articles / pop culture

Lassoing Local Kids with a Free Arts Day


Jill Baldauf, Blue Ribbon President, with school children outside the Music Center | All photos by Susie Goodman

Over three days in February, nearly 18,000 fifth grade classes from 234 participating schools in LA county were bussed to the Music Center for the 48th annual Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival. 


School buses arrive at the Music Center

The kids got to watch and participate in a performance by Che Malambo, an Argentinian dance group of gauchos who combine drumming with precise footwork, rhythmic stomping, and whirling boleadoras (lassos with stones on the end). Before their trip to the Music Center, the kids prepared by listening to recordings and practicing dance moves. To remember the day, they were given a book about the Music Center and live performances.

The Blue Ribbon Festival began in 1970 and has served more than 850,000 children, making it California’s longest continuing free arts and education initiative.


Fifth graders fill the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Blue Ribbon President Jill Baldauf told KUSC, “we think it’s very, very important that children be exposed to the arts and understand that this is their Music Center and there are many arts activities that they can participate in downtown. They can bring their families back after visiting here today.”


Mrs. Chirichigno of Rockdale Visual and Performing Arts Magnet in Eagle Rock with students

The festival brings together children from a wide range of local schools. Says Baldauf, “we have private schools and public schools, charter schools, parochial schools – it’s first come first served, so we invite every school in Los Angeles and then it’s just a matter of them being able to respond quickly, because we sell out every year.”

Baldauf describes The Blue Ribbon as a multi-generational group of women committed to the performing arts and to the Music Center (over the 50 years of the organization’s existence, they’ve given more than 75 million dollars to the Music Center).

So what did the local students think about their day at the Music Center? Ten year old Noah King said he loved the percussive sounds of Che Malambo: “I liked how it sounded like horses galloping. To me it just sounded really amazing.”


Fifth grader Noah liked the percussive performance

Delilah (in pink) says she loved watching Che Malambo

Learn more about the Music Center’s Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival here.

Written by:
Sheila Tepper
Sheila Tepper
Published on 03.06.2018

MORE LIKE THIS

Verdi and Velociraptors: A Preview of KUSC Kids Discovery Day

Verdi and Velociraptors: A Preview of KUSC Kids Discovery Day

Join the family-friendly KUSC Kids Discovery Day at LA's Natural History Museum on April 8th. Enjoy live music, puppet shows, arts and crafts, and more. Kids enter free, adults get a $3 discount.

pop culture
10/01/2018
Colburn School’s Sel Kardan on Celebrating Beethoven’s 250th and Growing a Local Institution

Colburn School’s Sel Kardan on Celebrating Beethoven’s 250th and Growing a Local Institution

Explore the vibrant activities at Colburn School, Downtown LA, as they celebrate Beethoven's 250th birthday with public performances. Hear more from President Sel Kardan.

pop culture
09/13/2019
Conducting a Rebel in Disney Hall

Conducting a Rebel in Disney Hall

Conductor Scott Dunn discusses the LA Phil's live orchestral performance of the score for "Rebel Without a Cause" and the significance of Leonard Rosenman's modernist film music.

pop culture
05/22/2018
100 Years of Leonard Bernstein with the New West Symphony

100 Years of Leonard Bernstein with the New West Symphony

John Mauceri, a Leonard Bernstein protégé, conducts and designs a program featuring every stage work Bernstein wrote, performed by the New West Symphony.

pop culture
10/01/2018
More Arts for the Arts District

More Arts for the Arts District

The Santa Monica Museum of Art, now the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, has relocated to DTLA's Arts District, featuring works by Martín Ramírez, Abigail DeVille, and Sarah Cain.

pop culture
09/28/2017
Designing a Fantasy: Yuval Sharon Directs His First Exhibition

Designing a Fantasy: Yuval Sharon Directs His First Exhibition

Explore the whimsical world of Marc Chagall's stage designs in LACMA's exhibition, brought to life by Yuval Sharon. Experience color, sound, and movement in an immersive display.

pop culture
08/19/2017