Legend has it that the halls of East Los Angeles' El Gallo Plaza are walked by spirits. If true, then on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010, those lost souls did not walk alone. Over 700 attendees visited the former mortuary in celebration of Al Borde's 6th Annual Dia de los Muertos Music and Art Festival where music, food, art and dance generated an evening of jubilation and cultural awareness.
The free festival included a Day of the Dead-themed art and altar contest curated by muralist Steven Amado, face painting courtesy of local artists Carlos Nieto III and Taiz Carnewall, and a live art installation painted by art students from local Jefferson High School. "I've enjoyed everything, especially the art," states Felipe Lopez, first time attendee of the event. "Everything is free: tamales, coffee, sweet bread, and many other things. It's a beautiful experience because you're embracing your culture and at the same time teaching other people about it as well."
Highlighting the evening and cultivating the crowd with their South and Central American-rooted vallenato and cumbia rhythms was Los Angeles based, La Santa Maria, whom had every soul in the room dancing the night away to its infectious hour-long set. "The idea was to always keep the crowd dancing," states Melissa Copenhague, component of the 7-member band. "The Al Borde D?¡a de los Muertos event is a big celebration and we're here to make sure that everyone kept their bones moving".
Aside from celebrating with art and dance, entire families that attended the event were also stimulated with numerous on-stage giveaways including art pieces, commemorative Al Borde D?¡a de los Muertos tees, cash prizes to the first place art and altar winners, a monetary contribution on behalf of Wells Fargo to Jefferson High School's art program, and Jack Daniel's bottles for participating artists.
The presenting sponsors of Al Borde's cultural celebration were Ford of Southern California Dealerships and El Clasificado. Supporting sponsors were Monster Energy Drinks, Jack Daniel's, Manzanita Sol, Sierra Mist Natural, Wells Fargo, Verizon Wireless, St. Jude's Hospital and the Social Security Administration.
The D?¡a de los Muertos Music and Art Festival is an annual, cultural celebration presented by Al Borde.com, a premier Latin alternative media outlet reaching the 18- to 34-year-old Hispanic demographic. Al Borde is owned and published by the Spanish-language weekly El Clasificado ÔÇô a Hispanic Business 100 multimedia company ÔÇô and is rapidly becoming a leading Latin Alternative multiplatform company that offers advertising opportunities through sponsored events, section sponsorships, street team promotions, web sites, and mobile services.