Following the success of its inaugural expansion in 2022 as a two-day celebration, The Music Center’s 44th Annual Very Special Arts Festival returns on Friday and Saturday,
February 24–25, 2023, offering opportunities for creative expression to Angelenos of all abilities.
The free festival, comprised of arts workshops, dance performances and more, takes place in Downtown L.A. on Jerry Moss Plaza at The Music Center. The Music Center’s 44th Annual Very Special Arts Festival will be dedicated to school groups on Friday, February 24, providing students with the opportunity to perform in front of an audience, showcase their visual artwork in a virtual gallery and enjoy artmaking, among other activities; on Saturday, February 25, the festival will be open to the public, promising entertainment and
hands-on artistic experiences for community members of all ages and abilities. The festival’s theme, Create Community, sets the tone for both days to encourage participation in the arts and connection with one another.
“The Music Center’s 44th Annual Very Special Arts Festival is a beautiful example of how the arts can help Angelenos of all abilities and ages to feel supported and be inspired, as L.A. continues to surge past the pandemic and start anew in 2023,” said Rachel S. Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “I invite all Angelenos to join us and witness the incredible creativity of these amazing young people! You will feel immense joy in experiencing this beloved event right here in Los Angeles.”
The Music Center’s 44th Annual Very Special Arts Festival is part of L.A.’s premier performing arts organization’s enduring multi-faceted arts learning program that typically serves more than 150,000 students and educators annually throughout Los Angeles County. Hosted on both days by opera singer Suzanna Guzmán and actor David Prather, the variety of activities planned for this year’s festival include a Hip Hop dance class led by Free 2 B Me Dance (Saturday), a music workshop conducted by The Miracle Project (Friday and Saturday), a dance activity for older adults spearheaded by Little Tokyo Service Center
(Saturday) and more. The festival will include an ASL interpreter on both days and will be transcribed for people with visual impairment.
“The Music Center’s 44th Annual Very Special Arts Festival is one of the few festivals of its kind in the county that encourages the artistic achievements of people of all abilities,” said Keith Wyffels, associate vice president of education, TMC Arts. “In 2022, we lengthened the festival to two days to invite the entire L.A. community because creativity thrives when everyone is given the chance to express themselves through the arts. The festival’s expansion made a lasting impact on everyone who participated so we are thrilled to
invite all Angelenos again to the Community Day this year.”
Activities planned for the festival’s first day (Friday, February 24, from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.) with school groups* include:
• Magic show with Illusions by Allen
• Dance workshop led by Straight Up Abilities
Activities planned for the festival’s second day (Saturday, February 25, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.), which is open to the public, include:
• Illusions by Allen
• Kizuna Taiko
• Little Tokyo Service Center
• Free 2 Be Me Dance
• The Miracle Project
• Straight Up Abilities
• Los Cambalache
Produced in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles County Office of Education, The Music Center’s 44th Annual Very Special Arts Festival is made possible by generous support from Tina and Jerry Moss/Moss Foundation; Mimi Song; Ring-Miscikowski Foundation/The Ring Foundation; LSMK Investments; Robert Nelson Foundation; Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation; and the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs.
For more info, or to RSVP for the festival’s Community Day, visit musiccenter.org/communityday.