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Festival de la Gente

An extraordinary event that encourages the celebration of life, November 1

Published on LatinoLA: October 25, 2003


Festival de la Gente


Councilmember Antonio Villaraigosa, City of Los Angeles/14th Council District, in conjunction with nationally-acclaimed Painter/Muralist/ papel mach? artist, Tony Dominguez, Director of Arte Calidad, will co-host the Festival de la Gente, a celebration of life inspired by the Mexican tradition of D?a de los Muertos. The event will take place on Saturday, November 1, 2003 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., on the 6th Street Bridge in downtown Los Angeles between Mateo and Soto streets, one of the main roadways linking downtown to the community of Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles.

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend this free event which is open to the public. Families with children, from all areas of Southern California, are encouraged to attend. Further information regarding the Festival can be accessed at http://www.festivaldelagente.com

The three-quarter-mile-long 6th Street Bridge provides the perfect backdrop to create a carnival-like atmosphere featuring more than 30 of Dominguez? fabulous collections of papel mach? puppets, including four 80-foot calaveras, a 20-foot feathered serpent and Arte Calidad?s trademark 20-foot sun.

Festival de la Gente aims to preserve the Mexican tradition of D?a de los Muertos, and bring to the community an extraordinary event that encourages the celebration of life. The venue will allow for established and emerging artists and musicians to showcase their talent. Renowned Painter/Muralist, George Yepes will display his most recent D?a de los Muertos backdrop, featured in the film ?Once upon a Time in Mexico?. Set to perform at the event are East LA?s roots-rock and rockabilly band, The Blazers; Los Jornaleros Del Norte; the Chicano groove/Brown-Eyed Soul sound of Steve Salas of Tierra; the popular world-beat hip-hop band, Burning Star; the roots-reggae, cumbia collective, Quinto Sol; the classic Cuban son sound of Domingo Siete; plus, children?s theatre by Teatro Chusma, and many, many others.

The festival will have special areas dedicated to health, education and community empowerment, interactive activity booths for children and their families, local theatre, an art exhibit, and two traditional altar centerpieces, one a community altar. Members of the public are encouraged to bring photos to display on this altar, in honor of family and friends. This will be set against the backdrop of a warm, social and colorful environment.

A portion of the proceeds from the Festival de la Gente will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, an organization dedicated to empowering children by fostering positive role models.

Tony Dominguez conceived Festival de la Gente in 1999 to provide a space for local artists and musicians in East Los Angeles to showcase their talent and preserve the tradition of Mexican celebration to honor ancestors. The festivities have attracted up to 6,000 people on an annual basis and featured artists such as The Blazers, Quinto Sol, East LA Sabor Factory, Los Jornaleros del Norte and Ozomatli.

A native of Los Angeles, Dominguez is widely recognized for his dedication to the community and passion for preserving and promoting the artistic tradition of papel mach?, from pi?atas to puppets and more. He was recently honored by KCET and Union Bank with a community hero award and was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as the ?greatest papel mach? artist in the country and possibly the world.?

?I am thrilled to be a part of this festival, which is a celebration of life inspired by the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos,? said Councilmember Antonio Villaraigosa. ?My family is originally from Leon, Guanajuato, a Mexican city that has celebrated this indigenous ritual for at least 3,000 years. Residents from throughout the City will enjoy the vivid and culturally rich traditions of floral tributes, regional meals and candlelight vigils at the event? added Villaraigosa.

This event is co-hosted by Councilmember Villaraigosa, Arte Calidad, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, LatinoLA.com, LATV, Adelphia Cable, and others.

For further vendor or sponsorship opportunities, please call Arte Calidad at (323) 261-3121.


WHEN: Saturday, November 1, 2003, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
FREE- ALL AGES, Families with children are welcome

WHERE: Boyle Heights, on the 6th Street Bridge between Mateo and Soto streets

WHAT: Councilmember Antonio Villaraigosa (City of Los Angeles/14th Council District) and nationally acclaimed Painter/Muralist/ papel mach? artist Tony Dominguez, Director of Arte Calidad, will co-host the Festival de la Gente, a celebration of life inspired by the Mexican tradition of D?a de los Muertos. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend. Two traditional altars will be centerpieces at the event. One altar will be one open to the public at which photos of deceased loved ones may be displayed. Live Entertainment by Steve Salas of Tierra, The Blazers, Teatro Chusma, Burning Star, Quinto Sol and more; artwork by renowned artist, George Yepes, plus many other established and emerging artists. Further information may also be accessed at http://www.festivaldelagente.com. The community celebration will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.





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