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Pencil This In: Thursday

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The Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival kicks off at the Japanese American National Museum tonight. / Photo by puck90 from LAist's flickr pool.

There's more to puppetry than Muppetry. Dr. John Bell, puppeteer, teacher and director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut, leads an exhibition talk at the Santa Monica Museum's "The Puppet Show" on the history of puppetry. The exhibit explores the work of 28 contemporary artists who use puppet imagery in sculpture, film, video, time-based media, animation and 2D work.

7 pm // Santa Monica Museum of Art @ Bergamot Station, Building G1 // 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica // Free.

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Beginning tonight and through the weekend, The Japanese American National Museum hosts the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival. The festival "celebrates those who have created and continue to create works addressing the mixed racial and cultural experience through film screenings, readings, workshops, family events and live performances." Admission to the Festival is free, however, pre-registration at is highly recommended.

7 pm (opening festivities) // Japanese American National Museum // 369 East First St., Los Angeles // Free.

Though it's hard to believe, there's a lot more stuff going on Downtown tonight other than the Laker game. It's the second Thursday of the month, and that means it's time for Downtown’s Art Walk. The Art walk is a monthly, self-guided tour of the art exhibition venues in Downtown Los Angeles, which includes commercial art galleries, public museums, and nonprofit arts venues. Museum of Contemporary Art on Grand Ave (MOCA), LA Artcore Center, Gallery at REDCAT and the Museum of Neon Art, are just some of the places on the Walk. And there's a free shuttle, so technically those averse to hoofing it don't have to "walk" that much.

12-9 pm // Downtown Art Walk // Downtown Los Angeles // Free.