THE JEWISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF LOS ANGELES LAUNCHES CITYWIDE, CROSS-CULTURAL COLLABORATION SERIES, FEATURING AWARD-WINNING ARTISTS SPANNING MUSIC, DANCE, SPOKEN WORD, AND VISUAL ARTS

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles announces Voices of LA: The Krupnick Festival of the Arts, a citywide series of cross-cultural collaborations, bringing together award-winning Jewish artists with artmakers from diverse communities across Los Angeles, representing a broad range of ethnicities, cultures, and disciplines.  The free festival is a showcase of Los Angeles’s varied art practices, including music, dance, spoken word, and visual arts and will be held in venues across metropolitan Los Angeles throughout July and August.  The series will culminate in a day-long festival on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 at the historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Koreatown.

“The artist pairings have been thoughtfully selected to represent the mosaic of cultures that is Los Angeles,” says Aaron Paley, co-founder and president of Community Arts Resources, producer of Voices of LA. “From Israeli and Latino, to Persian and Korean, this line up of different artists highlights the diversity and range of voices within our city, creating an amalgam of cross-cultural traditions and styles through collaborative works of art. Our vision is that using arts as the medium, Voices of LA will move Angelenos to break down barriers, strengthen relationships, and create a culture of greater understanding and acceptance in Los Angeles.

This citywide artist exchange brings together award-winning local musicians, allowing them to create a fusion of sound that merges their cultural and stylistic influences from Los Angeles, and around the world. Members of Grammy®-winning Ozomatli, Wil-Dog Abers of Jewish heritage, and Justin Porée of Mexican descent, known for their sociopolitical lyrics and blended musical styles, including funk, hip-hop, rock, and salsa, will collaborate with up-and-coming singer-songwriter Jarell Perry, a much-talked about African American alt-R&B artist, who received critical acclaim for his debut album, mixing flavors of electronic, indie-rock, and pop.  The three will present an eclectic concert at The Echoplex in Echo Park on Monday, July 14, and at Fais Do-Do in the West Adams neighborhood, on Monday, August 25.

The Israeli-born Jewish artist Yuval Ron, an internationally renowned World Music artist, composer, record producer, and educator will work with Mexican-American group La Santa Cecilia, a Grammy®-winning East Los Angeles-based band from bilingual and bicultural immigrant roots. This concert will be held at Pico Union Project in the Pico Union neighborhood on Monday, July 28, as well as La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Downtown on Tuesday, August 26, and will pair the Middle-Eastern sounds of Yuval Ron with the energetic and modern Latin beats of La Santa Cecilia.

The series will also explore the parallel worlds of movement and sound, through a performance between Israeli-born dancer-choreographer Danielle Agami, artistic director of Ate9 Dance Company, and Persian-American underground hip-hop, electronic producer Omid Walizadeh. Since arriving in Los Angeles in 2013, Agami has headed up one of the city’s most exciting and innovative contemporary dance companies, having recently choreographed avant-garde opera "Invisible Cities.” The festival’s dance and musical piece will pair cutting-edge dance with a hip-hop, electronic sound collage at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills on Sunday, August 24.

The poetic voices of Los Angeles will be heard through a spoken-word performance, entitled Along the Hyphen, comprised of four diverse poets and one musical artist, who will examine life along some of the many hyphens of identity in Los Angeles – Korean, Jewish, Filipina, Latin, and African-American. Performance poet, educator, and community arts activist, Kamau Daáood; East Los Angeles-based performance artist and writer, Marisela Norte; Filipina American poet, Irene Suico Soriano; Korean American emcee, Doc Whisper; and Jewish-American musician Joseph DeRusha will explore universal themes ranging from social justice, relationships, and diversity through spoken word and music in shows at Beyond Baroque in Venice on Sunday, July 13, and The Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights on Sunday, August 17.

Anne Hromadka of the Jewish Artists Initiative of Southern California and Hirokazu Kosaka of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) will co-curate an original visual arts exhibition called Veranda: Contemplating Spaces In Between around the theme of “cultural sustainability.” Each organization will identify artists and works that reflect this theme in a unique and engaging way. The exhibition opening reception will be held on Thursday, August 21 at The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Little Tokyo and will be on display through Sept. 9.

“The motivation behind Voices of LA is to foster artistic collaborations that lead to powerful exchanges, meaningful dialogues and, potentially, to inspire new alliances across our city,” said Marvin I. Schotland, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. “Jewish tradition has for centuries been influenced by the cultures of the varied, diverse communities Jews have called home.  Likewise, Jewish life locally reflects the diversity and blend of traditions that are seen in Los Angeles’s rich texture of ethnicities and heritages. We hope that the cross-cultural collaborations between artists from different ethnic communities will draw a diverse population to each of the events.”

The series culminates in a family-friendly all-day festival on Sunday, Sept. 14, at the historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Koreatown. It will showcase all five Voices of LA collaborations and includes a food stage with local chefs, programmed and hosted by Evan Kleiman of KCRW’s Good Food; interactive workshops; food trucks (with kosher options); and an outdoor stage featuring performances of Klezmer, mariachi, Korean music and dance along with representation from many other communities within Los Angeles. The festival will take place in and around the renovated and historic 1929 campus of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Koreatown.  

All Voices of LA events and performances are free of charge and open to the public. RSVP is required. For further details and to RSVP for the summer series performances, please visit: http://www.voicesoflafest.com.

For the latest information, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Voicesoflafest, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VoicesOfLAFest, and Instagram @VoicesOfLAFest, #VoicesOfLA.

Voices of LA: The Krupnick Festival of the Arts is generously funded through a grant from The Harry and Belle Krupnick Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, presented by Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and produced by Community Arts Resources.

Schedule of events:

Sunday, July 13 – Beyond Baroque                                            

Along the Hyphen

Monday, July 14 – The Echoplex                                             

Wil-Dog of Ozomatli & Jarell Perry

Monday, July 28 – Pico Union Project                                                 

La Santa Cecilia & Yuval Ron Ensemble

Sunday, Aug. 17 – Breed Street Shul                                          

Along the Hyphen

Thursday, Aug. 21 – JACCC                                                      

Veranda: Contemplating Spaces In Between

Sunday, Aug. 24 – Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts 

Ate9 Dance Company & Omid Walizadeh

Monday, Aug. 25 – Fais Do-Do                                                             

Wil-Dog of Ozomatli & Jarell Perry

Tuesday, Aug. 26 – La Plaza de Cultura y Artes                                     

La Santa Cecilia & Yuval Ron Ensemble

Sunday, Sept. 14 – Wilshire Boulevard Temple                                     

Culminating Festival

 

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Tags: art, artists, dance, free, grammy-winning, music, spoken, visual, word

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