This spring brings us not only an amazing infusion of flowers but also an amazing infusion of the visual and musical arts. Below are some current and upcoming events to celebrate the season.

Benny Andrews’ “Did the Bear Sit Under the Tree?” 1969; oil, paint, fabric, and zipper on canvas; Ariel Emanuel Family Collection – on view at “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1968–1983” at the Broad, 2019 | Photo by Pablo Enriquez, courtesy The Broad

The Broad | Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983 | Now through September 1, 2019
This internationally acclaimed exhibition celebrates the work of more than 60 Black artists over two revolutionary decades in American history beginning in 1963 at the height of the civil rights movement. The exhibition examines the influences from the civil rights and Black Power movements to minimalism and developments in abstraction and includes vibrant paintings, powerful sculptures, street photography, murals and more. It shows us the deep contributions made by Black American artists at that time and the influence and originality of Los Angeles artists. Los Angeles based artists appear throughout Soul of a Nation and more deeply in three specific galleries foregrounding the significant role of Los Angeles in the arts.

California African American Museum | Plumb Line: Charles White and the Contemporary | Now through August 25, 2019
A prolific painter, printmaker, muralist, draftsman and photographer Charles White ’s portrayals of Black life were far-reaching. Plumb Line features contemporary artists whose work in the realm of black life shows Whites continuing influence.

California African American Museum | Adia Millett: Breaking Patterns | Now through August 25, 2019
Oakland based artist delves into issues of identity, personal memory and collective history. A central concern is the history of African American women in particular. She repurposes her subjects and adds layers of meanings to her works distorted spaces and skewed perspectives.

California African American Museum | California Bound: Slavery on the New Frontier, 1848-1865 | Now through April 28, 2019
The exhibition uses historical photos, documents and ephemera to chronicle the human catastrophe of slavery in the Golden State. Tyree Boyd-Pates, a co-curator, said he hoped the materials would help people grapple with the reverberations of the state’s racist legacy.

KUSC’s Sheila Tepper at CAAM | Photo by Susie Goodman

Kaleidoscope | Performances in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica | March 30 and 31
Kaleidoscope’s 5th season continues with a conductorless orchestra of over 60 musicians performing on Saturday, March 30 at 7pm at Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and Sunday, March 31 at 2pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica. The Santa Barbara performance is ticketed for $55 general admission and $25 students. The Santa Monica performance is donation-based with open seating. The program opens with Marianne Richert Pfau’s string orchestra arrangement of Hildegard von Bingen’s De Innocentibus, Rex Noster. The newest work on this program is the world premiere of Mother Chords, by Michael Gilbertson. Mother Chords was selected from Kaleidoscope’s annual call for scores, which last year received almost 2,200 applications from composers in 76 countries. This work is for string orchestra, and based on his Quartet, which was a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize. The string orchestra works are followed by Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto with Italian violinist Andrea Obiso. Andrea was selected as one of three winners of Kaleidoscope’s inaugural instrumental and vocal competition in 2018, which received nearly 2,000 applications from musicians in 88 countries. Andrea is also a prize winner of the 2017 International Münich ARD Competition. The program concludes with Claude Debussy’s La Mer, which includes over 60 musicians in Kaleidoscope’s largest orchestral performance of their 5th season. Founded in 2014 by clarinetist Benjamin Mitchell, Kaleidoscope is a conductorless orchestra dedicated to enriching lives through exhilarating concert experiences, artistic excellence, musician leadership, and connecting with the diverse communities of Los Angeles. Each season, Kaleidoscope performs over 60 free performances in schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, and other artistically underserved parts of our community.

Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín with Pacific Symphony | Performances at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and Royce Hall | April 16 and 17
Complete live performance of Verdi’s Requiem, interspersed with historic film, testimony from survivors and narration tells the moving story of courageous performances by prisoners in a WWII concentration camp. Praised by The New York Times as “Poignant…a monument to the courage of one man to foster hope among prisoners with little other solace,” Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín will be performed by Pacific Symphony on April 16, 2019 at 8pm at Segerstrom Concert Hall and on April 17 at 8pm at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Proceeds from the performance on April 17 will benefit Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. The “extraordinarily beautiful and moving” concert/drama commemorates the courageous Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp during World War II who performed Verdi’s Requiem 16 times, as an act of defiance and resistance to their Nazi captors. Defiant Requiem is a complete live performance of Verdi’s Requiem interspersed with historic film, testimony from survivors and narration that tells this tale of audacious bravery.

The Fowler Museum at UCLA | Various Exhibitions
This spring the Fowler Museum takes us to three continents–Africa, Asia, and North America–to experience a diverse range of artistic genres dating from 500 CE to the present. We will see provocative videos by three young African artists from three different African countries (now through July 28, 2019); 28 beautiful woven garments from Ottoman Syria (now through August 18, 2019); 46 photographs of spectacular subterranean wells constructed in northwestern India (now through October 20, 2019); and 80 wood dramatic masks depicting animals, folk personae and historical figures worn in Guatemala on religious and secular occasions (now through October 6, 2019).

The Ahmanson Theatre | Falsettos | April 16 through May 19, 2019
Falsettos is a hilarious and achingly poignant look at the infinite possibilities that make a modern family…and a beautiful reminder that love can tell a million stories. The Tony Award-winning musical is directed by James Lapine, music and lyrics by William Finn, book by William Finn and James Lapine.

Leave a Comment