A gallery of masterpieces showcases stunningly virtuosic renderings—which are especially impressive considering they were created by kids. While fostering a friendly, cheerful atmosphere, instructors teach classical art skills to classes of up to 12 students at a time. During weekly classes, the skilled instructors demonstrate how to realistically illustrate animals, figures, and still-life scenes using traditional media. "Creativity follows mastery" is the KidsArt philosophy, so they designed the sort of program they imagine the old masters would have approved. Planting graphite sticks and paintbrushes in pupils' hands, instructors teach color mixing, show students how to break an image into its component parts, and instill necessary behaviors such as focus and patience. Programs include individualized drawing and painting lessons and special-topic workshops, such as clay sculpture, figure drawing, and Anime/cartooning.
From their home base at Van Nuys Airport, the certified flight instructors at Encore Flight apply what they learned as students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to the training of new pilots-to-be through everything from discovery flights to full pilot's certification. The crew goes to work aboard an extensive fleet of Piper and Cessna light-sport aircraft, or doles out instruction while safely planted on the ground inside two FAA-approved flight simulators, one a stationary apparatus and the other a full-motion Redbird FMX. Fully enclosed in the Redbird's cockpit, students experience the motions of actual flight on all three axes and enjoy more than 200 degrees of wrap-around visuals, helping them spot hazards such as oncoming flocks of birds or commuting superheroes.
The Sylmar Olive Festival celebrates the harvest with a sampling of oils and recipes for olives, tasty food, and dancing to a diverse schedule of entertainment. On Saturday at 11 a.m., a 3-mile parade kicks off the festivities before wending its way to the park to watch the Folklorico Dancers and listen to old-school funk-infused sounds from the Positive Source Band. On Sunday, Radio Disney broadcasts live from the festival, where guests test their bellies in a burrito-eating contest accompanied by the festive sounds of a mariachi band. On Monday, feathered and furred wildlife stops by for a meet-and-greet, and the sass-talking car from Knight Rider rolls in to dazzle eyes and lament its separation from David Hasselhoff. A different car show will be featured each day. Throughout the fest, some 50 world-class chalk artists dazzlingly decorate the ground with modern and classical images throughout the park.
With 30 years' experience choreographing fight sequences for television and film, competitive-fencing instructor Tim Weske leads SwordPlay Fencing Studio's intrepid teachers in demystifying the art of the sword for students. His combat choreography sequences have touched films and TV shows as diverse as I Love You, Man and Angel, and he has safely instructed celebrities such as Natalie Portman and Brad Pitt to convincingly parry with their onscreen opponents and dual for red-carpet supremacy.
At SwordPlay Fencing Studio, once-a-week group sessions or private lessons in foil, épée, and saber provide pupils with fun workouts by engaging minds with subtle strategy while burning calories, increasing agility, and building muscle tone. Afternoon and evening sessions are held Monday through Saturday to fit hectic jobs and busy mornings repainting the neighbors' lawn flamingos.
Despite having notorious traffic, it's really not that hard to get around Hollywood. All you need is the power of flight. That's where Copter Pilot's signature sightseeing tours come in. The Robinson R-44's large windows look out on pretty much all of the city's major sights, allowing passengers to view the Sunset Strip, Universal Studios, and the Hollywood Sign from an air-conditioned spot in the sky. The team at Copter Pilot knows a thing or too about working in Hollywood too?when they're not offering tours of Tinsel Town, the crew often help out with film and television productions, operating everything from handheld aerial cameras to gyro-stabilized Cineflex Cameras.
Instructor Dave Curtis understands why many people shy away from music lessons. Stereotypically, music lessons can be stiff, demanding, and no fun at all, as stringent teachers suck a player's passion out with rote repetition. Dave's philosophy is to let students play music their own way, because he believes music should never stop being joyful. During 30- and 60-minute lessons, Dave eschews standard chord-gorging and endless rounds of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for a sharpened focus on music theory—the not-so-secret language that accomplished musicians speak. In one-on-one lessons, Dave inspires students to play the songs that they want to play as they learn to transpose, write, and arrange their own songs.