So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

PHOTOS: Student arts festival celebrates its 35th anniversary

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Fifth grader Eliana Gutierrez gets her face painted. She was one of about 1,200 students who attended the Very Special Arts Festival in downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 18, 2013.

Students from Tenth Street Elementary performed on stage during the Very Special Arts Festival. This year is the 35th anniversary of the event.

Mary Plummer/KPCC

Kathleen Rodas (front) and her classmate Alexa Najar check out student artwork in front of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. More than 1,000 student art pieces were on display.

Mary Plummer/KPCC

A group of students pose in downtown Los Angeles as part of the Music Center's Very Special Arts Festival. The event was produced in partnership with LAUSD and the Los Angeles County Office of Education.

Mary Plummer/KPCC

Students enjoy the Rhythms of the World booth, hosted by Zimmer Children's Museum at the Very Special Arts Festival.

Mary Plummer/KPCC

A volunteer ties a friendship bracelet on to a second grade student from Tenth Street Elementary at the Very Special Arts Festival in downtown Los Angeles.

Ten school districts from across Los Angeles County came together Friday for the 35th anniversary of The Music Center's Very Special Arts Festival in downtown Los Angeles, which brings together students with disabilities and their peers.

About 1,200 students attended the free event, which featured activities ranging from face painting to dancing to performances by mimes. 

Eighty-two student groups performed on two outdoor stages - the largest number in the event's history, according to organizers.

"The kids practice very hard and look forward not only to getting on stage but to enjoying the camaraderie, the celebration and the opportunity to be embraced by their peers," Joann Waybright, a teacher at Park Western School, said in a statement. "The arts are a great leveler."

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