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All the LGBTQ+ events to start your Pride Month celebrations

EYIBRA performing in 'Marenxxa'
EYIBRA performs in “Marenxxa,” a video installation created in collaboration with designer Vanebon, 3D artist and photographer Oldo Erréve and artist Cremance.
(Oldo Erréve)
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In this edition of the newsletter, I’m highlighting major LGBTQ+ arts events worth digging into for Pride Month. I’m Steven Vargas, your L.A. Goes Out host, and here are the top events for this upcoming weekend recommended by the crew. (Sign up here for the newsletter.)

Weekly countdown

EYIBRA performing in 'Marenxxa'
“Marenxxa,” featuring EYIBRA, takes a futuristic look at Marena, the Ukrainian pagan deity of death and rebirth.
(Oldo Erréve)

1. ‘Veles/Tini’ and ‘Motherlines’
Members of MUXX Project, EYIBRA and Oldo Erréve are returning to L.A. Dance Project in downtown L.A. with performance pieces “Veles/Tini” and “Motherlines.” The idea for the performances began as Lithuanian Ukrainian artist Abraham Brody, who performs as EYIBRA, explored the queer roots of Ukraine. “Veles/Tini” is an hourlong multimedia performance and sound piece that reflects on the war in the country and how it affects the LGBTQ+ community in Ukraine.

For the record:

3:45 p.m. June 1, 2023Bill T. Jones and Brad Gooch’s discussion about Keith Haring will take place Thursday at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, not at the Broad, as previously reported.

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“There are elements of queerness in every culture and there are other ways of seeing the world,” EYIBRA told The Times.

“Veles/Tini” is followed by a six-hour performance piece on Saturday titled “Motherlines.” In the piece, EYIBRA “explores my relationship to my mom and my grandmother, and the symbolism of the braid in Ukrainian culture,” they said.

In “Motherlines,” EYIBRA will be braiding a long strand of hair while their mother sings a Ukrainian ritual song on recording. For EYIBRA, the experience feels like a “ritual or spell” to process generational trauma.

Both performances will be accompanied by a video installation at François Ghebaly Gallery titled “Marenxxa,” which takes a futuristic look at Marena, the Ukrainian pagan deity of death and rebirth. EYIBRA collaborates with Erréve, whose 3D visuals create “a connection between the ancient route that can be linked to something futuristic,” they said.

Similar to MUXX’s previous project, “BIGUIDIRIBELA,” EYIBRA looks to the past for inspiration on what the future could look like without patriarchy. “Veles/Tini” takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday and tickets range from $28 to $38. “Motherlines” is from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday and tickets are $17. More details can be found on L.A. Dance Project’s website.

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Keith Haring, 'Untitled,' 1982. Enamel and Dayglo on metal. 72 x 90 x 1 1/2 inches. Private collection.
Keith Haring, “Untitled,” 1982. Enamel and Dayglo on metal. 72 x 90 x 1 1/2 in. Private collection.
(Keith Haring Foundation)

2. ‘Keith Haring: Art Is for Everybody’
The first-ever Los Angeles museum exhibition of Keith Haring’s body of work opened at the Broad in downtown L.A. last week. The exhibition documents the evolution of his artistry, incorporating passages from his own journals. “Art Is for Everybody” features more than 120 artworks and archival material to highlight his activism that evolved throughout his career. Between his vibrant and colorful figures is a call for arts accessibility and awareness of the AIDS epidemic. The exhibition also includes a series of programming. First up, there will be a talk with choreographer Bill T. Jones and Haring biographer Brad Gooch from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Theatre at Ace Hotel as part of “The Un-Private Collection.” Other programming includes live performances and a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with headliners Grandmaster Flash and Tierra Whack. The exhibition runs until Oct. 8 and the Broad is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets to the exhibition range from free to $22 and can be found on the Broad’s website.

