Archive for December, 2008

New Orleans! Events continue this week: PhotoNOMA, future of photojournalism panel and more

I’ve just returned from PhotoNOLA, the portfolio review event organized by the New Orleans Photo Alliance (NOPA), an organization started by the photography community in the post-Katrina days that has grown in a short time to become a wonderful and vital source of energy and dialogue. The folks from NOPA had worked out every detail, and a great time was had by all. The New Orleans Museum of Art and A Gallery For Fine Photography both hosted evemts, as well as many participating exhibition spaces too numerous to list. To add to the excitement, the featured artwork and installations that are a part of Prospect 1 are on view all over New Orleans through January 18th. I saw great work, and met great people, and look forward to next year’s reviews. That said – the events continue!

Thursday, December 11th, 6-9 p.m.:

New Orleans Museum of Art (City Park)
Admission is $5 / free for NOMA members

The New Orleans Photo Alliance, in partnership with the New Orleans Museum of Art, is thrilled to present PhotoNOMA, a photographers’ portfolio night at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Thursday, December 11th will mark the return of this popular annual event, formerly known as Underexposed. PhotoNOMA will feature 100 photographers displaying their work for a community walk through. The event will run from 6-9pm, and is open to the public. Entrance is free for NOMA members and $5 for non-members. The New Orleans Museum of Art is located at One Collins C. Diboll Circle, City Park.

“We are thrilled that the New Orleans Museum of Art is supporting contemporary photography by sponsoring this amazing event,” said Maja Georgiou, event organizer. “PhotoNOMA was very well attended last year, and we expect it to be one of the most popular events in this years PhotoNOLA lineup. We hope photography enthusiasts and the public at large come out to see the wide range of work that will be on display, and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to meet and engage with the artists.” Photographers from throughout the region will be participating, from the beginning to the well established, including Tim Best, Wallace Merritt and Leslie Parr.

Friday, December 12th, 7 p.m.:

Jamel Shabazz lecture, McKenna Museum Museum of African American Art, 2003 Carondelet Street in New Orleans, (504) 586-7432

Saturday, December 13th, 11 – 4 p.m.:

New Orleans Photo Alliance Street Fair
1100 Block of St. Mary Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

The New Orleans Photo Alliance is pleased to announce the second annual New Orleans Photo Alliance Street Fair. 30 artists, including Andy Levin, George Long and Christopher Porche West, will be selling photographs, books, cards and more. Live musical entertainment throughout the day will feature Nattie, Patrice Fischer and ARPA, 30×90, Matt Holt and Paula and the Pontiacs. The Street Fair will take place on Saturday, December 13, from 11 am – 4pm in the 1100 Block of St. Mary Street (between Magazine Street and Sophie Wright Place).

“Come have fun, enjoy awesome music and amazing photography, get in some holiday shopping and support your local artists all in one stop,” said “funtrepreneur” and event organizer, Pat Jolly. “We’ll have a wide range of photographers exhibiting everything from limited edition silver prints, hand tinted images, cyanotypes, VanDyke Brown prints and giclees on canvas, along with books, greeting cards and even magnets.”

Musical Line-up
11:00 Matt Holt
11:30 Nattie at the DMV
12:15 Patrice Fischer and ARPA
1:30 Paula and The Pontiacs
2:45 30×90

Exibiting Artists: Renee Allie, Mike Brouphy, Emily Claassen, Kimberly Deterline, Maja Georgiou, Dreama Goldsmith, Grant Ingram, Eric Julien, Eleanor Kerr, Andy Levin, George Long, Clare Loughran, Marianne Marcell, Michelle O’Reagan, Eli Pritykin, Michelle Pujols, Michael Remy, Natalie Root, Natasha Sanchez, Patricia Sills, Amanda Thomas, Laurie Thompson, Annie Walker, Christopher Porche West, Zander White, Faithe Wood, Alan Zakem.

Thanks to the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and Sweet Home New Orleans for their generous support of the musical component of this event.

