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Pencil This In: Nickelodeon Art Show at iam8bit, Jazz at LACMA, Occupy Film Screening and an Akashic Book Party

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Ok, there's a long weekend of events ahead of us—check out our Weekend Planner: 13 Coachella Alternatives—but there are quite a number of related events happening tonight. The LA Times hands out its book prizes; Family bookstore holds a great author signing event; free music and film screening kicks off the Earth and Arts Festival in Pasadena; and Arturo Sandoval plays at LACMA. Read on for all the details.

ART*
Tonight from 7-11 pm, iam8bit gallery holds an opening reception for It's the shizNICK, which celebrates the lasting influence of the Nickelodeon network has had on our culture. There are more than 60 artists featured who’ve created paintings, prints, sculptures, plush that pay homage to the channel’s favorite characters. Who might you expect to see? SpongeBob, Ren, Stimpy, Rugrats, Doug, Rocko and many more. All ages and free admission. There will also be a few surprises...and slime.

BOOK SIGNING
Because of the LA Times Festival of Books this weekend, there are a number of authors in town. Family takes advantage by throwing an Akashic Party with a number of authors in attendance and signing their books. At 7:30 pm, the following authors are scheduled to appear: Ian Svenonius, Simon Tofield, Jim Pascoe, Tom Fassbender, David McConnell, Mr. Fish, Nina Revoyr, Jerry Stahl, Felicia Luna Lemus, Ricardo Cortés, Joseph Mattson, Jervey Tervalon and Gary Phillips.

BOOK PRIZES
Tonight’s the 33rd Annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, which will be held at 7:30 pm at Bovard Auditorium on the USC Campus. David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times book critic, serves as emcee for the various categories from fiction to poetry to graphic novels and other genres. The awards also honor Kevin Starr and Margaret Atwood. Tickets: $10.

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JAZZ
Jazz at LACMA begins its 22nd season tonight at 6 pm. The series brings in acclaimed artists from across the spectrum of jazz styles, beginning tonight with legendary trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. Free and open to the public.

SCREENING
There’s a free screening tonight of the film Occupy Love at 7:30 pm outdoors at the Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena. The event kicks off the Pasadena Earth & Arts Festival. The film, directed by Velcrow Ripper (Scared Sacred, Fierce Light), “celebrates the human spirit driving a global revolution of the heart as manifested in the Occupy Movement and a worldwide mobilization for climate justice.” Get there early for a performance by The Subs at 6:45 pm.

*Pencil pick of the day

Want more events? Follow me on Twitter (@christineziemba). Or follow Lauren Lloyd—who takes care of Pencil on Wednesdays (@LadyyyLloyd).