Don’t be alarmed if you spot hordes of strangers wandering up and down city streets with maps in hand Friday. They’ll most likely be searching for the myriad events comprising ArtNight, an interactive invitation to residents and visitors alike to explore a rich and attractive aspect of the city’s character.

Coordinated by the city’s Cultural Affairs Division, ArtNight is a citywide, twice-yearly celebration of Art with a capital “A”; the spring ArtNight attracted a multigenerational crowd of more than 32,000 visitors to Pasadena on March 10. Live musicians will be performing 30- to 45-minute sets at least once an hour between 6 and 10 p.m., and this year’s event also boasts storytelling and theatrical performances.

A free shuttle will transport art lovers to 18 venues around town throughout the evening, enabling visitors to park at any individual venue and ride to the others, and Pasadena Transit 10 will travel along Colorado Boulevard and Green Street until 8 p.m. People can nosh at food trucks that will be stationed around town while waiting or taking a breather between art experience immersions.

Some recommendations:

~ Pasadena City College will be the site for West African art and music, as it hosts “Silent Africa: African Masks from the June Harwood Collection” in Gallery V and a faculty exhibit, “Sharpener,” in Boone Family Art Gallery. West African drummers Balandugu Foly will enhance the experience, playing on the patio outside the Boone Gallery.

~ The immigrant experience will be the unifying theme at Boston Court, which will combine Korean-born artist David B. Jang’s fluorescent light-and-space installation, “Conditional Transitive,” with dance, music and theatrical performances.

~ Naming themselves after the street where they started out busking, the Holly Street Stompers have become part of the extended circle of returning performers at the Barkley in South Pasadena, and their interpretations of Tin Pan Alley pop ditties from the 1920s and ’30s have also endeared them to greater LA’s swing community. Friday night the dapperly attired foursome will tote their upright bass, National guitar, clarinet and washboard to City Hall and entertain visitors queuing up for shuttle rides.

~ The “golden age” of radio is the inspiration behind events planned at Parson’s Nose Theater at the classical theater company’s new home: the Parson’s Nose Abbey, just down the road from City Hall. Company actors, who often perform readers theater nights, will perform “The Lone Ranger,” “The Shadow” and “Flash Gordon” in the style of 1940s programs, when listeners circled ’round their radios to tune in to superhero adventures.

~ Live music will fill the air all night at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. Expect to hear from faculty members, Jazz Department student combos, and saxophonist Kirsten Edkins’ quartet; there will also be a “West Side Story” sing-along, and the Salastina Music Society will play Felix Mendelssohn’s String Octet.

~ PCM faculty members Connie Sheu and Adam Pettit, who met while attending Pepe Romero’s USC master classes, will perform classical guitar duets as the Sheu Pettit Duo at the Armory Center for the Arts, which will also present storytelling and various kinds of visual art.

~ Gypsy Jambo, aka guitarist Brad Powell and violinist Erika Walczak, plan to entertain guests with classical, pop, and Django Reinhardt-style jazz instrumentals outside the Pasadena Museum of History. Inside, the “Royals of Pasadena” exhibit will pay tribute to the Crown City’s Tournament of Roses and its Royal Court’s fashion statements over the past seven decades.

~ Pasadena Central Library will host the 5th Annual Author and Book Fair, along with performances by the Crown City Symphony and Theatre Americana actors, and a lecture about boundary-breaking artist Frida Kahlo.

~ Appropriate for the season, storyteller Barbara Wong will emphasize a supernatural theme at the USC Pacific Asia Museum, where curators will set out “ghostly figures” and other spectral pieces from the museum’s permanent collection.

~ Sweaters and comfortable shoes are advisable.


ArtNight takes place 6-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at venues across Pasadena: A Room to Create, Armory Center for the Arts, ArtCenter College of Design, artWorks Teen Center, Boston Court Performing Arts Center, City of Pasadena City Hall, Jackie Robinson Community Center, Light Bringer Project @ Day One, Lineage Performing Arts Center, Norton Simon Museum, Parson’s Nose Theater, Pasadena Central Library, Pasadena City College, Pasadena Conservatory of Music, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena Museum of History, Pasadena Playhouse, and USC Pacific Asia Museum. Free and open to the public. Maps will be available at ArtNight venues. Visit artnightpasadena.org for details about exhibits and shuttles.