Anthony Rendon views art at the 2018 SELA Arts festival

Assemblymember's Note

To say art is important to me would be an understatement.

I often remember my time working in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. It was my first job out of college.

In many ways, art is more real to me than anything else. Art is the great connector of humanity. Through painting, music, theatre, and architecture, we can catch a glimpse of life as others see it.

Here in the Southeast, we have a rich network of local artists, who work hard to uplift and support each other. This month, we have the opportunity to see them and create with them.

On Saturday, July 27th, my office and I are hosting the second-annual SELA Arts Festival in the LA River channel in South Gate. This event is free and family-friendly. There will be hands-on art exhibitions, music on multiple stages, performances by local artists, and much more.

At the SELA Arts Festival, let’s celebrate the vibrant art and culture of the Southeast, support local artists, and actively reimagine the future of the LA River.

I hope to see you and your family there.

SELA Arts Festival Activities and Entertainment

SELA Arts Festival Activities and Entertainment

The 2019 SELA Arts Festival will be filled with activities that are fun for all ages. Here are just a few of the entertaining events you can look forward to:

  Ferris Wheel

This year, the SELA Arts Festival will feature a Ferris Wheel! You can take to the skies for a birds-eye view over the art exhibits on display, the Southeast LA skyline, and the LA River. The Ferris Wheel is free, and open to the public.

  Alivio Poetry Stage

Let the words and songs of local performers wash over you at the Alivio Poetry Stage, the dedicated spoken word space of the SELA Arts Festival. It’s named for Alivio Open Mic, a monthly open mic event in the city of Bell. Hundreds of local artists and performers have graced the Alivio Open Mic Stage - and now, you can see them at the SELA Arts Festival.

  L.A. River Rover

Hop on board on the River Rover! This 38-foot-long mobile classroom offers festivalgoers of all ages the opportunity to learn about the LA River. Interactive exhibits offer guests the chance to learn about our watershed, and the animals and birds that live along the river. Guests also get the chance to design their ideal river of the future.

AD 63 Art Competition

Two things run strong through Assembly District 63: The LA River and artistic talent. That’s why we ran a student arts contest based on the idea of “Water Connections.” We received 70 beautiful entries from students across the district. We hope you like the winners as much as we did.

Esther Nathaly Rodas Corado, Bell High School, First Place. Esther’s work, in pencil and acrylic paint, is titled “Belleza Sufrida.” It is both visually beautiful and deeply symbolic. Esther said her painting represents how people can both create something beautiful and destroy the beauty in life by bad choices. Its visual elements go back to childhood drawings of hands and flowers.

Giselle Guevara, Paramount High School, Second Place. Giselle’s painting reflects water connections in everyday life. People may take the vital water for granted, but through careful use, “we can create beautiful communities for both human and animal life,” Giselle said.

Bryan Huizar, Paramount High School, Third Place. Bryan used photography to reflect the competition’s theme. His untitled image focuses on the beauty of water droplets on a plant that depends on water.

Tatiana Nuñez, Paramount High School, Speaker’s Choice Award. Tatiana’s almost mystical painting, “Floating,” shows an upturned face in water, depicted in warm, reddish tones that challenge normal ideas of water. Assemblymember Rendon was drawn to the painting because of its color, which reminded him of the 1959 Japanese film “Ohayo,” known to some critics for its use of color.

Esther Nathaly Rodas Corado, Bell High School, First Place.Giselle Guevara, Paramount High School, Second Place.Bryan Huizar, Paramount High School, Third Place.Tatiana Nuñez, Paramount High School, Speaker’s Choice Award.
Arianna ‘Lady’ Basco performs

Arianna ‘Lady’ Basco

Arianna ‘Lady’ Basco is a whirlwind of color and song, for whom creating comes as naturally as breathing.

“I’m a collector of things. I like to document them in poetry form, song form, holding space, directing, producing,”  explained Basco. “I’m a lot of things.”

The Bay Area-born, Paramount-raised artist comes from a long line of actors, dancers, and storytellers.

“In our family we always sang songs, told stories. Our first training of storytelling was in big family gatherings,” said Basco. “Like, who can be the loudest with the most conviction… gets to tell their story.”

When Basco was young, keeping up with her dynamic family could be challenging.

“I have a condition called microtia. I was born with an underdeveloped ear,” Basco explained. “I don’t have an eardrum, and aesthetically I didn’t have an ear. It was tough for me growing up and dealing with that.”

That experience, she says, has inspired her to create events where anyone can express themselves, regardless of the
challenges or trauma they may face. 

“Just because you don’t fit in doesn’t mean that you don’t belong,” said Basco.

Basco hosts Recess Mic, a weekly open mic free to the public. She is also the director of Palms Up Academy, which offers classes for artists and creators. She will be performing on the Alivio Stage at the SELA Arts Festival on Saturday, July 27 in the City of South Gate.


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