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Your Ultimate Guide To April: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles

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The L.A. Puppet Fest 2014 returns to venues throughout the city, including the Skirball. (Image: Courtesy of the Skirball Cultural Center)
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We found a number of notable happenings in April, so we're ready to help you plan your social calendar. Read on for all the event picks and details.

ALL MONTH

PHOTO: April is MOPLA—Month of Photography: Los Angeles with various events and exhibitions being held all over the city to bring photography professional, amateurs and admirers together to celebrate the art form. The photography events feature commercial, fine art and photojournalistic works. The official opening event takes place on April 3 from 7-10 pm at Mr. Musichead Gallery with the exhibition Symphony for the Devil. Free.

TUESDAY, APRIL 1 to SUNDAY, APRIL 13

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PUPPETS: LA Puppet Fest 2014—the city-wide celebration of the art of puppetry—takes place throughout L.A. Participating venues/organizations include the Puppet School; Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams; LA Guild of Puppetry; Little Stage Puppet Theater; Bob Baker Marionette Theater; Rogue Artists; Sock Puppet Theater; Beth Peterson; Leslie K. Gray; Gina Pavlova and the Skirball Cultural Center. Dozens of workshops, panel discussions, screenings and live performances are scheduled, including adults-only programs like the Big Green Puppetzilla Puppet Slam at the Bootleg on Sunday. Prices vary, from free to $25.

THURSDAY, APRIL 3 TO SUNDAY, APRIL 20

CAT CIRCUS: Samantha Martin and her Acro-cats come to town, taking over The Santa Monica Playhouse from April 3-20. The one-hour show features more than 12 cats (former orphans, rescues, and strays) “walking tightropes, pushing carts, skateboarding, jumping through hoops, ringing bells, balancing on balls and turning on lights.” Then there’s Tuna, the leader of the cat band—the Rock Cats. General admission tickets are $25.

THURSDAY, APRIL 3 TO SUNDAY, APRIL 6

YARN: The annual Yarn Crawl LA County 2014 features promotions at more than 28 yarn stores in L.A. Crafters can check out participating locations for free patterns, brand new yarns, designer trunk shows, extended store hours, drop-in classes and special freebies at every store. At every store, get a stamp for a chance to win raffle prizes.

FRIDAY, APRIL 4 to SUNDAY, APRIL 6

FIRSTGLANCE FILM FESTIVAL: FirstGlance Film Festival is the longest-running film festival in Philly and the “biggest little indie film fest in Hollywood.” Now in its 14th year in L.A., FirstGlance takes over the Regal Cinemas LA LIVE from April 4-6. Official selections include feature films, documentaries and short films. First night program: "Vanity Police" (Music Video); "Research" (WebSeries); "Effed!" (Short); "Persephone" (Short); "Another Happy Anniversary" (Short); and Gone Doggy Gone (Feature). All access pass: $100; individual screenings: $12-$25.

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"Half The Road" trailer from kevin tokstad on Vimeo.

FRIDAY, APRIL 4 TO SATURDAY, APRIL 5BICYCLE FILM FESTIVAL: The Bicycle Film Festival returns to downtown L.A. on April 4-5 at the Aratani/Japan America Theatre. There are four screenings of narrative and cinematic films scheduled throughout the weekend including the premiere of Half the Road, a feature about the challenges of women’s cycling; the Saturday programs are dedicated to short films. The BFF is sponsored by KIND Healthy Snacks and to promote the fest, they’re offering free Kind delivery and free roses via bike messenger to select zip codes in L.A. Screening tickets: $11+ fees for each program.

SUNDAY, APRIL 6

BIKING CicLAvia - Iconic Wilshire Boulevard closes off Wilshire on Sunday (April 6) between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The route runs between One Wilshire in DTLA and Museum Row. These two hubs will also be walking-only zones with special programming, food trucks and more. Other pedestrian hubs include MacArthur Park, Koreatown and Mid-Wilshire. This will be the last time CicLAvia on Wilshire for awhile—until major street level construction of the Metro Purple Line subway extension is completed through the Miracle Mile. Free.

THURSDAY, APRIL 10 TO SUNDAY, APRIL 13

FILM FESTIVAL: The TCM Classic Film Festival returns to Hollywood from April 10-13 showcasing films under the theme "Family in the Movies: The Ties that Bind." Films include Oklahoma!, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and American Graffiti—and that’s only on day 1. Screening venues include Egyptian Theater, El Capitan, the TCL Chinese 6 and The Montalbán Theatre. Individual tickets: $10-$30. Passes: $249-$1,599.

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THURSDAY, APRIL 10 TO SUNDAY, SEPT. 7
ART: The Skirball Cultural Center presents the exhibition The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats from April 10-Sept. 7. The exhibition honors the author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (1916-1983), “who paved the way for multiracial representation in American children’s literature.” Keats’s The Snowy Day (1962) was the first full-color children’s picture book to feature an African American protagonist. It went on to win a Caldecott Medal and has sold more than 5 million copies to date. The works on view features more than 80 original works by Keats. Admission: $5-$10. Free on Thursdays.

FRIDAY, APRIL 11 TO SUNDAY, APRIL 13

RACING: The Grand Prix of Long Beach features a high-speed course in Downtown Long Beach, with a two mile circuit that includes both curves and straightaways. Live music and a family fun zone for kids, too. The 10-lap Pro/Celebrity Race takes place on Saturday at noon. The race field includes Adrien Brody, Corbin Bleu, Brett Davern, Tricia Helfer, Phil Keoghan, Sam Witwer and Olympian sprinter Carmelita Jeter, along with defending race winner Rutledge Wood, Kyle Petty and Al Unser Jr. The pros start 30 seconds after the celebs. General admission tickets: $28-$75; three-day passes: $72-$135.


