The future stars of salsa, mariachi, Latin jazz and folklórico dance can be found at Plaza de la Raza!
Where can you find the future stars of salsa, mariachi, Latin jazz and folklórico dance? Thanks to Plaza de la Raza, they may be right here in your own backyard. For almost 40 years, this cultural and educational institution located in Lincoln Heights has helped young people develop their talents and succeed as artists, musicians, and performers. Through the Plaza Cultural Ambassadors program, the nonprofit is showcasing its young talent at special events throughout Los Angeles and Southern California.
“Plaza Cultural Ambassadors is an exciting new program that provides opportunities for our students to showcase their professional training and share their talents with the public by traveling and performing at community functions and special events,” says María Jiménez-Torres, Plaza’s Interim Executive Director. Plaza de la Raza gives children, teens and families access to the arts through free and reduced-rate programs, services and classes. Plaza Cultural Ambassadors is among the nonprofit’s many programs that offer professional training and workforce development to budding artists and performers.
Since the program began in 2008, Plaza Cultural Ambassadors have entertained more than 25,000 people at the center and other community venues. These include the prestigious REDCAT at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles City Hall, and locations through the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs’ Music L.A. Showcase, in addition to schools, private events, and community festivals throughout the region.
The Plaza Cultural Ambassadors perform in four groups:
- Folklórico Dance Troupe: Colorful renditions of popular Mexican dances by Plaza students, ages 12-25.
- Latin Jazz Ensemble: Melodic and harmonic music characterized by fast tempos, drum beats, and improvisation by Plaza students, ages 11-15.
- Mariachi Musicians: Traditional Mexican folk music by Plaza students, ages 9-15, who sing and perform using the guitarron, vihuela, violins and trumpets.
- Salsa Band: Dance music by Plaza students, ages 13-18, featuring piano, bass guitar, vocals, and percussion rhythms on timbales, congas and cowbells.
The Plaza Cultural Ambassadors are available to play at public and private events including community festivals, school assemblies, quinceañeras, weddings, concerts, and conferences. For booking information, contact María Jiménez-Torres at (323) 223-2475, ext. 204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Arts education and programs like the Plaza Cultural Ambassadors are vital to communities, especially in the eastside neighborhoods of Los Angeles where they provide a creative solution to the gangs, drugs, and delinquency that face our youth,” says Jiménez-Torres. “Plaza de la Raza recognizes that the arts provide healthy alternatives to the often-harsh experiences that come with growing up in an urban area. That’s why Plaza is committed to providing a welcoming space where every young person can explore self-expression, innovation, creativity and individuality.”
The Plaza Cultural Ambassadors program is administered by Plaza de la Raza with the support of Congressman Xavier Becerra and funding by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
If you’re looking for tomorrow’s talent today, look no further than the Plaza Cultural Ambassadors.