arts calendar los angelesThis week brings a kaleidoscope of fascinating stories expressed in all art forms and genres for the stage, screen, and gallery — intimate contemporary dance, civil rights history, queer and trans musical theater, a deep future sci-fi musical film, a film festival devoted to the arts, a documentary on political artists in exile, explorations and celebrations for crytptoart’s true believers, paintings about the spirit of nature, sculptures against art history, a survey of the world’s best classic photographs, dark comedy in the books, queer triumphs in the ballroom, a fashion-forward pride prom, and more.
Be Here Now at LA Dance Project
Be Here Now at LA Dance Project. Inspired by the avant-garde classicism of composer Andy Akiho’s recently released “Seven Pillars,” Benjamin Millepied created an abstract piece showcasing the trailblazing company’s gifted artists in a display of dancing that is both intimate and virtuosic. June 23rd’s performance is a benefit for the Ukraine/International Rescue Committee. 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Performances Tuesday-Friday through June 24; $30;
The Baptism (2020) by Carrie Mae Weems (REDCAT/Courtesy of the artist)
Carl Hancock Rux, Carrie Mae Weems and Meshell Ndegeocello: The Baptism at REDCAT (Live & Virtual). Written and performed by Alpert Award-winning poet and artist Carl Hancock Rux, The Baptism is a tribute to civil rights leaders John Lewis and C.T. Vivian, along with two iterations of a short film directed by artist Carrie Mae Weems, one featuring an original score by Meshell Ndegeocello. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thursday, June 9, 8:30pm; $25/stream $15;
Stories Beyond the Rainbow
Stories Beyond the Rainbow: An Evening of Original Queer Trans Musicals at Congregation Kol Ami (Live & Virtual). Kol Ami’s Education Resident Eliana Rubin leads a night of original music centered around queer and trans stories. All music is created by Eliana, and includes Jewsicals (Jewish musicals), short musical numbers based around our sacred texts, as well as songs that celebrate what it means to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. 1200 N. La Brea, WeHo; Thursday, June 9, 6:30pm; simulcast on Kol Ami’s Facebook Page; free;
Fine Arts Film Festival
Fine Arts Film Festival at Beyond Baroque (Live & Virtual). The ninth edition of this eccentric, essential film festival dedicated to cinema about art, artists, and the art world screens 100+ films from 32 countries — short-form, feature-length, documentary, experimental, narrative, animated, VR, and music/performance-based. Plan your visit for the whole slate, or peruse curated series. Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice; Friday-Saturday, June 10-11; Streaming on Vimeo, June 10-19; $10-$35;
Neptune Frost
Neptune Frost at Laemmle Theaters. A colorful, exuberant sci-fi musical from filmmaker Anisia Uzeyman and artist-musician-poet Saul Williams, Neptune Frost follows the parallel journeys of an intersex runaway and an escaped coltan miner who meet and fall in love, sparking a revolution as they form an anti-colonialist hacker collective in the hills of Burundi. Opens Friday, June 10 at Laemmle’s; June 17 at American Cinematheque;
The Story Won’t Die
The Story Won’t Die at Laemmle Theaters. From award-winning director David Henry Gerson and produced by Sundance award-winning Odessa Rae, The Story Won’t Die is a documentary that follows Syrian artists and musicians who use their work to digest and protest the longest and largest displacement of people since the World Wars. Gerson and Rae will participate in Q&As following the evening screenings June 10-14. Opens Friday, June 10 at Laemmle’s;
An Evening Among the Roses at the Huntington
An Evening Among the Roses at the Huntington (Outdoor). The annual An Evening Among the Roses is a celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer members of the community and their many contributions to The Huntington. Don’t miss this elegant, one-night-only garden party with music, specialty cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a stunning “floral environment” and photo-op created by Maurice Harris, and dancing in the stunning and iconic North Vista. Fanciful garden party attire encouraged! 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino; Friday, June 10, 6-10pm; $125-$185;
WTF NFT? at the Hammer Museum
WTF NFT? at the Hammer Museum. This free daylong event explores NFTs with expert panelists, from technologists and scholars to artists and advocates. Start with a primer on NFTs — what they are, how they work, and why you should care. Then hear from artists who are active in the NFT space discuss their work and the unique challenges they face in this new frontier, including keynote speaker Reggie Watts. Other panels will address blockchain technologies, how individuals and collectives are creating new communities, and how museums and other institutions might navigate the shifting landscape. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Saturday, June 11, 9:30am-7pm; free;
Paul Fusco at Peter Fetterman Gallery
