LA LIFE: Festivals, Book Ball, Mrs. Porter, First Fridays, March Events

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LA LIFE: Festivals, Book Ball, Mrs. Porter, First Fridays, March Events

Let there be light… and… music, Tomatoes, with the “Virtual Lunar New Year Lantern Festival.” “The Stay at Home andRead a Book Ball” is just that and supporting our LA Public Library. “The Pan African Film + Arts Festival” is a giant among film festivals and a wonderful way to celebrate Black History Month. Who is Mrs. Porter? Well, this Tomato will give you the skinny on that. “First Fridays” at the Natural History Museum are back with a new format that I think you’ll love, Tomatoes! And check out two awesome and free 3T March events below.

March 5 First Fridays Connected at NHM

LA LIFE: Festivals, Book Ball, Mrs. Porter, First Fridays, March Events

The new virtual “First Fridays Connected” series will explore Los Angeles at the Intersections celebrating science and culture by finding the ties that connect the city together.  First Fridays will still be lively with discussions, DJ sets and live music performances. Next up: “Home x Habitats”, Tomatoes.

The habitats and environment have changed for humans and animals. But how are Angelenos and the animals that reside here adapting and changing to make home, home again? March 5 join in as neuroscientist and science communicator, Dr. Yewande Pearse leads the discussion “Home x Habitats” with a live performance by Neil Frances and music by DJ Anthony Valadez.

March 7. Read a Book Ball

LA LIFE: Festivals, Book Ball, Mrs. Porter, First Fridays, March Events

Mark your calendars, Tomatoes, for next Sunday’s “Stay Home and Read a Book Ball” presented by the Library Foundation to help fund programs at the LA Public Library.  Park yourself on a bench, a cozy couch, or just stay in bed with a great book and have a ball reading, Tomatoes!

“Stay at Home and Read a Book Ball” is the Library Foundation’s longest-running and most-beloved “non-event.” What a relief to not have to get dressed up and drive across town to attend a fancy gala.  Grab a glass of champagne or some chocolate while you are at it and pick one or several good books to read. Join the conversations on the foundation’s Facebook Event page and let people know what you are reading.  While you’re having fun reading, support the Library by donating what you would have spent for night on the town. RSVP to donate. How luverly, Tomatoes.

Feb 27. Virtual Lantern Festival Pacific Symphony

LA LIFE: Festivals, Book Ball, Mrs. Porter, First Fridays, March Events

The Pacific Symphony is presenting its annual “Lantern Festival” as a virtual experience, this year, honoring the Lunar New Year and ushering in the Year of the Ox.  Not only is it free but it will be loads of fun for the entire family. You can even make your own Lantern, Tomatoes.

Co-presented by the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center, the event includes special music and dance guests, a Dragon Dance and plenty of activities and crafts for the family. The program will feature the amazing Pacific Symphony orchestra in archival footage of past concerts with music that intertwines Eastern and Western cultures. The Lantern Festival can be traced back 2,000 years. Wow! The act of lighting and appreciating lanterns is a way for people to let go of the burdens and express their best wishes for themselves and their families for the future. What a wonderful tradition, Tomatoes!

3T event, women's history month

Feb 28. Mrs. Porter Salon Series

LA LIFE: Festivals, Book Ball, Mrs. Porter, First Fridays, March Events

Who is Mrs. Porter and what the heck is the Mrs. Porter Salon Series? First, she was a character in T.S. Elliot’s The Wasteland andduring the years of WWI, she was the owner of a famous brothel, but during 2004-2013 in Los Angeles she was something else altogether.  Well, she is certainly mysterious, Tomatoes.

During those years in Los Angeles, Mrs. Porter hosted an art and literary salon, founded by co-hosts Teresa Carmady and Johanna Blakely and sponsored by Les Figues Press, a nonprofit literary organization that publishes experimental writing and literature in translation, with a focus on feminist and queer authors. And now, during the pandemic, Mrs. Porter is back hosting an online art and literary salon, again co-hosted by Teresa and Johanna, in the Echo zoomsphere. Tomatoes can partake but there are rules, and you must follow them very carefully.  And why? Many reasons, but if you have something important to say you will gladly submit. The Echo Theater Company hosts this virtual edition of the feminist salon series.

Feb 28 – March 14. Pan African Film + Arts Festival

LA LIFE: Festivals, Book Ball, Mrs. Porter, First Fridays, March Events

The 29th Pan African Film + Art Festival is the largest Black film festival in the US and the largest Black History Month cultural event in the nation, featuring over 200 Black films, with feature 84 female directors and 15 LGBTQ+ directors, and 100 fine artists from around the world. Now that is worth celebrating, Tomatoes.

Originally presented in Los Angeles Theatres, the 29th “Pan African Film + Art Festival “will be entirely virtual this year, which will only increase their audience. “The difference between a dreamer and a visionary…a visionary has his eyes open.” Dr. Martin Luther King had it so right, Tomatoes. PAFF’s goal is to present and showcase the broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes. They believe film and art can lead to better understanding and foster communication between peoples of diverse cultures, races, and lifestyles, while at the same time, serve as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times. This festival is a great opportunity to see all that at work…coming from our own great city.  I believe, Art, in all its forms, can save the world, Tomatoes!


  • Debbie Zipp

    The Three Tomatoes LA Life editor, Debbie Zipp is your friendly guide to the best of everything in LA with a tomato style perspective. Debbie is an actor, producer, and writer. She is best known for her recurring role as Donna on the CBS series "Murder She Wrote" starring Angela Lansbury. She has had many other TV and stage roles and has starred in over 300 national TV commercials. As head of In The Trenches Productions, Debbie produced, directed, acted in many short films for her company. Her book, The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known was recently published. Buy her book: The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known

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