Southern California 'Museums Free-For-All' opens doors this weekend

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The Independent Online
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In an effort to present arts and culture to a diverse range of communities throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties of California, the fifth annual "Museums Free-For-All" weekend, offers free admission on October 3-4.

Two dozen institutions and cultural centers specializing in the arts, heritage, science, and natural history are free-of-charge on one or both days. Though the Getty Center is always gratis, it is part of the event to encourage visitors who have never experienced the museum.

Museums Free-For-All is a regional version of Museum Day, established by the Smithsonian magazine five years ago in September, growing annually to 1,200 participating museums across the US, including Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and New York's South Street Seaport Museum.

Some of the major museums in Southern California with new exhibits and special events that are opening their doors include:

The Getty Center, LA
The exhibit, "Irving Penn: Small Trades"- 155 portraits of skilled tradespeople by the renowned Vogue photographer, posing in work clothes with the tools of their occupations.

The Getty Villa, Malibu
The museum's outdoor classical amphitheater presents Aristophanes' Peace, a utopian tale interpreted by the comical Latino troupe, Culture Clash.

The Grammy Museum, LA
A substantial exhibit focused on Michael Jackson's life and career has been extended and a retrospective of pop crooner Neil Diamond begins.

Hammer Museum at UCLA (Sunday only)
Opening day of "Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Painting of Charles Burchfield" - a survey of the American visionary artist featuring watercolor landscapes and extensive biographical material, from notebooks to correspondence.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, LA (Sunday only)
Robert Frank's "The Americans" breakthrough photojournalistic view across the US (also showing at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Other participating museums include:
California African-American Museum, California Science Center, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (Sunday), Japanese-American National Museum, Museum of Latin American Art, Orange County Museum of Art, The Paley Center for Media, Santa Monica Museum of Art (Saturday), and Craft and Folk Art Museum.