The Power of Photography at Peter Fetterman Gallery. Over the course of decades, legendary photography dealer Peter Fetterman has collected works and stories featuring icons like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paul Fusco, Ansel Adams, Sabine Weiss, Elliott Erwitt, Sarah Moon, Weegee, Graciela Iturbide, Minor White, and Sebastião Salgado. Inspired during the long months of lockdown, Fetterman shared his memories and images, one a day by email, striking a chord with followers from around the world. Now a new exhibition and book look back at the sanity-saving series. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Opening, Saturday, June 11, 4-6pm; On view through September 3; free;
Mark Dean Veca at ROW DTLA
Mark Dean Veca: Ornamental Illness, Part II at ROW DTLA. Known for creating paintings, drawings and installations of surreal cartoons, psychedelic landscapes, and pop culture iconography, Veca will be exhibiting a new suite of screen printed editions, new paintings and sculptures, as well as other related works from his archives. 777 S. Alameda, downtown; Reception: Saturday, June 11, 5-9pm; On view through June 24; free;
Adam Parker Smith at The Hole
Adam Parker Smith: Crush at The Hole. While furthering Smith’s stylistic sense of humor and long-standing investigation into the legitimacy of classical forms, this show represents a monumental departure for the artist in terms of material and scale — as though the canon of classical statuary has been put through a trash compactor. 844 N. La Brea, Hollywood; Opening: Saturday, June 11, 6-8pm; On view through August 20; free;
Parker Day at Superchief
Superchief 10-Year Anniversary Show. committed to supporting underground artists and elevating the fringe art community to the global stage, Superchief is marking their 10 Year Anniversary with a Mega Summer Group Show. Paintings, photography, street art, graffiti, and sculpture — as well as digital NFT art — by more than 100 creators will be installed as a salon curated by gallery co-founder Bill Dunleavy. 1969 S. Los Angeles St., downtown; Opens Saturday, June 11; On view through July 30; free;
Jennybird Alcantara at KP Projects
Jennybird Alcantara: Minding the Beasts While Polishing Pearls, at KP Projects. “This new body of paintings was born in a still moment in time, one where the entire world slowed down,” writes Alcantra of her enchanting new series. “Just outside my door, is a garden of beautiful trees, plants and flowers shared with squirrels and crows, song birds, bees and butterflies. At some point during this creative journey…a dialog between interior and exterior began.” 633 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood; Opening: Saturday, June 11, 6-9pm; On view through July 9; free;

Tales of the Transcestors: Six Stories of Trans Heroes Throughout History at Celebration Theater.  Based on true accounts, this interpretive first-time live telling of transgender stories across history is a multi-genre experience inclusive of music, poetry, and one-acts, as artists of intersectional transgender experience bring their interpretation of these stories to the stage. Broadwater Main Stage, 1078 Lillian Way, WeHo; Performances through June 25th; $15;
NeueHouse Hollywood
Ballroom Inspired Pride Party Hosted by House of Balenciaga at NeueHouse Hollywood. Immersive and celebratory festivities include performances by legendary members of the West Coast Ballroom community, a DJ set by LA nightlife icon Sasha Marie, and much more! Bring your crew and turn up all night for this celebration of vitality, pride, and self expression. 6121 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Sunday, June 12, 8pm-midnight; free w/ rsvp;
Jerry Stahl & Ben Stiller at 92Y
Jerry Stahl and Ben Stiller at 92Y (Virtual). Stahl’s heartfelt, yet savagely irreverent new book NEIN, NEIN, NEIN! – One Man’s Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust tells the true story of a trip he took to immerse himself in a despair to match his state of mind. Stahl talks with Stiller (who famously portrayed the writer in the movie Permanent Midnight) about the personal and political hopelessness that fueled his journey and what he experienced along the way. Sunday, June 12, 4:30pm Pacific; $20;
Free To Be at NeueHouse Hollywood
Free To Be Films at NeueHouse Hollywood. A screening and panel discussion about three short LGBTQ+ documentary films highlighting the crossover of ballroom culture into the mainstream. The series spotlights drag queen Jay Jackson/Laganja (of Ru Paul’s Drag Race), legendary ballroom dancer, DaeBrian O’Berry, trans advocate Gracie Cartier, and trans-male photographer Ash Danielson. 6121 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tuesday, June 14, 7pm; free w/ rsvp;
Courtney Coles at LA Center of Photography
Pride Month Artist Talks at LA Center of Photography (Virtual). A series of talks featuring six LA-based photographers whose work is representative of queer photography and the LGBTQIA community. These intimate and thought-provoking looks into queer histories, emotions, and heritage feature Rubén Esparza, Courtney Coles, John Waiblinger, Jen Rosentein, Coyote Park, Reynaldo Rivera and series moderator Matthew Finley. Wednesdays, June 15, 22 & 29 at 7pm; free w/rsvp;