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viva el arte

Based on a vision of accessible cultural offerings for Santa Barbara County's Latino communities, ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! brings together diverse audiences at free famly events in neighborhood venues on five weekends each year. The program is a consortium of the Marjorie Luke Theatre, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts & Education Center, Isla Vista School, and UCSB Arts & Lectures, represented by co-ordinators Alíz Ruvalcaba, Graciela Parra, and Catherine Boyer. Volunteers from PTAs, the California Youth Corps, UCSB sororities and fraternities, and many others, join together to host and staff the events. In January 2011, the national Association of Performing Arts Presenters recognized Viva as one of two exemplary outreach programs in the nation.

2013/2014 Season
Fridays at Isla Vista School at 7:00 PM.
Saturdays at Guadalupe City Hall at 7:30 PM.
Sundays at The Marjorie Luke Theatre at 7:00 PM.

Show dates and descriptions:

1. September 20-22 2013
Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán
The 16-member Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán, from Guadalajara in the Mexican state of Jalisco, open the ninth season of ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán was founded in 1965 by the brothers Fernando and Pepe Martinez and is now led by their sons and nephews. Playing traditional style mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán have toured the world appearing in concerts and major festivals including Mariachi USA at the Hollywood Bowl, San Jose, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles, as well as the famous “Encuentro internacional del mariachi y la charreria” in Guadalajara.

2. October 18-20 2013
Los Vega
It is said that, if you are a Vega, you  "cannot learn to walk wihtout first learning to dance," and for more than five generations members of this emblamatic family have played, preserved and promoted the distinctive sound of son jarocho. Characteristic of the Veracruz region of Mexico, jarocho has a wide repertoire of well-known songs and very local styles which are played on jarana and requinto - small guitars - integrated with zapateado - percussive dance  - and vocals. In 2012, Mexican President Felipe Calderón honored the Vega family with a National Prize of Arts & Sciences in the area of traditional and popular arts. The five members of the lastest generation who form Los Vegahave carried on the tradition revitalizing it day by day and adding their own contemporary sound.  Los Vega have made four recordings and regularly tour Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.

3. January 10-12 2014
La Santa Cecilia
Named “Best Latin Alternative Band of The Year" by L.A. Weekly in 2012, La Santa Cecilia, named for the patron saint of music, exemplifies the modern creative hybrid of Latin culture, rock and world music and their sound utilizes Pan-American rhythms of cumbia, bossa nova, rumba, bolero, tango and even klezmer. With deep roots in the immigrant community of Los Angeles, the young musicians of this band are not only inspired by their Latino heritage, but also their experiences of everyday life growing up in the U.S. La Santa Cecilia’s debut album on a Universal,Treinta Días, came out last April and includes a collaboration with Elvis Costello. 
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4. February 7-9 2014
Perla Batalla
Perla Batalla grew up listening to the changing styles and roots sounds of music from Latin America in her parents’ Venice Beach record shop - Discoteca Batalla - where LA immigrants gathered for music, conversation and spontaneous entertainment.  Perla first gained national attention as a backup singer for Leonard Cohen, then embarked on her own solo career of touring and grammy-nominated recordings including MestizaHeaven and Earth,Discoteca Batalla, and Bird on a Wire. In 2012 LACMA commissioned Perla and David Batteau to commemorate the opening of In Wonderland, The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States. This event is supported in part through the funds from the Santa Barbara Bowl and the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.
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5. March 21-23 2014
Plena Libre
The torch-bearers of the modern incarnation of Puerto Rico's musical roots, Plena Libre travel from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The twelve virtuoso musicians of Plena Libre build their musical foundation on local elements of plena and bomba, styles which developed in the island barrios over a century ago and evolved to become a popular form of social expression. Layering polyrhythmic textures with percussion, distinctive vocals, piano, bass and horns, Plena Libre infuses their compositions with a deep sense of tradition. Plena Libre's live performances feature innovative choreography, which is drawn from folk dance traditions and offers a window of understanding on Puerto Rican history and heritage. Plena Libre has performed in fifteen countries from Morrocco to Malaysia and are multiple Grammy nominees.
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¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! is funded by the James Irvine Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from SAGE, the UCSB Office of Education Partnerships, the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, The Marjorie Luke Theatre’s Dreier Family Rent Subsidy Fund, the Santa Barbara Bowl, KPFK 90.7FM, the Santa Barbara IndependentSanta Barbara Latino, the Santa Maria SUN, Radio Bronco, Univision, the Sandman Inn, Best Western South Coast Inn and Ramada Limited. Additional support from the Community Arts and Community Arts Enrichment Grant Programs using funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara, in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission. Co-presented by the Marjorie Luke Theatre, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts & Education Center and UCSB Arts & Lectures, in collaboration with the Isla Vista School After School Grant.

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