Saturday, December 13th, 12 Noon – 4 p.m.:

Book signing with artists Maggie Taylor and Keith Carter at:

A Gallery for Fine Photography, 241 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 568-1313

Opening December 5th, reception on Saturday, December 13th, 5-8 p.m.:

Pictures of the Year International is privileged to bring its 50-Print Traveling Exhibition, “Visions of Excellence,” to New Orleans for PhotoNOLA, a month long celebration of photography.

Visions of Excellence,” a collection of 50 extraordinary images from photojournalists around the world, opens December 5 at the Louisiana State Museum’s Arsenal Gallery at the Cabildo, Jackson Square. The exhibit is a focal point of PhotoNOLA, a citywide celebration of photography presented each December by the nonprofit New Orleans Photo Alliance.

“This is a rare opportunity for the community to experience the best of photojournalism in the best possible way, through a collection of large, masterfully printed images displayed in one of New Orleans’ most historic settings,” said Mark Sindler, President of the New Orleans Photo Alliance.

“Visions of Excellence” presents an extreme wide-angle view of the world, with photos selected from 44,000 submissions to the 65th-annual Pictures of the Year International competition. New Orleans is represented by Times-Picayune photographer Ted Jackson’s iconic image of a Hurricane Katrina survivor draped in an American flag.

The New Orleans Photo Alliance and the Louisiana State Museum will host a reception at the Cabildo on Saturday, December 13, from 6 to 9 p.m.

On Sunday, December 14, 1:30 – 4:00

Dr. Tony Lewis, Louisiana State Museum’s Curator of Visual Arts, will present an illustrated talk entitled “From Szathmari to Magnum: The Origins of Photojournalism” (1:30 to 2:30 p.m.).

Following Dr. Lewis’ talk, Dr. Leslie Parr, Associate Professor at Loyola University’s School of Mass Communication, will lead a panel entitled “Promise and Peril: The Changing Face of Photojournalism.” Panelists include Doug Parker, Times-Picayune photo editor; Ted Jackson; Rick Shaw, Director, Pictures of the Year International; and freelance photographer Lori Waselchuk.

To view upcoming events, click here.


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December 9th at noon: Curator’s tour at MoCP of current exhibitions

At noon on December 9th, curator Natasha Egan will lead a public tour of Chicago’s MoCP‘s two current exhibitions:

a group exhibition “Work/Place” and “Michael Wolf: The Transparent City.” Both exhibitions will be on view through January 31, 2009.

About “Work/Place”

Work by:
Ann Carlson and Mary Ellen Strom
Thomas Demand
Lars Tunbjörk
Karen Yama

Many people spend countless hours in an office amid the buzz of fluorescent lights, the din of a constantly rustling ventilation system, the glow of a computer screen, and that silent impatience of stacked files and loose papers. Mundane as it seems, the workplace is fertile territory for artists to explore. In conjunction with the exhibition Michael Wolf: The Transparent City, which offers a furtive depiction of contemporary urban life from the outside, Work / Place looks at the idiosyncratic personal routines that individuals perform inside their offices. The photographs and video in this exhibition use as their raw material the highly ordered but often banal and absurd activities of office life.

Thomas Demand (German, b. 1964) re-creates media-based photographs by painstakingly making and photographing full-scale, three-dimensional models of their subjects. (The models are constructed entirely from colored paper, and a detail of an entire office copy center is included in this exhibition.) Although Demand’s subject may seem boring and commonplace, his work often carries cultural or political relevance and offers a smart critique of mass media. In much of his work the relevance of the paper itself is the subject of the picture. For example, his picture titled Office (Büro), 1995 depicts a ransacked office made of paper. The picture refers to an image, reproduced in Der Spiegel, of the Stasi Central office in Berlin after it was pillaged by East Berliners seeking their personal records. Although the scattered papers in Demand’s version are blank, the reference to a paper-choked, Kafkaesque society is clear. The office copy machine is also laden with cultural myths concerning fraud and breaks in confidentiality. Close inspection of Demand’s pictures reveals their artifice and encourages us to question the photograph as a faithful reproduction of reality, especially in a world that is saturated with manipulated imagery.

