Education

Arts Fest in Grand Park brings together schools from across LAUSD

Students in the steel drum class at Venice High School practice for a performance at the Grand Arts Festival.
Students in the steel drum class at Venice High School practice for a performance at the Grand Arts Festival.
Priska Neely/KPCC

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Film screenings, live music and art shows are a regular occurrence in downtown Los Angeles' Grand Park. Stop by this Saturday and all the work on display will be brought to you by students from Los Angeles Unified School District.

The district's Grand Arts Festival will feature the work of more than 2,000 students – performances on four different stages, as well as a film festival and a visual art show. The LAUSD Arts Branch is aiming to showcase student talent from across the district – students of all ages are coming in from all six of the local districts within LA Unified.

Theater teacher Mark Brodie is bringing high schoolers down from ArTES Magnet (part of the Cesar Chavez Learning Academies) in San Fernando to perform scenes from their upcoming production of "The Addams Family."

"That’s one thing that everyone’s gonna be impressed with is how diverse LAUSD is and how much talent there is within LAUSD," said Brodie.

About 100 student groups are set to perform, including ensembles like Mariachi bands from Magnolia and Haddon Avenue elementary schools, an African dance troupe from Loyola Village Elementary, Cahuenga Elementary's Korean choir and Venice High School’s steel drum band.  

This week, the steel drum band was hard at work practicing their set, which includes the songs "Don't Worry Be Happy" and "La Bamba" on the Caribbean instruments. 

"It sounds amazing when we’re all performing together," said Karen Perez, a senior at Venice High. "There are so many people who don't know what steel drums are so I feel like if we're able to perform, they'll get into it."

The students will also share the stage with some professional performers, including the female tap dance group Syncopated Ladies who recently had a Youtube viral hit with their routine set to Beyonce's "Formation."

You can find a schedule of the performances here