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Most Events of L.A. Fest's Opening Weekend Sell Out

August 24, 1993|DIANE HAITHMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Los Angeles Festival's opening weekend sold out most of its events or came close to doing so, according to officials of the monthlong event, which celebrates African, African-American and Middle Eastern arts and culture.

Sold-out events included Friday night's "We've Come This Far By Faith" gospel concert at Leimert Park's Vision Complex Theater 1; a Friday evening reception honoring local visual artists at the Museum of African American Art at Baldwin Hills' Crenshaw Plaza, which drew an over-capacity crowd of 160; two Saturday "Leimert Park Art Walks" and Sunday afternoon's "Sacred Landmarks" concert at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, where rows of folding chairs were added for the overflow crowd.

An exception was Friday's 8 p.m. screening of the Moroccan film "Door to the Sky" at USC's Norris Theater, which drew 75 patrons, and a Saturday evening dance-and-song performance at Leimert Park's Vision Complex titled "Voices of Eastern Women," which drew 450 visitors to the Vision Complex's 1,020-seat Theater 1.

The weekend Sunset Junction Street Fair, an annual event that was incorporated into this year's festival, drew more than 10,000 people on Saturday. While figures were not available for all events, a festival spokeswoman said that two Sunday performances of the Traveling Jewish Theater at Woodland Hills' Pierce College were nearly sold out prior to the shows.

A Saturday night performance of Egyptian music performed by Jihad Racy at the Getty Museum was sold out, but numerous ticket-holders did not show up, leaving the outdoor courtyard seats one-third empty.

Because of heavy crowds, the festival suggests reserving tickets for even those events listed as "free" in the brochure. Call 1-800-6LAFEST for information.

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