WeHo Reads

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The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division (www.weho.org/arts) presents WeHo Reads, a celebrated literary series featuring noteworthy authors.

Past authors and presenters have included André Aciman, Andrew Rannells, Arlene and Alan Alda, Armistead Maupin, Bianca Del Rio, Bryan Fuller, Carrie Brownstein, Charles Phoenix, Chris Kraus, Chouchou Namegabe, Cynthia Bond, David Francis, David Ulin, Eileen Myles, Eloise Klein Healy, Emma Donoghue, Erwin Chemerinsky, Henry Rollins, Ivy Bottini, Jacob Tobia, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Kim Dower, Larry Mantle, LeVar Burton, Lillian Faderman, Lorna Luft, Luis J. Rodriguez, Michael York, Michelle Visage, Natalie Goldberg, Natasha Deón, Nina Revoyr, Patrisse Cullors, Patt Morrison, PEN Center, Phillipa Gregory, Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco, Ryan Gosling, Samantha Dunn, Sarah Silverman, Seymour Stein, Stephen Chbosky, Steven Reigns, Tananarive Due, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, Word Theatre and Zócalo Public Square.

 Follow us at @WeHoReads and @WeHoArts.

 


 UPCOMING EVENTS 

Sam Wasson

WeHo Reads: Sam Wasson discussing and signing The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood

Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 7pm
City Council Chambers at the West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069  

Join the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Reads program and Book Soup for Sam Wasson discussing and signing The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood. He will be in conversation with director and screenwriter James Gray (Ad Astra, The Lost City of Z).

Ticket purchase required ($29+tax, includes one copy of the book) from Book Soup here.

A limited number of free tickets (which do not include a copy of the book) will be provided to West Hollywood residents upon providing proof of residency via a government ID, lease or utility bill. Please confirm your address is in West Hollywood by visiting www.weho.org/streets, and email Mike Che, Arts Coordinator, at mche@weho.org to reserve tickets. There is a limit of 2 tickets per person and tickets may not be resold.

Chinatown is one of the best films of 1970s cinema. Its twist ending is the most notorious in American film and its closing line of dialogue the most haunting. Here for the first time is the incredible true story of its making. In Sam Wasson's telling, it becomes the defining story of the most colorful characters in the most colorful period of Hollywood history. Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, as compelling a movie star as there has ever been, embarking on his great, doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Here is director Roman Polanski, both predator and prey, haunted by the savage death of his wife, returning to Los Angeles, the scene of the crime, where the seeds of his own self-destruction are quickly planted. Here is the fevered dealmaking of "The Kid" Robert Evans, the most consummate of producers. Here too is Robert Towne's fabled script, widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written. Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the true account of its creation. Looming over the story of this classic movie is the imminent eclipse of the '70s filmmaker-friendly studios as they gave way to the corporate Hollywood we know today. In telling that larger story, The Big Goodbye will take its place alongside classics like Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and The Devil's Candy as one of the great movie-world books ever written. (Flatiron Books)

Questions about the event? Please call Book Soup at 310-659-3110 or visit www.booksoup.com

For more information on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Reads program please contact Mike Che, mche@weho.org.

 


 

WeHo Reads: Architects Who Built Southern California

Friday, March 6, 2020, 7pm
Community Meeting Room at the West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069  

In the early 1900s, the population of Southern California exploded, and the cities grew at such a rapid pace that builders could hardly keep up. Among those who settled in the area were ten architects looking to make their marks on the world. Claud Beelman, a man who never received a college degree, would go on to design the Elks Lodge in Los Angeles. Albert C. Martin, architect of Grauman’s Million Dollar Theater, founded a company that is still going strong more than one hundred years later, and Julia Morgan, the first woman architect licensed in California, was hired by William Randolph Hearst to design the Examiner Building. Join author Antonio Gonzalez as he tells the stories of the people behind some of Southern California’s most iconic buildings.

Antonio Gonzalez has a BA in journalism from the University of Iowa and an MLIS from San Jose State University. He is a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity, works in an architecture and fine arts library and has a blog where he post items related to architecture and his other interests (misterdangerous.wordpress.com).

 This WeHo Reads (www.weho.org/wehoreads) book event is combined with an exhibition reception for:

Historic WeHo

 an Exhibit of Historic Properties of West Hollywood by photographer Tony Coelho

In 2015, arts and historic preservation staff began a project of documenting all of the City’s designated historic properties. This exhibition shows a selection of photographs from the over 80 properties that were documented by West Hollywood photographer Tony Coelho, representing a wide array of architectural styles and associations with well-known architects and builders. These images celebrate West Hollywood - recognizing our past, present, and future.

7-8pm: Reading and Architecture Presentation by Antonio Gonzalez

8-9pm: Exhibition Reception with artists upstairs. 

