WHAT: This spring, members of LAVA (The Los Angeles Visionaries Association) present a series of eclectic FREE cultural happenings celebrating the history of Southern California, including: Open House at the historic Stendahl Galleries (4/22), Sunnyside Mausoleum Tile, Architecture and History Tour (5/6), Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum Tour (5/6), Union Rescue Mission Walking Tour: 121 years on Skid Row (5/17), Of Scrap & Steel: free rooftop screening of rare 1949 color film set on Main Street, Downtown L.
A. (5/17), Historic Hill Street Walking Tour (5/27), Memorial Day Tour of Savannah Cemetery (5/28), Tour of Pio Pico's Historic Whittier Adobe (6/17)COST: All of these LAVA events are free, but reservations are required LOCATION: Various (details below). MORE INFO: http://lavatransforms.org and the individual links belowLOS ANGELES- Have you heard about LAVA? The Los Angeles Visionaries Association is a creative consortium of artists, musicians, writers, storytellers and filmmakers who share their varied activities on an online community calendar. From February 2010 through November 2011 LAVA came together on the last Sunday of the month for a free cultural lunch Salon at Clifton's Cafeteria; since Clifton's closed for renovations, the LAVA Salon has transformed into a paid quarterly literary Salon at Musso & Frank (next date: April 30, featuring author John Buntin on the theme of Raymond Chandler's Underworld). Every LAVA gathering is a place for people who are passionate about Los Angeles and its history to connect and to discover.Created by Richard Schave and Kim Cooperâthe busy married couple who lead historical bus tours under the Esotouric flag ("The Real Black Dahlia," "Raymond Chandler's L.A."), successfully campaigned to save the endangered 76 Balls, Charles Bukowski's house and L.A.'s Public Libraries, put the Downtown Art Walk into a non-profit, and most recently assembled a collective of the region's best independent tour guides at www.7DaysinLA.com -- LAVA 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. And this spring the LAVA calendar shines with a series of free walking tours, gallery, museum and cemetery visits, with something to delight and inspire anybody looking for a memorable outing. The events play out in this order...EVENT #1: Sunday, April 22, 1:00pm - 4:00pm - Open House at the historic Stendahl Galleries (7065 Hillside Avenue, Hollywood, CA, 90068, free)INFO/RESERVATIONS: http://lavatransforms.org/stendahl-openhouse-2012ABOUT: You are cordially invited to an Open House at the historic home/gallery of LAVA Visionary April Dammann and her husband Ron Dammann, president of Stendahl Galleries, a participating gallery in Pacific Standard Time. April will lead informal gallery tours and speak about her new book, "Exhibitionist: Earl Stendahl, Art Dealer as Impresario," which chronicles the life and times of her husband's grandfather, a pioneering art dealer in Los Angeles. Exhibitionist made book critic David Kipen's top ten list of âBest Booksâ published in California in 2011.EVENT #2: Sunday, May 6, 11:30am - 1:00pm - Sunnyside Mausoleum Tile, Architecture and History Tour (Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, 1500 East San Antonio Drive, Long Beach, CA, 90807, free)INFO/RESERVATIONS: http://lavatransforms.org/sunnysideABOUT: Constructed in 1922 as the flagship of what was to be a national chain of mausoleums, Sunnyside Mausoleum is a stunning structure inspired in part by the Royal Pantheon beneath the Basilica at El Escorial in Spain, and adorned throughout with breath-taking tile and stained glass art by Southern California artisans of the early 20th century. Please join us for an informal walk through the mausoleum and courtyard, which will include a brief history of the cemetery, and a discussion from 1947project's own Nathan Marsak on the rise and fall of mausoleum architecture in America.EVENT #3: Sunday, May 6, 2:00pm - 4:00pm - Tour the historic Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum (18127 South Alameda Street, Compton, CA, 90220, free)INFO/RESERVATIONS: http://lavatransforms.org/dominguezranchoABOUT: Join us for a guided tour of the Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum, the original seat of Rancho San Pedro, which is both a California Historical Landmark (#152) and on the National Register of Historic Places. The Rancho was the first Spanish land grant in California, granted in 1784 by King Carlos III to Juan Jose Dominguez, a retired Spanish soldier who came twice to California: first with The PortolĂĄ Expedition and later with Father JunĂpero Serra. The Rancho encompassed 75,000 acres and included what would become the Los Angeles harbor. In 1826, Juan Jose's heir Manuel Dominguez constructed the Dominguez Rancho Adobe as it is seen today. The reconstructed environments throughout the adobe focus on what life was like in Los Angeles' poorly understood Rancho era, which lasted roughly from the 1833 secularization of Mission lands through California's Statehood (1850) and ending with the disastrous droughts and floods of the 1860s. Out of the failure of this fascinating agrarian culture and