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Music Center’s Very Special Arts Festival Features Students From 40 Schools

The Music Center of Los Angeles County presents the 33rd annual Very Special Arts Festival, “Into the Future,” celebrating the artistic achievements of students with disabilities along with their mainstream peers, from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday, May 3 on the Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave.

The admission-free festival features continuous performances by more than 40 schools on two stages, along with special presentations from adult professional artists.

Additional activities include  more than 20 visual and performing arts workshops, an exhibit of more than 1,000 theme-based works of student art, a photo booth and Spin-to-Win prize wheel sponsored by CVS Pharmacy, Wildlife Learning Center and its exotic animals, and ambassador dogs from Guide Dogs of America. Plus, stilt walkers, mimes, a magician, and disco dancing.

Movie Marathon Will Benefit State Parks

California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) and the Environmental Media Association (EMA) will present the 2012 ParkFilm Fest of Saturday, May 5. The lineup for the third annual fest consists of back-to-back screenings of the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films— The Curse of the Black Pearl (11 a.m.), Dead Man’s Chest (2:30 p.m.), and At World’s End (7:30 p.m.).

The festival, at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles will raise much-needed funds for California’s state parks. Seventy parks are slated for closure on July 1.

The family-friendly event will feature food trucks, a select group of actors and filmmakers from the trilogy who will participate in a special Q&A and the chance for photos with a pirate in front of a green screen.

 The ParkFilm Fest 2012 Celebrity Host Committee includes Lance Bass, Ed Begley, Jr., Emmanuelle Chriqui, Frances Fisher, Daryl Hannah, Wendie Malick and Amy Smart.

Guests are encouraged to come dressed as a pirate or their favorite character from the films.

For tickets and imformtion, visit calparks.org and click on the logo for ParkFilm Fest.

Youth Symphony Launches Elfman Project

The American Youth Symphony (AYS), a leading pre-professional orchestra, will launch The Elfman Project, a three-year exploration of the work of film composer Danny Elfman, Sunday, May 6 at UCLA’s Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr.

• The day begins with a 4 p.m. symposium where composer and guest conductor David Newman joins film music critic Jon Burlingame to discuss Elfman’s innovative work.

Presented in partnership with the Film Music Society, the seminar will feature the orchestra performing music from the Errol Morris documentary Standard Operating Procedure, which examines incidents of abuse and torture in Abu Ghraib prison.

• Music Director Alexander Treger opens the 7 p.m. concert with Stravinsky’s Suite No. 2 for Small Orchestra and Bartok’s Divertimento for Strings.

In the second half, Newman will lead AYS in a suite from Tim Burton’s Batman, and music from Jon Amiel’s post-civil war film with Richard Gere, Sommersby.

Excerpts from Burton’s tragic fantasy Edward Scissorhands will be shown on the big screen while the orchestra performs excerpts from Elfman’s score.

A 32-piece women’s chorus oins the 130-piece orchestra in Batman and Edward Scissorhands.

The symposium and concert are free, For required reservations, visit www.asymphony.org or call 310-470-2332.

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