It would be hard to explain a city like South Pasadena, without highlighting its extensive focus, love, and praise for the arts. Home to a wide range of industry professionals, residents vary from film and television insiders, to musicians, authors, artists, architects, and more. In fact, the Top Ten list of Creative Communities in LA recognized South Pasadena as one of the artistic havens for “the Creative Class.” This, according to Co-Founder and Editor of The Atlantic Cities, Richard Florida, results in the city’s thriving gallery scene, live concerts, Art Walks, and the Eclectic Music Festival.
SPARC Gallery at The South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce:
“Igniting Creativity, Illuminating the Arts.” This is the slogan of SPARC, South Pasadena’s Art Council, and it could not describe the program better. SPARC provides interactive art projects, visual and performing arts programs, and collaborations with local businesses, the South Pasadena Unified School District and community organizations.Through the gallery, arts and culture are advocated and promoted, bringing the South Pasadena community together. Open to all artists, actors, musicians, playwrights, writers, directors, producers, art lovers, dancers, and more, SPARC is open to anyone and everyone who wants to help art “survive and thrive” in South Pasadena. Located at the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, the gallery exhibits many artists and their works, and contributes to the social, educational, and economic well-being of the community and its deep love for supporting all forms of art. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 10am-5pm, or by appointment, at 1121 Mission Street.
Located at 810 Meridian Ave and walking distance from the South Pasadena Gold Line Station, SugarMynt Gallery is a fairly new gallery that opened in 2015. Since then, they have become well known for hosting exhibits and showcasing artistic talents from all over the Los Angeles area. Owned by the Orlandini sisters, Rebecca and SaraRose, SugarMynt is a space to host exhibitions, parties, shop, and even take their twice-a-month Paint and Pinot class. They also have a permanent section called, “Haddonfield Pl.,” dedicated to the original 1978 cult classic movie, Halloween, and host their Halloween exhibition, “Welcome to Haddonfield.” every year. They are open Monday 9am-5pm, Tuesday to Wednesday 12pm-5pm, Thursday-Saturday 12pm-7pm, and Sunday 11am-3pm.
Calling all artists! If you are looking for an affordable work studio, then SOPA Studios is the place for you. Created and built for a supportive group of local artists through membership, events, and availability, SOPA Studios is a shared-use studio located at 1025 Hope St., that accommodates a small community of Resident Artists and a larger Artists Collective. Open to all Los Angeles residents, a membership at SOPA Studios offers an encouraging and inspiring work space with 24/7 access, that ranges from painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and a black and white darkroom.
Located at 1414 Fair Oaks Avenue, ART/WORK/PLACE is an exciting hub of art education, that’s centered around a curriculum that teaches each of their students fine art principles and fundamentals, while at the same time encouraging each individual’s creativity. The mission of ART/WORK/PLACE is to provide students with a unique art experience that exceeds all others, championing its philosophy of “work hard, play hard,” and pledging to deliver not only an educational understanding, but great customer service and community development as well. Through their special curriculum, classes are built through structured lesson plans that teach technical and observational skills, build creativity, and introduce art history.
Wine & Song By Brad Colerick
Held at the Arroyo Seco Golf Course’s “Blue Guitar” Room every Wednesday evening since 2009, Brad Colerick’s Wine & Song series presents up and coming singer-songwriters side by side with seasoned pros. Known as South Pasadena’s “midweek spirit-lifting hootenanny,” musicians and enthusiastic fans gather together to enjoy original Americana live acoustic performances.
South Pasadena Music Center & Conservatory
The South Pasadena Music Center & Conservatory is also home to an exciting series of free concerts featuring the best Jazz, Classical, World Music, Folk, Experimental, and much more. Dedicated to teaching students of all levels and ages through private and group lessons, the South Pasadena Music Center & Conservatory offers classes in the European classical tradition, combined with cutting edge instruction in jazz, rock, and modern music. With highly experienced faculty and staff who are widely accomplished professional musicians and educators, the South Pasadena Music Center & Conservatory provides a rich and exciting learning environment where music can grow and flourish.
