Fun and Free for the Fourth of July

Looking for fun things to celebrate the fourth with kids or teens? From stories to crafts to music, Megan Katz, a Children’s Librarian at the John C. Fremont Branch has handpicked events your family will love. Not only are these selections fun, but they’ll also teach your little ones about the history of this important holiday without the stuffiness of a text book. Check out all of Megan’s free suggestions below at the Los Angeles Public Library.

http://jpg1.lapl.org/00109/00109714.jpg 

EVENTS:

Tuesday, July 1, 4:00 pm
Fourth of July Craft and Storytime
(for Children)
Harbor Gateway Branch

Thursday, July 3, 4:00 pm
Fourth of July Ice Cream Party
(for Families)
John C. Fremont Branch

Tuesday, July 8, 4:00 pm
Bluegrass Folk Americana with “Sometimes in Tune”
(for Families)
Encino-Tarzana Branch

Tuesday, July 15, 4:00 pm
Independence Day Craft
(for Teens)
Alma Reaves Woods Watts Branch

BOOKS:

The Declaration of Independence: The Words That Made America
Author: Sam Fink
Book Jacket for: The Declaration of Independence
The text of the Declaration of Independence is rendered artistically, along with colored drawings, to truly illustrate this most important document.

 

 

 

Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence
Author: Gretchen Woelfle
Book Jacket for: Mumbet's Declaration of Independence
This beautiful picture book tells the true story of a slave who took her master to court to win her freedom in the late 1700s. When the Declaration of Independence was drafted and her state adopted a new constitution, Mumbet decided that the freedoms promised in these documents were meant for all people, including herself.

 

Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies
Author: Cokie Roberts
Book Jacket for: Founding mothers : the women who raised our nation
New York Times
bestselling author Cokie Roberts adapts her acclaimed book on the women of the American Revolution for children.

 

 

 

You Wouldn’t Want to be a Civil War Soldier
Author: Thomas Ratliff
Book Jacket for: You wouldn't want to be a Civil War soldier! : a war you'd rather not fight
Part of a popular series, this nonfiction selection describes life as a Civil War soldier from living conditions to weaponry to medical care. The book addresses the reader as an actual soldier and includes wacky illustrations to make it a fun read.

 

 

George: George Washington, Our Founding Father
Author: Francis Anthony Keating
Book Jacket for: George : George Washington, our founding father
For younger readers, George Washington’s story is told from his own point of view in a picture book format.

 

 

 

 

Independence Day Crafts
Author: Mary Berendes
Book Jacket for: Independence Day crafts
Aimed at very young crafters, this book provides instructions for making fun Fourth of July crafts, mostly with items from around the house.

 

 

 

–Post by Megan Katz

–Top photo by Steve Young, 1964, part of the Library’s Photo Collection. “The year, the school, and even the clothes were new this morning as these five students of Harding Street Elementary School, Sylmar, gathered for their first flag raising with – a new flag.”

 

10 Ways to Savor the Summer with the Los Angeles Public Library

It’s the season of fun in the sun, far-off travel, BBQs, and of course catching up on some rest and relaxation. Here are some FREE ideas on how to use the Los Angeles Public Library to make the most of your summer.

#1 – Travel Light

Don’t overload your suitcase with travel guides. From Lonely Planet to Fodor’s, your favorite travel books are now available as downloads for your iPad or tablet.

 

 

#2 – Talk Like a Local

Preparing a trip to a foreign country? From Italian to Korean to Arabic to Russian, the Library offers online language courses through Mango Languages and Powerspeak Languages.

#3 – Photography 101

Before you take that scenic hike or light fireworks for Independence Day, learn how to better capture your summer moments. Through Gale Courses, you can take six-week interactive online courses on mastering digital photography and Photoshop, as well as other topics like computer programming, creative writing, and financial planning.

 

#4 – Cook with Class

The farmer’s market is in full swing in the summertime, so take your culinary skills to the next level. Enroll in an online cooking class with Universal Class, a continuing education program with over 500 online courses led by expert instructors.

 

#5 – Plan a Staycation

How do you take a docent-led tour of Central Library? What’s a good L.A. noir read? Where might you find maps of canyon trails? Use the Ask a Librarian tool to call, e-mail, text, or IM for answers to your library-related questions.

