Image that says SMOG Check Thursdays
Gallery Talk

Smog Check Thursdays Literary and Performing Arts Series


Cut through the haze with Smog Check Thursdays at The Broad and enjoy a fresh breath of air with literary readings as well as spoken word and acoustic performances—all against the backdrop of John Baldessari’s large-scale artwork that inspired the title of our collection exhibition, Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog). Smog Check Thursdays will feature short sets, so you’ll be in and out in 30 minutes, guaranteed! Do your part to conserve the literary environment and reserve your free spot online, hassle-free. To conserve the ozone, consider taking Metro to these events – the new Regional Connector Transit Grand Av Arts/Bunker Hill Station takes you directly to the East West Bank Plaza at The Broad.


December 14: Amelia Ada + Clement Goldberg + Naz Riahi

A look at what’s to come on the literary horizon of Los Angeles. Presented by DOPAMINE, highthting work that is experimental, by writers resisting assimilation; work that stretches the boundaries of what defines ‘queer,’ by writers with intersecting identities; work that is raw, by writers who are self-taught.

January 11: Myriam Gurba + Michelle Tea

Myriam Gurba and Michelle Tea revile societal norms with candor and wit. Gurba’s writing has been described as “profoundly insightful, thoroughly researched [and] incredibly inventive…” by Kirkus Reviews. Tea has received honors from Lambda Literary, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, PEN/America, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

January 25: Steven Reigns + Justin Torres

Steven Reigns, first Poet Laureate of West Hollywood and Justin Torres, winner of the Indies Choice Book Award and First Novelist Award, delve into buried or misrepresented histories.

February 8: Henry Solomon + Fuensanta

A glimpse into the richly varied world of Los Angeles jazz with saxophonist Henry Solomon and singer and double bassist Fuensanta, each performing 15-minute unplugged acoustic sets. Presented by Minaret Records, a local record label and events production concern whose mission includes the fostering of community/collaboration and connecting progressive art practices to the public.

February 22: Andrew Berardini + Lavender Diamond

A journey through color via words and music from author Andrew Berardini and musician Lavender Diamond, two quintessentially LA artists. The pair complement each other’s work, be it story or song, through creative output by turns lush, melancholic, whimsical, and deeply human.

March 7: Iris Berry + Pleasant Gehman

Reigning royalty of the raucous LA punk scene from the late 1970s onwards, Iris Berry and Pleasant Gehman regale us with tales from the City of Angels’ gritty underbelly. The pair provide firsthand accounts of life lived on the outskirts of mainstream society in their signature observational styles. Presented by Punk Hostage Press.

March 21: The Koreatown Oddity with Trenttruce

Described by Pitchfork as being “lodged comfortably in a scene of cerebral loners,” Angeleno and former Ras G collaborator The Koreatown Oddity puts a uniquely personal stamp on hip hop. For Smog Check Thursdays, he will perform a 30-minute set with opulent lyricist and experimental beatmaker Trenttruce.

April 4: Andrew McIntosh + M.A. Tiesenga

The final installment of Smog Check Thursdays reflects over a half century of artistic and educational excellence associated with California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and the impact the school has had on the creative communities of Los Angeles. Situated among the artworks of Broad collection artists John Baldessari and Mike Kelley, we are pleased to present short solo performances by CalArts School of Music Faculty member Andrew McIntosh and CalArts MFA holder M.A. Tiesenga. Baldessari studied at Chouinard Art Institute (which would become CalArts) and would go on to be an influential faculty member at CalArts and highly revered conceptual artist. Kelley was both a CalArts alumnus, having studied under Baldessari, and later a faculty member who taught while maintaining his iconoclastic creative practice. Come experience Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog) before it closes on Sunday, April 7 – or revisit the exhibition for this very special performance.