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For three days in February, nearly 18,000 fifth graders from 234 schools in Los Angeles County will arrive at The Music Center ready to dance as the annual Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival gets underway for the 48th consecutive year. 

Designed specifically for fifth grade students, the Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival is an annual admission-free program at The Music Center where students—many for the first time—experience a live professional performance at a world-class performing arts center, then perform a short-choreographed dance piece all together. 

The 2018 Children’s Festival dates are:

Tuesday, February 13; 9:45am & 11:30am 

• Wednesday, February 14; 9:45am & 11:30am 

• Thursday, February 15; 9:45am & 11:30am

The 2018 Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival features a performance by the explosive all-male Argentinian dance company, Che Malambo, who captivates audiences with their powerful dance and music, blending precision footwork, rhythmic stomping, drumming and song. After Che Malambo performs for the students onstage at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, attendees will then perform a short choreographed dance inspired by the group. 

 

“As the Blue Ribbon celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, we also celebrate this magnificent annual event, The Children’s Festival,” said Jill Baldauf, Blue Ribbon President. “Our continuing goal as Blue Ribbon members is to help enrich the lives of the greater Los Angeles community. Nothing exemplifies this commitment more than the Children’s Festival. Our hope is that all 18,000 fifth graders that walk through the doors of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion this week will be inspired and excited for more involvement in the performing arts. We know arts education improves all education.”

“The arts transform lives, which is why this annual event inspires us all,” said The Music Center’s President and CEO Rachel Moore. “The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival is a shining example of our long-standing arts education programs and a testament to the 50 years The Blue Ribbon has supported our educational work.”

About the 2018 Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival:

California’s longest continuing free arts and education initiative, The 2018 Children’s Festival is presented by The Blue Ribbon, the premier women’s support organization for The Music Center.  

Countywide, fifth grade classes from 234 participating schools receive advance standard-based curriculum materials, background on the guest artists and classroom activities designed to prepare students for the performance they will be viewing. Inspired by Che Malambo’s performance, The Music Center created choreography specifically for the students and distributed it to the teachers for advance instruction. Students also learn about audience etiquette, what to watch for during the performance, dance history and terminology. 

A keepsake book, A Journey Through the Music Center, will be given to each participating student after the performance. Describing The Music Center’s four theaters and various aspects of live performance, the book, a generous gift of Blue Ribbon member Maxine Dunitz, is updated and reprinted each year.  

The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival began in 1970 as part of The Music Center’s commitment to engage young people in the arts and now, more than 850,000 children have participated in the Festival since its inception.  More than 125 Blue Ribbon members volunteer over the three-day period to keep the Festival running smoothly.

The Blue Ribbon Chairs for the 2018 Festival are Marcy Hammerstein and Kathleen Doheny McCoy.  

About The Blue Ribbon 

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018, The Blue Ribbon is the premier women’s support organization for The Music Center. The Blue Ribbon enriches the lives of the greater Los Angeles community through its commitment to arts education, volunteerism and financial support for The Music Center and its resident companies. Created in 1968 by Dorothy Buffum Chandler to raise funds for The Music Center, its education programs and its resident companies, The Blue Ribbon has contributed more than $75 million as part of its commitment to uphold artistic excellence in programming on The Music Center’s stages and arts education for youth. For more information, visit http://musiccenter.org/blueribbon and follow The Blue Ribbon on Facebook and Twitter (@BlueRibbonMC). 

About The Music Center  

The Music Center is Los Angeles’ home to the world’s greatest artistic programs and events with four iconic theatres and an outdoor plaza. In addition to its four-renowned resident companies – Center Theatre Group, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, LA Opera and LA Phil – The Music Center presents an international dance series, free and low-cost public programming and special events and activities for all ages. From its early days, The Music Center has been a pioneer in arts education and offers a multi-faceted program from K-12. With The Music Center On Location,™ the non-profit performing arts organization brings programming to locations outside of its Downtown Los Angeles campus. The Music Center also programs and manages Grand Park, a 12-acre adjacent greenspace, with year-round free programming. For more information, visit www.musiccenter.org . Follow The Music Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (@MusicCenterLA).

Pauline Adamek
Pauline Adamek
Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.

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