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Best Online And IRL Happenings This Week: Sept. 21 - 24

From Sept. 21 - 25, Atlas Obscura presents its greatest hits of online adventures, including the Weird Homes Tour, pictured above. (Atlas Obscura)
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Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on schools, stores, businesses and events. With in-person concerts, talks, comedy shows, food festivals and other gatherings cancelled, we have turned our events column into a "nonevents" column. It will remain this way as long as social distancing and stay-at-home orders are in effect.

During this difficult time, please consider contributing to your local arts organizations or to individual artists and performers.

Attend NHM's Dino Fest from home. Become an armchair traveler through Atlas Obscura adventures. Check out genre films at Fantastic Fest, Asian American films at the LAAPFF and a documentary on the Salton Sea. Take part in a cooking class about the foods of the Harlem Renaissance. And study up on Prop. 16.

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Monday, Sept. 21 - Friday, Sept. 25

Atlas Obscura's Fan Favorites Week
The online magazine and adventure company brings back 10 of its best-selling and best-reviewed virtual experiences this week, perfect for pandemic arm chair exploring. Learn about museum dinosaurs, art forgeries, supernatural cats of Japan, weird homes, Hollywood estates or penguins.
COST: $10 - $25; MORE INFO

Monday, Sept. 21; 4 p.m.

John Lewis: Good Trouble - Virtual Conversation
The documentary, which looks at the impact of the late congressman's life and work toward social justice, screens for free through the end of the month through a collaboration with 60 of the nation's arts and cultural institutions, including The Music Center. On Monday, there's a live, interactive online panel discussion about Lewis' impact with the film's director Dawn Porter; Ras J. Baraka, mayor of Newark, New Jersey; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School; and Lonnie G. Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, who worked with Lewis to establish the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. The virtual conversation takes place on Zoom.
COST: FREE with registration; MORE INFO

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Monday, Sept. 21; 3 p.m.

Green Screen Series Online
Santa Monica College's (SMC) environmental film series opens this week with The River and the Wall. Director Ben Masters is joined by an ornithologist, a river guide, a conservationist, and a NatGeo explorer for a 2.5-month, 1,200-mile U.S.-Mexico border journey along the Rio Grande. The film examines how a border wall can affect wildlife, immigration, and private and public lands and features footage that reveals unknown ecosystems and wildlife threatened by the wall. The screenings and discussions are hosted by SMC film professor Sheila Laffey as an extension to her course, Green Screen: Films on the Environment and Transformation.

Tuesday, Sept. 22; 6 p.m.

Mayim Bailik & Julian Gant: The Reality of Non-Reality TV
The Groundlings Theatre presents a very special event with Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) and Groundlings Main Company member Gant (Good Girls). The two star together in the upcoming sitcom Call Me Kat (Fox) and discuss tips and tricks for auditioning, booking and working on sitcoms. The Zoom discussion will be moderated by Groundlings' Lisa Schurga, followed by a Q&A with virtual attendees. Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Groundlings Theatre.

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The Natural History Museum's Dino Fest takes place at home this year with programs offered in English and Spanish. (NHM)

Tuesday, Sept. 22 - Friday, Sept. 25

Dino Fest at Home
The Natural History Museum's popular dinosaur festival moves online for a weeklong celebration of the prehistoric animals, their history and science with programming available in English and Spanish. Meet paleontologists from the Museum's Dinosaur Institute, take part in hands-on activities and explore the Dinosaur Hall. Tuesday's sessions includes a chat with scientists and a program that examines what animals survived the Great KT Extinction -- and how. The events take place on Zoom.
COST: FREE with registration; MORE INFO

Greg Bassenian's newly released documentary examines the sordid history of the Salton Sea in the Coachella Valley. (Gravitas Ventures)

Tuesday, Sept. 22

Miracle in the Desert: The Rise and Fall of the Salton Sea
Greg Bassenian's documentary takes viewers from the creation of the Coachella Valley's Salton Sea in 1905 to the environmental disaster that it is today. (A series of engineering disasters have led to increased salinity and pollution have killed off most of the fish species. Now the area has to deal with toxic dust.) Available on VOD/Digital and Blu-Ray/DVD platforms beginning on Tuesday.

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Tuesday, Sept. 22; 5 p.m.

Chelsea Clinton and Ibtihaj Muhammad: Conversation and Q&A
Vroman's presents New York Times bestselling authors Chelsea Clinton and Ibtihaj Muhammad in a live, virtual discussion, moderated by sports reporter Lindsay Czarniak. The Crowdcast event doubles as a launch celebration of Clinton's She Peristed in Sports and Muhammad's The Proudest Blue: A Story of a Hijab and Family. Questions will not be taken during the live Q&A, but attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions through Eventbrite when purchasing tickets. The purchase of either book is required to attend the live event.

KPCC and LAist present a virtual event that explores the sides of Prop. 16, which will be on the Nov. 3 presidental ballot in California. (KPCC/LAist)

Wednesday, Sept. 23; 6:30 p.m.

