NHM FIRST FRIDAYS 2023: June
First Fridays 2023 season is here!
Explore the Museum after hours with live music, DJs, topical discussions, signature cocktails, pop-up experiences, special NHM collections displays, and more.
2023 Theme: Fandoms & Fantasy
The Natural World vs. Fantasy Worlds: This season we focus on how nature and science influence the creation of our favorite imagined worlds. From dragons and witchcraft to superheroes and giant monsters, First Fridays 2023 is where the fans come out to celebrate the intersection of pop-culture fandom and the work and collections of NHM.
June 2: Superheroes
Live Music by:
Hurray for the riff raff
DJ SET BY:
DJ Rubella Spreads
featuring OUR Host AND Moderator: Dr. Yewande Pearse
Dr. Yewande Pearse is a neuroscientist and science communicator with over 10 years of research into understanding rare genetic brain disorders at both King’s College London and The Lundquist Institute at Harbor-UCLA. Host of "Sound Science" on Dublab Radio and Inside Biotech, a podcast from Biotech Connection Los Angeles. She has also worked with Headspace, Seed, Deem Journal, NAVEL, Fathomers, Massive Science, TEDMED, and more.
Cosplay Welcome! COSPLAY CONTEST AT NATURE GARDENS MAIN STAGE AT 7:45 PM
Cosplay as your favorite fantasy and fandom character and get a chance to win a prize for favorite costume! Extra points for representing this month's theme. Enter the Cosplay Contest at Nature Gardens Main Stage at 7:45 pm!
*Rules and info below
DISCUSSION: Superheroes and the Superpower of Science
Level 2, north American Mammal Hall | 6:30 pm–7:30 pm
“If you had a superpower, what would it be?” as the fun icebreaker goes, but what if you asked, “If you had a superpower, HOW would it be?” What would X-ray vision look like in the real world? Would superhuman intelligence have to lead to superhuman anxiety? How does your favorite comic book superhero stack up against gravity and other laws of physics? This month, we’ll be breaking down the science of superheroes while learning about the science of the real world. By assembling your favorite fantasy superheroes, educators are sparking interest and joy in the sciences for kids and adults—a true heroic feat! Join us for a humorous and scientific look at superheroes with author, educator, and comedian, Joy Lin. Moderated by Dr. Yewande Pearse.
SEATING IS LIMITED FOR THE DISCUSSION, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Joy Lin is an author, comedian, and award-winning educator who has been invited to speak at the San Diego Comic Con three times. She published two series of comic books: Superpower Science and Monster Science. Her TED-Talk and TED-Ed videos “If Superpowers Were Real” have over 14 million views collectively.
LIVE MUSIC AND DJ SET IN THE NATURE GARDENS STAGE
HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF | Nature Gardens | 9:00 pM
Hurray for the Riff Raff’s, aka Alynda Segarra’s, “nature punk” manifesto about survival, LIFE ON EARTH. A visionary musician, Segarra (they/she) is an outsider in whose voice you might find echoes of your own. On her eighth full-length album, Segarra is creating music of honesty and portent. Segarra had been a human embodiment of Newton’s First Law of Motion even before they ran away from their home in the Bronx at age seventeen, illegally hopping freight trains or hitchhiking across the country in the company of a band of street urchins, sleeping rough under dense underbrush at night and hiding in trees for shelter. Coming from a fractured family, they weren’t quite sure what they were looking for, but they had the feeling they would know it when they found it. And they did when they pulled into New Orleans in 2007. There Segarra formed two bands: Dead Man’s Street Orchestra and Hurray for the Riff Raff, releasing an EP and seven albums with the latter. In 2015, Segarra temporarily decamped, first to Nashville, then home to New York. Her 2016 Hurray for the Riff Raff album, The Navigator, was a quest to reclaim her Puerto Rican identity. Each song segued into the next in a tight narrative arc, uncovering important hints through the lens of her ancestors.
Mei | Nature Gardens | 8:00 pM
Mei is a Chinese-American indie artist from Lake Zurich, IL, now based in Los Angeles. Growing up in a predominantly white suburb inadvertently led Mei to reject his ethnic identity, and later, clouded his musical identity. Mei spent the first two years of his career using a moniker, Brandt Orange, writing pop songs about made up stories. At a certain point, he hit a wall, began writing deeply personal songs, and reclaimed his ethnic identity by changing his artist name to Mei, his Chinese name. His first release as Mei, SUPERNOVA, grapples with ethnic identity and upbringing. On his next, 6-song EP, due out in the fall of 2023, Mei steps even further into his confidence- writing, producing, mixing and performing every song.
