For the past few years, the Goldhirsh Foundation's LA2050 Initiative has administered an annual $100,000 grant challenge to organizations with plans to better Los Angeles. With applications due in early October, autumn becomes a social media and outreach frenzy from hundreds of LA organizations jockeying for votes. Winners are chosen across five categories - learn, create, play, connect, live - addressing a wide spectrum of needs. We congratulate all of this year's winners, announced this week, but praise one in particular: the Los Angeles Review of Books. An multimedia publication that aims to "revive and reinvent the book review for a new generation," LARB is a rich portal of essays, interviews, and reviews that elevates writers and artists. Like The New Yorker, LARB is read everywhere (only 10% of their readership is in California) but uses Los Angeles as the contextual framework in which to share. With their LA2050 winnings, they'll profile one Los Angeles artist or writer every day for one year, further adding to their LA-driven offering. We're excited to read profiles of LA artists and see where LARB takes their innovative platform next. •
Every Wednesday night at Las Perlas on 6th Street between Main and Los Angeles, the bar is transformed by the incredible talents of La Victoria - an all-female mariachi band from East LA. Here's an excerpt about the band and their weekly ritual by GET DOWN TOWN writer Ariel Dixon:
One of the most intriguing parts of La Victoria’s dynamic is the ebb and flow of its three voices, backed by strong instrumentation that can flit naturally from a ballad — “Quizas, Quizas, Quizas” — to a jaunty crowd pleaser that has the bar in chorus. Song by song, the trio switches vocalists. On one, Mary leads; on the next Vaneza steps forward; another and Rosalie is at the mic, violin ready at her shoulder. Each vocalization bears its own weight and tone: in Rosalie’s an unmistakable kinship with the late Selena Quintanilla-Perez, in Mary’s a timbre more traditional and Americana-imbued. Each voice is paired well with the song performed, and in their brightest moments, they trade off on a note — one voice holds a final tone, as another band member begins the same one, lifting it from her mate and beginning the next song. Though there are challenges unique to an all female band — being considered cute in coordinated regalia — La Victoria seems undaunted. They are professionals: devoted and skilled enough to work hard in performance yet appear simultaneously effortless — convivial, even. The room’s energy is all fodder for the trio. They have transformed a Wednesday’s dour midnight into a party among friends.
(Read the full article here) •
La Victoria transforms the energy of local bar Las Perlas every Wednesday night.
(photo via Get Down Town by Andrea Alonso)