 

 


#6 – Easy Listening

Hoping to read the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Goldfinch, but don’t want to drag that behemoth book to the beach? Check out the audio version along with thousands of other books as CDs or downloadable forms.


#7- Get Crafty

Browse the Library’s calendar of arts and crafts activities to keep inspired this summer from the Crochet and Knitting Club at Valley Plaza to the LACMA Teen Art Workshops at Pio Pico-Koreatown.

 

#8 – Now Playing

If you want to curl up on your couch for movie night, or watch a film on a big screen, the Los Angeles Public Library has you covered. Stream movies at home through hoopla or OverDrive. Or visit a branch for regular and special film screenings like “Tuesday Night @ the Movies” at Memorial or “Saturday Matinees” at Los Feliz.

#9 – Stay Current

With free downloads of your favorite magazines through Zinio, you won’t need to hang out in waiting rooms to stay in the know. There’s Newsweek and The Economist for your news fix, or Us Weekly and Rolling Stone for your pleasure, among many more popular titles to choose from.


#10 – Real Research

For the more serious-minded, use the new Book a Librarian service to schedule a half-hour session with a reference librarian or subject specialist at Central Library. From starting your own business to digging into your family genealogy, it’s never been easier to learn how to use the resources of the Library.

 

 


Visit lapl.org for more info on all these resources.

Art work by Florian Brozek.

A Summer of Learning at the Library

The Library Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the Summer Reading Club — Los Angeles Public Library’s longest running program — and this year it will be easier for more participants to engage with than ever before. Mayor Garcetti has announced that this summer will be a “Summer of Learning” in Los Angeles, based on Chicago’s model in 2013. The reading clubs, which foster literacy and learning when students are out of school, will be a core component of “Summer of Learning,” offering students the chance to earn digital badges through a City website for completing game boards, for volunteering 20 hours, and for participating in science workshops.

Pause to Read Artwork

Running from June 9 to August 2, this year’s reading theme is “Paws to Read,” and will feature a range of fun animal activities like origami, puppet shows, crafts, robot building, science workshops, and more. The game boards that help guide students through a fun reading journey will be more readily available this summer—in the branches, at schools, and online.

Paws to Read LogoPlus, the Library has teamed up with the Los Angeles Zoo, along with The Getty Center, The Skirball Cultural Center, LACMA, the California Science Center, and the Natural History Museum to make the game boards more interactive through animal photos and artwork, and to encourage kids to visit all of these important educational institutions.

For a full schedule of all upcoming programs for children and teens, visit lapl.org/summerreading.

All Aboard! Don’t Miss the Trains at Central Library

Earlier this month a new exhibit marking the 75th anniversary of Union Station opened at the Central Library. No Further West: The Story of Los Angeles Union Station is the first exhibition to examine the significance of the architectural design and cultural politics of the historic station. The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular library hours at the downtown Central Library through August 10.

As part of the exhibit, the Library Foundation has made it possible for various train clubs–including the Southern California Traction Club pictured above and below–to have model trains running in the Getty Gallery on selected dates. Check out the schedule below and bring the family for this rare chance to see these incredible trains let loose in the Library.

No Further West is organized by the Getty Research Institute with the generous participation of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

 

 

 

 

No Further West: The Story of Los Angeles Union Station

Over a century ago, the city fathers of Los Angeles imagined that one day their gritty frontier town would become California’s major metropolitan hub. In order to position its status as a progressive, prosperous community, Los Angeles would first need a Union Station. For decades the fathers fought the railroads to build the station, and when they finally agreed, the railroad planners examined issues of economic growth, urban expansion, and transportation logistics that continue to shape the Los Angeles we know today.


LAPL Photo collection. Union Station, 1940.

On May 2, a new exhibit marking the 75th anniversary of Union Station opens at the Central Library. No Further West is the first exhibition to examine the significance of this architectural and civic landmark. Featuring stunning historic drawings from the Getty Research Institute that have never been shared with the public, the exhibit will showcase original renderings by John and Donald B. Parkinson, the father-son architectural team who designed this gateway to the West. Photographs of trains, depots, the original Chinatown that was razed to make way for Union Station and the grand three-day opening ceremony will be on display along with maps and ephemera—much of which is from The Huntington Library. Rare books from the Los Angeles Public Library’s collection will be on hand to tell the story of Union Station’s past—highlighting the immense Spanish Fantasy influences.