Prop 16 and Affirmative Action: A Voter Game Plan Event
KPCC presents a Voter Game Plan virtual event that discusses Prop. 16 on the November ballot. The initiative seeks to repeal Prop. 209, which has prohibited the state from considering race, ethnicity and gender in hiring and contracting for all government-run institutions, and for admissions to public universities since 1996. KPCC/LAist Higher Education correspondent Adolfo Guzman-Lopez hosts a virtual panel that includes opponents and proponents of the ballot measure.

Wednesday, Sept. 23; noon

Psychic Space: Brainwashing in the Cold War
The Wende museum dedicates this week's lunchtime talk (via Zoom) to brainwashing by the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War. Daniel Pick, psychoanalyst and professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London, will be in conversation with Joes Segal, the museum's chief curator and director of Programming.

Wednesday, Sept. 23; 6 p.m. PDT

OLA 3: Devendra Banhart Sings Songs from What We Will Be and Mala
The musician and poet continues his series of livestreamed shows as he performs live from the Broad Museum. He's singing and performing the songs in the order they were written, culminating in next week's show from the Underground Museum.
COST: $15 - $17; MORE INFO

Wednesday, Sept. 23; 6 p.m. PDT

Discover Mexico
Tequila Herradura celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month in partnership with Impastiamo, an online food workshop that supports local chefs and restaurants during the pandemic. Together, they're hosting a virtual cooking series. This week features chefs Paulina Lopez-Velazquez and Edgar Santiago of Guelaguetza, showing how to prepare alitas de coloradito con tamarindo y tequila (mole chicken wings).

Wednesday, Sept. 23; 4 p.m. PDT

Literature on Screen: You
This PEN/Faulkner Foundation series features authors whose work has been adapted into a film or TV shows. Caroline Kepnes, author of the best-selling book turned hit Lifetime/Netflix series, You, will be joined in conversation with Penn Badgley, who stars in the TV adaptation, and moderator Chris Klimek (NPR, Washington Post). They'll discuss the transition from book to TV, and stalking in the digital era, which is crucial to her novels.

Thursday, Sept. 24; 6 p.m. PDT

Every Place I Cry
Watch an improvised emo experience that features a live band and four lead singers, starring Jess McKenna and Zach Reino from the Offbook Podcast, Ross Bryant from (Improvised Shakespeare Company) and Nick Mandernach (Duncanville). Link to the livestream will be emailed after ticket purchase.
COST: $5 - $10; MORE INFO

'Sky Blossom: Diaries of the Next Greatest Generation,' directed by American journalist Richard Lui has its world premiere at LAAPFF. (Vino Wong/Prisca Project)

Thursday, Sept. 24 - Saturday, Oct. 31

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF)
The 36th edition of Visual Communications' (VC) film festival presents -- in a virtual space -- the works of more than 225 filmmakers over five weekends. The lineup includes the world premieres of 24 short films and three features. Highlights include Christopher Kahunahana's Waikiki, which explores life behind the tourist illusion of Hawaii and The Miseducation of Bindu. Directed by Parthana Mohan, the comedy follows a teen girl who struggles to navigate high school in America and her mother's boyfriend who tries to advise her on boys and life in America (much to her chagrin).
COST: Ticket packages start at $50; MORE INFO

The first ConSortiUm Platform online event features a discussion between artist Beatriz Cortez and curator Erin Christovale. (Beatriz Cortez's 'Tzolk'in I,' 2018. Image by Scott Lynch)

Thursday, Sept. 24; 5:30 p.m.

ConSortiUm: Platform
The new collaborative project of art museums and galleries from the California State University (CSU) system presents a series of virtual events that include conversations with contemporary artists, collectives and curators. The first event, Platform Event 1, features a conversation between artist Beatriz Cortez with Erin Christovale, associate curator, Hammer Museum. Register for the Zoom webinar on the Platform CSU Art Speaker Series website.

Thursday, Sept. 24 - Sunday, Sept. 27

LA Design Festival
The celebration of the design arts and disciplines in Los Angeles moves online this year. The programming includes panels that examine the future of L.A. through immersive experiences, workplaces, restaurants and furniture. The festival also includes video tours of design studios, viewing experiences of galleries and exhibitions, and moments of zen with sound baths and tie-dye workshops. Programs include Unearthing the Black Aesthetic, A talk with Christopher Hawthorne and Project Room on the new streetlight design for Los Angeles and a talk about the new hillside village in Beverly Hills.

Thursday, Sept. 24; 5 p.m.

Cooking with ArtBites: Savoring the Harlem Renaissance
The Great Migration between 1916 and 1970 saw 6 million African Americans leave the rural South for life in the North. Using artist Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series as a guide, Maite Gomez-Rejón leads a workshop into the dining culture that emerged in Harlem during the 1920s. Attendees will create a meal (buttermilk fried chicken and sweet potatoes baked with lemon) inspired by menus of the day and the recipes of Edna Lewis. The class confirmation email includes recipes and equipment needed for the class; the Zoom link will be sent three hours before the class starts.

