SoCal Corgi Beach Day
SoCal Corgi Beach Day

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

In 2011, beloved L.A. street-art practitioner REVOK ran afoul of since-repealed ordinances that made graffiti a crime — and his arrest sparked a massive #FreeRevok campaign on social media. Feeling a creative hiatus was in order, he took a sabbatical in Detroit, and then moved back to SoCal in 2013. During his time away, REVOK was awash in inspiration and new ideas. An exhibition by the prodigal painter (his first here since the incident) represents not only his triumphant return but also a whole new body of work incorporating hand-painted sculptural forms and assemblage into his crisp, fresh style of kaleidoscopic, geometrical abstraction. It's going to be a gorgeous show, but it's also a long-overdue homecoming parade. Library Street Collective, 1242 Palmetto St., downtown; Fri., April 10, 6-10 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues daily, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., through April 19. (313) 600-7443, lscgallery.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Who let the queen's dogs out? Huntington Beach is due for a big-eared, bob-tailed pup takeover with SoCal Corgi Beach Day. The event started in 2012 with a 15-corgi gathering; last year's saw as many as 350 stumpy lil' guys hit the shore. Corgi owners and fans alike are encouraged to herd their four- and two-legged friends over to Huntington Dog Beach for playtime, sunbathing and snacks — and to snag a commemorative tee featuring corgs pulling up to the beach in a VW camper. Shirt-sale proceeds go to Queens Best Stumpy Dog Rescue, a North Hollywood shelter for the lovable low-riders. Huntington Dog Beach, 100 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach; Fri., April 11, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; free. facebook.com/SoCalCorgiBeachDay. —Lucy Tiven

Columbia Memorial Space Center closes its weeklong City of STEM Science Festival on Saturday with a large, free festival that includes rocket launches, classes and other activities that celebrate science, technology, engineering and math. Throughout the week, the Center hosts events such as April 9's Girls in STEM, intended to connect young, female science enthusiasts with pros, and an April 10 science fiction movie night. The Downey-based museum offers free admission throughout the festival. Take some time to check out Apollo Boilerplate 12 spacecraft and other exhibits. Columbia Memorial Space Center, 12400 Columbia Way, Downey; Sat., April 11, 10 a.m.; free. (562) 231-1200, columbiaspacescience.org.—Liz Ohanesian

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Artwork by REVOK
Artwork by REVOK

Thrifty bookworms know libraries house the best deals on the printed word. Not only does it cost $0 to borrow a book (you just have to remember to return it...), but many libraries are also secretly home to the cheapest used-book stores in town. Organized by the Friends of the Library, these shops sell the library's overflow and donated books. Today, to kick off National Library Week, the County of Los Angeles Library — not to be confused with the Los Angeles Public Library system — hosts a systemwide Used Book Sale, with deals throughout the county, whether you're in West Hollywood or East L.A. Word. Various Los Angeles County locations; Sat., April 11, hours vary; free. (562) 940-8403, colapublib.org/events/booksale. —Sascha Bos

Downtown's Skid Row is one of the most fascinating and misunderstood neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Among its many successes has been the commitment shown by its residents and activists to the area's cultural life. A leader in using visual and performing arts as a conduit for change, the L.A. Poverty Department has been a pioneer in this creative crusade — and is about to realize one of its longest-held dreams: The Skid Row History Museum and Archive is launching as a permanent physical and digital archive of the powerful artistry of the generations who have called this place home. Following the opening of its first exhibit, "Blue Book/Silver Book," a series of screenings, exhibitions and performances keeps the conversation going. Skid Row History Museum and Archive, 440 S. Spring St., downtown; Sat., April 11, 6-9 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Thu., Sat.-Sun., 2-5 p.m.; Fri., 3-6 p.m.; through June 27. (213) 413-1077, lapovertydept.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Before there were blogs, there were Xerox machines and staplers. When independent artists, illustrators, skate fans, punk bands and random individuals with niche counterculture obsessions needed to get their weird (in a good way) ideas in front of the public, they used those Stone Age technologies to make zines. Of course, like everything else, the zine has evolved for a new generation, which has rediscovered the joy of making random shit by hand. The inaugural Long Beach Zine Fest celebrates this analog backlash with an all-day festival of eclectic vendors and makers, live music, panels and workshops. They'll even show you how to use a paper cutter. Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach; Sun., April 12, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. (562) 437-1689, lbzinefest.com—Shana Nys Dambrot

Join William Hackman at Skylight Books for a reading from his latest, Out of Sight: The Los Angeles Art Scene of the '60s, and a conversation with sculptor Lloyd Hamrol. The book explores how artists such as Ed Ruscha embraced postwar kitsch and became students of social movements, synthesizing idealism and pop to create a uniquely Los Angeles aesthetic. The text is as critical as it is celebratory, applauding and criticizing iconic Los Angeles makers in equal measure. Hackman also is scheduled to read at Arcana on Wednesday, April 15, at 6 p.m. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Sun., April 12, 5 p.m.; free, book is $27.95. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Lucy Tiven

In an age of changing sexual and social mores, not having children still is considered taboo. Men and women who decide to ditch procreation often are met with criticism. L.A. Times columnist and author Meghan Daum writes about how she and others made that determination in her new anthology, Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: 16 Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids. Zocalo Public Square hosts Why Have Kids?, a conversation with Daum and book contributors Kate Christensen and M.G. Lord, who will discuss "why they chose to eschew parenthood and what family means for them." Downtown Independent, 251 S Main St., downtown; Wed., April 15, 7:30 p.m.; free. (213) 617-1033, zocalopublicsquare.org. —Siran Babayan

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