In hopes of “excavating future culture” in the Miracle Mile, LAUNCH LA and 88.5 KCSN on Saturday will present TARFEST 2013, the 11th installment of the community event held at the La Brea Tar Pits.
The free event will be held from 2 to 8 p.m., and will offer musical performances, live painting and sculptures, food and other activities for people of all ages.
“I think it’s great, and I think it really does speak to the diversity of our community and hopefully reflects that,” said Steve Kramer, president of the Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce.
He said TARFEST started after James Panozzo, who worked with the chamber, suggested that the organization host an event that would involve neighborhoods, art and an opportunity to show what the community has to offer.
“It’s gone from an evening event at the LACMA West penthouse to what it is now,” Kramer said, adding that the event now has “broad-based support” from various entities, such as the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, among others.
Panozzo said TARFEST began as a benefit to help activate the park, neighborhood and the Miracle Mile itself. At the time, the area did not have as many businesses and street activity, he said.
“It was just a different energy on the street,” Panozzo added.
It also served as an opportunity to showcase the creativity of Los Angeles. He said the city is filled with talented people doing amazing things, “and all are looking for exposure.”
“TARFEST is just one way that we do that,” Panozzo said, adding that the event offers new art forms, new music and other activities to people who may not have heard or seen them before. “And it highlights an amazing neighborhood.”
Kramer agreed, saying that after each installment, organizers have been able to provide more opportunities for artists and entice a broader segment of the community to attend.
“Its reach is greater in all directions,” he said, adding that the event helps the neighborhood and its business, “which is good for the Miracle Mile and everybody in it.”
Kramer recalled the comment of one woman, who was particularly pleased to be able to entertain her children while also enjoying music that she liked. He said the event is truly multi-generational, and that is evidenced by the age range of the attendees.
Plus, TARFEST is held at the Tar Pits, which offers a unique opportunity in and of itself.
LAUNCH LA has produced the event for the last three years. Panozzo, founder and executive director of LAUNCH LA, said the organization hosts several events throughout the year, and has a gallery at 170 S. La Brea Ave.
He estimated that approximately 3,000 people attended the cultural event last year.
Saint Motel, Nightmare Air, Echosmith, Tapioca and The Flea and Irontom will be among the musical performers on Saturday. Live painting and sculptures will be done by Greg (Craola) Simkins, Axis, William Wray and David O. Johnson.
Participants will also enjoy the Lagunitas Biergarten, the Poem Store, art with the Petersen Automotive Museum, kid’s activities with Japan Foundation and more during the free event.
For information, visit www.launchla.org or www.tarfest.com. The Tar Pits are located at 5801 Wilshire Blvd.
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