FRIDAY TO SUNDAY, APRIL 11-13 AND APRIL 18-20

MUSIC: Coachella takes over the desert on April 11-13 and April 18-20 with Arcade Fire, Outkast and Muse as headliners. Everything’s like sold out, but where there’s a will—or a lot of money—there’s a way.

SATURDAY, APRIL 12 TO SUNDAY, APRIL 13

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BOOKS: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books returns to the USC campus on April 12-13. It’s two days of books, panels, music, comedy, film, art and food. Performers and authors include: Hugh Acheson, Shoreh Aghdashloo, Gustavo Arellano, Reza Aslan, Philip Bailey, Mayim Bialik, T.C. Boyle, LeVar Burton, Roy Choi, Sandra Cisneros, Jackie Collins, Giada de Laurentiis, Rob Delaney, Barbara Ehrenreich, John Green, Carla Hall, Daniel Handler, Robert Hilburn, Pico Iyer, Diego Luna, Chris Kluwe, Terry McMillan, B.J. Novak,Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Alicia Silverstone, Susan Straight, Marlo Thomas, Stephen Tobolowsky, Sandra Tsing Loh, Henry Winkler, Rachel Zoe and Adrian Todd Zuniga, among others. Festival passes: $35; advance conversation tickets for $1 each or free stand-by on day of event.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16 TO SATURDAY, MAY 17

ART: Subliminal Projects presents the exhibition Shepard Fairey: 50 Shades of Black, with an opening reception on April 16 from 8-11 pm. It’s his third installment of new album cover-inspired artwork. Friend DJ Z-Trip joins Fairey for a live performance on opening night, with special guests dropping by. The opening event is free but RSVP is required to rsvp@subliminalprojects.com.

FRIDAY, APRIL 18 TO SATURDAY, APRIL 19

FOOD: The first KTOWN Night Market will take place on April 18-19 at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools. Not only will there be 40 food booths onsite, but also a special selection food trucks, curated by the Seoul Sausage Company, including Grill 'Em All, The Lime Truck, Jogasaki Sushi Burrito, Fluff Ice, CoolHaus, Bowled & Beautiful, East LA Tacos, White Rabbit, India Jones and Belly Bombz. The entrance is free (but the food and drinks are not).

FRIDAY, APRIL 18 AND SATURDAY, APRIL 19 // FRIDAY, APRIL 25 TO SUNDAY, APRIL 27

CIRCUS: The Circus & Aerial Arts Troupe presents the debut performance of This End Up: The Messiest Show on Earth in the Vault at The Big Art Factory Warehouse in DTLA on April 18-19 and 25-27. The immersive aerial circus art production also features silks performance, aerial bungee, lyra, clowning and fire-eating, performed in the middle of brightly colored powder. The show is inspired by India’s Holi Festival of Colors. This End Up tickets are $20 in advance and are $25 at the door.

SATURDAY, APRIL 19

RECORDS: Record Store Day takes place on Saturday, April 19, to celebrate the culture and independent businesses of 1,000 independently owned record stores in the U.S. One of the events that caught our eye was the Record Parlour’s all-day party with 20% off LPs, stereos, turntables, jukeboxes, concert posters, with live bands and DJs and free foods and drinks.

MUSIC: Now in its fourth year, Brokechella, the in-town Coachella alternative music and arts festival, takes place on April 19 in a new location: 590 Sante Fe Avenue in DTLA. The lineup features yOya, Kera & the Lesbians, LA Font, ZIBBZ, Hott MT, Greenhorse, Dark Furs, Francisco The Man, The Singles and StaG (on just one of the stages). There’s art installations and affordable libations, boutique vendors and street food/food trucks. Tickets: $10 in advance / $20 at the door.


FRIDAY, APRIL 25 TO SATURDAY, APRIL 26

LEBOWSKI FEST: Lebowski Fest Los Angeles promises to be epic this year. The traveling festival that celebrates all things related to the Coen Brothers’ cult classic, The Big Lebowski, features bowling, white Russian consumption and screening of the film. But this year, The Dude himself makes an appearance as Jeff Bridges & The Abiders are playing in Lebowski Fest concert lineup at The Wiltern on April 25. The Kyle Gass Band also plays and other special guests include Jim Hoosier (Liam!), Luis Colina (Corvette Owner), Robin Jones (Ralph’s Girl), preceding the screening of film. Tickets to the concert/screening: $35. Other events are sold separately.

FRIDAY, APRIL 25 TO SUNDAY, APRIL 27

PHOTO: Paris Photo Los Angeles, a leading photographic art fair, returns to Paramount Pictures Studios from April 25-27 for the second year in a row. There are more than 81 international galleries and booksellers participating, with a special programs including a Dennis Hopper Tribute, UNEDITED!: The LAPD Photo Archives, as well as dozens of group and solo exhibitions and screenings. Admission: $28-$40. Parking: $12.

SUNDAY, APRIL 27

MAC & CHEESE: The L.A. Mac and Cheeze Takedown takes place on April 27 from 2-4 pm at The Bootleg Theater. The Brooklyn-based competition is seeking home cooks to compete for free for cookware prizes from Wusthof, Anolon and Microplane, while if you want to just come down and taste and vote, it’s $15.

Want the 411 on additional events and happenings in L.A.? Follow @LAist or me (@christineziemba) on Twitter.