arts calendar los angelesThis week is the official start of Pride season and the unofficial start of summer — and the rainbow of Los Angeles creativity is on full display in a range of banner events and numerous outdoor happenings from downtown to Long Beach, East LA to San Pedro and WeHo. Innovative music theater and expressive puppetry, exuberant and thoughtful gallery shows, interdisciplinary film, insightful issues-based conversations, performance art delving into gender, installation art diving into the sonic avant-garde, live-streamed opera in the park, and the best of queer lit.

pride arts calendar

Interstate at East West Players (Photo: Rich Ryan, 2020, Mixed Blood Theater)

Thursday, June 2

Interstate at East West Players. A new Asian-American pop-rock poetry musical Interstate follows Dash, a transgender spoken word performer who becomes internet-famous along with his best friend Adrian, a lesbian singer-songwriter. Fueled by the allure of fame and a desire to connect with their community, Dash and Adrian embark on a road trip across America for their first national tour. This touching story about navigating love, family, masculinity, and finding a community in the era of social media is based on the true story of Good Asian Drivers, a queer band active from 2008-10. 120 Judge John Aiso St., Little Tokyo; Performances June 2-26; $35-$55;

Little Ricky at Wallspace

“Little Ricky” Sencion: Free to Be E(we)! at Wallspace. Step into Little Ricky’s colorful world, and meet its population of “Moonster” sheep — his signature cast of characters who inhabit walls all over town and revel in the joyfulness that comes only from being free. “The idea for the show started with my 3-year-old birthday photo,” says the artist. “When I imagine myself as my best self, it’s this little boy who looks gay as fuck. There’s always been something about this photo that triggers a smile. This show is not only about going back to this happy place for myself, but about expressing and sharing real joy.” 7701 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo; Opening: Thursday, June 2, 7-9pm; On view through July 31; free;

Fantastic Negrito

Fantastic Negrito: White Jesus Black Problems at the Grammy Museum. The premiere of Fantastic Negrito’s new film White Jesus Black Problems — a companion to the new studio album of the same name — followed by an intimate conversation moderated by radio host Nic Harcourt, and a special acoustic performance. The multimedia project is based on the true story of Negrito’s seventh generation white Scottish grandmother, an indentured servant living in a common law marriage with his seventh generation African American enslaved grandfather in open defiance of the racist, separatist, laws of 1750s colonial Virginia. The resulting work is part love story and part historical excavation, in an ode to the power of family and the enduring resilience of our shared humanity. 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; Thursday, June 2, 7pm; $25;

Sol Summers at albertz benda

Friday, June 3

Caleb Hahne Quintana and Peter Dreher, Saj Issa: The Bathroom, and Sol Summers at albertz benda. A two-person exhibition of four historical paintings by Dreher and five newly-made works by Hahne Quintana examining their overlapping obsession with painting water glasses for very different reasons. Saj Issa’s examination of tradition, quotidian circumstances, family and cultural history, and the jaunty appeal of expressive patterns. Sol Summers’ deeply autobiographical recent work tells the story of a painter preparing for a show; though plagued by anxiety and self-doubt, the story is ultimately a hopeful one. 8260 Marmont Lane, WeHo; June 3 – July 1; free;

Dolores Huerta and Eva Longoria at the Academy Museum

Activism & Film: Dolores Huerta and Eva Longoria at the Academy Museum. Huerta will be in conversation with actress, producer, director, entrepreneur, and activist Eva Longoria. Discussing how film can have an impact on social change, these two icons will explore themes found in the Impact/Reflection gallery of the museum’s Stories of Cinema exhibition, while also focusing on how communities can be empowered through authentic visibility and storytelling. Inspired by this program is a same-day, separately ticketed screen-printing workshop for teens led by Self-Help Graphics out on the piazza, at 4:30pm. 6067 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Friday, June 3, 7pm; free with museum admission $25; visitors under 17 always free;

