Esteban E.Torres High School Hosts 5th Annual Eastside Arts Festival March 5, 2016

LOS ANGELES (March 5, 2016) – Nearly 1,000 young artists from public schools throughout East Los Angeles and the South East region of the Los Angeles Unified School District will converge at Esteban E. Torres High School to share their learning in the arts with their peers, participate in workshops with professional artists and create new art works together on Saturday, March 5 from 10 am to 3 pm. Parents can participate in workshops, see performances by dancers, musicians and actors from kindergarten through twelfth grade, and learn about how the arts can help their children develop literacy and critical thinking skills.

LAUSD School Board Members Dr. Ref Rodriguez and Monica Garcia will be on hand to open the festival and welcome students and parents at 10 am. Local District East Superintendent Jose Huerta will speak at the opening ceremony, along with Rory Pullens, Executive Director of the Arts Education Branch of LAUSD, who will speak about the district’s commitment to supporting access to the arts for all students at all schools. The award-winning Torres Dance Team will perform a dance routine with a theme of personal empowerment to get the day started, and the festival will conclude at 3 pm with a flashmob dance involving all willing festival participants, led by Torres Dance Team students and Angela Weber, the Torres-East LA Performing Arts Magnet Dance Teacher.

“I want all the youngsters from pre-K through graduation to have access to learning opportunities in the arts. I see our children being inspired to express themselves through the arts in Local District East schools every day. The annual Eastside Arts Festival is when we gather as a community to highlight the talent within every child,” said Jose Huerta, Local District East Superintendent.

Arts organizations from throughout the greater Los Angeles area support the festival by providing teaching artists to lead workshops, including the Armory Center for the Arts, VersaStyle Dance Company, Contra-Tiempo Urban Latin Dance and Passado Action Theatre. “Bringing my brand-new Belvedere Middle School Mariachi Troupe to the festival shows these seventh and eighth graders that they are part of something bigger than just our school,” said Eloy Adame, Instrumental Music teacher at Belvedere Middle School. “I want them to see that the instrument I put into their hands can connect them to other kids and to the cultural riches of Los Angeles.”

Diane Cordingley, the Local District East Arts Specialist and the staff member responsible for organizing the event, stated that “The Eastside Arts Festival brings attention to the importance of providing access to arts education for all students in light of the vital role the arts can play in students’ overall success in school.” For more information about the festival, call the East LA Performing Arts Magnet office at 323-265-6725 or email Diane Cordingley at cordingley@lausd.net.

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