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Pencil This In: 'Barack Obama: The Freshman,' Reading and Blues @ Stories

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Contact sheet of 'Barry' Obama by Lisa Jack / M+B

Contact sheet of 'Barry' Obama by Lisa Jack / M+B
Believe it or not, Shepard Fairey’s work isn’t in this art exhibit. M+B gallery presents the first exhibit of never-before-seen photographs of President Barack Obama from his freshman year Occidental College. (Eagle Rock in the house!) Lisa Jack, then a photo student at Oxy, sought a striking subject for a portrait project and was tipped off about a charismatic student named “Barry” Obama. Little did anyone know that 28 years later, the subject would become the 44th President of the United States. The opening reception (with eco-friendly cocktails provided by Veev) will be held tonight from 6-9 pm. “Barack Obama: The Freshman” runs until July 18.READING
There's a book signing and reading for Memphis & The Delta Blues Trail by Justin Gage and Melissa Gage tonight at 7 pm at Stories Books & Cafe in Echo Park. Their travel guide documents the birthplace of the blues to gold records legacies, while pointing out attractions, historic sites, funky shops and culture of Memphis and the surrounding Mississippi Delta. This is stuff you probably won't find in Fodor's. In addition, there will be blues music provided by Le Switch and lemonade and ice cream sandwiches provided by Cool Haus.

The Heard of Elephants collective presents the show Kaleidoscope tonight at 10 pm at The Unknown Theater. Music will be provided by Danger Bees, Tomes and howardAmb, while the art will be provided by Anna Ayeroff, Kelly Jeanette Berg, Kaleb Higgins and Juice Box. Art raffles, prizes and free beer are also included in the $5 ticket.

Tonight at 7:30 pm the Aero Theatre holds a 50th anniversary screening for Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959). James Mason stars in this Jules Verne-story adaptation as a Scottish geology professor who descends into the depths of the Earth with eager student Pat Boone, alluring widow Arlene Dahl and sinister nemesis Thayer David. “The dazzling underground crystal caves and mushroom forests are among the most delightful Hollywood creations of the 1950s.”A discussion with actor Pat Boone follows the film.

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James Catterall, Ph.D., UCLA professor of Education, and author of the upcoming book, Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art, stops by Inner-City Arts today at 4 pm. He’ll share his findings from 12 years of extensive study comparing the academic- and life-performance of "high-arts-involved" vs. "low-arts-involved" students from all socioeconomic backgrounds.” RSVP here.

The Unusual Suspects, a nonprofit theatre group for youth, is holding its first fundraising event tonight at the historic Oviatt Penthouse in downtown LA honoring Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright David Henry Hwang and philanthropist Paula Litt, a trustee of the Liberty Hill Foundation. The event begins at 6 pm, and single tickets are still available for $250.