Ohan Breiding at Freewaves

Freewaves: X-aMEN-ing Masculinities at Coaxial. Freewaves extends its multi-year engagement with themes of gender acceptance and diversity, considering and comparing paradigms of masculinity including male bonding rituals, trans masculinity, systems of care, and the uses of power in an interactive space where emotionally positive and socially constructive elements that we identify as “masculine” can be reclaimed from the “toxicity” discourse. Featuring performance art, video, sonic art, media, zines, and spoken word in a gathering of the coteries, in which gender and race are de-segmentized. Curated by Anne Bray, Marcus Kuiland-Nazario and Anuradha Vikram. 1815 S. Main St, downtown; Friday, June 3, 7pm; free;

J.J. Martin: The 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), Oil on canvas (Building Bridges)

Saturday, June 4

J.J. Martin: Role Models at Building Bridges Art Exchange. When the artist and his partner adopted four children several years ago, it was a turning point for the new parents, as they realized they were transforming them into… role models. For this new series, Martin reflects on the state of our fast-paced world, focused on the pursuit of success and material gains to the exclusion of other metrics for happiness and success. This awareness led Martin to research the stories of Nobel Prize winners whose exemplary behavior and lives established them as role models in the eyes of regular citizens, particularly the younger generations. These are their portraits. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica; Opening: Saturday, June 4, 6-8:30pm; free;

Darlyn Susan Yee: Be Kind To Each Other (Art Share LA)

Rainbow Shift at Art Share LA. In celebration of Pride month in Los Angeles, this unique exhibition presents each artist’s individual visionary constructions in the context of the changing social and legal landscape, and is a select opportunity for queer, visual, performing, and literary artists to meet each other, plug their projects, and collaborate. Rainbow Shift was created to fuse art with social justice and explore notions of aspiration, socialization, and representation within the LGBTQ community through artists employing thread-based craft materials, visual illustrations, paintings, sculptures, and photography techniques. 801 E. 4th Pl., downtown; Opening: Saturday, June 4, 4-7pm; On view through July 16; free;

Pride Poets at WeHo Pride. LGBTQ+ poets return to their empathetic typewriters in person at West Hollywood Pride this weekend, ready to tackle all your poetic needs and create original art for you or a loved one. The group is also building on last year’s telephone hotline with a one-day activation on June 11 — just call 202-998-3510 and poets will be standing by to write you a custom poem over the phone. They’re also releasing our first podcast during Pride Month; called This Poem’s for You, it follows up with poem recipients from Prides past and writing them updates, because as they like to say, whatever you’re going through, there’s a poem for that. Saturday-Sunday, June 4-5 at WeHo Pride; free;

Amir Zaki: Built in 1904. Damaged in 1913 X, 2021, Framed archival photograph, 60 x 49 inches (Diane Rosenstein)

Amir Zaki: On Being Here, at Diane Rosenstein Gallery. A suite of 25 color photographs depicting piers off the coast of California in the early morning hours expands Zaki’s vision of a digitally rendered space that feels neither right nor wrong, despite an intense visual clarity. Ultimately, I use digital technology as a means to an end,” says Zaki. “I am trying to make photographs that manifest the world I desire.” The exhibition coincides with the publication of a major monographic survey, Amir Zaki: Building + Becoming, (X Artists’ Books & DopplerHouse Press); there will be a book signing and artist talk with Corrina Peipon on Saturday, June 11. 831 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Opening: Saturday, June 4, 6-8pm; On view through July 16; free;

Getty 25 Celebrates Long Beach at Houghton Park (Outdoor). The latest in a summer series of ten free, outdoor community art festivals across Los Angeles in celebration of the Getty Center’s 25th anniversary happens in the LBC. Discover North Long Beach, a cultural epicenter in the heart of Southern California’s most ethnically diverse city. Beneath the shade of Houghton Park’s hundred-year-old palm trees, experience live music, dance performances, marching bands, interactive workshops, art-making, skateboard demonstrations, food trucks, exhibitions, and an artisan marketplace. Plus, enjoy an immersive digital experience of Getty collections, giveaways, and photo booths. 6301 Myrtle Ave., Long Beach; Saturday-Sunday, June 4-5, 11am-6pm; free;