DJ RUBELLA SPREADS | NATURE GARDENS | 5:00 pm–8:00 pm
So-Cal’s favorite Drag Queen/DJ, Rubella Spreads is a Queen for the people. Working all over the United States as both a performer and DJ over the last 10 years, Rubella is just getting started. There’s no stopping this Spread. Catch her when you can, she’s truly contagious!
NHM'S RESEARCH AND COLLECTIONS | OTIS BOOTH PAVILION - GROUND LEVEL
Explore the work and collections of NHM with special displays from our collections. We'll be looking at natural world inspiration for sci-fi critters, cultural inspirations for costumes and props, and much more examples from our collection.
Alf Museum’s Cosplay for Science Initiative | OTIS BOOTH PAVILION - GROUND LEVEL
The Alf Museum’s Cosplay for Science Initiative assembles scientists, educators, and cosplayers to bridge the connection between science and pop culture. Brought to you by the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology. Visit the Alf Museum's Cosplay for Science Initiative at the Otis Booth Pavilion on the Ground Level for a special Pop-Up Experience and join in the science and fantasy fun.
Golden Apple Comic and Art Foundation | LEVEL 1 FOYER - DUELING DINOS
The Golden Apple Comic and Art Foundation was started by Kendra and Ryan Liebowitz, owners of the world-famous Golden Apple Comics on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The foundation's purpose is to preserve, safeguard and showcase private collections and ensure that comics, books, art, and collectibles are secured for future generations to enjoy. Visit the Golden Apple Comic and Art Foundation's table next to the Dueling Dinos for more information, special display, and on-theme items for sale.
Golden Apple's Special Guest: Marvel and Image Comics creator and fan favorite Deadpool artist, Scott Koblish, will be sketching and signing autographs.
create-a-creature activity hosted by the Lucas Museum of narrative art | OTIS BOOTH PAVILION - GROUND LEVEL
This month our popular First Fridays activity is hosted by our neighbors at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art! Join the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and create your own superhero/super villain costume! Use inspiration from the natural world to design your super outfit and imagine your remarkable powers.
A STARK CONTRAST | LEVEL 1 FOYER - NEXT TO DINO HALL
A STARK CONTRAST is a podcast all about the Marvel Universe, focusing on differences and similarities between characters from the comics and their cinematic counterparts. From historical value, relevant topics, and more, hosts Geoffrey Ramos and Diana Kou invite film fans and comic book aficionados alike to explore characters from comic panel to motion picture every other week! Visit and chat with A Stark Contrast Podcast at the foyer on Level 1 next to the Dino Hall and talk about all the wonders and enjoyment found at the intersection of fandoms, fantasy, and science.
MUSEUM EDUCATOR POP-UPS
M.E. Pop-Ups | East Entrance—Welcome table | 5:30 PM & 7:30 PM
Join one of our knowledgeable Museum Educators in a series of 30-minute pop-up presentations throughout the Museum to get some first-hand insights about our illuminating exhibits and vast collections. Meet the M.E.s at the top of the steps near the Welcome Table located at East Entrance.
5:30pm & 7:30pm: Wonder Women of California: Women throughout history have inspired stories of Amazons, Warrior Queens, and modern-day heroines. We will explore tales of wonder women both local and global and their impacts on popular culture of the past and present.
Dan Priore (he/him) has been a Museum Educator at NHMLAC since 2016. Dan grew up going to the Tar Pits and NHM, which first inspired him to study the past. With his background in classical civilizations and archaeology, he enjoys sharing tales about our cultural worlds and connecting visitors to Los Angeles' history.
This Month's Featured Food Trucks
- Post and Beam
- MORE TBD
FIRST FRIDAYS PARKING IS ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE BLUE STRUCTURE PARKING LOT
The entrance to the Blue Structure is on Figueroa Boulevard at 39th Street. From there, it is just a short walk to NHM.
YOUR SAFETY IS OUR TOP PRIORITY. PLEASE READ THE FULL COVID-19 SAFETY GUIDELINES
accepting all credit cards, Apple Pay, Cash App, and CASH.
First Fridays welcomes and celebrates the creativity of cosplayers. Please follow these basic guidelines for a safe, inclusive, and family-friendly experience for everyone. Guests who do not follow these guidelines are not allowed entry or will be removed from the event.
All Museum rules still apply.
- No functional props or weapons are allowed.
- No masks that cover the entire head and face.
- No costumes may be realistic depictions of American law enforcement, current American military uniforms, first responders, emergency medical personnel, or any official government agent.
- Costumes must not obstruct or impede the flow of traffic or entryways.
- First Fridays is an All Ages/Family Friendly event and all costumes must be respectful of all guests.