YouthArts Winners

New Roads School Student Named 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts

"Conceptual social justice artist" sounds like a title for an over-40 survivor of a hate crime to me, but given the political climate, the prevalence of school shootings and the exposure of hate speech on social media, I'm reminded that it's no longer far-fetched to see a teenager become and artist activist. Sanna Legan uses her mix of mini-corsets, beaded tampons, sketches and multimedia art to address the harsh bullying she has endured, her experiences with A.D.H.D. and a myriad of other social issues including feminism and disordered eating, along with whatever is happening in her world. Legan, a 2018...

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Los Angeles Museums

Los Angeles Museums’ Summer Amusements

Several SoCal museums are stepping up to help families fill the many hours of summer vacation – and all are included with the price of admission.  The Autry (pictured, offers the Imagined West Studios, a mini movie studio where visitors can exercise their imaginations beginning June 16. A drop-in summer fun program from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. June 19-Aug. 3 includes scavenger hunts, native plant explorations and daily panning for gold.   Kidspace ( heats up the summer with a drop-in program from June 9-Aug. 4, with hands-on STEAM activities that also explore imagination, nature and green initiatives. A weekly Kidspace...

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Travel the Globe at the Ford through Music and Dance

What are your summer travel plans? Korea? West Africa? How about some imaginary land? You can take your family to all those places through song and dance by visiting the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood. Big World Fun takes up residence there with a quartet of big Saturday morning shows this summer.   Le Ballet Dembaya takes families on a lively trek to the West African nation of Guinea June 30 with spirited drumming and dance.   Take a trip to the world of fairy tales July 7 courtesy of Impro Theatre, which conjures up an improvised story based on audience suggestions in...

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tweens in los angeles

Tween Time: Photographic Memories

Teach your tweens how photography operates as an artistic medium and a chronicler of history.  At the Getty Center (, “In Focus: Expressions” runs through Oct. 7 and focuses on the human face. On display are 45 examples of photographic portraiture that showcase the work of famous photographers such as Walker Evans and Weegee, but also range from primitive examples of early portraits from the 1850s to more modern works that manipulate filmed images.  Also at the Getty is “Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, 1911-2011” (June 26-Oct. 21), an exhibit of more than 150 fashion photos by...

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summer camp los angeles

#CampReady: ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go’

If I tell you about one of my and my husband’s biggest summer-camp blunders, will you hold our secret between your palms gently and without judgment? Do you promise to forget what duds we were – taking only the lesson inherent in it to save yourself from falling into the same pit?   It was the peak of summer camp in Los Angeles, and my husband and I were busy working while our son, who was 8, was having the time of his life at summer camp. While his parents slogged away in too-cold offices, he splashed in pools, made new...

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kids in los angeles

Your L.A. Summer Bucket List

Southern California is filled with fantastic sites to visit this summer, and not all of them are expensive. As great as Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm and LEGOLAND are, you do not need to spend $400 to have a fun family outing (though in SoCal you should always bring money for food and parking).   You’ve certainly heard of some of these family hotspots, but when was the last time you actually took the kids to visit them? Summer is the perfect time to pile into the car and visit another part of town. Many of these spaces are occasionally closed for...

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father's day

Fatherhood Today, Dad’s Way

Every family is different, especially in the 21st century. Even as recently as the 1980s, parenting along gender lines was more defined. But shifting roles and values have fathers spending more time with their kids than ever before. Dads are taking on more of the parenting – and they’re doing it their way. Results and opinions on how that’s going seem to be mixed.  In general, experts note that fathers tend to spend more unstructured time with their children, focusing more on play than on tasks such as getting dressed or helping with homework. Ofelia Ortega, mother of two from...

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shortcake recipe

Summer Shortcakes You Can Make at Home

As a little girl, Ann Kirk was all of us (and all of our kids) who have mothers who bake. “My favorite thing to do would be to sit on the counter and just wait for that spatula or anything that she would give me that had cookie dough or brownie batter on it,” Kirk says. She watched every move her mom made, but never thought she would become a baker.   But she did. And after a stint working with Chef Suzanne Goin at Lucques in West Hollywood, Kirk is now pastry chef at Little Dom’s in Los Feliz, where...

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bookstores in los angeles

A Literary Resurgence: The Fall – and Rise – of Indie Bookstores

About a week ago, I was driving in my Prius listening to NPR (because you know: West L.A.), and as I passed a couple of boarded-up frozen yogurt stands and poké spots in Santa Monica, I heard a story on the unlikely resurgence of independent bookstores.  Apparently, 27 percent more libro vendors exist in the U.S. now than when our last Borders shuttered its doors. While we prophesied that bookstores would go the way of the dinosaur, indie bookstores hung on for dear life. In fact, The Last Bookstore in Downtown L.A. touts its very existence as being as rare...

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Chris Erskine: On ‘Daditude,’ Humor and Dealing with Grief

My eyes were a faucet, leaking tears that dropped onto the newsprint and merged with the ink that made up Los Angeles Times writer Chris Erskine’s first column about the death of his oldest son, Christopher, in March. I tried to imagine the columnist at his writing desk, crafting raw grief into words as clear and beautiful as crystal, yet warm and relatable to the readers peering into his shock and pain.  Here is a man who has spent a long career writing humorous columns about his family. A Chicagoan, he became a parent in L.A. 34 years ago, and...

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