hospitals, Skid Row and other offbeat L.A. landmarks
WHAT: During the week leading up to Halloween Sunday, members of LAVA (The
Los Angeles Visionaries Association) present 15 eclectic cultural happenings
all across Los Angeles. Events include a Hollywood Forever Cemetery Tour, a
multimedia death-themed art and music happening, a Raymond Chandler literary
bus tour, a free tour and screening of downtown Skid Row history, a totemic
mask making workshop in seaside Malibu, a hands-on disaster scene recreation
workshop for budding forensic scientists, and a site-specific breath-themed
dance performance in historic Barlow Respiratory Hospital.
COST: Varies, free to $199. Details below.
MORE INFO: http://lavatransforms.org and the individual links below
Recently honored with a Best Literary Salon award from Los
Angeles Magazine, LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association is fast
establishing itself as one of the city's most intriguing arts collectives,
with a calendar packed with compelling, offbeat urban events and a growing
list of notable Visionary contributors.
So it's no surprise that LAVA is pulling out all the stops for Halloween,
with a series of incredible, unpredictable events sure to delight and
inspire anybody looking for a memorable cultural outing. The Halloween week
LAVA events play out in this order...
1) "Dead Men Do Tell Tales: A Post-Mortem Affair." Wednesday, October 24,
7:30pm. Free. Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA, 90013.
Music, lectures, and films about dead things, featuring: Horror rock music
(or horrific rock music, their detractors might say, but it depends on
context) from Rosemary's Billygoat, featuring Mike Odd, host of Knott's
Berry Farms' Halloween Horror (K)Nights... Films from the Art of Bleeding...
Sicilian Sex Ghost lecture by Dr. Paul Koudounaris, author of "The Empire of
Death"... Clowns and Fetuses present stories about the deaths of famous
authors, with a soundtrack of divinely-inspired music from the theremin of
2) LAVA exclusive: "Union Rescue Mission Walking Tour: 121 years on Skid
Row" and "Of Scrap & Steel: free rooftop screening of rare 1949 color film
set on Main Street, Downtown L.A." Thursday, October 25, 5pm and 7pm. Free.
Union Rescue Mission, 545 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90013.
Join Nathan Marsak & Richard Schave of 1947project and Rev. Andy Bales of
the Union Rescue Mission (URM) for a 90-minute walking tour along the
historic paths that have delineated Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. This
tour derives from the ongoing 1947project In SRO Land blog series
(www.insroland.org) that uses the archives of the URM (founded 1891) as a
tool for exploring the social and architectural history of the forgotten
people and places of Downtown Los Angeles.The main themes will be the
evolution of public policy on Skid Row, the transformative work of the URM,
and the architectural history of the neighborhood. The route will include
Main Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets (for a then/now comparison of the
surviving and demolished locations featured in the 1949 URM-financed short
film "Of Scrap & Steel," which will be screened later in the evening). At
3rd and San Pedro Streets we will discuss the Azusa Street Revival, a
transformative event in the spiritual history of Los Angeles and the West.
During the walk back to the current home of the URM, Rev. Andy Bales will
talk about issues and challenges facing the neighborhood and the URM today.
Following the walking tour is a free roof-top screening of a
newly-discovered circa 1949 short color film of Main Street and other
downtown Los Angeles locations, the Union Rescue Mission-produced "Of Scrap
& Steel." The 30-minute film portrays the redemption and good works of
Arthur Hawkins, an alcoholic executive who ended up on the streets of Los
Angeles and whose life was saved when he turned to the URM for help. Porter
Hall (Arthur Hawkins) is one of only two actors in a film otherwise
populated by real Los Angeles characters. (You may recall Hall's performance
as the pesky guy on the train in "Double Indemnity.") "Of Scrap & Steel" was
only shown in screenings organized by the URM or related organizations, and
would have been completely lost if Liz Mooradian, URM historian, had not
saved a deteriorating 16mm print and had it transferred to video before it
was too late. This entertaining and powerful short film is a compelling
snapshot of life on Skid Row (Main Street) circa 1949, and a fascinating
document of the important work that the URM continues to do with the most
needy in the community. Although downtown Los Angeles features in numerous
noir films, it is extremely rare to see color images of eastern downtown,
and rarer still to see full-color live-action footage of the vibrant street
scene that included rescue missions, pawn shops, amusement parlors, bars,
restaurants and the ever-patrolling paddy wagon in search of drunkards to
haul away to jail or County work crews.
Gourmet box dinners: "Meals with a purpose" will be available for purchase
($7, cash only), with a choice of sandwich (vegetarian, roast beef or
chicken), cookie, fruit, chips and beverage. 100% of proceeds from your meal
donation goes to the URM, and the proceeds from each dinner will feed two
3) Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre Presents: "Catch Your Breath." Thursday
10/25, 7pm. (Opening Night Performance & Reception, Drinks, heavy hors
d'oeuvres, and dessert buffet, $100) Friday 10/26 7pm and 9pm, $25. Saturday
10/27 7pm and 9pm, $25. Sunday 10/28 7pm and 9pm, $25. Barlow Respiratory
Hospital, 2000 Stadium Way, Los Angeles, CA 90026,
http://www.lavatransforms.org or http://www.heididuckler.org
InhaleŠExhaleŠFor more than a century, Los Angeles' Barlow Respiratory
Hospital has guided its patients and California to "breathe easier." Opening
on October 25th, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre's (HDDT) "Catch Your Breath"
will examine the intersection of art and learning through the fundamental
act of breathing inspired by Barlow's 110-year heritage. Designed as an
artistic journey through the environs of the hospital property, the
performance will guide the audience through scenes motivated by the
preserved and reinvigorated spaces of the Barlow facility, the history of
the hospital, and specific patients' stories to recovery. Inspired by the
individuals whose lives have been changed as a result of their time at
Barlow, HDDT will highlight the hospital's past, while celebrating its
future through captivating live performance.