Thursday, Sept. 24 - Thursday, Oct. 1

Celebration of Fantastic Fest
The annual genre film festival, held annually in Austin, Texas, has gone online this year, with content and programming available on Alamo on Demand. Watch online versions of festival classics like Fantastic Feud and 100 Best Kills, repertory cinema and world premieres of 15 genre films. A pair of werewolf films bookend the festival: It opens with Teddy by France's Boukherma brothers and closes with Amelia Moses' thriller Bloodthirsty.
COST: All new features are FREE, repertory titles will be available at special rates throughout the week; MORE INFO

Thursday, Sept. 24; 5 p.m.

Prop 16: Ending the Ban on Affirmative Action
The Hammer Museum will be a Vote Center, from Oct. 24 - Nov. 3, for the upcoming presidential election. The museum has also developed a new political program miniseries that focuses on the measures that will be on the Nov. 3 ballot in California. Loyola Law School professor Jessica Levinson moderates online panel discussions for five weeks, with this week's session focusing on the affirmative action ballot measure.

C. Bain is one of the poets participating in Red Hen Press's program on feminism and identity for the Broad Stage at Home series. (Courtesy of Red Hen Press)

Thursday, Sept. 24; 6 p.m. PDT

Red Hen Press Poetry Hour: Regarding Feminism
The Broad Stage at Home series continues with an hour of poetry and readings from Erica Jong (pre-recorded), C. Bain, Amber Flame, Judy Grahn and Monique Jenkinson (aka Fauxnique). Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, the poetry hour's guests explore feminism, performance, identity and poetry following the #MeToo Movement. The program takes place on Facebook Live and

Thursday, Sept. 24; 7 p.m. PT

Ever a Dancer
The Musco Center at Chapman University presents several digital series that explore the arts while stages are dark. Dance and dancers are highlighted in Ever a Dancer programs, beginning this week with Theatrical Dance and Equity. The lineup includes Broadway performers Wilson Mendieta, Rommy Sandhu, Lainie Sakakura and Tommar Wilson, who have collectively been part of more than 28 Broadway and touring musical productions. The events take place on the Center's YouTube and Facebook platforms.

Thursday, Sept. 24; 6 p.m.

Black Comics Matter: a Benefit for Comedy Gives Back
Franqi French hosts a comedy show over Zoom that includes Janelle James, Rob Haze, Dewayne Perkins and Calise Hawkins. The night doubles as a fundraiser for a forthcoming Comedy Gives Back BIPOC fund.
COST: $20 - $500; MORE INFO


A Tribute to Hispanic Achievements in Television
The Paley Center honors Hispanic Heritage Month with the release of programs that feature conversations with TV's Hispanic icons, innovators and leaders. There are also trivia games, classes and family programs (available in English and Spanish). Panels include: Paley Front Row 2020 with Gloria Estefan, Tony Gonzalez, George Lopez, Justina Machado, Soledad O'Brien, Edward James Olmos, María Elena Salinas and Jimmy Smits; Telemundo's La Reina del Sur; and Univision and UniMás's Enamorándonos.

Ugly Drum expands his celebrated Smorasburg L.A. pastrami stand through the launch of Ugly Drum: Deli.Delivered. (Courtesy of Ugly Drum)

Dine & Drink Deals

Who doesn't miss going out to eat or stopping by a bar for a drink? Here are a few options from restaurants and bars as we work our way back toward normal.

  • Acapulco restaurants celebrate their 60th anniversary on Thursday, Sept. 24 from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. with 60-cent tacos all day at all locations. Choose from al pastor, carnitas, grilled chicken or carne asada. The fiesta also features live DJs at 5 p.m. and happy hour specials from 3 - 8 p.m. Visit the website for SoCal addresses.
  • Alta Adams in West Adams recently turned its adjacent Adams Coffee Shop into Adams Wine Shop. Led by wine and service director Ruben Morancy (former wine director at Coi in San Francisco), the wine shop places an emphasis on bottles from Black and women winemakers, as well as affordable selections, priced under $30. Each Thursday night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Morancy hosts tastings of three wines from the shop, along with bites from Alta Adams' chef Keith Corbin. Tastings are $25 and take place at candlelit tables outside the wine shop. The coffee and takeaway menu is still available during the day.
  • Erik Black of Ugly Drum expands his celebrated pastrami stand at Smorasburg L.A. through the launch of Ugly Drum: Deli.Delivered. The deli-inspired, cloud kitchen features pastrami and turkey sandwiches, meat by the pound, matzo ball soup, sides/desserts, spirits/cocktails, wine and beer. Delivery and curbside pick-up takes place at 609 N. La Brea daily through, ChowNow, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates & UberEats. Limited hours of operation.