Gallery opening highlights journalist’s creativity, insights, and passions

The family of John Johnson presents the showing of his artistic works at the UnUrban Coffee House in Santa Monica, from July 26 – August 21. The show is titled 60s Perspective: Oil Paintings by John Johnson.
John Johnson was a founder of the Los Angeles progressive newspaper and community calendar Change-links. John became its editor, providing this monthly publication free of charge to the public of Southern California for 22 years.
John passed away last April. The community supporting his efforts over the years is coming together with the intention of continuing publication of Change-links.
A gallery opening event will be held on Saturday, July 26, from 8 to 11:30 p.m. The gallery opening will be a celebration of John’s life and works. Entertainment and commentary will be on hand, along with the planned free distribution of a commemorative issue of Change-links in John’s honor.
The UnUrban Coffee House is located at 3301 Pico Blvd. The UnUrban’s owner and staff will cater this event’s gallery opening night. Call (310) 315-0056 or visit for more information.
The gallery opening is a free, nonprofit, public, catered event, suitable for all ages.
Free parking after 5 p.m. is available across Pico Blvd. in the US Bank parking lot – located behind the bank off 33rd Street.
Donations to support the on-going publication of Change-links will be gratefully received.
Edited by Matthew Hall

Films4Cuban5 presents a second showing of Which Way Home

Local residents will host a film screening as a fundraiser for the “Cuban Five” on July 26 at 7 p.m. The film, “Which Way Home”, shows the personal side of immigration through the eyes of children who face harrowing dangers with enormous courage and resourcefulness as they endeavor to make it to the United States. The film follows several unaccompanied child migrants as they journey through Mexico en route to the U.S. on a freight train they call ” The Beast “. Director Rebecca Cammisa (Sister Helen) tracks the stories of children like Olga and Freddy, nine-year old Hondurans who are desperately trying to reach their families in Minnesota, and Jose, a ten-year-old El Salvadoran who has been abandoned by smugglers and ends up alone in a Mexican detention center, and focuses on Kevin, a canny, street wise 14-year-old Honduran, whose mother hopes that he will reach New York City and send money back to his family. These are stories of hope and courage, disappointment and sorrow. They are the ones you never hear about – the invisible ones. Spanish with English Subtitles. The film will be shown at a private residence located at 601- 9th Street. Street parking is available per the posted signs.
Organizers are asking for a $5 donation to support five Cubans who were accused of espionage while living in Miami. Visit for more information.
– MH

Cultural events at Tongva Park

Tongva Park continues its first season of cultural programming with two July events: a family-friendly morning with Tongva and Chumash Native American story-telling and craft workshops and an evening community dance with an internationally known salsa band. This ongoing series of intimate, Tongva Park events offers attendees the opportunity to experience this major new addition to Santa Monica’s park system from different points of view. The events are free and open to all.
On Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., families are invited to the children’s play area to explore the culture of the Chumash, Gabrieleno and Tongva, the original inhabitants of the Los Angeles region for whom the park is named. The morning will include storytelling and songs handed down through generations with Ted and Dennis Garcia. Julia Bonagy, a member of the Tongva Nation/Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians, will also lead hands-on workshops in soapstone and wood carving and the ancient art of using plants to create toys and games.
On Wednesday evening, July 30, from 7 – 9 p.m., everyone is invited to join a free salsa dance lesson in the center of the park followed by a community dance both with live music. International salsa band, Orquestra Tabaco Y Ron, a 12 piece Big-Band orchestra, composed of musicians from all over Latin America will be performing live music throughout the evening. Cristian Oviedo, four-time World Salsa Champion, will lead a 45-minute dance class along with his partner, Maria Zhukovskaya, followed by an opportunity for everyone to dance and enjoy the music, regardless of level of skill.
Parking is available on the street or at the Civic Center Parking Structure, 333 Civic Center Drive. For updated information on the programming, visit For more information about Santa Monica’s Cultural Arts division, visit
– MH

New performance for children

The Creating Arts Company will perform their latest original work, The Boondoggles, on July 26 and 27.
The Boondoggles Adventure “Out of Boondoggle Central” centers on Colton the cowboy, an imaginary friend who is determined to find his way back into the real world to find his boy Michael. Along the way he befriends a few of the imaginary friends that call Boondoggle Central home, Howard the monster, Crash the ninja, Fae the fairy, Pinkle the pirate, Jade the witch, Carmen the diva and even the Princess Taisie. He discovers that Barb the doll, Candy and Sandy the twins, Mosh and Leel the evil management will do everything they can to keep him from leaving their imaginary paradise.
Overflowing with heart, humor, imagination and self-discovery, The Boondoggles is an extraordinary new children’s musical that reminds us what friendship is all about.
The Historic Miles Playhouse is located at 1130 Lincoln Blvd. Tickets can be purchased from, tickets are $12 for general admission or $20 for VIP seats. For more information, contact or (310) 804-0223.
– MH

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