Tel: (818) 347-9665 PST

Friday, January 30, 2015


Author David Coscia returns to The Museum for the monthly Speaker Series on Sunday, February 22, 2015

Come learn about the incredible history of the Pacific Electric. David will offer an interesting presentation, answer any questions and then there will be a book signing.  For those folks interested in the history of transportation.. this event is for you!  Please bring a friend or two to this event.

WHERE: The Museum of the San Fernando Valley
DATE:     Sunday, February 22, 2015
TIME:     3:00 - 5:00 pm

The Museum will open up at 2:00 pm on Sunday and close after the speaker event at 5:00 pm

Cost: FREE
Museum Members: Preferred Seating
Parking: Free
Light refreshments served.
Cost of each book: $60. A portion of each book sale is being generously donated to The Museum.

Please RSVP via phone and pay at the door by calling The Museum at 818-347-9665 or

David Coscia

Pacific Electric Railroad images - Gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2012  (click on images to enlarge)   Image number 4608

 Dated March 23, 1947 -  Image number 4611

 Dated June 19, 1955 - Image number 4609

Dated June 19, 1955  -   Image number 4610

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cornerstone Theatre Company | CALIFORNIA: THE TEMPEST 7/7/15

Cornerstone Theater Company is a multi-ethnic, ensemble-based theater company that travels all over the California performing one play. This year they are coming to Pacoima and performing The Tempest. They commission and produce contemporary adaptations of classics, which combine the artistry of professional and community collaboration. The play is pay-what-you-can (suggested donation $10) but they are offering a unique community experience to their members before the play on Saturday, February 7, with great local food, drinks, mural tour (lead by Manny Velazquez, Muralist & PAI Docent), prime seating and a meet & greet with the cast. Pre-Valentine date, anyone? 

Please come out and support local theatre! 

Performances: February 5, 6 & 7, 2015,
Indoors at ArTES Cesar E. Chavez Learning Academy
1001 Arroyo Ave, San Fernando, CA 91340

7:30pm Curtain.

Tickets are Pay-What-You-Can (Suggested donation $10)
Seating is limited so call to reserve your seats: 1-800-578-1335

More info -

Pacoima Community Experience Tickets
Saturday, February 7th at 4pm 

Wine and appetizers as you enjoy an exclusive tour of the Pacoima community with Muralist Manny Velazquez as he introduces you to the renowned murals along Mural Mile. The experience will also include dinner with the cast and crew from "California: The Tempest" at the community potluck and reserved seating for the performance. 
Your donation helps to support the California Bridge Tour and also provides permits and restoration fees for local murals. Click here to purchase your seat ->


CA State Senator Robert M. Hertzberg’s Van Nuys staff led by Barri Worth Girvan, District Director, received a tour of The Museum yesterday.

Everyone came away with a greater appreciation of the history, art and culture of the valley and what The Museum is offering to valley residents and guests.

Two veterans from Wings Over Wendys, Art Sherman and Howard Swerdlick were in attendance to provide first-hand accounts of their service in WWII and to act as docents for the military exhibit at The Museum.

Senator Robert M. Hertzberg was first elected to the California Assembly in 1996. After three years of hard work, he was twice unanimously elected Speaker and served until 2002. Then he spent a dozen years building a successful a career in private industry and helping to establish groundbreaking public policy in several areas. Bob has always fought for BIG and BOLD ideas to fix California and tried to always think long term and solve tough problems.

For the Senator’s bio, please click HERE.

The Museum encourages elected officials and staff members from any other CA Senator, CA Assembly, Los Angeles City District and Los Angeles City Department staff’s to set up a time for a tour. To do so, please contact The Museum at 818-347-9665 or

Saturday, January 24, 2015


PHOTOS WANTED FOR UPCOMING BASEBALL BOOK:  Author Chris Docter is looking for old baseball and softball photos for an upcoming Arcadia book titled Mexican American Baseball in the San Fernando Valley, due for release in late 2015.   

Photos should date between the 1900s to the 1960s that feature Mexican American men and women that participated in community, youth, church, military, high school, college or business teams in the Valley.   

If you have photos or questions, please contact Chris Docter at   or (818) 399-9026.

 The Museum has discussed with the author the opportunity to share the experience in creating the book at an upcoming Speaker Series event. Stay tuned for details.

Friday, January 16, 2015

THE BIG READ: "Into the Beautiful North" by Luis Alberto Urrea

Every spring The Museum of the San Fernando Valley participates in The Big Read program. The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) initiative that encourages all to pick up a book and read. 

In previous years the books and events where centered on Greek culture and Indian culture... for 2015 we will be centering the event around the novel "Into The Beautiful North," by Luis Alberto Urrea, and highlighting Mexican culture. 