4) Transformative Mask Making in Malibu. Saturday, 10/27 11am-5pm and Sunday
10/28 12pm-5pm. Pre Registration $179 or Regular Registration $199. ART 4
ALL PEOPLE, 19562 PCH, Malibu, CA, 90290.
Facilitated by powerful instructors, Ceylan Hulya MA in Transformative Arts
and Certified Teacher with Kaleo Ching Methodology and Award-Winning Artist
and Performer Eva Montealegre. Through guided meditation, lucid dream work,
movement, and mask making you will discover your own personal mythology and
totem. This is a perfect workshop to bring a friend to as you and your
partner will be making each others mask. In the process you will find that
Mask making is a fun, kinesthetic, and creative approach for healing and
personal transformation. Also, mask making is a powerful way of giving
expression to parts of yourself that don¹t normally get expressed.
Participants: Maximum 14. All Art Supplies will be provided. Please bring a
bag lunch to enjoy the amazing vista of Mother Ocean and wear comfortable
5) Esotouric presents "Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles" literary bus tour.
Saturday, 10/27 11:30am-3:30pm. $58. Departs from Los Angeles Athletic Club,
431 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90014, tour is of Downtown and
Bungalows. Crime. Hollywood. Blondes. Vets. Smog. Death. This was Raymond
Chandler¹s Los Angeles, which resonated under deft and melancholy fits from
his writer¹s bow. Join us as we go down the mean streets that shaped his
fiction, and that in turn shaped his hard-boiled times, in a four hour tour
of downtown, Hollywood and surrounding environs: The Los Angeles Athletic
Club, Musso & Frank, the Hotel Van Nuys, Paramount Studio¹s gates, and much,
much more, including a Chandler-themed gelato stop at East Hollywood cult
favorite Scoops. Through published work, private correspondence, screenplays
and film adaptations, we trace Chandler¹s search for meaning and his
anti-hero Philip Marlowe¹s struggle to not be pigeonholed or give anything
less than all he has, which lead them both down the rabbit hole of
isolation, depression, and drink.
6) LAVA exclusive: "The Wisdom of Teeth: A forensic odontology workshop with
Dr. Cheri Lewis." Sunday 10/28 12-4pm. $36.50 with all tickets benefiting
the Criminalistics graduate department of CSULA. The Hertzberg-Davis
Forensic Science Center (Cal State L.A.), 1800 Paseo Rancho Castilla, Los
Angeles, CA, 90032. http://lavatransforms.org/
Join Dr. Cheri Lewis for a half-day crash course in forensic odontology, a
branch of forensic medicine that deals with teeth and marks left by teeth
(as in identifying criminal suspects or the remains of a dead person)
culminating in an intense hand-on disaster scene recreation where attendees,
who have just been briefed on Dr. Lewis' signature method of dental fragment
identification, will split into groups and race to identify the victims from
the limited dental evidence remaining. Sometimes DNA is not enough. Come out
and discover The Wisdom of Teeth.
7) "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Tour." Sunday 10/28 12pm, Wednesday 12/31
12pm. $15. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles,
CA, 90038. http://www.lavatransforms.org or http://www.cemeterytour.com
Hollywood Forever Cemetery is one of the most celebrated and intriguing
locales in Los Angeles. For the past ten years, historic tour guide Karie
Bible has been giving official walking tours of the property. This tour has
been one of the city¹s best kept secrets--until now. The two-hour tour
evokes the storied past and navigates the labyrinth of the present as it
highlights the various historic tales, scandals and mysteries that remain a
part of Hollywood lore. Come visit legendary notables such as Cecil B.
DeMille, Marion Davies, Tyrone Power, Rudolph Valentino, Vampira, John
Huston, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, William Desmond Taylor and more. The tour
has been featured on Turner Classic Movies, CNN, The Reelz Channel, Los
Angeles Magazine and named "Best of LA" by the LA Weekly.
Interested Angelenos are encouraged to come out and be part of one or more
of these LAVA events celebrating the city and encouraging connections.
ABOUT LAVA: Through participation in LAVA, a select group of creative
professionals come together to promote cultural programming that speaks to
the urban experience while promoting positive public space. LAVA's creative
partners share a love for L.A. and unique ideas for exploring it in their
work. Formed by social historians RICHARD SCHAVE and KIM COOPER --
proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures and the 1947project time travel blog
series (including On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land) -- LAVA brings together
L.A.'s most visionary promoters, artists, writers and thinkers.
Applications from prospective LAVA members are being taken at
To learn more about LAVA, please visit http://www.lavatransforms.org