It’s Arts Month here in Long Beach!
Murals. Photography. Dance. Music. Architecture.
We’re celebrating it all.
“During October, we celebrate the art that happens every day all over Long Beach,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “Murals, music, arts education, and dance programs are all part of the diverse, vibrant fabric that is woven throughout our City.”
Mayor Garcia is right. Those who live in Long Beach know that there is a vibrant art scene thriving within the city (and not just within the East Village Arts District!), however it’s not every day that we get to celebrate all of this creativity. That is why October has become the official Arts Month of Long Beach. The month is well underway, with many successful events having already taken place and many more to come!
“Before I Die” Mural Project
This past Thursday, Oct. 8th, at Downtown Long Beach’s monthly Live After 5 event, a new mural was unveiled. Created by artist Candy Chang, the Before I Die mural project started as a way for her to cope after the loss of a loved one. She painted the side of a house with black chalkboard paint with the prompt, “Before I die, I want to _______.” The next day, the wall was filled with responses. Since then, this piece has been recreated all over the world in order to stimulate public art/human interaction as well as a sense of connection within the community.
The Before I Die mural in Long Beach is located on the south wall of the ArtExchange building at 356 E. 3rd Street in the East Village area of Long Beach.
Port Town – Port of Long Beach Historical Photo Exhibit
Everyone has seen the Port of Long Beach, but have you really seen it? Port Town is an exhibit made up of photographs, video, and one-of-a-kind artifacts to bring to life the history of the Port of Long Beach. Watch at what was once a muddy marsh into one of the largest – and one of the most environmentally-friendly ports in the world.
This exhibit is currently located at the Long Beach Historical Society’s gallery at 4260 Atlantic Avenue, and will run up until November 6th. For hours and more information, click here.
Museum of Latin American Art
A main component of the Long Beach art scene, the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) has been around for years. In fact, they’re celebrating their 20th anniversary next year! Their permanent collection and ever-changing exhibitions are unparalleled when it comes to Latin American art. And the best part, they offer FREE admission every Sunday (11am – 5pm) and the 4th Friday of every month during special extended hours (5pm – 9pm). The next one of these special Friday late-hours is Oct. 23rd, so don’t miss it!
Social Media Contests sponsored by the Arts Council for Long Beach
The Arts Council for Long Beach is extremely excited about Arts Month, and they want you to join in the fun! Throughout the month of October, post a photo to Facebook or Instagram and describe how you celebrate the arts in two sentences or less. Make sure to tag the Arts Council (fb: Arts Council for Long Beach, instagram: @artslb) and include #OctoberIsArtsMonth somewhere in the caption.
Every Monday, they will choose one lucky participant to receive a $50 gift certificate to a popular local restaurant. There’s no limit to how many photos you can post, so snap away!
Though this is not specific to October alone, Long Beach is home to several renowned performing arts centers with wonderful shows scheduled in their line-ups! The Carpenter Performing Arts Center on the CSULB campus has upcoming shows that feature dance, acrobatics, musicians, and even some furry friends!
The Long Beach Performing Arts Center also has unique musical performances scheduled over the next few weeks including the Halloween Symphony Spooktacular presented by the Long Beach Symphony POPS! There may even been a few special appearances from some of the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor characters. What better way to celebrate Arts Month and Halloween??
Belmont Shore Art Walk and Sidewalk Chalk Contest
This Saturday, Oct. 17th, the sidewalks of 2nd Street in Belmont Shore will be transformed into colorful canvases for beautiful works of art. The 10th annual Art Walk at Belmont Shore will feature over 45 artists who will demonstrate, display, and sell their artwork. Those participating in the sidewalk chalk contest will literally take to the streets as they create their work and compete for cash prizes.
There will also be activities for kids and families such as art instructions, ballooning, face painting, and NEW custom-made Belmont Shore mural that the public is invited to color on. The sidewalk chalk contest starts at 10am (if you want to enter, there’s still time! Click here to do so) and the main Art Walk runs from 11am – 4pm, concluding with an awards ceremony in front of Chase Bank.
LBMA After Dark
On October 23rd, from 6-10pm, the Long Beach Museum of Art presents their signature event, LBMA After Dark. This event features music, entertainment, a full bar, and a night of dancing under the stars, as well as a chance to see the newest and highly acclaimed exhibit, Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape. This is one of the most popular events at the LBMA, so make sure to reserve your tickets today! Cost is $20.
Art Deco Walking Tour
Love Art Deco or want to know more about this unique era? On Sunday October 25th, Long Beach Heritage is sponsoring a special Art Deco walking tour around Downtown Long Beach. Art Deco expert, President of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, and co-author of Long Beach Art Deco, John Thomas, will be leading the tour and sharing his expertise.
Some of the featured buildings on the tour will include the Arts Building, Metro Apt Building, Rowen/Bradley Building, the US Post Office Building, and the WPA Mural at the end of the Promenade. Participants will meet in the lobby of the Historic Lafayette Hotel at 140 Linden Ave. The tour will run from 2-5pm and conclude at District Wine with hors d’oeuvres and a complimentary glass of wine. Tickets are $50 and you can purchase them here.
Past Events This Month:
ArtOber – First Fridays in Bixby Knolls
The last on happened on Oct. 1st, but catch the next on Nov. 6th! Located on Atlantic Ave. between Bixby Road and San Antonio Drive, 6:30 – 9:30 pm.
The first Friday of every month, the local businesses in Bixby Knolls unite to support and promote local artists and musicians. It’s always a great night filled with music, art, and community! Click here for more details.
State of the Arts Event
This past Friday, Oct. 9th, the Annual State of the Arts event was held at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. According to Danielle Carson of the Long Beach Post, the Arts Council for Long Beach (ACLB) annually hosts the State of the Arts event, which celebrates local artists and progress in the arts community by giving the council an opportunity to present upcoming projects and new grants. Carson also stated in her article that “This year’s State of the Arts event drove home the message that state of the arts in Long Beach is one of progress, spirit and innovation.”
This year’s awards were presented to artists who have made an outstanding impact on the arts community, with a focus on local businesses who support economic improvement projects such as mural-painting and art walks. They are as followed:
- Arts Volunteer of the year: Victor Ladd
- Arts Educator Award: Danny Flores
- Economic Development Arts Trailblazer award: Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association
- Arts Innovator Award: MADE in Long Beach
- James H. Ackerman Arts Philantrhopist Award: Dr. Ronald and Sylvia Hartman, major donors for Long Beach Art Museum and the University Art Museum.
Second Saturday Art Walk – East Village
Just this past weekend, on Oct. 10th, was the Second Saturday Art Walk. This month featured a special screening of the movie Underwater Dreams . Don’t miss the next one on November 14th!
On the night of the second Saturday of every month, East Village, around the streets of Linden Ave, 1st Street, Broadway, 4th Street, and Elm, are closed to traffic and become an art-based street fair. Local artists, musicians, and performers take to the streets to showcase their work. It’s fun for the whole family and a Long Beach tradition that many locals look forward to each month. For more details, click here.
Public Art Forum
On October 11th, a forum on public art was held at the Stearns Champions Park Community Center. Anyone was welcome to attend. Craig Cree Stone, professor of Art and director of the American Indian Studies Program at California State University, Long Beach moderated a panel of renowned artists as they met to discuss creation, maintenance, funding and community/private or city/state government ownership of public art.