The San Pedro Ratcatcher’s Guild, as embodied by the members of Clowns and Fetuses, will present Our Lady of the Cat, a Sonic Mystery Play at soundpedro

Soundpedro at Angels Gate Cultural Center (Outdoor). FLOOD returns to in-person events with a new season of experimental sound art incorporating acoustics, psychoacoustics, electronics, audio technologies, listening actions, spatialization, conceptualization, timbralization, hearing anatomies, found and environmental sound, AI, and more. Some 70 artists and groups stage performances, interactions, landscape interventions, visual art hybrids, installations, social practice, and a whole bunch of things you never thought of before. Many works are multi-sensory, addressing sound and aural perception in combination with other senses — just don’t call it music. 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro; Saturday, June 4, 7-10pm; free;

Aida at LA Opera (Photo by Cory Weaver)

L.A. Opera presents Aida Opera in the Park simulcasts (Outdoor). One of opera’s greatest works, Verdi’s Aida is an immortal opera of love, war, and betrayal, featuring gorgeous hieroglyphics by the iconic graffiti artist RETNA. Latonia Moore stars as Aida, an Ethiopian princess torn between her people and her love for the enemy general. While this remarkable production has in-person performances at the Dorothy Chandler through June 12, this Saturday, live high-definition simulcasts happen at outdoor screens in Santa Monica, Pomona, and Santa Clarita. Saturday, June 4; broadcast 7:30pm; free;

Grand Performances

COLA Artist Fellows at Grand Performances (Outdoor). The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) presents live performances from 2022 COLA Artist Fellows Najite Agindotan (Afrobeat and jazz legend from the Feal Kuti tradition), Jibz Cameron (whose multi-media performance work as alter ego Dynasty Handbag has spanned over 15 years), Shonda Buchanan (the author of Black Indian, presents poems from a new body of work entitled, Artificial Earth, Circa Los Angeles, 1771-1848: Poems), and choreographer/curator/performer/educator/activist Suchi Branfman. 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Saturday, June 4, 6-10pm; free;

House Issues at Plaza de la Raza

House Issues Music & Art Festival at Plaza de la Raza (Outdoor). Antonio Pelayo (La Bulla,  & NELA TV present a House Music themed culture festival benefiting Chefs Supporting Chefs, a nonprofit organization feeding communities in need. Three music stages, a totally wild and eclectic mixed media art show curated by NELA TV, Antonio Pelayo & Henry Michael Apodaca, a fashion show, film screenings, cocktails and food usher in summer with spirit. 3540 N. Mission Rd., Lincoln Park; Saturday, June 4, 7pm-1am; $0-$60;

Installation view of Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (Photo by Zak Kelley)

Sunday, June 5

Pipilotti Rist in conversation with Anna Katz at MOCA Geffen. To mark the closing weekend of Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor, MOCA presents a conversation between Pipilotti Rist and the exhibition’s curator, Anna Katz. The conversation will touch on many aspects of Rist’s singular approach to video and sound. Rist will also discuss why she views the museum as a “big public living room” — an idea she fully embraces in her exhibition — as well as the new series of site-specific audio-visual works she created for The Geffen Contemporary. 152 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo; Sunday, June 5, 4pm; free w/ museum admission; free tickets to the exhibition’s final dates (June 5-6) are available HERE.

Dr. Angela Davis

Dr. Angela Davis at Disney Hall. Power the People Festival presents acclaimed scholar and activist Dr. Angela Davis in conversation with Bryonn Bain about the role art has played in social justice movements and its potential to effect change today. Work from the For Freedoms exhibition Another Justice: By Any Media Necessary showcasing the art of women incarcerated at Victorville Federal Prison, will be on view throughout the night. 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sunday, June 5, 7:30pm; $10;

