Art is power. It is a necessary ingredient in building and sustaining a social movement. Throughout history, America’s most powerful social movements have integrated art into its overall strategy. Whether it was song in the civil rights movement, or theater in the farmworkers movement, or photography to bring attention to poverty in the south, art has been used as a vehicle to accelerate change.
An effective cultural program grounded in the values of social justice and the stories of everyday people helps communicate stories that inspire people to take action on their own behalf. In this way, art serves as a trigger or entre into social justice. It becomes an on-ramp and steady space for volunteerism in the progressive movement.
Community Coalition’s cultural program seeks to raise awareness on key community conditions and instigate civic participation in the following ways:
1). Register people to vote
2). Mobilize people to the polls on election days
3). Inspire people to take action on policy campaigns
4). Impact people’s worldviews
Power Fest 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. At its core Power Fest is an organizing vehicle for thousands of people to take collective action, a space to celebrate the stories of community heroes and a place to build momentum for upcoming campaigns.
Our first Power Fest took place in 2012 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Park in the historic King Estates neighborhood of South Los Angeles—a community that has bee transformed through community cleanups, 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. Six years later, we welcomed over 2,500 residents to the People’s Lot on Vermont & Manchester, a vacant lot that has been empty for over 25 years that was recently reclaimed by the community.
Power Fest has attracted some of the best social activist entertainers including Aloe Blacc, Goapole, Bilal, La Chamba, Quetzal, and Rapsody. Events like Powerfest make our community a vibrant, thriving and safe space for families to bring their children and participate in community activities.