Using wit to emphasize the banal, Lars Tunbjörk (Swedish, b. 1956) observes the vernacular interiors of anonymous businesses in Europe, Japan, and the United States. He portrays what he sees as the melancholy and absurdity of modern-day office life and the struggle of the individual against corporate homogeneity. Like the artificiality of Demand’s re-created offices, Tunbjörk’s series underscores the often sterile and artificial nature of work environments. He observes individuals tailoring their environments to their needs—a shoeless man stretching his legs under his desk, another man talking on the telephone tucked under his desk. Tunbjörk also uses body language and formal constructs to capture the hierarchal levels of office politics—a woman crouches under a desk organizing papers while her assumed boss stands above by the window, for example. In many of his pictures there is a sense that something is festering under the surface or behind closed doors.

Decorating one’s office or cubical with snapshots of loved ones and pets is another way workers venture to fight the uniformity and impersonality of the workplace, often revealing more of their personal lives than intended. Karen Yama’s (American) photographs of such arrangements are odd still lifes that expose our desire to modify our work spaces to feel more like home. In these photographic constructions, Yama flattens elements of the pictorial space with uniform color while retaining the detail and grain of each family snapshot. This peculiar juxtaposition illustrates the tension between revealing personal information and maintaining a professional etiquette in the office.

In Sloss, Kerr, Rosenberg & Moore (2007), a video mixing elaborate formality with humor, the artist team of Ann Carlson and Mary Ellen Strom (American, b. 1954, 1957) collaborated with four practicing New York City attorneys. By means of a rigid vocal score and whimsical choreography, filmed in the attorneys’ elegant office building, the performance provides metaphors for the theatrical aspects of litigation and the high-pressure demands of working within the juridical system. Seeing the lawyers chant and contort their bodies in exaggerated ways ultimately exposes their humanity.

In each of the works on view, the artist strikes a balance between the personal attributes brought into an office and the homogeneity of office etiquette and behavior. As the popular television show The Office so cleverly depicts, the great challenge of the workplace is the implausibility of drastically distinctive personalities having to function toward the same goals—under the same roof.

—Natasha Egan, Associate Director and Curator

About “Michael Wolf: The Transparent City”

In 2005 Michael Wolf (German, b. 1956) visited Chicago for the first time to participate in a group exhibition for the Museum of Contemporary Photography. As he rode an elevated train from the airport into the city, he began to envision photographing Chicago. For the previous decade, Wolf had been living and working in Hong Kong, attempting to capture the sheer density of people living on the two small islands that make up that city. Wolf examined the endless ranks of residential housing complexes in Hong Kong by removing the horizon line and flattening the space to a relentless abstraction of urban expansion. He noticed, however, that Chicago had an entirely different feel. While Hong Kong is built of endless rows of structures designed and built in a nearly identical style, Chicago has more experimental, unique buildings of many different styles.

In 2007, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, in collaboration with the U.S. Equities Reality artist-in-residence program, invited Wolf to create his first body of work to address an American city. Chicago is known for work by innovative architects such as David Adler, Daniel Burnham, Louis H. Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright, and after World War II, it established itself as a world capital of modern architecture influenced by the international style of Mies van der Rohe and home to notable projects by Helmut Jahn, Philip Johnson, and more recently Frank Gehry. While it has been common for photographers to glorify Chicago’s distinctive architecture and environmental context, Wolf depicts the city more abstractly, focusing less on individual well-known structures and more on the contradictions and conflicts between architectural styles when visually flattened together in a photograph. His pictures look through the multiple layers of glass to reveal the social constructs of living and working in an urban environment, focusing specifically on voyeurism and the contemporary urban landscape in flux. Wolf explores the complex, sometimes blurred distinctions between private and public life in a city made transparent by his intense observation.

—Natasha Egan, Associate Director and Curator

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SPE Northeast Regional Conference at FIT, December 13th


From Allison Wernmager: complete conference agenda and roster of portfolio reviewers!

A great event coming to NYC next weekend, DECEMBER 13th:

“The Northeast Conference: State of the Art is rapidly approaching. Early
Registrations must be postmarked by December 7th. Please find below the
conference schedule and list of portfolio reviewers. For registration and
other conference info Please see”

Hosted by FIT in New York City
December 13, 2008

Conference Chair Allison Wermager, Co-Chairs: Brad Paris and Jessica Wynne

For more information contact
<> .

