A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

The Ford announced the launch of a new season of digital programs. The online programs will be posted on a variety of platforms, including Facebook Premiere, YouTube, Instagram and Zoom, as well as on the venue’s newly designed website (www.theford.com). All events will be free.

Ford Digital Festivals

Ford Digital Festivals are curator-led virtual programs offering an in-depth exploration of a single theme through multi-disciplinary performances, workshops and conversations combined into a multi-hour video production. Video programs will be accompanied by other online offerings, including films, DJ sets and virtual marketplaces where you can support local craftspeople and makers. Festivals will be hosted on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Zoom.

Sept. 26 – Solidarity for Sanctuary

Co-curated by grassroots organizers Solidarity for Sanctuary, the festival brings together prominent Latinx artists, including a world-premiere collaboration between Omar Apollo and members of the LA Phil, Las Cafeteras, Lido Pimienta, San Cha, La Doña and poet Yosimar Reyes among others, to celebrate Selena, the Queen of Tejano music, and draw attention to the importance of voting, immigrant rights, and Black and Brown solidarity.

Oct. 17 – Living Resistance

Co-curated by Todo Verde founder Jocelyn Ramirez, Living Resistance explores holistic health in Los Angeles inviting audiences to learn from the contemporary practitioners and activists who are making strides in the wellness of their communities. A dive into the history of community farming and food justice, sharing in activities around physical and mental space, nurturing bodies with nutritious fuel, and finding movement in music, dance, and yoga, every body is invited to participate in creating a sense of home and belonging in a world where self-love, acceptance, and freedom can feel like radical acts of resistance.

Nov. 1 – Tovaangar Today

Tovaangar, now known as Los Angeles, has been a gathering place that has sustained Native artists and culture bearers for generations. Native artists continue to thrive in Tovaangar, using their creativity to assert tribal sovereignty and protect ancestral homelands. Co-curated by Kenny Ramos, Kelly Caballero and Jessa Calderon, Tovaangar Today explores the modern manifestations of Native artistry in the region. While centering the Tongva and other California Nations, the festival also features artists from the local intertribal urban Native diaspora and highlights the connections between art, activism, identity and tribal sovereignty.

Nov. 21 – Movement/Matters

From the Soul Train line to the Banjee Ball to Krumping in silent protest, Black Street and Club Dance in Los Angeles has allowed dancers to occupy space, create community and flip the scripts ascribed to Black bodies in motion. With special focuses on the role of dance in protest movements and the revolutionary depiction of Black identity on Soul Train, Movement/Matters is a day-long celebration of how L.A. dancers have found connection, care, power and potential on the dance floor and in the streets. Co-curated by Tyree Boyd-Pates.

LA Soundscapes

Four of The Ford’s most beloved companies will bring the history of their art forms to the at-home audience with LA Soundscapes, a combined online performance, lecture and dance lesson. Each LA Soundscapes partnership also includes a family crafting activity, which will be shared online earlier in the day. Families will be able to register at www.theford.com for a kit containing all of the crafting materials needed to participate while supplies last. Registration opens Aug. 24.

LA Soundscapes programs begin at 11 a.m. with family workshops taking place at 10:30 a.m.

Sept. 12 – Versa-Style Dance Company

Ford favorite Versa-Style takes families through time and around the world for “Origins of Hip Hop: An Educational Journey Through the Cultural History of American Streetdance.” The company follows the evolution of Hip Hop dance from its roots in African and Latinx Diasporic communities through Locking, Whacking, Popping, and Freestyle. Pre-concert craft workshop: Social Justice Stencils with Jay Davis.

Sept. 26 – Viver Brasil

Viver Brasil offers selections from its Afro-Brazilian repertoire, including a performance of the Orixá Oxum and a Bloco Afro (parade) spectacle, along with a percussion and interactive dance workshop for the whole family. Pre-concert craft workshop: Analogue Collage with Steve Haney.

Oct. 10 – Syncopated Ladies

Female tap band Syncopated Ladies’ viral videos have racked up more than 50 million views worldwide and caught the attention of Beyoncé, who featured the group on her website. The tap sensations led by Debbie Allen protégé Chloe Arnold bring their modern-day tap style to families for an afternoon of percussive rhythm and dance. Pre-concert craft workshop: Zine Making with Lorenzo Diggins Jr.

Nov. 21 – Blue13

For more than 20 years, the Blue13 Dance Company has been combining the art forms of the Indian subcontinent with its own contemporary American dance style. Their LA Soundscapes appearance will introduce families to Indian classical and folk dance, as well as Bollywood with a performance set to A. R. Rahman’s Bollywood classic “Kehna Hi Kya.” Pre-concert craft workshop: Draw Your Feelings with Nasimeh B.E.

State of LA!

State of LA! gives audiences a chance to listen in on some of the County’s most forward-looking creative collectives. Combining in-depth conversations and live performances, State of LA! offers a unique look at the culture makers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders who are shaping the future of the arts in Los Angeles.

Sept. 22 – Sonic Solidarity

Moderated by ILY Magazine Editor-in-Chief Erika Ramirez, Sonic Solidarity brings Mija Management and Solidarity for Sanctuary founder Doris Muñoz and industry insider Geraldine Leibot together to discuss the contemporary state of Latinx sound in Los Angeles and discuss the need for solidarity across identities and genres. The conversation is accompanied by performances from genre-bending artist UMI.

