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12 Days of Giving : Monrovia Association of Fine Arts

December 19, 2014 in Art, Education, Events, Holidays, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Social issues

LogoThis is a group that I have devoted tons of energy and time to over the last 10 years.  Their mission statement sums it all up:
“Enhance the lives of those within our community through interaction with the arts. Increase the opportunities of our children through art education.”

Its something I completely believe in, live and breath it.  I got involved 10 years ago as a way to help promote my art, but after a few meetings I found its something that benefits the entire community in ways I never knew.

My kids were in the MUSD system and I was disappointed to learn that Art Education wasn’t part of the curriculum as a separate class at the elementary level.  Monrovia Association of Fine Arts, MAFA for short, was just getting ready to make its first donation to the schools the year I joined to help fund art educatoin at the elementary level.  Over the course of the next few years our cash donations totalled over $75.000.  But it didn’t stop there. Read the rest of this entry →

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12 Days of Giving : Anteaus Theater Company

December 15, 2014 in Entertainment, LA, News, People, Seasonal, Social issues, Theatre/Stage

Live theater in Los Angeles is a tough gig. Anteaus in Noho is no different than the rest, to bring quality theater to the community they need help. Volunteers and tax deductible cash donations are welcomed.

To donate and learn about them visit Anteaus.org.

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Beauty Unbound and PROco get invited to first film festival

December 14, 2014 in Entertainment, Filmmaking/Filmmakers, News, People

Yup, its a big deal for your first venture.  A Sunny Christmas is based on the art of Joseph R Davis and animated by him and Brian Gerson. They were invited to submit this to the 5th Annual ACRS Film Fest, they did and its been accepted.  Nice to see new talent here in L.A get recognition beyond our borders.

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Paint n Play offers up Winter Art Camp for Holiday School Break

December 11, 2014 in Crafts, Entertainment, Events, People, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

Paint n Play Winter Art Camp application, click to embiggen and print

Winter Art Camp has got to be one of the best things going in the SGV if you have school age kids and you lose your usual day care during the Holidays.  I’ve witnessed the activities that Lisa Barrios and her crew at Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery here in Monrovia line up for the kids and its pretty amazing.  Tons of ceramic crafts for the kids to do every day with expert instruction by the staff at Paint n Play is included in the price of your childs time at Winter Art Camp.

All you need to do is pick out a week and its M,T, F they provide Art Camp for either Christmas Week or New Years week.  Monday and Tuesday be sure to pack your kids a sack lunch.  Friday no worries, its Pizza Party day.

Space is limited and you do need to apply early.  Click on this application to embiggen and print and bring it in to Lisa and gang at the store.

Deets.  Week one 12/22, 12/23 NS 12/26,week two 12/29, 12/30, 1/2.  418 S Myrtle Street, Monrovia CA 91016 626-256-4848

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A Little House Christmas opens at Sierra Madre Playhouse

November 29, 2014 in Entertainment, History, News, People, San Gabriel Valley, Theatre/Stage

The Ingalls family as played by Hanna Victoria Stock, Valerie Lohman, Pamela Daly and Eric Charles Jorgensen.  Click to embiggen

Breaking a decades long tradition and following Creative Director Christian Lebano vision of bringing American plays by American authors,  A Little House Christmas opened to applause last night in Sierra Madre.

A little backstory about the play.  We all know Laura Ingalls Wilder and her stores of growing up in the 1800;s in the big woods or out on the Prarie, It was even a TV show for many years which is how many of us learned of the books.  The play is based on the book and was adapted to stage by James DeVita.  The Little House Heritage House allows little deviation and creative license,  That didn’t stop Directro Emily Chase from working with music curator Lindsey Stand-Polyak and music director Rebecca Lord from getting permission from the trust to incorporate period apporpriate music into the play.  It works. It works really well.  The songs, many of them “new” to this century are a marvelous addition to this simple themed play and adds real depth to the story.  I loved it.

The play takes places in the 1870s on the prairie and spans the course of 1 week with a wicked storm that wreaks havoc on the Ingalls family Christmas.  I won’t give any spoilers on how Christmas was saved, you need to watch the play to see the execution of the play and the heart warming ending.  Suffice it to say, kindness to others previously brought about the happy ending for the Ingalls family.

The Ingalls family as portrayed by Hanna Victoria Stock, Valerie Lohman, Pamela Daly and Eric Charles Jorgensen doesn’t deviate from the books or TV Show.  Added bonus to this is that “Pa Ingalls” in real life can play the fiddle and whips it out at appropriate times in the story to add some real life to  this simple story line. Read the rest of this entry →

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#RockingRewind the Hyundai after party

November 21, 2014 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, Events, Music, News, People

What is L.A. Auto Show press days without a manufacturer party or two? My absolute favorite is the Hyundai party. Again this year at the Hotel Figueroa a few blocks from the show itself.