Pascale Music Institute
At the award-winning, nationally acclaimed Pascale Music Institute, children as young as 3 ½ years old are taught to play instruments such as the violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, and piano. Using the “Pascale Method,” children are set up for success from the very beginning as they are put through the 12-week program, where they learn to quickly and correctly master skills through fun exercises and detailed directions so they can perform in front of family and friends and move on to the next level of instruction. Students are able to learn via the Pascale Method book set, or at the campus located at 1401 Mission St. Ste. 104, where they can partake in group classes, private lessons, as well as summer programs and boot camps.
Green Brooms Music Academy
At Green Brooms Music Academy, the sacred gift and passion of music is viewed as something that every man, woman, and child, no matter his or her age, should be able enjoy, experience, and partake in if they have a great desire to learn. With the help of dedicated music instructors who have years and years of experience in their musical field, one will be able to learn through group classes, private lessons, and perform in live recitals. Green Brooms Music Academy also provides a very wide range of instructional musical services, where you can learn to play: acoustic and electric guitar, piano, violin and viola, cello and bass, drums and percussion, the banjo, the ukulele, take vocal lessons, and more.
Concerts in Garfield Park are also regular features in the Summer, presented by the City of South Pasadena and local business sponsors. And throughout the year, many live acts are booked by the South Pasadena Public Library for the visiting author series, and by the Chamber of Commerce for various festivals and events.
Fremont Centre Theater
South Pasadena is home to the Fremont Centre Theater. The cozy stage with a lovely courtyard is a favorite of the locals and draws patrons far and wide. It has been the darling of the media, the critics, and the public for over a decade. Its owners, the husband and wife team of James Reynolds and Lissa Layng Reynolds, are accomplished actors and producers who love their hometown South Pasadena.
Young Stars Theatre
Created primarily for young actors between the ages of 8-18 years old, the Young Stars Theatre is a free, non-profit theatre. Through this non-profit theatre, children get the chance to be exposed and to learn the craft of acting in a supportive environment, and get the opportunity to perform roles and play for live audiences that they might not have had access to before. Young Stars Theatre is supported through ticket and ad sales, concessions, grants, and donation.
South Pasadena Theatre Workshop
Building itself around communication, play, and community, the South Pasadena Theatre Workshop creates inspiring and engaging acting classes that help ignite children’s imaginations. Though many acting classes are geared more towards performance preparation, the South Pasadena Theatre Workshop takes a different approach, with a goal to have their participants explore their own artistry through theatre games, improvisation, creative movement, story enactment, and viewpoints. Through the emphasis of process rather than product, teachers have the freedom to take as much time as they need to help their students develop their acting skills, confidence, and imaginations.
Upstage for Young Actors
Provided year-round after school and throughout the summer during day camps, the Upstage Theatre Arts School educates children and young people in a joyful and creative environment. Founded on the principle that theater should be fair and fun, Upstage Theatre productions features ensemble casting, reasonable rehearsal hours, and a safe environment for the child to find their own level in their own time, grow their confidence, make new friends, and learn new skills.
The South Pasadena Public Library and Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library present live music, author nights, classic and Indie movies with actors and directors on hand for Q&A, and many other wonderful special events. The library entrance is adorned with Merrell Gage sculptures, and the interior of the Children’s Library has original murals by famed author/illustrator Leo Politi.
On the first Saturday each May, South Pasadena hosts the Eclectic Music Festival and Art Walk—an inspiring evening of live music in three festival areas, as well as exhibitions in art galleries and open houses in the Indie boutiques. Thousands come from South Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley to hear dozens of musical groups play in an eclectic cross-section of styles, from folk and jazz to rock and roll. Beer/wine gardens, food trucks and great festival treats are located at the outdoor main stages. For details visit www.TheEclectic.Rocks
Held in the winter, summer, and fall, this quarterly “neighborhood-night-on-the-town” showcases the creativity and talent in South Pasadena. Stores, boutiques, and eateries all over town stay open late on a Saturday night to offer special events, trunk shows, sales, artists, and musicians. An interactive art activity brings out the creative side – and is enjoyed by all ages!
In South Pasadena, you never know when or where you’ll find art. With the vast amounts of stores and restaurants this city has to offer, local and regional art is sure to be featured in almost all of their establishments. Some of the merchandise itself can also be considered an art, as much of the food here is artistically prepared and presented, making it almost too beautiful to eat! Lastly, with a city like South Pasadena, that’s brimming with artistic inspiration all around, you can learn to create your own art as well and join the arts community.
Looking for what’s going on in South Pasadena?
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