to massive selections of macabre merch, the spooksters are conjuring a freak-show environment with music and contests. Dark denizens are encouraged to wear creepy and carnivalesque costumes and getups. Halloween Club, 14447 Firestone Blvd., La Mirada; Sat., March 7, noon-7 p.m.; free with RSVP. (714) 367-0859, bitly.com/laweeklyspook. —Lina Lecaro

Combine African-American feminism, historic South Central and the riot grrrl movement, and you've got the inaugural Blk Grrrl Book Fair. Inglewood writer/activist Teka-Lark Fleming and Skira Martinez, owner of CIELO galleries/studios, co-host this book fair, art show and film festival in the gallery's 9,000-square-foot space. The daylong schedule includes readings by Natashia Deon, Lisa Teasley and Donna Murch; a spoken-word portion honoring the late Watts-born poet Wanda Coleman; a film fest with screenings by black filmmakers; community organizations; an open mic; and workshops on everything from running for political office to bookbinding. CIELO galleries/studios, 3201 Maple Ave., South L.A.; Sat., March 7, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; free. blkgrrrlshow@gmail.com, blkgrrrlshow.com. —Siran Babayan

Wikipedia, for all its flaws, is pretty helpful for general research, and thanks to its legion contributors around the world, it's also seen as fair and democratic. Here's the problem: Less than 13 percent of its contributors are women. As the organizers of an ongoing series of Art + Feminism Edit-a-Thons observe, "The reasons for the gender gap are up for debate, but the practical effect of this disparity is not. Wikipedia's content is skewed." Today, bring your laptop and your thirst for equality to LACMA's Art + Technology Lab to help fix the problem. Happening on International Women's Day weekend, the event helpfully offers training for beginning editors every hour on the hour. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Sun., March 8, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. (323) 857-6010, eastofborneo.org/unforgetting. —Shana Nys Dambrot

"What did he know and when did he know it?" It's a question as much for disgraced presidents as it is for readers of alt-weekly calendar sections, and it'll be answered today, when former White House counsel John Dean signs his latest book, The Nixon Defense. Even if you think Watergate has been done to death, Dean's book reveals unnoticed aspects of the Nixon tapes and in-depth transcripts of thousands of hours of Nixon's conversations on the situation. It's the definitive chronicle of a moment that irrevocably changed American life, written by one of the last living men who worked behind the scenes. Chevalier's Books, 126 N. Larchmont Blvd., Larchmont; Sun., March 8, 2 p.m.; free. (323) 465-1334, chevaliersooks.com. —David Cotner

In light of the mayor's announced demolition of the crumbling Sixth Street Viaduct, there's no better time to appreciate the transience of L.A.'s humble treasures than at tonight's presentation by Lauren Bon and Jeremy Rosenberg of Under Spring: Voices+art+Los Angeles. Winner of the first California Historical Society Book Award, it discusses how, from 2006 to 2013, artist Bon and her Metabolic Studio transmogrified the underpass into a creative space encompassing everything from public art to community gardening, a collection of creative activity the likes of which the city has rarely seen. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Tue., March 10, 7 p.m.; free, book is $20. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —David Cotner

8 Great Free Things to Do in L.A. This Week
Photo by Jordan Busson

As part of ALOUD at Central Library, Justinian Jampol, founder/executive director of the Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War in Culver City, moderates The War in Ukraine: Propaganda and Reality. Author and Yale University professor Timothy Snyder and Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen discuss political tensions in the Ukraine between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists and Russia's involvement, which escalated last February when protests led to the removal of Russia-friendly Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Snyder and Gessen will discuss how we in the West have processed the news through a "haze of propaganda" and why the Ukraine is important. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; Tue., March 10, 7:15 p.m.; free, resv. required. (213) 228-7000, lfla.org. —Siran Babayan
Correction: The original version of this post had the wrong neighborhood for Blk Grrrl Book Fair. It's actually in South L.A.


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