Reggie Burrows Hodges, 'Blackness in the Looking Glass and the Images of Currency: Carriage,' 2022.
Reggie Burrows Hodges, “Blackness in the Looking Glass and the Images of Currency: Carriage,” 2022. Acrylic and pastel on linen. 45 1/2 x 67 1/4 in.
(Reggie Burrows Hodges / Karma)

3. ‘Reggie Burrows Hodges: The Reckoning’
Karma in West Hollywood presents Reggie Burrows Hodges latest exhibition, “The Reckoning.” The series of paintings uses reflections to invert, crop or distort memories and realities. This can be seen in his paintings through a handheld mirror, a sliding door and a pool of water. His paintings begin with a black background and develop with foggy brush strokes that establish a soft scene of subjects and their stories. Although Hodges is based in Maine, he was born in Los Angeles and brings pieces of Compton into his work. The free exhibition runs until July 7 and the gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. More details can be found on Karma’s website.

'Imagining Indigenous Cinema: New Voices, New Visions' series artwork.
“Imagining Indigenous Cinema: New Voices, New Visions” series artwork.
(River Garza / UCLA Film & Television Archive)

4. ‘Imagining Indigenous Cinema: New Voices, New Visions’
UCLA Film & Television Archive and the UCLA American Indian Studies Center present a cinema series celebrating contemporary Indigenous filmmakers throughout June. “Imagining Indigenous Cinema: New Voices, New Visions” features more than 40 short and feature-length films over the next three weekends at the Hammer Museum‘s Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood and Vidiots in Eagle Rock. The screenings are accompanied by panel discussions and conversations with the filmmakers. The series begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday with a screening of “Gush” by Fox Maxy at the Billy Wilder Theater. Screenings are free; be sure to RSVP in advance. All the details can be found on UCLA’s website.

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J.K. Simmons at the Grammy Museum
J.K. Simmons speaks at the Grammy Museum in 2019.
(WORDTheatre)

5. Brian Doyle Stories: One Long River of Song’
WORDTheatre is a nonprofit organization known for bringing contemporary literature to life on stage with the help of Hollywood’s biggest stars. This upcoming collaboration with the Grammy Museum presents a selection of stories by Brian Doyle with actors including J.K. Simmons, Alfred Molina, Laura San Giacomo and Ravi Kapoor. The presentation will also be accompanied by Grammy winner Starr Parodi on piano, cellist Sophia Bacelar and vocalist Antonique Smith. The artists will be sharing heartfelt stories by Doyle at the museum in downtown L.A., taken from his repertoire of humorous and poignant essays. Details and tickets for the performance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday can be found on WORDTheatre’s website.

Bonus round: ‘Rise’

Still of 'Rise (En corps)'
“Rise (En corps)” is directed by Cédric Klapisch.
(Blue Fox Entertainment)

This latest dance-centric film by Cédric Klapisch is coming to select L.A. theaters this weekend. “Rise (En corps)” follows Elise, a prominent ballet dancer in Paris who has to reevaluate her career after an injury pulls her away from the stage. After learning that she may never dance ballet again, she goes on a journey to see what other options are out there. After tagging along with her friends to work in Brittany, she connects with a contemporary dance company, which presents a new opportunity to dance. “Rise,” choreographed by Hofesh Shechter, is full of romance, drama and comedy. The film will play at select Laemmle theaters Friday and more details can be found online.

Your L.A. weekend, all mapped out

For a more comprehensive roundup of exhibitions, concerts, screenings, festivals and other events, check out Matt Cooper’s Culture Guide. The mapped list is a go-to for those who make plans based on the commute, and it also can be filtered by event type and price.

On my mind

An installation view of 'ISDN' by Stan Douglas
An installation view of “ISDN” by Stan Douglas.
(Elon Schoenholz / David Zwirner)
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David Zwirner opened a new gallery in East Hollywood last week with exhibitions “Coming Back to See Through, Again” by Njideka Akunyili Crosby and “ISDN” by Stan Douglas. I visited during its opening Tuesday and was most mesmerized by “ISDN.” The two-channel video installation is tucked into the back of the gallery space and immediately immerses viewers into a call-and-response rap session. One half of the session takes place in London and the other takes place in Cairo. Music blasted in the dark space as one side of the room rapped in Arabic and the other in English. I thought of the power art has to connect cultures and felt the rhythm pulse at the center of the room.

