Thanks in large part to the funding awarded by ArtPlace, Esperanza was able to complete a Cultural Continuum project with four cultural celebrations: Holidays from around the World, African Heritage, Thai Cultures and Oaxacan Cultures.
- Celebrating Holidays around the World included a curated exhibition of Nativity scenes from around the world, a Holiday Marketplace featuring local artisans, Mercado Cooks featuring Tamales of the Yucatan from Chichen Itza’s Chef Gilberto Cetina, Noche de Rabanos/Night of the Radishes - a unique Oaxacan holiday celebration during which artisans carve radishes into intricate scenes, a performance by Grammy-nominated local artist La Santa Cecilia, a Garifuna Dance Ensemble, and Academy Award-winning composer Yuval Ron.
- African Heritage Celebration which included one of our greatest events as we celebrated the life and legacy of Gil Scott Heron with musical performances featuring “Peace go With you Gil” and Mark de Clive Lowe’s Church, which brought new visitors from across Los Angeles and transformed the Mercado into a late-night (alcohol-free) dance and music venue, CineSound: A Music Video Experience, Pop-up drumming performances, and a painting and photo exhibition curated by the California African American Museum in our first partnership with them. The African Heritage Celebrate also provided the context for Mercado la Paloma’s first ever film festival, curated and presented by renowned local filmmakers, Charles Burnett and Billy Woodbery.
- Thai Cultural Celebration celebrated the Thai New Year with a parade from the Mercado La Paloma, around the neighborhood and back. The parade included a 9-foot papier mache elephant that was constructed to lead the parade. The Celebration also included Thai Shadow Puppet performances, Thai dance and parasol-decorating workshops, Pop-Up Dance performances and a book Signing by Thai CDC Executive Director Chanchanit Martorell.
- Oaxacan Cultural Celebration was our final event focused on Oaxaca, Mexico which converted our parking lot into “Parque La Paloma” (Park of Doves), a pop-up park space created for local families to enjoy and highlight the need for more green space for South LA. The park include pony rides, basketball pickup games, face painting, balloon art, folkloric dance and indigenous Oaxacan music and dance. The park experience highlighted the amazing food and entertainment capacity of the Mercado. The event concluded with a world bass/flamenco dance party performance by local East Los Angeles musicians - Subsuelo.
See below for recent updates, press, and events from this project