Arts and Culture Commission Previews Summer Programming

Despite the occasional May showers and June gloom, summer is heating up in Beverly Hills, and during its May 14 meeting, the Beverly Hills Arts and Culture Commission highlighted some of the marquee summer programming happening over the next few months.   

Concerts on Cañon, a free weekly concert series at Beverly Canon Gardens that brings music from around the world to the heart of the Golden Triangle, kicks off on June 6 with the third annual Pride Night, though staff is finalizing the artist, Senior Recreation Supervisor Paul Paolone said.   

On June 27, fan-favorite Bill Rothella and The Earthtones will return for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic and dive into the American Songbook, Paolone said. Singer-songwriter Joyce Partise is bringing Brazilian Bossa Nova to the stage on July 18; the band Upstream will transport the crowd to the Caribbean with Soca, Calypso and Reggae jams on Aug. 8; and The Tokens, headed up by Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education Member Noah Margo, will close out the series with Doo Wop classics on Aug. 2. 

The summer lineup “is always a huge excitement in our city,” Commission Vice Chair Karla Gordy Bristol said. “People who talk to me from neighboring L.A. County cities are talking about this, so the buzz is beyond Beverly Hills. Even into the Valley people are hearing and wanting to come, so that’s what you want to get.”    

Gordy Bristol also asked if, during themed events like Pride Night and Juneteenth, the city could organize informational booths explaining the history of that theme.   

“It might be nice to make it really about that [theme] more,” Gordy Bristol said. “I know last year, no one really left thinking it was about Juneteenth.” 

Paolone said staff was working with AbSOULute – who is performing a mix of Soul, Funk and R&B on June 20 – to curate a Juneteenth night focusing on the roots and cultural impacts of African American genres, and added that staff will look into bringing more historical perspectives to other theme nights. 

Commissioner Pamela Beck also asked about crowd control, and Paolone said staff relies heavily on Beverly Hills Park Rangers with support from security firms Nastec and Covered Six, though the community has always been respectful and calm during the concert series. He added that while there is no maximum capacity, staff typically sets up around 120 chairs at the venue.  

Live music is not the only entertainment lined up for the summer.  

During a Work Plan Update, Program Associate Brandy Scott said that staff on June 2 will lead a guided art walk of the Burton Way Median Project, which replaced the median’s grass with native plants, innovative landscaping and contemporary sculptures. The tour leaves from Rexford Mini Park, and registration is still available.

Staff has also begun taking down the flags commemorating the victims of Oct. 7 to make way for the Beverly Hills Art Show at Beverly Gardens Park May 18-19, which will feature more than 230 artists, a beer and wine garden and interactive experiences for children.  

Recreation Services Manager Matthew Brown also reminded residents to enjoy the final weeks of Jewish American Heritage Month, highlighting an opportunity on May 19 to speak with Jenny Yurshansky, the artist behind the Unfolded Narratives Art Installation currently on display at the Beverly Hills Public Library.

The commission on May 14 also bid well wishes to Commissioner Liliana Filipovic, whose last meeting is on June 11 before moving back to Europe to be closer to her family.  

“I will be keeping ties with the city and supporting its programs whenever I’m in town and in whatever capacity I can,” said Filipovic, a UCLA-trained violinist who was appointed concertmaster of the Angel City Chorale in 2014 and has performed with artists including Andrea Bocelli and Billy Idol. “It was a very rough start with my term starting along with COVID … [but] I’m happy to see the commission grow and be more defined in its goals and its duties. I’m happy to see it in the hands of such wonderful and capable ladies serving on this commission and the fantastic staff. Thank you all for your support.” 

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