Oct. 6 – Poetry, Now

Curated by the co-founders of the Spoken Literature Art Movement (S.L.A.M.), Matthew “Cuban” Hernandez and Alyesha Wise, Poetry, Now combines a panel discussion and dynamic performances to give audiences a snapshot of poetry in Los Angeles today. Participating artists include slam champion and Write Bloody author Buddy Wakefield, Da Poetry Lounge curator Jasmine Williams and youth justice advocate Justus Jones.

Oct. 20 – Midnight in the Diaspora

Curated by influential DJ and culture worker Sasha Ali (a.k.a. Miss Modular), Midnight in the Diaspora explores how L.A.-based artists either born outside the United States or working between more than one country are bringing a combination of global influences to bear on L.A.’s music and nightlife. This combination panel discussion and DJ set features Discostan’s Arisha Fatima Haq, NTS DJ and Junkyard Jouvert producer Adam Cooper (a.k.a. foreigner) and creative producer Anita Herrera.

Nov. 10 – Tuesday Night Project presents “This is Not Just the Asian Night”

Join Tuesday Night Project (TNP) for a day of Asian American creative expression and discussion about their multigenerational, intersectional approach to art and community. The festival includes a look back at the history of TNP’s flagship program, Tuesday Night Cafe. For more than 20 years, Tuesday Night Cafe has provided a space for artists of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to express themselves through hip-hop dance, improv comedy, spoken word, music, the visual arts and more.

Dec. 8 – Young Queer LA

Young Queer LA will highlight queer folks of color who are coming together to reimagine the club scene through drag. Led by Alison M. De La Cruz, a multi-disciplinary theatre artist, arts educator and community organizer, panelists will reflect on how race, culture and place inform their artistic expression, while also discussing the intimate relationship between collectivity and freedom in queer communities.

From The Ford

From The Ford revisits past performances captured live on The Ford’s stage by Los Angeles television station LA36. Each installation includes archival footage and newly created artist introductions providing additional insight into the work. From The Ford will be released weekly on Facebook Premiere beginning Thursday, Aug. 27. Highlights include:

Aug. 27TAIKOPROJECT presents “Rhythmic Relations”  

Founded in 2000, TAIKOPROJECT is the go-to group for a modern American style of taiko, blending traditional forms with an innovative and fresh aesthetic. The group’s annual “Rhythmic Relations” concert features 50 drummers of all ages performing classic and contemporary taiko songs accompanied by dynamic choreography and vocals.

Sept. 3Viver Brasil presents “Agô Ayó – Spirits Rising” 

In 2017, Viver Brasil celebrated twenty years of bringing Bahia to Los Angeles with “Agô Ayó – Spirits Rising.” The program combined samba, folkloric dancers inspired by the Orixás, the choreography of Afro-Brazilian parading organizations and an original piece exploring the African Diaspora and mixed-race ancestry. 

Sept. 10 – Grandeza Mexicana  

In celebration of its 15th anniversary in 2018, Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company restaged their hit show La Ruta Del Norte. From Baja, California, to the Rio Grande, this dance journey explores and celebrates the sister cultures of the Southwest.

Sept. 17Boleros de Noche  

The Boleros de Noche concert series seeks to preserve and celebrate the history of Latin American bolero music in Los Angeles. On the evening of Mexican Independence Day in 2019, The Ford was filled with the sound of Mexican boleros performed by the iconic Los Panchos and Mexican American Latin Grammy nominees Trio Ellas.

Sept. 24Lula Washington Dance Theatre

For 40 years, the iconic Lula Washington Dance Theatre has been reflecting on the Black experience through a contemporary dance lens, combining modern, hip-hop, jazz and African movement vocabularies. A Los Angeles institution, the company brought the house down during the 2018 season with a joyous evening of dance, featuring choreography by Lula Washington, Tamica Washington-Miller, Kyle Abraham, David Roussève and Rennie Harris. 

Oct. 1Flypoet Summer Classic 

Every summer, the Flypoet Summer Classic brings spoken word’s heavy hitters together with a backing band for an evening of lyrical fire. The annual tradition has been called the “dopest spoken word + live music + art experience in the world.”

Oct. 8 – Louie Vega and EOL Soulfrito      

Bandleader Louie Vega is renowned the world over for helping to create and establish the soulful Latin jazz and deep house-influenced music style. Based in New York City, Vega is a dance music legend both as a DJ and producer. Louie and his band, E.O.L. Soulfrito, performed live at The Ford in a 2018 celebratory concert commemorating global soul music marketing platform Fusicology’s 15th anniversary.

Oct. 15 – Colibrí Entertainment presents “¡Viva La Tradición! – Viva LA Mujer”

In 2019, Colibrí Entertainment brought together Mariachi Reyna de Los Ángeles and Las Colibrí, two of Southern California’s most iconic female mariachi groups, for an epic celebration of women.

Oct. 22 – Pacifico Dance Company        

California’s premier baile folklórico company takes you on a colorful journey to Mexico through exhilarating music and dance. This vibrant ensemble of dancers and musicians celebrated its 25th anniversary on The Ford’s stage in 2017 with an evening exploring early Mexican history, myth and folktales through a signature blend of traditional and contemporary dance movements.

Oct. 29 – Angel City Jazz Festival   

From its founding in 2008, the Angel City Jazz Festival has grown into an essential multi-day celebration of cutting-edge jazz, featuring established and emerging music innovators committed to the evolution of jazz and improvised music.

All four series will be available at www.theford.com.

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