Sounds ranging from Hawaiian slack key guitar and all-girl classic rock to Balinese gamelan and Latin Jazz will echo from all corners of Los Angeles County this spring and summer. Fifty free concerts are scheduled May to October in parks, libraries, museums and community centers. A complete schedule is available online. Go to www.lacountyarts.org and click on Free Concerts in Public Sites (direct link: http://lacountyarts.org/free_May09.html).
Since its inception in 1947, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission has sponsored free concerts at community venues throughout the County to provide access to quality music programming representing the diversity of County residents. In the past, the Los Angeles County has provided general funds for the program, but, due to County budget constraints, each of the five County Supervisorial offices is funding the concerts in its district this summer.
A sampling of free concerts across the Supervisorial Districts includes:
- Diverse blues from the L.A. Bluescasters at Memorial Park Bandshell in Sierra Madre July 26
- The country rock of I See Hawks in LA at Central Park in Whittier July 27
- Mariachi Divas at San Fernando Recreation Park August 9
- The voices and drums of the African fusion group Adaawe at Grand Performances in downtown L.A. August 21
- The swing band Moondance at Fiesta La Ballona in Culver City August 30
Artists who perform at Free Concerts in Public Sites are chosen by the concert presenters from the Arts Commission’s Musicians Roster featuring more than 100 L.A. County-based groups representing a range of musical styles. This online directory is accessible to the general public. Go to www.lacountyarts.org and click on Musicians Roster (direct link: http://lacountyarts.org/musicians_roster.html).
The Roster is searchable by key word, name of artist, and by music style. Artists included are chosen by a panel of experienced and respected music professionals based on artistic excellence, cultural diversity and the ability to work cooperatively with other organizations as representatives of the Free Concerts program.
Additional entertainment options can be found on the L.A. region's leading cultural web portal. Consult the Arts Commission-sponsored L.A. County Cultural Calendar on www.ExperienceLA.com. The calendar searchable by several criteria - including "free" - and provides links to transportation information.
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Laura Zucker, Executive Director, provides leadership in cultural services of all disciplines for the largest county in the United States, encompassing 88 municipalities. In addition to the Free Concerts in Public Sites program and support of the L.A. County Cultural Calendar on ExperienceLA.com, the Arts Commission provides leadership and staffing to support the regional blueprint for arts education, Arts for All; administers a $4.5 million grants program that funds more than 300 nonprofit arts organizations annually; oversees the County’s Civic Art Program for capital projects; programs the Ford Theatres; and funds the largest arts internship program in the country in conjunction with the Getty Foundation. The Arts Commission also produces the L.A. Holiday Celebration broadcast nationally. The 2009-10 President of the Arts Commission is Araceli Ruano.