Alameda Street Elevation, Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal, July 16, 1936. Los Angeles, Getty Research Institute © J. Paul Getty Trust

“Union Station has this interesting tension of looking back and looking forward,” says Marlyn Musicant, the senior exhibitions coordinator at the Getty Research Institute who is curating No Further West. She explains how at the time the aesthetic of the station’s Mission Revival appearance juxtaposed with the modern trains that were very much about the promise of the machine age. Continuing to look ahead to the future, author and critic Greg Goldin will curate a section of the exhibit featuring vision plans that architects have recently proposed for Union Station in 2050.

Main Concourse Section XII, March 6, 1938. Edward Warren Hoak. Los Angeles, Getty Research Institute © J. Paul Getty Trust

The Los Angeles Public Library, which was built during the same era and less than two miles away from Union Station, presented the perfect venue for this very L.A. story. “At a time when there is a resurgence of activity in downtown L.A.—especially the historic core—and an increasing interest in expanding our rail system, it’s fitting to celebrate this beautiful landmark within the walls of another of the city’s treasured buildings,” says Musicant.

Ticket Concourse, Union Station, 2013.  Photo by John Kiffe. Los Angeles, Getty Research Institute. ©  J. Paul Getty Trust
Ticket Concourse, Union Station, 2013. Photo by John Kiffe. Los Angeles, Getty Research Institute. © J. Paul Getty Trust

The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular library hours at the Central Library’s Getty Gallery through August 10. A series of related events will be held in conjunction with the exhibit, including changing displays of model trains by various train clubs on selected dates:

May 17 & 18 Southern California Traction Club  www.trolleyville.com
May 24-June 1 Group 160   www.group160.org
June 7 & 8 San Luis Obispo Model Railroad Assoc.   www.slomra.org
June 14 & 15 Orange County Module Railroaders   www.trainweb.org/ocmra
June 21 & 22 NTrak Express   www.ntrakexpress.com
June 28 & 29 Antelope Valley Nscalers   www.avns.av.org
July 12 & 13 NTrak Express
July 19 & 20 Orange County “N”Gineers   www.ocngineers.com
July 26 & 27 ZoCal    https://vimeo.com/groups/31397
Aug 2 & 3 Pacific Coast Modular Club   www.pctrainclub.org
Aug 9 & 10 Group 160

On May 29, ALOUD will be hosting a special panel on No Further West—members of the Union Station Master Plan team, an architectural historian (and exhibition curator), and the vice-president of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California—will discuss the history of this architectural icon and share visions for its future. Make your free reservation to the ALOUD program here.

Learn more about the exhibit and other special events at the Library.

Get Smart With Your Finances

Don’t be delinquent with your taxes… remember actress Veronica Lake’s fall from the Hollywood limelight?  

http://jpg1.lapl.org/00106/00106298.jpgFrom the LAPL Photo Collection, May 8, 1951: “There were no dramatics, no kleiglights, no hair hanging over one eye today for actress Veronica Lake. It was real-life money troubles that she and her husband, director André de Toth, came to court to talk about. They have filed bankruptcy petitions. Their home has been seized for delinquent income taxes. ‘When that happened,’ said de Toth, everybody who held a bill against us wanted money immediately.”

April is Financial Literacy Month and Mayor Garcetti has teamed up with the Los Angeles Public Library to help all Angelenos learn how to earn more, save more, and achieve financial security. Every Saturday during April, the LAPL is offering free events and workshops, such as Money Skills for Families, Debt Management, Understanding Credit & Cash for College. Learn to be money smart and take advantage of the resources and benefits available to you and your family. Here’s the PDF with full details on events and workshops at these branches:

April 12 – Van Nuys Branch Library
April 19 – Pio Pico Koreatown Library
April 26 – Exposition Park Regional Branch

Also, with Tax Day right around the corner, click here to find information on tax forms, filing and where to go for income tax assistance at the Los Angeles Public Library. You may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or access to FREE tax preparation software. And check out The Language of Money Resource Guide, a great compilation of financial learning tools, books, databases, and useful websites.

Toddling Through Children’s Books with Jason Boog

How do you pick the best books for the baby or toddler in your life? After three years of research with my daughter, I think you should take them to the library and let them find books themselves.

When my daughter was born, I hadn’t read a kid’s book in many, many years. I learned almost everything I know about children’s literature by exploring the Pacific Palisades branch of the Los Angeles Public Library with my daughter.