the subsequent rise of industrialization, the agricultural economy which carried the region into the 20th Century was born. The museum also has an extensive collection on the Dominguez Hills Air Meet and its role in early Los Angeles aviation history and industry, including a miniature table-top model of dirigibles and planes featured at the 1910 Air Meet that was constructed by Paramount Studios artisans.EVENT #4: Thursday, May 17, 5:00pm - 6:30pm - Union Rescue Mission Walking Tour: 121 years on Skid Row (545 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90013, free)INFO/RESERVATIONS: http://lavatransforms.org/urmwalk1ABOUT: Please 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 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 tour begins with a survey of the early history of the outreach by the URM through its gospel wagon and at two now-lost buildings: the original home at 145 N. Main (now City Hall Lawn) and the long-time location at 226 S. Main (now a parking lot next to the former St. Vibiana's Cathedral). 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 âOf Scrap & Steel,â which will be screened later in the evening in a free event that requires a separate reservation). 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.EVENT #5: Thursday, May 17, 7:00pm - 9:30pm - Of Scrap & Steel: free rooftop screening of rare 1949 color film set on Main Street, Downtown L.A. (545 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90013, free)INFO/RESERVATIONS: http://lavatransforms.org/scrapsteel2ABOUT: LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association is pleased to announce 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 screening is in conjunction with a new series of downtown stories on the In SRO Land time travel blog, featuring material from the Union Rescue Mission Archives. In mid-1948 the Board of Directors of the Union Rescue Mission approved the expenditure of $5,000 to make the 30-minute film "Of Scrap & Steel" which 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. This free rooftop screening is jointly organized by LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association, the In SRO Land time travel blog and the Union Rescue Mission. Seating will be provided, and attendees are encouraged to dress warmly for the cool night air. 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 other people.EVENT #6: Sunday, May 27, 1:30pm - 4:30pm - The FlĂąneur & The City: Hill Street walking tour (Los Angeles Athletic Club, 431 W 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90014, free)INFO/RESERVATIONS: http://lavatransforms.org/flaneurhillstreetABOUT: For the latest installment of urban historian Richard Schave's site-specific discussion series "The FlĂąneur & The City," Richard (Esotouric bus adventures, In SRO Land) is joined by architectural historian Nathan Marsak (1947project, On Bunker Hill). On this excursion we'll be casting our eyes along on one fascinating, but underappreciated, downtown boulevard: Hill Street. The tour begins at Alfred Rosenheim's Hamburger's Department Store (the People's Store) at Eighth Street and concludes high atop Bunker Hill, with a focus on the most interesting buildings along the way, and poignant memorials for a few that have fallen to the wrecking ball. The last stop will be at Fort Moore Memorial, where Hill Street meets the 101 freeway, a drab, functional place that now occupies what was once one of the most lyrical corners of old Los Angeles. We'll share photos of the neighborhood's beloved funicular Court's Flight (Angels Flight's forgotten competition), the Victorian mansions of Bunker Hill, and explain how the Hill Street Extension of 1959 destroyed this part of Bunker Hill and took out a large part of the even more ancient neighborhood of Sonora Town.EVENT #7: Monday, May 28, 11:30am - 1:00pm - Memorial Day: Tour of historic Savannah Cemetery in Rosemead (9263 Valley Boulevard, Rosemead, CA, 91770, free)INFO/RESERVATIONS: http://lavatransforms.org/savannahABOUT: Join us for a Memorial Day celebration at Savannah Memorial Park. Established circa 1851 and recently made a California Historical Landmark (#1046), it is the oldest American cemetery in Southern California. The City of Rosemead will host an official ceremony at 10:00am, complete with 21-gun salute and a bagpipe accompaniment. Around 11:15am, following the city ceremony, LAVA members will gather at the main gate and at 11:30am begin their tour of the cemetery. Savannah Memorial Park's executive director Dwain Carlo Crum, social historian (and LAVA co-founder) Richard Schave and musical entertainer The Ukulady will recount the trials and tribulations of the pioneer families who braved the Santa Fe Trail and the Mojave Desert to make their homes in the lowlands of the eastern San Gabriel Valley, before finding eternal rest in these hallowed grounds. The Ukulady will also be performing a new musical number inspired by the pioneers' stories. EVENT #8: Sunday, June 17, 1:00pm - 3:30pm - El Ranchito: Tour of Pio Pico's Historic Whittier Adobe (Pio Pico State Historic Park, 6003 Pioneer Blvd, Whittier, CA, 90606, free)INFO/RESERVATIONS: