On Saturday, Community Coalition presented its 7th Annual Power Fest, a free, premier music festival combining art and activism in South LA. This year’s Power Fest brought the South L.A. community together to reclaim the “People’s Lot,” several acres of land that has been vacant for the past 25 years. The event features eclectic music artists, community resources, special activities for kids, food trucks, and much more!
At the event, Community Coalition President & CEO Alberto Retana and Los Angeles City Council Member (8th District) Marqueece Harris-Dawson spoke to the need for community ownership and investment. “I’m pretty emotional,” said Harris-Dawson. “We’ve been fighting over this vacant for almost my whole career. Today we’ve reclaimed the Peoples’ Lot and next year we are going to start building the kind of community we all deserve.” We were honored to welcome more than 2,000 people to our annual Power Fest, the premier, political festival in South L.A. that brings music, culture, family activities, and community empowerment to local residents,” said Retana. “This year, we also shared the new People First Platform, our community vision to build a prosperous community for Black and Brown families in South L.A.”
The music festival included performances by Grammy-nominated Rapsody and Quetzal, who was recently featured as a leader an innovator of Chicano music by the Smithsonian. Power Fest also highlighted local artists and DJs, including Earth Arrow, Aponte, and Queens of the New Age DJ Collective, and Wordamouph.
After being vacant since the L.A. Uprising, the “People’s Lot” was reclaimed through eminent domain via a motion by County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. As a result, the new project will include affordable housing, a state of the art educational and workforce development publicly-run urban boarding school, a transit plaza, and community serving retail amenities. The project will revitalize a neighborhood that has seen disinvestment, blight, and crime for decades.
In addition to being a premier music festival, Power Fest prioritizes art, activism, and resources. The Empowerment Tent highlighted Community Coalition’s People First Platform, its community vision to build a prosperous community for Black and Brown families in South L.A. with performances by Get Lit Poets and a special art workshop by Barrio Mobile Art Studio! The Health is Wealth Tent included wellness resources including yoga, pilates, and a dance workshop from CONTRA-TIEMPO. Hundreds of kids experienced a carnival area packed with face-painting, games, a 45-foot Ferris wheel, and special performances by Tommy the Clown and his crew.