Amy Sherald & Calida Rawles at Stanford Arts

Monday, June 6

Artists on the Future: Amy Sherald & Calida Rawles at Stanford Arts (Virtual). The Artists on the Future series pairs renowned artists and cultural thought leaders to talk about issues vital to our society and create dialogue between different communities in Silicon Valley and beyond. The latest installment is a conversation between painters Amy Sherald and Calida Rawles, who reimagine representation of Black lives and envision new spaces for Black healing. Monday, June 6, 5pm; free;

Jonathan Alexander at Book Soup

Tuesday, June 7

Jonathan Alexander: Dear Queer Self at Book Soup. In this unconventional memoir, Jonathan Alexander addresses wry and affecting missives to a conflicted younger self. Focusing on three years — 1989, 1993, and 1996 — the book follows the author through the homophobic heights of the AIDS epidemic, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the election of Bill Clinton, and the steady advancements in gay rights that followed. With humor and wit afforded by hindsight, Alexander relives his closeted college years, his experiments with his sexuality in graduate school, his first marriage to a woman, and his budding career as a college professor. 8818 Sunset Blvd., WeHo; Tuesday, June 7, 7pm; free;

Our Pride mural by LaToya Peoples at WeHo Pride

WeHo Reads presents Pride & Joy in the Matrix (Virtual). LGBTQ+ authors are taking a hard look at society IRL and virtually, pinpointing the ways we come up short in connecting with and loving each other. Authors Patrick Nathan, Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett, and Isle McElroy discuss online spaces, the challenges of creating joy online — is it even possible? — and the role of critique and creativity in shifting culture. A moment of guided meditation and mindful writing will be led by Amy Spies, a writer and teacher in the film, television, and new media industries. Tuesday, June 7, 6pm; free;

Gina Young’s Sorority at Greystone Mansion for Beverly Hills Pride

Wednesday, June 8

Beverly Hills Pride at Greystone Mansion: Gina Young’s SORORITY Salon. Celebrating the rich history of Beverly Hills and 1920s art salons, theater director Gina Young will reimagine the newly restored Greystone Theater for this special one-night event. Founded by Gina Young in 2016, SORORITY is the Los Angeles hub for new short works by women, trans and queer performing artists spanning theatre, music, dance and more. This special Salon will feature iconic astrologer Chani Nicholas, Brazilian-American guitar virtuoso VAVÁ, dancer Maija Knapp and multihyphenate Sundeep Morrison, plus others. This special event is followed by a free afterparty with DJ Couples Therapy at Stache! in West Hollywood. 905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills; Wednesday, June 8, 6-9pm; $15;

Ibuki Kuramochi in Memories of Tomorrow’s Sunrise at Cal State LA

Memories of Tomorrow’s Sunrise at CalState LA. A group exhibition investigating concepts of legacy, personal relationships, family ancestry, and cultural identity, recognizing the role of ancestors, blood families, chosen families, and mentors alongside the traumas, tragedies, and teachings in making us who we are. Site-specific installations, sculptures, photography, interactive artworks, performance art, video, and auditory works are layered with personal and universal meaning. Loss, pain, tragedy, and uncertainty are purposely and precariously balanced with concepts of transformation, resilience, hope, and declarations of personal power. Curated by Jason Jenn & Vojislav Radovanović with Miko Cho. Ronald H. Silverman Art Gallery, 5151 State University Dr., East LA; Opening: Wednesday, June 8, 5-9pm; On view through July 15; free;

Kulunka Teatro: Andre & Dorine at LATC (Photo by Svend Andersen)

Kulunka Teatro: André & Dorine at LATC. A poignant depiction of the enduring love between an elderly couple as their lives are disrupted, but not overcome, by dementia. Performed by the Internationally acclaimed Kulunka Teatro — known to experiment with a wide variety of stage languages in order to produce vibrant, contemporary experiences — this non-verbal theater piece uses movement, puppetry, and mask to celebrate the shared lives of a pair of artists — André with his typewriter, Dorine with her Cello — and how they relive and reinvent their love together as Alzheimer’s becomes a permanent part of their relationship. 514 S. Spring St., downtown; Performances June 8-19; $22-$48;


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