The Ford has a long history of presenting multidisciplinary programs in dance, film, and other family events in its 1,200-seat outdoor amphitheater dating back as far as 1920. Located in a 32-acre Los Angeles County park, The Ford recently became under the stewardship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Because in-person performances are temporarily prohibited due to the COVID pandemic, the Ford has gone virtual by announcing its free FORD DIGITAL FESTIVALS that feature four multidisciplinary programs that travel through the intersections of music, art, dance and social justice in Native, Black, Latinx and Diasporic Communities.

“Ford Digital Festivals are curator-led virtual programs offering an in-depth exploration of a single theme through multi-disciplinary performances, workshops and conversations combined into a multi-hour video production. Video programs will be accompanied by other online offerings, including films, DJ sets and virtual marketplaces where you can support local craftspeople and makers.” The Ford/LA Phil Media Release (9/21/2020)

The FORD DIGITAL FESTIVALS include Solidarity for Sanctuary, Living Resistance, Tovaangar Today, and Movement/Matters. Festivals will be hosted on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and at Again – The Ford Digital Festivals are FREE.

Solidarity for Sanctuary – September 26, 2020 – 4:00–6:00pm

Co-curated by grassroots organizers Solidarity for Sanctuary, the festival brings together prominent Latinx artists, including a world premiere collaboration between Omar Apollo and members of the LA Phil, Las Cafeteras, Lido Pimienta, San Cha and La Doña, and poet Yosimar Reyes, among others, to celebrate Selena, the Queen of Tejano music, and draw attention to the importance of voting, immigrant rights, and Black and Brown solidarity.

Living Resistance – October 17, 2020 – 4:00–6:00pm

Co-curated by Todo Verde founder Jocelyn Ramirez, Living Resistance explores holistic health in Los Angeles, inviting audiences to learn from the contemporary practitioners and activists who are making strides in the wellness of their communities. Living Resistance offers a dive into the history of community farming and food justice, sharing in activities around physical and mental space, nurturing bodies with nutritious fuel, and finding movement in music, dance, and yoga, every body is invited to participate in creating a sense of home and belonging in a world where self-love, acceptance, and freedom can feel like radical acts of resistance.

Las Cafeteras La Doña Approved Photo SanCha_AlbumArt_0714190121_Final Omar Apollo Kelly_Caballero Kenny_Ramos_Headshot Yosimar Reyes Tyree Boyd-Pates
Omar Apollo - Photo by Julian Burgueno, courtersy of The Ford/LA Phil

Tovaangar Today – November 1, 2020 – 4:00–6:00pm

Tovaangar, now known as Los Angeles, has been a gathering place that has sustained Native artists and culture bearers for generations. Native artists continue to thrive in Tovaangar, using their creativity to assert tribal sovereignty and protect ancestral homelands. Co-curated by Kenny Ramos, Kelly Caballero and Jessa Calderon, Tovaangar Today explores the modern manifestations of Native artistry in the region. While centering the Tongva and other California Nations, the festival also features artists from the local intertribal urban Native diaspora and highlights the connections between art, activism, identity and tribal sovereignty.

Movement/Matters – November 21, 2020 – 4:00–6:00pm

From the Soul Train line to the Banjee Ball to Krumping in silent protest, Black Street and Club Dance in Los Angeles has allowed dancers to occupy space, create community and flip the scripts ascribed to Black bodies in motion. With special focuses on the role of dance in protest movements and the revolutionary depiction of Black identity on Soul Train, Movement/Matters is a day-long celebration of how L.A. dancers have found connection, care, power and potential on the dance floor and in the streets. Co-curated by Tyree Boyd-Pates.

Visit The Ford website HERE.  Sign up for The Ford mailing list HERE. You can also follow The Ford on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

You can also help by playing your part: Due to COVID-19, we are unable to bring music to our stages for the first time ever. We ask you to Play Your Part in helping the LA Phil reach that longed-for moment when we will return to Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and The Ford. Follow this link to see how you can support the LA Phil. Your generosity will directly support our musicians, teachers, students, and staff, ensuring that our community is alive with music, today and always. – LA Phil Media Release (9/21/2020)

Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Lido Pimienta – Photo by Daniella Murillo, courtesy of The Ford/LA Phil