On Friday, I went to REDCAT in downtown L.A. to see “adaku, part 1: the road opens,” conceived and written by Okwui Okpokwasili and designed in collaboration with Peter Born. The theater piece is a speculative mythology about a pre-colonial African village.

“I built this story trying to consider what happened to the people who were left behind, especially as a result of the transatlantic slave trade and what was happening to people who were dealing with the disappearance,” Okpokwasili told The Times after the show.

Audrey Hailes, left, and AJ Wilmore perform in 'adaku, part 1: the road opens' at ICA Boston.
Audrey Hailes, left, and AJ Wilmore perform in “adaku, part 1: the road opens” at ICA Boston.
(Lauren Miller)

A poignant part of the show was an ensemble walking, marching and grooving around a circle at the center of the stage. While it was mundane, it evolved throughout the course of the 75-minute performance. At times, the gestures would pause or grow more furious. “If you take two gestures and you do those two gestures for an hour, you’re not going to do the same as you were when you started,” Okpokwasili said.

As the movement evolved, so did the story and the tensions between the characters. Central to the story is a daughter who learned to pave her own path by creating something beautiful: a carving. While it could be seen as a piece of art, Okpokwasili said it is more than that, especially in African cultures. They are “extensions of bodies.” So what happens if her carving disappears? Her story vanishes.

Insights: How to start your Pride celebration

Amanda Kruger and other performers in 'A New Brain.'
Amanda Kruger and the company of the Celebration Theatre perform in “A New Brain.”
(Jeff Lorch Photography)
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Pride Month starts Thursday! Held annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York, the event has progressed into a celebration of identity and community. While the L.A. Pride Parade is the centerpiece event of the month, there are also arts happenings worth checking out:

  • Celebration Theatre presents “A New Brain” by William Finn and James Lapine in association with the Los Angeles LGBT Center. The musical follows a composer who experiences an arteriovenous malformation and finds healing through art. The show at the Davidson/Valentini Theatre in Hollywood runs until June 24 and tickets are $35. Details can be found on the L.A. LGBT Center’s website.
  • Outloud, a music festival in association with WeHo Pride, began as a 10-episode series on Facebook in 2020 to celebrate pride at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three years later, the concert celebrating LGBTQ+ musical artists will kick off Pride with a three-day event from Friday to Sunday, featuring Grace Jones, Orville Peck, Idina Menzel, Tinashe, Carly Rae Jepsen and more. The remaining tickets range from $69 to $219. More details can be found on the music festival’s website.
  • The Santa Monica History Museum presents “Coming Out West: LGBTQ+ Elders Share Their Stories.” The exhibition shares the stories of eight LGBTQ+ elders through oral histories, images, art and ephemera. The exhibition opens Thursday and runs until Dec. 17. Tickets range from free to $5 and the museum is open from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. More details can be found on the museum’s website.
  • The City of West Hollywood and HIT present “My Own Private Rodeo” by Coyote Park. The exhibition, in collaboration with ONE Archives Foundation, asks, “What does it mean for myself to exist in a way that my elders weren’t allowed to?” There is a free reception at ONE Gallery in West Hollywood from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and the exhibition runs until June 30. More details can be found on the City of West Hollywood’s website.
  • Village Well bookstore in Culver City is hosting a reading of “Every Body Is a Rainbow” with author Caroline Carter. The book introduces gender diversity and body inclusivity to young children. The event is from 11 a.m. to noon Sunday and more details can be found on the bookstore’s website.

