“It is said that the revolution doesn’t need art, but that art needs revolution. That is not true. Revolution needs a revolutionary art.” – Diego Rivera
Art is power. We believe that art, music, and new media play a fundamental role in crafting stories that inspire people to take action and reach masses of people. We believe that a robust cultural arm will help amplify our strategies for mass participation, catalyze new ideas in the public debate, and capture people’s hearts and minds in ways that only art coupled with technology can.
Art has a tradition providing a platform for people of color to talk about and fight for social justice. Our work with cultural organizers is grounded in the experiences of those who are most deeply impacted by inequality, and seeks to provide a space for creative expression for South Los Angeles’s African American and Latino residents.
We believe cultural change precedes political change. We’re building a cultural arm the inspires, trains, incubates, curates, and creates art and artists that empower people, develops leaders, and advances a progressive agenda.
We believe in unlocking the power of technology to create social impact. While social media such as Facebook and Twitter continue to surprise us with their possibilities, there is a great deal of untapped potential in the nonprofit sector to apply technologies to drive social change. We’re using video production, social media, graphic design, microsites, text-messaging, mobile canvassing, tele-town hall technology, GIS mapping, and data to wage effective integrated campaigns.
Powerfest is the premier political concert in Los Angeles. It’s a free annual music festival that attracts thousands of families from South Los Angeles in a day of celebration, empowerment, and education. As the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles offers a variety of summer concert, but nearly all lack a call to action. At it’s core Powerfest is an organizing vehicle for thousands of people to take collective action, a space to celebrate the stories of community heroes, and a place build momentum for upcoming campaigns.
Powerfest takes place in Martin Luther King Jr. Park in the historic King Estates neighborhood of South Los Angeles—a community that has bee transformed through community clean ups, partnerships with local businesses, and civic engagement. King Park was dramatically renovated due to the hard work of residents frequenting its recreation center, increased park programming, and a weekly produce stand that offers high quality, organic produce.
Powefest has attracted some of the best social activist entertainers including grammy award winner Aloe Blacc. Events like Powerfest make our community a vibrant, thriving and safe space for families to bring their children and participate in community activities.
For the past three years we’ve held art festivals in three different neighborhoods in South Los Angeles. Too often art exhibitions only happen in more affluent part of the city and detached from community efforts. We bring art and music to our community not just for the sake of art, but to inspire people to take collective action.
The South LA Art Fest is an event at the intersection of art, politics, and culture. Our art festivals center around a political theme. In the past our art fests have shed light on healthcare as a human right, criminal justice reform, and disrupting the foster care to prison pipeline.
The art fest serves as a catalyst for change. We understand that art has played a major role in social movements of the past and in helping people to reimagine a more humane and just society.
We use art as a tool for mass engagement. We know that not everyone will picket or protest, but through art we can reach people who otherwise would not get involved. This makes up the cultural arm of our organizing campaigns.