Mask Festival Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT:
Karen Mack (213)705- 4457 tel
karen@lacommons.org


Mask Festival Celebrates Music, Culture, and KiT Tradishonal in Leimert Park

 

Los Angeles, CA (June 2012): On Sunday, June 29th, 2014, LA Commons will host its fourth annual Day of the Ancestors: Festival of the Mask in Leimert Park, the African American cultural hub of Los Angeles. This Festival, and the workshops leading up to it, will engage diverse community members in the traditions of the African Diaspora. The festival concept originated from Najite Agindotan, a Los Angeles-based master percussionist and the son of an Urhobo tribal chief.

 

The festival features a procession and live musical performances at which traditional artists, youth groups, and diverse community members engage in a celebration of the global African village, paying homage to their shared heritage through mask-making and dance. The procession will feature community participants, mask dancers, giant puppeteers; all are invited to wear masks or carry photos of their ancestors or the symbolic ancestor of the festival. For this year’s musical performance, LA Commons is bringing a special guest: the Caribbean dance band KiT Tradishonal.

 

Recently profiled as their electronic alter ego KiT in the New York Times and Rolling Stone Magazine, KiT Tradishonal is a high-energy group originating from Curacao whose music is based on tthe ritualistic drum rhythms of the African slaves that once populated the island. Their “Stories and Drums” technique demonstrates the ability of culture to evolve and adapt to new surroundings and influences. KiT Tradishonal’s high-energy performances will activate and inspire Angelenos to learn more about the cultures behind the group, and to engage in their own explorations of Afro Caribbean music and culture. Their residency with LA Commons is made possible by a cultural exchange grant through the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

 

The Festival is produced in partnership with the Leimert Park Art Walk in an effort to promote the vibrancy, culture, legacy, and economy of Leimert Park. Following the festival, local businesses are asked to display the Festival’s masks and puppets, extending the public’s opportunity to view these ancient and modern artifacts and to benefit from the messages they have to convey.  Members of the public will have the opportunity to participate in a series of workshops in May and June, several of which feature KiT Tradishonal.  For more information and dates, visit the website at www.lacommons.org.

 

Both local residents and new visitors are encouraged to come out to Leimert Park, and enjoy this fun and educational event! Celebrations begin at 12:00pm, and the procession commences at 3:00pm.

 

About LA Commons: LA Commons, a project of Community Partners, works in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles facilitating artistic processes, open to all, that result in highly visible

public art projects that tell dynamic neighborhood stories. LA Commons builds community by validating the importance of local narratives, enhancing the sense of belonging felt by a broad range of stakeholders and encouraging stronger ties between the people and places of Los Angeles. For additional information, please visit www.lacommons.org or contact Executive Director Karen Mack at karen@lacommons.org or (213) 705- 4457.