CROSS-CULTURAL READINGS: Velina Hasu Houston, an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, essayist and poet, will begin the Emerson Unitarian Church’s speaker series “Colors of Language” with a reading at 4:30 p.m. today at the church, 7304 Jordan Ave., Canoga Park. The writer has showcased her plays at the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Old Globe and the Kennedy Center, and has edited two anthologies of Asian American drama--"The Politics of Life” and “But Still, Like Air, I’ll Rise.”
She is an associate professor and director of the playwriting program at USC. Houston’s Japanese, African and Native American heritage embodies the theme of the series, which spans diverse genres, nationalities, races and politics. Curated by Brian Nelson, editor of “Asian American Drama: Nine Plays,” the series will feature authors Carolyn See, Partow Nooriala and Luis Alfaro. Free, but donations appreciated. Information: (818) 887-6101.
EDUCATORS’ WORKSHOP: Woodland Hills Community Church, United Church of Christ, will sponsor a workshop to preview the new United Church confirmation class curriculum to be released in spring. The session will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 2 at the church, 21338 Dumetz Road, Woodland Hills. The workshop, for pastors and educators of churches in the United Church of Christ Southern California Conference, will feature speaker JoAnne Bogart, the United Church education consultant for the western region. Bogart will review current and upcoming curricula as she shows participants successful teaching approaches. The cost is $5, preregistration recommended. Participants are asked to provide their own lunch. Information: (818) 340-2795.
MANILA CHOIR: The Manila Children’s Choir, a 30-member chorus of Filipino youngsters 8 to 14, will perform at 4 p.m. May 17 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 5619 Lindley Ave., Tarzana. Information and reservations: (818) 708-7068.
CINCO DE MAYO FIESTA: Catholic Charities Guadalupe Community Center will sponsor its annual Cinco de Mayo fund-raiser, “La Fiesta,” from 2 to 9 p.m. May 2 at the center, 21600 Hart St., Canoga Park. Entertainment includes mariachis, the We Tell Stories storyteller troupe, Lads ‘n’ Lassies square dancers and the Canoga Park High School Jazz Band. Games, authentic Mexican food and pinata-breaking are also scheduled. The center provides developmental and educational social services to San Fernando Valley residents. Admission is $1 general, 50 cents for children. Information: (818) 340-2050.
JUDAISM AND SEXUALITY: Natanya chapter of Na’Amat will host Sarah Yucht, leader of the Jewish Studies Group for the National Council of Jewish Women in the Valley, for a discussion on “God in the Bedroom: Judaism and Sexuality,” at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in a Sherman Oaks home. The cost is $7 for lunch. Reservations required. Information and directions: (818) 981-1598.