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Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks at the Leimert Park Artwalk 2023

Photography Credit: Mercedes Carreto and Daniel Aguirre

Thank you to everyone who came out to the 13th annual Day of the Ancestors Festival of Masks this weekend! We had an incredible day of celebrating our ancestors with art, music, and dance. “Seeds of the Village” was the theme of the 13th Annual Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks. This year we are honored 5 Leimert Park Ancestors who directly influenced the communal energy that draws us to Leimert Park and fostered the continued African presence in Los Angeles against all odds. They were quite literally the “sowers” who planted us, the “seeds.” With this theme in mind, each ancestor represents an element related to the growing cycle: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Dark Star.

Earth, fertile soil; Water, nourishment;

Fire, warmth as the sun and light;

Air, the byproduct released as oxygen supporting all life forces;

and Dark Star, popularized by the Dogon Tribe in sub Saharan Africa, a shining light in a sea of darkness that acts as a prism bringing sight where none exists.


Leimert Park Village uplifted five ancestors to honor at

the 2023 Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks

Portrait by Carlos Spivey

Portrait by Ramsess

Portrait by Wendell Wiggins

Portrait by Noni Olabisi

Portrait by Enkone

All the effort and coordination culminated in a special day on June 25 in Leimert Park with performers and audience members coming together to pay tribute to 5 ancestors who planted the seeds in our community. Thank you to the community for gathering in honor of our Ancestors.

View the Full Program here. Check out some recap photos below:


Blessing and Libations: Imodoye Shabazz


Many joined in the Degnan Blvd. procession to celebrate ancestors with art, music and dance



Jimetta Rose and Voices of Creation and V. Kali

Viviam Caroline and Viver Brasil

Check out more photos on our Flickr Profile!

Tomorrow is the last chance to donate to Seed Change in Los Angeles. Every gift counts!


Headquartered in Leimert Park, LA Commons, a project of Community Partners, works in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles facilitating issue-driven public art projects that inspire creativity in everyone. We engage communities in artistic and cultural expression that tells their unique stories and serve as a basis for dialogue, interaction, understanding and organizing for a more just and equitable Los Angeles.


Leimert Park Village has a long history of being the center of African American arts and culture. Held on the last Sunday of each month, Leimert Park Artwalk invites the public to share a day of art exhibitions, music, fashion, food, drumming, spoken word, and local shopping. Throughout the day, cultural spaces, artist studios, and storefronts in the village also have offerings ranging from free computer seminars and specialty vendors to film screenings, youth theater performances, and live bands.


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