A multifarious but rarely nefarious array of local wineries, restaurants, artisans, crafters, and entertainers fortifies the stomping grounds at the Grape Harvest Festival, the oldest fete of its kind in California. But the main attraction is, without a doubt, the myriad buckets of squishy, sweet violet spheres waiting for aspirant tap dancers and resentful vegetable farmers to engage in one of the few remaining traditional grape stomps open to the public. Once you've finished gleefully purpling your heels, you'll get to taste the fermented fruits of local labor and celebrate the Rancho Cucamonga community’s vineyard heritage by sampling sips and nibbles from fine neighboring eateries, with each bite soundtracked by live music and other performances populating the various festival stages. Meanwhile, palates preferring motor oil to wine can salivate over the careful craftsmanship and luscious vroom-vrooms of the fest’s Saturday motorcycle rally and Sunday car show, which showcase a wide sampling of motos, including wine-powered Harleys and the rare ’82 vintage Ford Zinfandel. And with more than 100 arts and crafts options, the artsy-flatulentsy of any age can both make and take home handcrafted treasures.
Since it was founded in 1990, the nonprofit Celiac Disease Foundation has pioneered celiac disease education, awareness, and advocacy. Its network of national chapters have responded to the growing health care challenge of diagnosing celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. The CDF Medical Advisory Board brings scientific knowledge to the cause and imparts crucial care information to individuals, medical professionals, and industry partners who confront celiac disease and gluten-related disorders on a daily basis. Through its annual CDF National Conference and Gluten-Free Expo, the organization opens the public's eyes to new ways of looking and living with foods that do not contain wheat, barley, rye, or triticale.
Through its rotating lineup of exhibits and engaging events, MUZEO—which means “museum” in the international language of Esperanto—fosters diversity and cross-cultural understanding by making culture accessible to every member of the community. The 25,000-square-foot complex encompasses the original 1908 Carnegie Library as well as a brand-new art-gallery space, and it plays host to three different traveling exhibitions per year. One current offering, Spies, Traitors, and Saboteurs: Freedom in America, produced by the International Spy Museum and running through Monday, September 16, 2013, mines the rich history of international espionage and its current role in our nation. Though two free docent tours are offered with admission on Saturdays and Sundays, most visitors peruse the exhibits at their own pace. Check out the calendar of events to view museum goings-on by date.
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If you've ever stood on the second floor of the Los Angeles Central Public Library and marveled at the explosion of color within the rotunda or the 12 adjacent murals depicting California history, then you have the Los Angeles Conservancy to thank. When the library was scheduled for demolition in the mid-1970s, concerned citizens formed the Conservancy to save the rotunda, the exterior limestone sculptures, and the library's many other architectural treasures. The group finally convinced the City Council to preserve the library in 1983, after years of public discussion, debate, and book-sniffing sit-ins. Ever since, it has advocated for greater Los Angeles's historic sites and educated people about the city's architectural heritage. The Conservancy is responsible for saving and revitalizing landmarks such as the former Cathedral of St. Vibiana, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, and the world’s oldest remaining McDonald’s restaurant.
To accomplish its mission, the membership-based nonprofit offers a number of ways people can experience these beautiful and storied places. The Last Remaining Seats series earned a Reader Recommendation for Best Film Series and Best Downtown Event in the Los Angeles Downtown News' 2012 poll, in which the conservancy’s walking tours also earned the title of Best Downtown Tour. But the organization does more than save grandiose public buildings: increasingly, it also focuses on smaller community projects such as garden apartments and sites that reflect the area's rich Latino culture.
Executive director and 20-year Conservancy veteran Linda Dishman explained to Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times, "People are becoming more vocal. …That's one of the great secrets about Los Angeles: People really identify with their neighborhoods." The Conservancy also presents annual preservation awards to honor the efforts of individuals who fight to save places such as Pann’s Coffee Shop and Griffith Observatory.
Carolyn Sargent used art to escape the isolation of hearing loss as a child. Art therapist Elda Unger discovered the power of the arts to help emotionally heal abused children. Together they founded Free Arts for Abused Children, which promotes artistic expression for children who are homeless, have been abused, or are living in foster care. Free Arts maintains four programs, each designed to engage youth in creative self-expression and provide an outlet for strong emotions and troubling experiences. Long-term lessons with role models help youth learn from trustworthy adults; art days empower students to connect with peers and express themselves through new mediums; family art projects encourage interaction within the household; and arts and crafts sessions help distract youth waiting on proceedings at local courthouses.
Grilled or chilled, layered or wrapped, the chefs at The Original Sandbag's Gourmet Sandwiches uphold the age-old art of bread bundling as they craft a mélange of classic sandwiches alongside a complement of classic soups, sides, and desserts. Staffers load up the shop’s fluffy rolls or toasty bread slices with spiced cuts of turkey, saucy meatballs, and veggies before pairing each creation with a homemade chocolate-chip cookie, imbuing senses with nostalgia for days at mom’s house or late-night shindigs at Cookie Monster's mansion. Diners can take their bounty to go or linger at the restaurant, which features a lineup of indoor seating and a collection of patio tables soaking in the warm rays of the noonday sun.