Go out speed round

Aubrey Saverino as Abigail Burgess in Chance Theater's world premiere of 'Matinicus.'
Aubrey Saverino as Abigail Burgess in Chance Theater’s world premiere of “Matinicus.”
(Doug Catiller)

Go out before it closes: Chance Theater in Anaheim presents “Matinicus” by Jenny Connell Davis, a play inspired by Abigail Burgess. The 16-year-old heroine tended to Matinicus Rock Light for 21 days in 1856 when a violent storm threatened the lighthouse and her family. The show closes Sunday and tickets cost $39. More details can be found on Chance Theater’s website.

Go out for free: Mixed media artist Corey Pemberton has a new solo exhibition opening with UNREPD in downtown L.A. on Saturday. “Person, place, thing” explores people’s relationships with objects that hold intimate value, sharing bits of history and culture in each portrait. The exhibition has an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and the free gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. More details can be found on UNREPD’s website.

Go out and craft: Whether you love plants, fabric or both, this event at Craft Contemporary in Mid-Wilshire has what you’re looking for. The gallery is hosting a crafting night where participants can learn to print on fabric with natural foliage. Andres Payan Estrada will be leading the workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday and tickets are $12 and free for members. Materials and drinks are included. More details can be found on Craft Contemporary’s website.

Go out with the kids: Take the kids to Pasadena on Saturday for a morning full of reading and crafts. LAist is hosting a “Super-Fun Saturday,” where kids can participate in multilingual readings, a pop-up bookstore by MiJa Books and tons of arts activities. The free event is from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday and details can be found on LAist’s website.

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Naomi Grossman in 'American Whore Story'
Naomi Grossman in “American Whore Story.”
(Devin Dygert)

Go out on a date: “American Horror Story” fans have the opportunity to see a familiar face on stage this month. Naomi Grossman, also known as Pepper from the FX horror series, has a solo show called “American Whore Story” that is perfect for your date with an “AHS” fan. This show documents Grossman’s history of hustling, from odd jobs to her breakthrough role. Tickets to the autobiographical performance at Skylight Theatre Company in Los Feliz are $40 and shows are at 8 p.m. Thursdays until June 22. More details can be found on the show’s event page.

Go out all day: The Academy Museum in Mid-Wilshire presents Summer Jam from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Walt Disney Company Piazza. The afternoon celebration includes art activities, photo opportunities and music. This free event also provides access to the museum galleries from 4 to 8 p.m. It’s first come, first served, but you can RSVP in advance. More details can be found on the museum’s website.

Go out all weekend: Coachella is over, but this SoCal music festival gives you a reason to whip out those summer concert outfits one more time. Re:SET at Brookside at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl packs a dozen acts into one weekend. Musical artists performing include Steve Lacy, Boygenius, LCD Soundsystem, James Blake and Big Freedia. Re:SET is from Friday to Saturday and tickets range from $99.50 to $650. The entire lineup and more details are on the festival’s website.

Go out and wander: Someone murdered a famous, controversial art critic, and all the clues needed to find the murderer are in artwork at the Getty Center. Can you and your friends solve the artistic riddle? This murder-mystery event presented by Watson Adventures immerses you into a story that helps you discover all that the Getty has to offer. The sleuthing journey is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and tickets are $24. More information can be found on Watson Adventures’ website.

Go out all night: Couldn’t snag tickets to Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour? The Peppermint Club in West Hollywood can bring you together with fellow Beyhive members with music from the Grammy-winning artist. Club Renaissance takes place at 10:30 p.m. Saturday and tickets cost $20. Check out the details on the Peppermint Club’s website.

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More from the crew here

No summer plans just yet? Try these 29 California experiences that cannot be missed, according to Californians.

Hikes aren’t the only way to get a good view of the L.A. skyline. Check out one of these 49 rooftop restaurants and bars to soak in the best city views.

L.A. is more than just traffic and urban life. Here are 9 gardens hidden in unexpected places around L.A.

And if you’re craving diner food, try the 25 best in L.A.

I’m all ears!

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Follow our feed of recommendations and itineraries on Instagram and Twitter, and if you have recs of your own, send them to steven.vargas@latimes.com.

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