9 Cheap and Free Things to Do in L.A. This Week
The Kingdom Day Parade
An MLK Day parade, a comic book-centric art show, a protest sign-making get-together and more to do this week for $8 or less.
"This is the stupidest incarnation of the American dream and it must be realized." That's the mission statement of the organizers of video collective Everything Is Terrible!, who for nearly 10 years have collected approximately 14,000 VHS copies of Jerry Maguire, Cameron Crowe's hokey, 1996 movie about a shark-in-a-suit sports agent going through an identity crisis. Twenty years after they gave us several memorable catchphrases (forget the others, "I didn't shoplift the pootie" was the best), EIT! pays tribute to Tom Cruise and cast with The Jerry Maguire Video Store, an art installation modeled after a '90s-style video store comprising only VHS tapes. (They're also planning a permanent pyramid of the videos in the desert.) Among the performances for the duration of the exhibit include Yacht, Kate Berlant, Brandon Wardell, Chrome Canyon, Daedelus, DJ Douggpound, Yung Jake and a live score of another '90s film, Home Alone 2. iam8bit, 2147 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Fri., Jan. 13, 7 p.m.-midnight (through Jan. 29); free. jerrymaguirepyramid.com. —Siran Babayan
After being met with great acclaim at last year's New York Film Festival, Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) — Part 1 makes its way west. Abbas Fahdel returned from Paris to Iraq in the leadup to the war that began in 2003 and began shooting his vérité look at a country about to change forever; Part II of the 334-minute film screens on Sunday, and both events are free. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat., Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu. —Michael Nordine
Sloan Projects hosts a Solidarity and Sign Making Event prior to the Jan. 21 Women's Marches on Washington and L.A. Here's a chance for women and cool supportive others who are planning to attend either march to get primed to protest by sharing ideas, discussing message tactics and producing radical signage. Professional artists will be available to assist with creative concepts, and there'll be historical–protest sign reference, and music by DJ Petey. Basic supplies like poster board, markers, paint, brushes and tape will be provided; bring your preferred special materials such as canvas and spray paint for large banners. Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Gallery B5, Santa Monica; Sun., Jan. 15, noon-4 p.m.; free. (424) 744-8265, facebook.com/events/728077507349140. —John Payne
The slogan of the 32nd annual Kingdom Day Parade is, "Now more than ever, we all must work together." Hopefully the spirit of that message travels all the way from the streets of South L.A. to Washington, D.C., where just days later a man who refers to people who disagree with him as his "enemies" will be sworn in as America's 45th president. Celebrate the last few days of our first black president's final term while paying tribute to the greatest black civil rights leader of all time. Marching bands, community organizations and mounted police officers make for a fun procession. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Vermont and Crenshaw, Exposition Park/Vermont Square; Mon., Jan. 16, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; free. kingdomdayparade.org/about-us.php. —Gwynedd Stuart
Most of us are familiar with Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 "I Have A Dream" speech, however, the legendary civil rights leader's legacy goes much deeper than that. This year, the California African American Museum has planned a two-hour marathon reading of some of the great orator's less-well-known speeches and sermons as part of its Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration. This daylong event has something for everyone, including family activities such as button and poster making with MLK Jr. quotes and images, as well as DJs and food trucks serving up Central American, Caribbean and Southern soul food. Community-based and activist organizations will be on hand to help us keep Dr. King's message of social justice alive year-round. California African American Museum, 600 State Drive, Exposition Park; Mon., Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. (213) 744-7432, caamuseum.org. —Matt Stromberg
So where have you been for the past 36 years that you couldn't find out more about the Vietnamese experience? Make up for lost time at the 37th Annual Vietnamese Culture Night. Produced by the Vietnamese Student Union at UCLA, it's that rare chance to indulge in the nuances of a culture that's generally seen in America through lenses of either war or food. Students will unveil difficult subjects for discussion in both the Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American communities, and then delve deeper, with highlights of Vietnamese life through plays, songs and dances. Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Plaza, UCLA, Westwood; Mon., Jan. 16, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 825-2101, vcn.vsubruins.com. —David Cotner
Not long ago, comic books were relegated to the realm of kids' stuff. That has changed over the past few decades, as graphic novels rose through the ranks to become considered legitimate works of literature — and art. Tonight, La Luz de Jesus Gallery director and host of the weekly comics-centric podcast Pod Sequentialism Matt Kennedy discusses The Rise of Sequential Art, and how comic books and graphic novels took their rightful place in the pantheon of storytelling and drama, becoming a respected and profitable art form over time. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., downtown; Tue., Jan. 17, 7 p.m.; free. (213) 488-0599, lastbookstorela.com/events/rise-sequential-art-matt-kennedy. —David Cotner
In our 2016 Best of L.A. issue, we recognized Bobcat Goldthwait and Caitlin Gill's Crabapples comedy night for its generation-bridging abilities. Sure, Goldthwait (who used to be Gill's boss), and Gill (who used to be Goldthwait's assistant) have an age gap, but that hasn't kept the kindred spirits from making Tuesday nights funnier. The duo invite a slate of guests for the weekly stand-up showcase. The Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; Tue., Jan 17, 10 p.m.; $8. (323) 651-2583, hollywood.improv.com. —Gwynedd Stuart
Another pre-Code romance starring William Powell and Kay Francis at LACMA: Jewel Robbery, which clocks in at just 68 minutes. Powell plays the thief to Francis' baroness, and in the process of trying to part her and her husband from their jewels, he realizes he's more interested in the woman than the wares. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., Jan. 17, 1 p.m.; $4. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org. —Michael Nordine
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