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Festival Latino L.A Brings Together Eclectic Lineup of Cultural Diversity

May 03, 1990|SHAUNA SNOW | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The idea of Festival Latino L.A., says director Jose Armand, is to make Latino culture part of the mainstream, "to provide an umbrella for the different Latin American communities that are here and to provide a visibility for Latino culture."

Those goals are being carried out with a flourish in more than 20 programs in the Latino art festival, which ends May 27.

Included in the eclectic lineup are a Tijuana-based rock band, a visual art exhibition dedicated to the late Los Angeles artist Carlos Almaraz, and several theater events, including a one-woman show by Argentine artist Maria Fiorentino and the U.S. premiere of the Mexico City-produced "Dancing Without Music."

Events will take place at several locations, including the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Olvera Street, Cal State Los Angeles and the Pasadena Public Library.

"Although it's going to be a mini-festival, it's going to be a first," said Carmen Zapata, president and producing director of the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, as she lauded Armand for his work in organizing the festival. "I was very happy when I learned that someone had the courage and the guts to do it. And yes, the time has finally come."

Putting the festival together on a budget of only $40,000 "hasn't been easy . . . nobody here is salaried," said Armand, who four years ago formed the nonprofit theater group Latino Emsemble.

"(But) we want to look at 10 years down the road (Armand plans to hold the festival biannually) as to what this festival could become as an international celebration of Latino culture."

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