Before Olive was able to walk, she could still browse at the library, digging through the baskets of books our librarians filled for the littlest readers. We checked out a stack of board books every week—books printed on hard cardboard stock to endure toddler readings.

As soon as she could toddle through the library, Olive would pluck books off the children shelves and carry them proudly to the checkout desk. We read so many amazing books during that time, but here are some favorites: Sandbox by Rosemary Wells, Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee, Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann, Hug by Jez Alborough, and Ten Tiny Tickles by Karen Katz.

Olive soon graduated into longer books, including the entire Munschworks storybook collection by Robert Munsch, Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, and anything by Dr. Seuss. Olive still likes to check out at least one Dr. Seuss book every week, and fortunately our library stocks plenty of circulating copies.


I wrote about our reading adventures in my upcoming book, Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age. I didn’t used to blink when I passed the children’s section at the library, but now I can spend hours browsing the stocks with my daughter.

I now follow the upcoming book lists from the major publishers with the same enthusiasm I used to follow the adult bestseller list. There are a few books I’m very excited about this year, and all of them come with Olive’s stamp of approval.

 


Gorilla
by Anthony Browne: The 30th anniversary edition of one of our favorite books, the tale of a lovable gorilla who takes a young girl on a nighttime adventure. The LAPL has a great collection of Anthony Browne books that introduced us to this artist and author’s work.

Book Jacket for: We're going on a bear hunt : anniversary edition of a modern classic
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
: This was one of our favorite read-along books when Olive was two years old, and a jigsaw puzzle version of this book is coming out this year—letting kids enjoy the book and solve a series of puzzles too.

 

 

Book Jacket for: Chu's day
Chu’s Day
by Neil Gaiman
(Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Adam Rex): I am a big fan of Gaiman’s work for adults, and Olive giggled all the way through Chu’s Day, the novelist’s first book about a lovable panda bear with a sneezing problem. We are looking forward to this new installment.

 

 

Book Jacket for: Bedtime math
Bedtime Math: This Time, It’s Personal
by Laura Overdeck
, illus by Jim Paillot: This book introduces kids to math, a crucial skill that parents tend to skip at storytime. The series helps math-challenged parents like me introduce math with all the fun of a bedtime story.

 

 

Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm Xby Ilyasah Shabazz: This upcoming biography explores the childhood of a great leader, complete with gorgeous illustrations by AG Ford.

Hearts by Thereza Rowe: In this magical book, Penelope the Fox loses her heart and chases it through a surreal landscape. This book is part of the TOON Books series, a collection of books by world-renown illustrators. Olive and I discovered this series in the LAPL stacks, and it introduced my daughter to the joy of comic books.

Finally, if your kid spends more time on the iPad instead of reading, I recommend you try the Reading Rainbow app.

This is the digital reincarnation of my favorite show from childhood, LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow. The subscription app contains hundreds of digital books and a selection of videos culled from the television show’s archive.

At our house, we let Olive watch one Reading Rainbow video during her daily iPad time. While reading books, she also learned about crayon factories, quilt makers, Olympic athletes and the press secretary for President Barack Obama. And she always ends these iPad sessions with a good digital book, narrated by some of the best readers in the storytelling business.

“But you don’t have to take my word for it,” Burton always used to say on Reading Rainbow. He’s right. Start with my recommendations, but take the kid in your life to the library to find more books…

–Posted by Jason Boog

Jason Boog is the author of the forthcoming book, “Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age.” He lives in Los Angeles with his family.

Author photo by Mike Henry.

From the Archive: The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This year’s observance of Martin Luther King Day is made especially momentous as it also marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Washington. Here then are a few incredible moments from the Los Angeles Public Library’s photo collection looking back at the rich legacy of MLK and how he impacted our city. Also, LAPL will be hosting Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle, a new program series developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) that uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history. Check out the schedule of free film screenings at several library branches here.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Addresses Students
http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics25/00032094.jpgMartin Luther King speaks to a crowd of 4,500 on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. Here, he called for students to join a “Domestic Freedom Corps” to work in 120 counties of the Deep South to help increase the number of registered African American voters.

