18th Street Arts Center Presents Pico Block Party on April 29

18th Street Arts Center presents a campus-wide festival on Saturday, April 29th from 1-5pm to celebrate the cultural treasures of the Pico Neighborhood of Santa Monica in its very first Pico Block Party. The event will include live music, cultural dance performances, lowrider cars, open artist studios, food trucks, tabling by neighborhood organizations, and an exhibition celebrating the launch of Culture Mapping 90404, an interactive website collecting the cultural histories of the Pico Neighborhood as told by its long-time residents. The event is free and family-friendly, with RSVP requested. (https://picoblockpartyspring2017.eventbrite.com)

The traditionally working-class African-American and Latino Pico Neighborhood of Santa Monica (90404) where 18th Street Arts Center (18SAC) was founded 29 years ago, remains largely ignored by history keepers and undervalued for its cultural assets, especially in light of the mainstream depictions of Santa Monica focused on beach life and consumerism.

In 2015, 18SAC began developing a Cultural Asset Map of 90404 with resident mappers that the organization trained. Much of the map became an exercise in making the unseen seen again – bringing to light a thriving community and diaspora who return for family gatherings and celebrations hidden in the shadow of tourist Santa Monica and threatened by the explosive growth of Silicon Beach.

18SAC seeks to celebrate this mapping work and the launch of Culture Mapping 90404 by opening its campus to neighborhood organizations, performers, residents, car clubs and more to showcase the rich cultural life of this neighborhood both then and now. The exhibition will display oral histories collected by neighborhood residents, archival photographs from the Quinn Research Center, and the map itself. The Pico Block Party event will feature:

•Music by Salsa band Flaco
•Folklorico dance from Cabeza de Vaca Cultural Dance School
•Performances from Community Corps’ Zumba Group
•Lowrider cars from west side car clubs
•Food trucks
•Tabling by neighborhood organizations
•Art-making Workshop with Sherin Guirguis
•Move Like a Microbe workshop with Nina Waisman
•And more!

Pico Block Party Webpage: http://18thstreet.org/pico-block-party-spring-2017/