Free admission. RSVP required for reception: https://wehoreadshistoricweho.eventbrite.com


WeHo Reads Celebrates National Poetry Month

Be The Change: Poetry and Social Change

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 7pm
City Council Chambers at the West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069  

Inspired by Gandhi's message of "You must be the change you want to see in the world," join West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Charles Flowers for a reading and discussion about poets as agents of social change, and how poetry can play a role in our most critical discussions (race, immigration, homelessness). Featuring Morgan Parker, Verónica Reyes, and Brian Sonia-Wallace. Presented by the City of West Hollywood as part of WeHo Reads Celebrates National Poetry Month. Following the reading, there will be a small reception and books will be available for purchase.

Free admission. RSVP requested: https://wehoreadspoetrymonth2020.eventbrite.com

 


 

WeHo Reads Celebrates Russian Arts & Culture Month

Farewell, Mama Odessa

Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 7pm
Art Room 2, Plummer Park Community Center
7377 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046 

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A Modern-Day Exodus & the Soviet Jewry Movement 

Award-winning author Dr. Emil Draitser will discuss this fascinating topic,and present his new book Farewell, Mama Odessa (Northwest-ern University Press, 2020). Set in the summer of 1979 at the height of the movement to free Soviet Jewry and dedicated to its activists, Farewell, Mama Odessa is an autobiographical book that explores the reasons for Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union, describes his characters’ anxiety as they make their way to America and the challenges they face in a new land. 

Dr. Draitser is an author of twelve volumes of artistic and scholarly prose, including Shush! Growing Up Jewish under Stalin: A Memoir; Stalin’s Romeo Spy; and Forbidden Laughter: Soviet Underground Jokes. He is also a professor emeritus of Russian at Hunter College of the City University of New York. (www.emildraitser.com)

Free admission. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP requested at: https://wehoreadsmamaodessa.eventbrite.com



WeHo Reads:

Hollywood Chinese by Arthur Dong

Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 7pm
City Council Chambers at the West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069  

Growing up during the 1960s, Chinese-American filmmaker and author Arthur Dong saw plenty of Hollywood movies where portrayals of Asian people leaned heavily into stereotypes or, worse, were outright offensive and with many roles played by white actors, a practice commonly referred to as “yellowface.”

This curiosity would motivate Dong to make documentaries and films about the Chinese and LGBTQ communities. With his book, “Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films,” the Oscar-nominated filmmaker dives deep into the history of Chinese representation in U.S. cinema, from early depictions of San Francisco’s Tong Wars in the early 1900s to hit romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians” in 2018. 

He touches on the history of stereotypical characters like the villainous Fu Manchu, the game-changing presence of Hollywood’s first Chinese American movie star, Anna May Wong, and other notable, if lesser known, junctures in pop culture history — like how the 1962 film “Confessions of an Opium Eater” became the impetus for starting East West Players, the Los Angeles-based Asian American theater company, still in existence today.

Free admission. RSVP requested. Link to come soon.

   


 

 One City One Pride Kick-off/WeHo Reads:

Dear Harvey staged reading

Friday, May 22, 2020, 7:30pm
City Council Chambers at the West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069  

Join the City of West Hollywood's Arts Division on Wednesday, May 22, for the kick-off of the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival and official City celebration of Harvey Milk Day featuring a free staged reading of Patricia Loughrey's Dear Harvey. The reading is produced and directed by Michael Shepperd of Celebration Theatre, LA's oldest LGBTQ theatre founded in 1982.

Extensively researched, this documentary-style ensemble play recounts the life and lasting impact of groundbreaking activist and politician Harvey Milk, as told by the people who knew him best, featuring a cast of professional actors, elected/appointed officials and community members. 

The reading will start at 7:30pm, and be preceded by a reception (6:30-7:30pm) with light food and refreshments. During the reception, there will a poetry pop-up from the One City One Pride #PridePoets. 

For more information and full listing of the City's One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival (May 22 - June 30) visit www.weho.org/pride.

Free admission. RSVP requested. Link to come soon.



One City One Pride / WeHo Reads present

Lambda Lit Award Finalists Reading

Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 7pm
City Council Chambers at the West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069  

Join the City of West Hollywood's Arts Division and Lambda Literary for readings from the Southern California finalists for the annual Lambda Lit Awards in LGBTQ literature. List of readers to come soon.

Presented as part of the City's One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival (May 22 - June 30). More info at www.weho.org/pride or @wehoarts.

Free admission. RSVP requested. Link to come soon.



One City One Pride - Day of Art

Saturday, June 20, 2020
City Council Chambers at the West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069  

Join the City of West Hollywood's Arts Division for a full day of dance, literature, and film on our annual One City One Pride Day of Art

WeHo Reads programs included for that day include:

Rainbow Warrior - A panel discussion about this memoir of Gilbert Baker, the man who is credited with created the Rainbow Flag.

Undocumented Poetry Reading -  Influx Collective curates a reading from undocuqueer poets in relation to this year One City One Pride theme "For the Record"

Presented as part of the City's One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival (May 22 - June 30). More info at www.weho.org/pride or @wehoarts.

Free admission. RSVP requested. Link and details to come soon.