Honored at the Hollywood Palladiumhttp://jpg1.lapl.org/00082/00082910.jpg
Martin Luther King is honored by the City of Los Angeles and the World Affairs Council during a luncheon held at the Hollywood Palladium. Here he is pictured with (from left), Councilman (and later mayor) Tom Bradley, Supervisor Warren M. Dorn, King, Harold C. McClellan and Mayor Samuel W. Yorty. King arrived in Los Angeles under heavy guard following the assassination of Malcolm X. An anonymous bomb threat was made during the luncheon. When addressing the group, King said, “Before the victory is won, some of us will have to get scarred up a little bit.” Photograph caption dated February 26, 1965 reads, “City and county officials presented a proclamation to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in ceremonies preceeding a World Affairs Council luncheon yesterday at the Hollywood Palladium at which King, the Nobel Peace prize winner, spoke.”

Busload of L.A. Marchers Leave for Alabama Marchhttp://jpg1.lapl.org/pics28/00033922.jpg
A chartered bus with 37 aboard leaves the Federal Building under strict security measures. The Los Angeles civil-rights partisans were on their way to Alabama to participate in Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Negro vote” march. 1965.

Los Angeles Sports Arenahttp://jpg1.lapl.org/pics25/00032084.jpgMartin Luther King and Governor Edmund G. Brown during a Freedom Rally at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. An audience of 12,000 was expected at the 18,000-seat venue. When over 25,000 people showed up to hear King speak, many remained outside and listened to the speech over loudspeakers. Photograph dated June 18, 1961.

Chavez Gives King Tribute http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics25/00032092.jpgCesar Chavez, standing next to a large wreath, pays tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at a memorial service at the Los Angeles Coliseum on April 7, 1968.

King Memorial Service http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics25/00032082.jpgClergy and mourners march to First Methodist Church, 8th and Hill Streets, on April 8, 1968, where services were held for Dr. Martin Luther King. View is from the top of the church.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Honored  http://jpg1.lapl.org/00092/00092142.jpg
A grandmother explains to her grandson who Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was, in front of a display in the lobby of Curtiss Middle School in Carson. Photo by Ken Papaleo.

Browse more photos from the Library’s online collection here.

This Year’s Highlights of Membership

Members of the Library Foundation are a dedicated group of people who share a deep commitment to helping the Library provide all Angelenos with access to ideas, information, and lifelong learning. We are so grateful for their support, and in return, have spent 2013 hosting a range of events to celebrate their love for the Los Angeles Public Library. Before we look ahead to 2014 and invite Members to join us for a new slate of special events, here’s a look back at some highlights from this truly remarkable year. If you are not a Member already, please consider becoming a Library Foundation Member today to take part in these special events.

2013 marked the debut of “The Writer’s Cut.” This new program brings today’s most well known television writers and showrunners to the Central Library to discuss storytelling for the small screen. Members heard behind-the-scenes tales from Dan O’Shannon (“Modern Family”), Glen Mazzara (“The Walking Dead”), and, pictured above, Vince Gilligan (“Breaking Bad”).

After the coziest of all fundraisers, the Stay Home and Read a Book Ball, took place last year, writer Mark Salzman, chair of the event, invited Members to participate in a private writing workshop.

Members were also invited to many other exclusive events with celebrated authors including these Leadership Circle receptions and private events:
Displaying A3S_9299.jpg
Sharon Rising, Marlene Billington and Patt Morrison gather for a reception with Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California.

Displaying 2013-10-0318-59-49D4A_1297.jpg
As part of What Ever Happened to Moby Dick?, D. Graham Burnett with Douglas Murray, Bernadette Glenn, and Ken Brecher.


Songs in the Key of LA performance with Van Dyke Parks and special guests.

Membership also comes with some special savings benefits. This year, Members received early access to the Summer Sale at the award-winning Library Store and discounts at other Los Angeles organizations as part of May and November’s Member Appreciation Days.

As always, Members received priority notice of the ALOUD lineups throughout the year, and this past September Members also received priority notice to the launch of “Lost & Found at the Movies,” a new series celebrating the art of cinema and the vitality of film culture. Curated by John Nein, senior programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, the program kicked off with Los Angeles Times and NPR Film Critic Kenneth Turan talking about how and where we watch films in L.A. (pictured above.)
The Young Literati’s annual Annenberg Beach House party was the perfect kick off to “Whatever Happened to Moby Dick?”. Members were treated to readings by Moby, Mark Z. Danielewski, Colin Hanks, and Attica Locke; a DJ set by Shepard Fairey; and a special acoustic performance by thenewno2.

