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Black Arts Los Angeles Presents Sixth Annual Juneteenth Festival

onochieLOS ANGELES, CA– Black Arts Los Angeles (BALA), in collaboration with Kingdom Day Parade organizer and Chairman of CORE-CA Adrian Dove, will hold the sixth annual Juneteenth Festival “Celebrating 150 Years of Black Lives That Matter,” on June 20 and June 21 in Leimert Park Village from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The two-day celebration will highlight the history of Juneteenth, the nationally recognized holiday that commemorates the 1865 Emancipation of enslaved African Americans.      This year’s Juneteenth celebrates a very special milestone. It has been exactly 150 years since the emancipation of the last formally enslaved Africans in America.

The Juneteenth Festival will bring the surrounding community together for food, entertainment, health screenings, and unique shopping experiences. Activities include chess and dominoes lessons and tournaments, a fashion line recreating the fashions between 1863 and 1868, face painting, magic experiences and more! Various retailers will be on hand to provide festival-goers the opportunity to buy the perfect graduation and/or Father’s Day gift!

Guests will include The South African Consul-General, Hon. Cyril Ndaba, who will be giving remembrance of the Soweto Students Massacre. There will also be a Black Inventors and Juneteenth History tent presented by the Office of Los Angeles District 10 Council President Herb Wesson. Urban TechFair guru Jim Neusom, the man responsible for bringing wi-fi to Leimert Park, will also be honored at the festival. This year, Charles Drew Medical, UCLA, UMMA Clinic and Covered California will also provide free diabetes, blood pressure, and other health screenings in Health Ark in the Park.

The Juneteenth Festival in Leimert Park has grown to be a significant cultural festivity, garnering thousands of celebrants in previous years. The festival provides a platform for those in the community with an appreciation for arts, fashion, food and music. The festival is being sponsored by natural resources company, Freeport-McMoRan.

The celebration will take place in Leimert Park Village Vision Theater Back Lot on Degnan and 43rd Street. Admission is free to the public and open to all ages.


Center Stage Fontana is casting BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO!

FONTANA, CA- Set at a Catskills resort in 1960, this is the sweetly comic story of Lois and Marge, two friends from Brooklyn in search of good times and romance over one wild Labor Day weekend. The score showcases 18 Neil Sedaka classics, including “Where the Boys Are”, “Sweet Sixteen”, “Calendar Girl”, “Love Will Keep Us Together”, and of course, the chart-topping title song.

Auditions will be held at Center Stage Theater Fontana, 8463 Sierra Ave. Fontana on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 from 7:30p.m. – 10:30p.m (by appointment)

Rehearsal begin July 6, 2015 and and continue through July 23. Rehearsals will be held weeknights from 7:30pm – 11:00pm and weekend afternoons. All rehearsals will be held at Center Stage Theater in Fontana located at 8463 Sierra Ave, Fontana, CA 92335. Performances will run Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons, July 24 – August 2, 2015.

Please call 909-429-7469 ext 0 to schedule an audition appointment or email us at info@centerstagefontana.com. Please prepare 16 bars of an uptempo and ballad piece to sing in the style of the show. Bring sheet music in the correct key. An accompanist will be provided, Please wear body conscious clothing and be prepared to dance and read.


African-American Dance Performances to Commemorate 150th Anniversary of the Ending of Slavery


CARSON, CA – Returning to the stage after performing to sold-out crowds, Ron Parker, Chester Whitmore, and The Central Avenue Dance Ensemble present “The History of Black Dance in America,” a spectacular multi-media dance concert showcasing the African-American contributions to American social dance (www.HistoryOfBlackDance.org). Starting from the late 1800s and progressing to the modern era, audiences are mesmerized by authentic renditions of vernacular dances such as Zulu, Work Songs, Cakewalk, Spiritual Dances, Shim Sham, Lindy Hop, Foxtrot, the African inspired Latin-American dances, plus live singing and tributes to Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis Jr. The 2015 performances were funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, and observe the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.

The goal of the History of Black Dance in America is to educate the public about the black cultural influence on American social dance in exciting and entertaining way. While most of the dances to be performed are recognized as an integral part of American culture, many Americans may not know of their history. For example, the Cakewalk began as a plantation dance danced by slaves to mimic high society Whites. The dance was so amusing that plantation owners held competitions, and the winning slaves would receive cake as their prize, hence the name, “Cakewalk.” This story and many more will be told through live performances and narrated video, starting with the plantation dances of the slavery era through today.

On the significance of the presentation, HBDA director, producer, and dance historian Ron Parker says, “Vernacular jazz dance, the original American dance form, and it’s history is not performed by major American dance companies, nor is it funded by the major arts funding organizations.  If we don’t do it, no one else will.  I also like the fact that, in addition to educating the public about Black dance history, we are bringing awareness to the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, commemorating the abolition of slavery in the U.S.”

The History of Black Dance in America will be performed at University Theater at California State Dominguez Hills, 1000 East Victoria St. Carson, CA 90747. Performances are on Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 21 at 2:00 p.m. General admission is $37.50, and VIP Seating is $40. Tickets may be purchased online at centralavedance.tix.com, by calling (800) 595-4TIX, or at the theater box office one hour prior to show time.