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The Guide: Happening Today

August 16, 2008

First chances, last chances and what not to miss today

WORDS & IDEAS

'Collapsing Boundaries' Held in conjunction with the exhibition "Omage '08," Otis College of Art faculty and area arts figures gather to mull the "porous membranes" between art and design, art as aesthetic and cultural production in this panel discussion. Panelists include KCRW art critic Edward Goldman, critic and professor Betty Brown and Otis chair Kali Nikitas. Free. Track 16 Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave. C1, Santa Monica. 7 p.m. www.otis.edu; www.track16.org.

POP MUSIC

Guy Davis The New York-based bluesman, a master storyteller and a man with great genes (he's the son of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee), charms the kids at an afternoon concert of stories and song. Getty Center Center Garden, 1200 Getty Center Drive, L.A. 4 and 5 p.m. today and Sun. Free. (310) 440-7300; www.getty.edu.

Natasha Shneider Benefit In the true spirit of rock camaraderie, Queens of the Stone Age have rounded up a number of their friends for a concert tonight to commemorate their former bandmate, who died last month from cancer. PJ Harvey, Tenacious D, Brody Dalle, Billy F. Gibbons and Alain Johannes are among those who will be on hand to perform from the band's catalog. All proceeds will go to Shneider's Memorial Fund. Music Box @ Fonda, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 7 p.m., $100. (323) 464-0808.

EVENTS & FESTIVALS

Nisei Week Japanese Festival Though L.A.'s annual tofu festival has been canceled -- a victim of its own success -- this festival returns for its 68th annual celebration of Japanese and Japanese American culture. Today's itinerary for the nine-day festival includes a car show, sumo demonstration, street fair, cultural exhibits, traditional celebrations and the Nikkei Games, a competition for 10- to 14-year-olds. JACCC Plaza, 244 S. San Pedro St., L.A., and other venues in and around Little Tokyo. Through Aug. 24. (213) 687-7193; www.niseiweek.org.

African Marketplace & Cultural Faire "The African Marketplace is trying to cultivate relationships between ethnic groups by virtue of their cultural similarities," says founder James Burks. Therefore, the festival promises plenty of arts, crafts and performances from countries such as South Africa, Guinea, Nigeria and Ethiopia. They're also offering a distinctly caliente flavor. Says Burks: "This year, we set out to focus on building stronger ties between Africa and Mexico." Rancho Cienega Recreation Center, 5001 Rodeo Road, L.A. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. today and Sun.; ends Sept. 1. $4-$8. (323) 293-1612; www.africanmarketplace.org.

Esotouric's Real Black Dahlia When the heat is murderous in the dead of August, there's no better time to hop aboard this bus tour, which has established itself as an L.A. classic. Stops include the hustle and bustle of Main Street and the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, one of the last places Elizabeth Short was seen alive. Meet at the Millennium Biltmore, 506 S. Grand Ave., L.A. Noon-4 p.m. $58. (310) 995-4591; www.esotouric.com.

MOVIES

Downtown Film Festival Today's schedule includes the L.A. premiere of Don Cheadle's new thriller, "Traitor," and a digital shorts program presented in conjunction with the L.A. Center for Digital Art. L.A. Center Studios, 1201 W. 5th St., L.A. 7 p.m. $10. www.dffla.com

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Find our picks, reader reviews and comprehensive listings at theguide.latimes.com

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