Young Literati also enjoyed cocktails with Roy Choi after a particularly mouthwatering edition of ALOUD. During the evening, Roy Choi discussed his fascinating journey, which has culminated in his critically-acclaimed Kogi BBQ Trucks and several much-loved restaurants. He then joined Young Literati Members in the courtyard for a private reception featuring tacos and beer!
Displaying Shepard, Amanda, Orlean, and guest.jpg

And the Young Literati’s Private Party at Subliminal Projects was an evening of literary inspiration at Amanda and Shepard Fairey’s Echo Park gallery space. Kai and Sunny’s literature-inspired artwork provided a beautiful backdrop for Young Literati to mingle and enjoy special cocktails from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Thank you to all of our Members for spending the year with us! If you are looking for some last minute holiday gifts, Membership is the gift that keeps on giving. For a limited time this December and January, a generous Member of our Board of Directors will match your gift dollar for dollar when you join the Library Foundation.

For more information about Membership contact Erin Sapinoso at erinsapinoso@lfla.org. Or for more information about the Young Literati, contact Jennnifer Kondo at jenniferkondo@lfla.org.

 

Tying the Room Together; Highlights from ALOUD

The year brought many unexpected surprises to the ALOUD stage: a first-ever live rap with local hip hop stars backing author MK Asante; Quetzal bringing vintage music from the Los Angeles Public Library sheet music collection to life; Persian short story master Goli Taraghi slyly comparing Tehranian and Parisian cabbies; the late Wanda Coleman delivering one of her last public readings—a passionate poetry tribute to James Weldon Johnson. We sampled sustainable Congolese coffee before a panel on coffee culture, and blissed out when The Dude himself (Jeff Bridges) ruminated on how “love is the rug that ties the room together.”

Please join us once more before the year’s end to laugh, question, savor, and reflect on some of our favorite ALOUD moments from 2013:

Three accomplished short story writers—George Saunders, Bernard Cooper, and Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, unpacked the challenges of the short story form explaining how they work through their own daunting personal doubts.

“Language is like a sword that can defend you.” Iranian writer Goli Taraghi shared this wisdom along with other fascinating insights into how creativity and ingenuity can flourish despite censorship, oppression, and the struggles of an exile living far from her home and mother tongue.

MK Asante and Nick Flynn gifted us raw wisdom in their memoirs, both soaring meditations on the power of poetry, writing, and filmmaking as tools for transmitting universal truths, emotional healing, and unlocking individual freedom.

“Is this your first book in a box?,” asked graphic novelist Gene Yang of fellow illustrator Joe Sacco. Yang dove into a fascinating discussion with Sacco on process, while looking at how artists deal with the ethics of converting history into graphic narratives. Far from being contained within the boundaries of a box, these two artists showed how storytelling is illuminated through diverse forms.

The Feminine Mystique, a panel of multi-generational activists, expanded upon Betty Friedan’s seminal book by exploring the evolution of the feminist movement, and why feminism is still considered a “dirty word.” Highlights included learning about the radical and exploratory approaches women took to protect their health in the sixties (the first time anyone produced a speculum on the ALOUD stage!), and consensus from all participants that feminists today are in favor of a more inclusive movement encompassing class and racial equality for both women and men.

The Library jammed to the jazz and world music tunes of Don Cherry in a live tribute honoring an L.A. genius who spread his cosmic musical talent far and wide. In a first-ever hometown tribute, his talented family of fellow musicians—conducted by his son David Ornette Cherry— shared candid stories from his career while also introducing a new generation to his work.

The ALOUD audience was enlightened by a rich bilingual experience about the life of the late poet and novelist Roberto Bolaño. Here’s a gem from an audience member: “Otherness becomes familiar as the magic of unattainable syllables is rendered even more magical with the conveyance of heart pulse, bone and marrow intentions.”


Activists Albie Sachs, Eve Ensler, Jody Williams and artist Shirin Neshat—all by example—showed what we can do as citizens and artists in service of reconciliation, social justice and as agents for positive change in the world: “You cannot not respond to the world around you—culture has to be morally conscious.” —Shirin Neshat (pictured above)

Thank you for spending the year with us! We look forward to seeing you in 2014. Learn more about our 2014 program calendar here.