Mermaids.
Circus performers.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Yes, they were our live entertainment. Nearly shat myself when they were announced to be our entertainment for the evening. Tons of fun, she hasn’t lost her edge. Totally fun night.

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Tickets left for final weekend of 4000 Miles at Sierra Madre Playhouse

November 4, 2014 in Entertainment, People, San Gabriel Valley, Theatre/Stage

I can’t tell you all enough how absolutely marvelous this play and cast presenting it are.  I’ve blogged it twice here.  Go see it the final weekend.  Wrap up your evening at either Lucky Baldwins or the Buccaneer, the latter if you prefer dive bars).

Deets.  4000 Miles Tickets price varies.  Order HERE  87 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre 626-355-4813

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L. A. artist questioned over tweet about obama

October 30, 2014 in LA, Law, Law Enforcement, News, People

The artist SABO was detained and questioned by the Secret Service over a tweet.  SABO is the genius or demented mind depending on your POV behind the anti-Left posters floating around whenever hillary or the prez visit town.

The tweet itself wasn’t threatening.  He said he wished obama’s plane would crash.  Its free speech.  He certainly didn’t tweet he was going to take him out or similar that should have warranted eyebrows being raised.  Certainly in bushys day there were plenty of hostile thoughts tossed out by the left that weren’t so aggressively looked at.  What has become of us?  Is the division between left and right so extreme now that no one can say whats on their mind if its contrary to anothers political beliefs?

If you desire you can follow the rants and missives of SABO on twitter as @Unsavoryagents

Personally I’d love to meet the guy and find out more about him and his art.

Ho-leeee crap. Hello, Los Angeles, my love.

October 13, 2014 in Art, Blogging (in) LA, Fires, History, LA, LA bloggers, Metroblogging Network, People, The Valley, Vintage

Who’s got two thumbs (and her index fingers, with which she primarily types, like a spazzy T-Rex on a typewriter) and is back in LA?!

This girl.

Along these rhapsodic, elegiac and thrilled welcome-home lines I’m walking, here’s some songs to make you love your city again. Fall outta love? Don’t do what I do and leave.  Or do…it might be what you need to appreciate it.
Rilo Kiley, Let Me Back In: link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXZR0rwhXvs

“From the Eastern seaboard, the landlocked Midwest
The Keys, the Alps, the Black Hills and Budapest
With my heart in a sling, tail between my legs a-swinging
I’m sorry for leaving

But when the palm trees bow their heads
No matter how wrong I’ve been
L.A., you always let me back in

And you can bury me when my body breaks
In the earth that created me, in the Golden State
By my mama and her brother and their mama too…”

And then there’s this one, by the Delta Spirit, for the folks I left behind in the South.     ;)

I mean, this sorta already happened, and that fellow is now happily married, so….everybody come on out! Apparently I’m a great vector for changing your life.    :P

(Yes, this post is enormously personal. Kevin Roderick may have a field day with this one. Or he may not, which will make me feel like a loser. Whateves.)

“I want you to move to California for yourself,
I want you to find whatever your heart needs,
I want you to move to California for yourself, but not for me.

I want you to go out there and find somebody else,
I want him to treat you like I know he should,
I want you to find somebody new for yourself, if not for me.

all of the feelings that I know you never felt,
and all of the simple words you never said,
I want you to keep them like a secret to yourself, they’re not for me.

I want you to wander silent past my outstretched arms,
I want you to hide yourself from all I see,
and though my heart will fight until its dying breath, you’re not for me.”

 

Also…I love the video for this one.

So, yeah. I’m back. We did hot dogs, we did donuts. What do you think should be next?

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4000 Miles premiere at Sierra Madre Playhouse was simply amazing

September 27, 2014 in Entertainment, Events, News, People, San Gabriel Valley, Theatre/Stage

Leo and Vera meet for the first time...

Last night was the opening of 4000 Miles a pulitzer nominated play at the Sierra Madre Playhouse.  The play was so well executed and performed you didn’t neet an intermission.  It ran a full Hour and Forty Five, but the time flew thanks the the simply amazing performances of Mimi Cozen as the grandmother Vera and Christian Prentice as the grandson Leo.

