THE OLD VENICE JAIL IS ROCKIN’ AGAIN
WITH A NEW JAILHOUSE ROCK!
The Social and Public Art Resource Center, SPARC, that produces and preserves community based public art works since 1976 opens “The Planet Siqueiros Peña,” a monthly space for those who love traditional Latino musical genre of romantic boleros, rancheras and sones, as well as, the more contemporary musical styles and spoken word that voice present-day, socially conscious themes.
On April 5th, at 685 Venice Blvd, SPARC’S, “Planet Siqueiros Peña” presents Dino Castro, a multi-talented young Oaxacan, accompanied by guitarist Ruben Izquierdo. Later that night, the entertainment continues with the eclectic band, “Brutus Gets The Girl.” Dino draws upon the Afro-Mexican songs of the Costa Chica and the music of the indigenous Zapotec Isthmus of Tehuantepec, with such beautiful melodies as “La Llorona”. Contrastingly, the band formed by guitarist & vocalist Silvano Barba, keyboard & vocalist Marisol Barba, drummer Mike Delgado and synth-player Joe Spelman perform songs ranging from introspective rock to spirited New Wave, British 80s Electronica, and Alternative Rock Pop Music. In between these two outstanding performances, Kaitlin Guerra Shaner will present her stories in “Shoes.”
The name of SPARC’s new community cultural endeavor, “ The Planet Siqueiros Peña,” is inspired by the revolutionary Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros and the South American musical Peñas. that produced a wave of music that took old rhythms to express new realities.
Historically, the Peña movement emerged during the 1960’s in Chile and in Argentina in times when oppressive military governments did not allow artists to assemble. They were safe spaces that began in private homes where poets and musicians would discretely come together to share food and wine along with their songs of despair and hope. During the following decades, forced into exile, many musicians moved north bringing the Peña spirit with them.
There is no better time for the spirit of the Peña to reach Venice than in a time of war, at the end of the Bush era, when the murals of Los Angeles are in jeopardy. Co-founder and Artistic Director of SPARC muralist Judith F. Baca, says that the SPARC building, formerly The Venice Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, was an active from 1929 until SPARC made the jail its headquarters in 1977. She loves to say that we have "liberated" the jail for the arts. The Planet Siqueiros Peña will again liberate us with songs of peace and freedom by a local women’s group at 7:30 P.M.