Students collaborate for Festival of the Arts

By Juan Calvillo

East Los Angeles College will host the Festival of the Arts on March 21 – 23 at the Plaza of the Arts near the Vincent Price Art Museum.

“If one’s soul is nourished by the arts, and I think it is, then all will leave well-nourished and, hopefully, inspired to study the arts and/or create art,” Ruth Blandon, the Department of English Chairperson, said.

The ELAC English, Art, Theater and many other departments will be participating in the event. VPAM partnered with the ELAC Art and Animation Club to host an exhibit that was uniquely created for the museum.

This is the first time so many of ELAC’s departments have come together to collectively put on an exhibition.

“Because almost all of the events were already in the works, independently, we thought, ‘Why not come together, coordinate our efforts, and celebrate the arts, our students, and the community?’” Blandon said.

Blandon said that despite things going smoothly, it took quite some time to get everything in order.

“However, the ease with which we all coordinated our efforts, does not mean that this all took no effort. This event has been over a year in the making, and has entailed many meetings.  We were happy to do it,” Blandon said.

“This event is also particularly important because in an era in which the arts are consistently underfunded and undervalued, we celebrate what makes us human and humane,” Blandon said.

The festival will feature projects added by each department. The Arts Department will be conducting the Fifth ELAC Animation Festival and will feature, among others, the recent Oscar winner, Pixar’s short film “Bao.” Other events include a performance by student and pianist Shan Jiang and spoken word performances hosted by the English and Communications Departments.

VPAM director, Pilar Tompkins Rivas, said that the VPAM section of the festival was entirely curated by the students in the Art and Animation Club.

She said the students wanted the chance to actually curate the exhibit and see the caliber of work that goes into doing an event of this magnitude. “Let’s give them this chance,”  Rivas said about working with the club.

Rivas said that there was excitement about showing the students the multiple steps to putting an exhibit together. After their hard work the partnership has created an exhibit named “Catalyst” that’s being hosted specifically by VPAM.

VPAM will also be hosting the end of “Regeneración: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology” during the last day of the festival. This is a production that will include spoken word, theater and musical themes.

The Festival of Arts is a chance to see and hear the artwork, projects and exhibits created by the students at ELAC.

“We all want for all participants, performers, and attendees to leave feeling inspired and nourished, and to also leave with the conviction that the arts are not only important, but necessary. As necessary as oxygen,” said Blandon.

The event is free of charge and the VPAM section of the festival will close with the “Regeneración: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology” on Saturday.

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