I’ll try not to give too much of the story line away or drop a spoiler.  This is a drama with a lot of comedy included.  Leo is a young man on a literal and metaphoric journey.  Leo left Seattle on a bicycle with a friend who died tragically in an accident along the way.  Leo arrived at his Grandmothers flat in New York at 3AM. The grandmother wasn’t expecting him and the first tiff started.  During the course of this play Leo makes a new and stronger relationship with Vera.  She wisely guides him through his problems and difficulties.  Eventually they face a common sadness and he completes his bond with his grandmother.

Of course the supporting characters deserve mention here too.  Bec, Leo’s girlfriend played by Alexandra Wright does a wonderful job of shedding light into Leo’s problems as well as allows us to learn more of Vera as she attempts to help her see her love for Leo and save that relationship.  Bec in a way winds up being the hero that gives Leo the final push he needs to mend fences and move forward. Read the rest of this entry →

Watch This: I Live In The L.A. River

August 19, 2014 in environment, LA, People

One woman has spent the past 15 years living at the bottom of the L.A. river, this is her story. From the team at BuzzFeedYellow.

Related resources:
Lamp offers mental health care and other services to homeless people.
http://m.lampcommunity.org/give.php

Friends of the Los Angeles River is a non-profit set up to restore the natural habitats of the river.
http://folar.org/

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Amy Alkon’s new book signing Tuesday June 3

May 24, 2014 in Books, Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, People, Shopping, Social issues, West Side

Los Angeles book launch party/reading! Amy Alkon’s “Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck”.  Tuesday, June 3, 6:30p-8pm at Diesel Books at the Brentwood Country Mart (address/map below).  Wine and snacks will be served.

This book has already gathered more than a few good reviews.  250 Words.com called it a must read for this summer.

And Wharton School’s Adam Grant called the book “outstanding work” and wrote this:

This book is a gem, hysterically funny and grounded in science. Amy Alkon explains why so many people are rude and how it’s possible to be courteous, even if you’re foul-mouthed and clueless about etiquette. If anything will convince my wife that my manners are better than she thought, this is it.
~Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take

Amy Alkon aka The Advice Goddess is syndicated columnist in about 100 newspapers.  She is also all over the web at blogging daily: http://advicegoddess.com.  She also has a weekly radio show: http://blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon (Nerd your way to a better life! with the best brains in science) 7-8pm Pacific Time, or available at the link and on iTunes or Stitcher
If you can’t make the reception but really want the book NOW, you can get it on Amazon HERE.

Details. Diesel Books, Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th Street, Suite #33, Santa Monica CA 90402 (310) 576-9960  MAP HERE

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Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery robbed and ransacked

May 13, 2014 in Art, Law, Law Enforcement, News, People, San Gabriel Valley

Monday night, early Tuesday morning my friend Lisa Barrios business, Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery located at 418 S Myrtle Ave in Monrovia was burglarized and ransacked. I’ll be helping with the inventory of stolen art work, but our best guess tonight is easily 10K in art alone was stolen from the upstairs gallery.

Shortly after midnight the neighboring business caught this persons image trying to open their door at the rear courtyard. He stopped long enough for his picture to be taken, then went one door south to the Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery. From there, someone, presumbably this person of interest, broke open the rear door and entered Paint n Play. About 15 minutes later a figure is seen on the Myrtle Avenue side of the business loading stuff into a shiny dark sedan possibly a Honda or Toyota. Read the rest of this entry →

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Act up? No ACT-SO

April 28, 2014 in Art, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley

ACT-SO?  Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics.  Its a program within the NAACP where young people are mentored by pro’s in a field to help them grow and develop their talents.  Its about grooming the next generation to go forth and do great things.

Saturday was fun, different for me. It all started 10 days ago when Lois Gaston of the Pasadena chapter of the NAACP contacted Lisa Barrios, the Vice President of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) for help in locating photographers to judge a  coming competition.  Lisa referred her to me and before you know it I had rounded up other photographers to help me with the judging.

In  short order I had the needed photographers in line to do the judging.  First up was Enilde “Ginger” Van Hook, a fine art photographer from Otis College of Arts and Design graduate as well as teacher.  Next up was Joseph R Davis artist, digital artist and photographer.  Rounding out the judges was yours truly. Read the rest of this entry →

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So Cal News Photographers Fine Art show Saturday

April 18, 2014 in Art, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

A rather large group of Los Angeles news photographers and a few hand picked others will be showing their fine art photographs of Southern California at a reception they will host Saturday 4/19 starting at 7PM.   There will be light refreshments and wine served at the reception.

Among the photographers there will be Stephen Coleman, a KABC 7 cameraman who has been documenting Los Angeles for years and has many drop dead gorgeous images.

Deets: Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery, 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016 626-258-4848  MAP HERE