Hundreds of people filled the street outside the Nate Holden Theatre for the 3rdannual Mid-City Arts and Music Festival on June 8.
Held on Washington Blvd., between Vineyard and Rimpau, the daylong celebration featured a cultural smorgasbord of performers, artists and vendors representing the diversity of the neighborhood. The Mid-City Neighborhood Council (MINC) united with Council President Herb Wesson, the Ebony Repertory Theatre and Los Angeles County Museum of Contemporary Art to host the free event.
“This is actually our best year yet, the best turnout we’ve had so far. I’m really excited about it,” said Nick Spano, MINC board member.
“Thankfully, we have an incredible board of all ages and all backgrounds and really open-minded about what we can do to make sure that as Mid-City changes, it includes everyone who has been a part of Mid-City for the past 50 or 60 years,” he said.
“I think this is the way you do that. You celebrate culture, you celebrate diversity and let everyone be a part of that celebration!”
Offering a mix of talent, the festival performers included KCRW deejays Novena Carmel and Anthony Valadez, DJ Battlecat, The Delirians, Maya Huyana and a reunion of L.A. hip-hop legends Fatlip and Slimkid3, who were joined by DJ Cee Brown and 2mex. In addition, Grammy-nominated reggae artist Rocky Dawuni dazzled the crowd with a fusion of Afro sounds and soul selections from his new album, “Beats of Zion.”
“I aim for my music to make people feel good inside, be a healing experience, and create an environment almost like a revival at every performance,” explained Dawuni, who is also a goodwill ambassador for United Nations.
“It just felt really beautiful [at the Mid-City festival] for me to perform in the sun and everybody’s diverse. I just felt like the music helped us appreciate how good everything is if we take the time to work together and celebrate together,” he said.
A diversity of cuisines was available as well from the array of food vendors. Enticing menus promoted D’s Super Blends, Thai-Mex Concina, Swami’s Sandwiches, Epic Tacos, Dulce Europa Shaved Ice, Main Squeeze Lemonade, Delicious Pizza and more.
Other highlights included art installations, retail booths, and children’s activities. Also, the beer garden, which served 6th and La Brea’s specialty, Mid City Stout, proved to be a popular destination for adults.
“This event has given us an opportunity to celebrate our culturally diverse community by hosting a day filled with positive creative experiences,” said Erick Morales, MINC president. “Bringing art, music, food, business and youth services has strengthened the bonds of the radiant, eclectic residents of Mid City.”