8:30 Registration Begins

9:30 Image Maker Presentation – William Lamson

10:00 – 12:00 Portfolio Reviews

10:30 Panel Discussion – Photo Bloggers: Amy Stein, Laurel Ptak, Cara

12:30 Members Meeting

1:00 – 3:00 Portfolio Reviews

1:30 Panel Discussion – State of Photographic Education
Ann Chwatsky, Moderator, NYU Steinhardt Studio Art Dept.
Susan Johada, Professor of Art, U of Massachusetts
Susanne Nicholas, Associate Director of Education, International Center of
Photography, NYC
Nancy Goldring, Professor, Montclair State College, New Jersey
Peter Clough, Graduate MFA Student, NYU Studio Art Dept.

3:00 Image Maker Presentation- Sasha Bezzubov

4:30 Image Maker Presentation – Craig Kalpakjain

7:00 Key Note Speaker Zoe Strauss

Portfolio Reviewers

Chris Ehrmann
Deputy Photo Editor at Blender Magazine

Michael Mazzeo
Photographer, educator, and founder of The Michael Mazzeo Gallery.

Carrie Levy
Carrie Levy is a photographer and teacher based in New York City.

Tim Soter

Allyson Torrisi
Photo Editor

Priska Juschka
Priska C. Juschka Fine Art in Chelsea

Susanne Miklas
Deputy Director of Photography Newsweek

Prim Chuensumran
Art Director

Wendy Olsoff
Owner P.P.O.W. Gallery

Jill Waterman
A photographer and writer based in New York City, Jill Waterman is the
editor of PDNedu, the ASMP Bulletin, as well as a contributing editor for
many other projects with PDN Custom Media & Events.

Devon Dikeou
artist, editor/publisher of ZING Magazine and collector.

Chad Griffith
NYC based portrait photographer.

Yelena Yemchuk

Mei Tao

Rudy Archuleta
Photographer <;

Darrick Harris
Photo Editor, Cookie Magazine

Peter Hay Halpert
Peter Hay Halpert is an art dealer, with exhibition spaces in New York and

Laurel Ptak
Independent curator, educator and photographer

Alana Celii and Grant Willing
Independent Curators

Amy Stein

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PhotoNOLA soon, concurrent with Prospect.1; many public events not to be missed!

I’m packing up to head to PhotoNOLA and couldn’t be more excited to see the great folks at the New Orleans Photo Alliance (NOPA), the organizers of this portfolio review event now in its third year, as well as photographers and industry colleagues. If you are participating in the reviews, I’d refer you back to my blog of 8/13/08; my preparation advice is posted at this link.

Many of the PhotoNOLA events are open to the public – I hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 4

New Orleans Museum of Art + Thursday December 4, 2008 + 7-10pm
Tickets are $20 – available at the door

Food, drinks, music and photography! Help us kick off the Third Annual Month of Photography in style! The PhotoGALA Benefit Party will feature a silent auction of contemporary photography, music by the Preservation Hall-Stars performances by Fleur de Tease, food from Herbsaint, Dante’s Kitchen, Nola Bean and others. Beverages generously provided by Abita Brewery, Cork & Bottle, Glazer’s Companies of Louisiana and Old New Orleans Rum… so come take part in some positively devilish fun.

Cocktail attire suggested.

New Orleans Museum of Art
One Collins Diboll Circle, City Park
New Orleans, LA 70124

Bruce Davidson Lecture

Friday, December 5th at The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC), 416 Chartres Street, 7 pm
“The New Orleans Photo Alliance is thrilled to announce a slideshow and lecture by legendary photographer Bruce Davidson, on the opening weekend of PhotoNOLA. Thanks to the generous support of Canon this event is free and open to the public. The lecture will take place on Friday, Dec 5, 2008, from 7-9pm, at the Historic New Orleans Collection’s Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70130. Doors open at 6pm. Seating is limited and advance registration is recommended. Please RSVP here

PORTFOLIO WALK: Participants in PhotoNOLA Reviews share their work!
Review PhotoNOLA Portfolio Walk
Saturday, Dec 6, 2008
International House Hotel Ballroom
220 Camp St., 2nd Floor, New Orleans, LA 70130

“The New Orleans Photo Alliance is pleased to announce a photographers’ portfolio night at the International House Hotel on Saturday December 6th. The Review PhotoNOLA Portfolio Walk will feature 65 photographers who are participating in the weekend Portfolio Review, displaying their work for a public walk through.