Short Summary of "Into The Beautiful North" from Amazon: 
Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US when she was young. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village--they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men--her own "Siete Magníficos"--to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over. 

Filled with unforgettable characters and prose as radiant as the Sinaloan sun, Into the Beautiful North is the story of an irresistible young woman's quest to find herself on both sides of the fence.

We hope you will join us in reading "Into The Beautiful North" and attend the festival (date and time to be announced).

If you would like to volunteer during the festival, please contact Kristine Keller, Program Manager, at

To RSVP for this event, please do so by contacting The Museum at 818-347-9665 or

We look forward to having you at The Big Read event this year!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Guy Newell, a local artist and former employee at the General Motors automobile manufacturing plant from 1959 until it closed in 1992, donated some artifacts to The Museum.

The Museum greatly appreciates the donated items. Based on Guy's experiences, he may become part of our Oral Histories program where we can capture his thoughts, feelings and stories from his time at the Van Nuys Plant.

If you either were old enough to drive and or recall might of General Motors during this time, you will appreciate and enjoy reading the book and booklet.

On the bottom of the medallion, it reads, "Over 6 million vehicles produced."

NOW, there's a host of reasons why we love new artifacts for The Museum. One, that The Museum can remain focused on its core mission of promoting the history, art and culture of the San Fernando Valley. Secondly, is to collect and savor the reactions of people when they view an image such as...

The General Motors plant in 1947.

Okay, this may seem weird, but we want you to raise your hand high (don't worry, no one will see) if you would have been interested in buying some land around the plant in 1947?  Come on... raise your hand!

Now, if you missed that purchase of land, you could have returned in 1990 to buy some acreage... if you could have found any to purchase.

If YOU worked at or know someone that worked at the GM plant that would be interested in donating additional artifacts, please contact Gary Fredburg, Chair, Artifact Commitee at 818-347-9665 or

If you have stories to share about growing up near the plant, please email us at


The great Al Martinez, the brilliant, humorous, poignant writer, primarily for the Los Angeles Times, passed away on January 12th.

He is not easily replaceable.

Please review the article by Valerie Nelson HERE.

 Following is a brief excerpt of the article.

“It's the people I've written about who march through my memory like an army of shadows," Al Martinez wrote in 2009 in his final column for the Los Angeles Times. "They all mattered to me, the clowns and the victims, those who gave and those who took...."

Over three decades, Martinez chronicled life in Southern California as a columnist who had "an extraordinary ability to take something very personal and spin it out beautifully to make you laugh or weep," said Sue Hodson, curator of the 2012 Huntington Library exhibit "Al Martinez: Bard of L.A."
Martinez died Monday at West Hills Hospital of congestive heart failure, said his wife, Joanne. He was 85 and had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

… Before relocating to Southern California, Martinez and his wife took a two-month trip across the U.S. in a camper with their three children, who ranged in age from 10 to 23, and their dog, Hoover.

"Seeing Manhattan for the first time is like falling asleep in your own bed and waking up naked in the middle of a circus," Martinez wrote in his 2003 book "I'll Be Damned If I'll Die in Oakland: A Sort of Travel Memoir." The title refers to a curse his mother once hurled at him in frustration, and he said it inspired him to see the world.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

SATURDAY: North Hollywood "NoHo" Historic Walking Tour (1/10/15)

Join us for the first historic walking tour of 2015! 

North Hollywood "No Ho" Historic Walking Tour
Saturday, January 10, 2015
10:00am - 12:30pm | $10 Per Person Donation
Meeting Location: NW corner of Tujunga St. & Magnolia Blvd.


Learn about real cowboys, pioneer families, movie television and recording stars, the Spanish conquest, Mexican ranchos, great steam trains, vast ranches and orchards, land barons, wars, architecture, and much more! 

Tour highlights include:
  • Amelia Earhart Statue
  • Amelia Earhart Library (1928)
  • St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church 
  • NoHo Fire Station #60
  • So. Pacific Railroad Depot (1896) 
  • Weddington Family 
  • Air raid siren
  • El Portal Theatre (1926)
  • NoHo Arts District
  • Lankershim Arts Center (1939) (S. Charles Lee, architect)
  • North Hollywood Masonic Temple Lodge 542
  • Lankershim Elementary School (Marilyn Monroe attended)
RSVP: 1-818-347-9665 or email at events@TheMuseumSFV.orgPlease leave name, email address and phone number.

Please pay in advance by clicking HERE.

Cost: $10 per person suggested donation; Okay to pay on site or at Please RSVP if you can and pay in advance with credit card or PayPal. 

Parking: Street and metered parking in area

Tour meets at Amelia Earhart Statue; NW corner of Tujunga St. & Magnolia Blvd. (at corner of Library)
Please visit us on the web at
Thank you to our sponsor Universal City/North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.