The Music Center’s 42nd annual “Very Special Arts Festival” will go virtual next month, allowing the public its first opportunity to participate in the celebration that is normally a private event for K-12 schools throughout Los Angeles County, officials said Tuesday.
The free program featuring student performances, professional entertainment segments and six participatory educational workshops will be streamed from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on April 16 at www.musiccenter.org/tmc-offstage/.
“The Music Center’s Very Special Arts Festival is going on 42 years strong, and we are going to make sure these incredible students still have the opportunity to show off their creative talents and have the chance to shine for friends, family and other student performers,” said Rachel S. Moore, The Music Center’s president and chief executive officer. “We postponed the live fall event hoping we could still gather in person sooner, rather than later. Yet, even with continued closures, we can still celebrate and share the fun and enrichment the arts offer all of us, and how dancing, singing and performing makes each of us feel special.”
The event will be hosted by master teaching artist David Prather and mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán, and will feature four three-minute video performances of students from Little Citizens Westside Academy in Leimert Park, Christopher Dena Elementary School in East Los Angeles, Millikan Middle School in Sherman Oaks and Pio Pico Middle School in Mid-City who have created and edited videos of themselves sharing their artistic expression of the theme “Seeds of Kindness.”
The program — the only student festival of its kind in the county — will also highlight hundreds of visual artworks created by students in a virtual gallery.
It will also feature performances by master magician Kenrick “Ice” McDonald, the international professional break dancing crew ILL-Abilities, the Los Angeles dance company Infinite Flow Dance, which includes dancers with disabilities, and student members from Straight Up Abilities, a local non-profit that offers dance training to students of all abilities and ages.
A half-dozen participatory workshops will also be offered in the areas of dance, media arts, fine arts, theater and music.
The program, which will include an ASL interpreter and will be transcribed for people with visual impairment, is produced in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles County Office of Education.
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