The Portfolio Walk is free and open to the public and will take place from 4:30-6pm at 220 Camp St., New Orleans, in the second floor ballroom of the International House Hotel.

“This is an exciting addition to the PhotoNOLA calendar of events,” said Vanessa Brown, Review Chairperson. “We have photographers coming in from every region of the U.S. and as far away as Colombia to take part in the reviews this year. The Portfolio Walk will offer the public at large an opportunity to see an incredible range of great photography, from cutting edge documentary to romantic fine art, including rising stars such as Susan Burnstine from L.A. and Lance Rosenfield from Texas, and many other names you’ll be hearing more of in the future.”

Opening Reception for “GUNS ‘n US” Exhibition, Saturday December 6th from 6-9 p.m.

From the e-blast:

“You are invited to the opening of “GUNS ‘n US”, a photography exhibition that explores gun ownership and the cost of gun violence in America, this Saturday December 6th from 6-9pm at The Darkroom’s Lower Garden District gallery space on Sophie Wright Place.

Four photographers will show award-winning work that represents their response to the pervasiveness of guns and violence in our society. They are Kyle Cassidy (Philadelphia, PA), Donna De Cesare (Austin, TX), Andre Lambertson (New York, NY) and Frank Relle (New Orleans, LA).

The fight to uphold the right to bear arms, and the struggle to end the violence associated with guns seem to compete against each other. The statistics are instructive. Half of American households have at least one gun owner according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Everyday, on average, 83 Americans – nine of whom are children – are killed by guns. Injuries and deaths related to guns cost $34 billion a year in medical expenses and lost productivity.

The four artists in GUNS ‘n US have created challenging and passionate photographic essays that contribute to the fractious conversations surrounding the high prevalence of guns and violence in America.”

Kyle Cassidy will be available to sign his book “Armed America” at the opening reception.

GUNS ‘n US was curated by Lori Waselchuk for the 3rd annual PhotoNOLA Festival. It is a satellite exhibition of Prospect One, the largest exhibition of contemporary art in the United States.

About Review PhotoNOLA:
PhotoNOLA’s Portfolio Review program offers photographers the chance to present their work to influential members of the photographic community. Twenty-minute, one-on-one meetings with gallery owners, editors, publishers and museum curators from around the U.S. and abroad provide photographers with networking opportunities, critical advice, and guidance for bringing their work to a larger audience. Past PhotoNOLA review participants have been hired for magazine assignments, awarded solo shows, featured in Photo District News, and selected by galleries for representation.

The New Orleans Photo Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2006, whose mission is to encourage the understanding and appreciation of photography through exhibitions, opportunities, and educational programs. PhotoNOLA is a month-long celebration of photography in New Orleans, coordinated by the New Orleans Photo Alliance in partnership with galleries, museums and photographers citywide. December 2008 marks the third annual series of events.

For additional information on PhotoNOLA or The New Orleans Photo Alliance please visit or

Concurrent contemporary art events happening at many venues in New Orleans: PROSPECT.1

“Prospect.1 New Orleans has been conceived in the tradition of the great international biennials, and showcases new artistic practices as well as an array of programs benefiting the local community. Over the course of its eleven-week run, Prospect.1 New Orleans will draw international media attention, creative energy and economic activity to the City of New Orleans.”

Prospect.1 is currently on view at over two dozen official venues throughout New Orleans from Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 AM to 6 PM. (Some venues may open or close earlier; please consult the official venue list for links to more information.

Although all Prospect.1 venues are free during exhibition hours, you must have a ticket for admission.
You can obtain your free admission ticket at the Contemporary Arts Center, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Old U.S. Mint in addition to the Prospect.1 Welcome Center at the Hefler Warehouse (851 Magazine Street; see below). Your ticket will be valid for the entire duration of the exhibition.

