by Tom Nguyen
This Saturday, April 28, 7:30pm, is The Friendship Concert, a performance of music, dance and culture, at Aratani Theater in Little Tokyo, to commemorate the LA Riots. The concert will showcase an eclectic array of artistic talents from diverse communities. Here’s the lineup:
- Houman Pourmehdi on Daf Frame Drum.
- Aerial Piece by Nick Loui.
- Reach Sister’s contemporary dance piece.
- Celeste Lanuza’s Mexican/Fusion choreography with live music.
- James Mahkween’s African/Fusion work.
- USC Instrumental duo from Doctorate department playing an Original composition by Michael Kim-Sheng, an emerging composer.
- Juli Kim’s Korean Classical/Fusion dance piece.
- Tashara and Queala from Lula Washington Dance Company.
- Los Angeles Children’s Community Youth Choir led by Sun Joo Yeo.
- The Flintridge Singers directed by Steve Hill.
- Artist Entrance Dance Company premiering “Trajectory”.
- Paco & Yolanda flamenco piece juxtaposed with Korean Five drum dance then continued on to Taiko Drum’s finale.
I had a chance to speak to Juli Kim of The Artists’ Platform (TAP), who is organizing this huge ensemble performance.
EnClave.LA: Tell us about The Artists’ Platform (TAP) and why you think it’s so important to bring so many different performers from different communities as well as school children to perform?
Juli: Thank you so much for giving me a chance to introduce our nonprofit organization, The Artists’ Platform. Our nonprofit organization was founded last year to recognize the need to support the efforts of emerging artists. On November 6th, we hosted our Inaugural Concert, which highlighted an eclectic array of artistic talents, showcasing diverse genres from diverse communities. As Founder and President of this organization, I can proudly say that our first concert was a great success.
Going forward, our ultimate goal is to have a series of concerts throughout the year to support artists from diverse backgrounds. Each year we hope to have at least one concert specifically dedicated to reflect the social and communal dynamics that surround us.
In June of 1997, in order to commemorate the 5th year anniversary of the LA Riots, the Black, Latino and Korean communities of greater Los Angeles came together to put on a concert. The show, of which I was the artistic director, was titled “The Friendship Concert” and successfully raised money to award a young poet from the inner city school for his outstanding literature on the theme of unity in diversity.
This year marks the 26th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest. In line with our organization’s mission to reflect on the diverse communities around us, The Artists’ Platform is hosting the Friendship Concert to remember the LA Riots through the promotion of tolerance, diversity, and love.
Additionally, in our continued efforts to highlight the importance of diversity and involve those of younger generations in our community, we held a poetry/visual art competition. There were so many beautiful works submitted. Some moved me to tears. Following the performances, 17 students who submitted top entries will be recognized and awarded cash prizes.
EnClave.LA: I think it’s incredible that you’re putting on this huge ensemble show literally by yourself. I know it takes a lot of sweat, tears and passion to put on a grassroots community event like this. Besides the long hours and sleepless nights, what’s been rewarding for you, and is this the first time you’ve produced an event like this?
Juli: This is our 3rd Friendship Concert. However, first in this scale. I find most rewarding is communicating and sharing the excitement of putting a show together. Each and every artist has put so much into their art. Especially those who create. They have visions and beauty they ache to share.
Giving them the opportunity to put their work onto a great stage like that of Aratani Theatre is like giving them a pair of wings to take to the sky.
EnClave.LA: What can we expect next from The Artists’ Platform? (after you have a well deserved rest after this show!)
Our mission is simple, have more concerts…. bring beauty back to this modern society where value is only placed things that can be capitalized.
Help the artists!
Infomation and $10 tickets for The Friendship Concert, Saturday, April 28th, 7:30pm at Aratani Theater here.