http://lavatransforms.org/elranchitoABOUT: 150 years ago, El Ranchito,--the home of Don Pio Pico, California's last governor under Mexican rule--stood in all its glory on the banks of the San Gabriel River, offering gracious hospitality to countless souls. The mansion contained 33 rooms, all with the richest and most elegant of furnishings, among them a $12,000 piano in a wonderful carved case, which was carried around Cape Horn. On the upper floor was a great ballroom, where Don Pio's friends and business associates often gathered to dance and converse. From hundreds of miles around the guests came, by horseback and clumsy, ox-drawn carretas. Their talk and laughter filled the house and the spacious patio, with its red brick paving, its central well and its famous black fig tree. Some especially favored guests were sent home with supplies of black figs, Pio Pico's favorite fruit. Twice, El Ranchito was flooded, and twice Pio Pico rebuilt. Of the original 33 rooms, only 16 remain. The vineyard and gardens are long gone. California came under American rule. Pio Pico died, penniless, in 1894. In 1907 his friend Harriet Russell Strong saved the adobe from demolition and began to restore it. In 1914, she gave the compound to the State of California, to be maintained for the education and enjoyment of the people. The State has restored the adobe three times: in 1946, 1968 and 2000. But only 2000 people visited Pio Pico's adobe in 2011, and this low attendance has put El Ranchito on the list of state parks marked for closure on July 1. In hopes of avoiding this sad shuttering, the Friends of Pio Pico non-profit is raising money in the community, and collecting cans and bottles for recycling. We urge you to join us for a guided tour of this important historic home while it still remains open to the public, as was the wish of Harriet Russell Strong and in keeping with the communal spirit of Pio Pico himself.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. The first crop of Visionaries in the growing curated community includes cultural chronicler ADRIENNE CREW, artist and Eastside historian AL GUERRERO, Cacophony Society co-founder AL RIDENOUR, avant garde fashion maven A. LAURA BRODY, poet/publisher ALEIDA RODRIGUEZ, back-to-nature pioneer ALICIA BAY LAUREL, filmmaker ALLISON ANDERS, writer/curator ALLON SCHOENER, designer/mom of Chicken Boy AMY INOUYE, custom tours maven ANNE BLOCK, documentarian/radio producer ANTHEA RAYMOND, author/gallerist APRIL DAMMANN, pop culture historian BECKY EBENKAMP, ethnomusicologist BETO GONZALEZ, puppeteer BOB BAKER, tile historian BRIAN KAISER, producer/promoter CHRISTIAN VOLTAIRE MEOLI, cultural events programmer CHRISTINA GALANTE, musician COUNT SMOKULA, performance artist CRIMEBO THE CLOWN, writer/Libros Schmibros proprietor DAVID KIPEN, forensic educator DEREK PACIFICO, sculptor DONALD GIALANELLA, forensic scientist/educator DONALD JOHNSON, author/educator DOROTHY RANDALL GRAY, artist ELENA MARY SIFF, documentarian ELIJAH DRENNER, conversation curator ERIC VOLLMER, social connector EVONNE HEYNING, musician/performance artist FEATHERBEARD, photographer GARY LEONARD, pop critic/outsider artist GENE SCULATTI, musician/artist GEORGE EARTH, songsmith HARVEY SID FISHER, theater director HOLLY WITHAM, musician/writer IAN WHITCOMB, artist JASON HADLEY, food blogger JAVIER CABRAL, musician JEFF BOYNTON, urban explorer (Ranger) JENNY PRICE, filmmaker JEREMY KASTEN, musician JIMI CABEZA DE VACA, social historian JOAN RENNER, writer/artist JOE OESTERLE, writer JOHN BUNTIN, filmmaker JON ALLOWAY, documentarian JOHN DULLAGHAN, Musso & Frank co-owner JORDAN JONES, performance artist JULES ROCHIELLE, curator JULIE RICO, "Kristin's List" cultural chronicler KRISTIN BEDFORD, songstress/prognosticator MADAME PAMITA, esoteric scholar MAJA D'AOUST, author/broadcaster MANNY PACHECO, performer McCRISTOL HARRIS, visual artist MELVIN HALE, journalist MICHAEL LINDER, photographic archivist MICHAEL RISNER, poet/dancer MONA JEAN CEDAR, architectural historian NATHAN MARSAK, writer NEAL POLLOCK, theater director NICHOLAS HOSKING, L.A. Historic Theater Foundation rep NICK MATONAK, music producer NO'A WINTER LAZERUS, musician OCTAVIUS, writer /photographer /musician PAUL KOUDOUNARIS, peace activist PAUL NUGENT of the Aetherius Society, 3-D photography expert RAY 3D ZONE, historic ghost seeker RICHARD CARRADINE, artist/musician RICH POLYSORBATE 60, filmmaker/preservationist ROSS LIPMAN, singer-songwriter RUTHANN FRIEDMAN, ghost hunter SARAH TROOP, social networking mistress SHAWNA DAWSON, painter/gallerist SUSAN DOBAY, artist/writer/activist SUSANNA DAKIN, Warhol star and writer TERE TEREBA, sculptor TOM WALKER, musical entertainer THE UKULADY, and hat designer YASMIN DIXON. Applications from prospective LAVA members are being taken at http://lavatransforms.org/applyTo learn more about LAVA, please visit http://www.lavatransforms.orgLAVA founders Kim Cooper and Richard Schave, and most of LAVA's Visionary members are available for interviews, and journalists on assignment can be accommodated on the walking tours with a reservation. Contact Kim at amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 323-223-2767.