“the largest biennial of international contemporary art ever organized in the United States, opened to the public on November 1, 2008 in museums, historic buildings and found sites throughout New Orleans. Visit

The exhibition will run through January 18, 2009.

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December 8th, 6:30 p.m. at the Guggenheim NYC: “Conversations with Contemporary Photographers” with Gregory Crewdson and Catherine Opie

Conversations with Contemporary Photographers
Participants: Gregory Crewdson and Catherine Opie
Moderator: Jennifer Blessing, Curator of Photography

Monday, December 8, 6:30 p.m.
While one references staged photography and the other documentary, both Gregory Crewdson and Catherine Opie address the construction of a pictorial narrative and the social dynamics of the American suburbs. The artists reflect on the medium’s complex relationship to truth, their individual contexts within its history, and the many possibilities for its future.

Lectures and panel discussions at the Guggenheim take place in the Peter B. Lewis Theater of the Sackler Center for Arts Education. Unless otherwise noted, tickets for public programs are $10 ($7 members, students). Box Office: 212.423.3587

This presentation is held in conjuction with the exhibition “Catherine Opie: American Photographer” on view at the Guggenheim NYC through January 7, 2009.

Don’t miss the the on-line video of Opie talking about of the making of Icehouses and Surfers installation that is a part of this larger mid-career retrospective of her work.

Also available on the exhibition website: a slide show (with full captions/object labels) and samples of the exhibition’s audio tour.

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Rania Matar lectures at ICA Boston, December 7 at 1:00 p.m.

In conjunction with the FOSTER PRIZE EXHIBITION, photographer Rania Matar will give an artist talk along side the other finalists for the Prize at the Institute for Contemporary Arts on Sunday, December 7th at 1:00 p.m. Free with museum admission. Tickets available first-come, first-served one hour before the program.

Matar’ award-winning photographs will be on view at ICA with the work of other Foster Prize nominees through March 1st, 2009

About the Foster Prize:

These artists, while presenting vastly different views of the world around us in a variety of media, all share a confident artistic approach—a sign of breakthroughs to come. The James and Audrey Foster Prize is a biennial award of $25,000 given to a Boston artist who demonstrates exceptional promise. Selected from several dozen nominated artists by a distinguished jury who will also decide the winner, the finalists present their work in a new ICA exhibition. The winner will be announced in January 2009.

About Rania Matar:

Rania Matar’s photographic work captures the everyday humanity that persists amidst catastrophic circumstances. She primarily focuses on the Middle East, especially its women and children. More recent projects examine refugee camps, the meaning of the veil and the aftermath of war.

For the ICA, Matar presents several black-and-white prints showing women and girls in states of repose, introspection, or in defiantly assertive stances, along with color work that reveals the haunting traces of domestic life found within chaos and rubble.

Born and raised in Lebanon, Rania Matar moved to the U.S. in 1984. She trained as an architect at Cornell University before studying photography at the New England School of Photography and the Maine Photographic Workshops. Matar’s work has been exhibited at such venues as the Center for Contemporary Arts in Texas and the Koppelman Gallery at Tufts University. Her images are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Portland Art Museum, the DeCordova Museum and the Danforth Museum of Art. She has won several awards in photography, including a fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Matar lives in Brookline.
Click here to view a audio slide show of the work of tjhe Foster Prize winners from the ICA’s website.

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An evening with SAM ABELL, December 4th, at A&I in Los Angeles

If you haven’t had the chance to hear Sam Abell speak about his life in photography, make plans now to attend this important and inspiring presentation!

From the Julia Dean Workshop website:

Canon Explorer of Light and National Geographic photographer Sam Abell will share his work, technique, and passion for photography. A book signing will follow.

Thursday, December 4th, 7:30-9:00pm

Doors open at 7:00pm

Location: A&I Photographic and Digital Services 933 N. Highland Ave. Hollywood, CA 90038

$15 General Admission, FREE for Students w/valid At-the-door, Cash and Check accepted

Click here to download even flyer (PDF)!

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