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May 17, 2001|By RANDY CARSON, Imperial County Arts Council

The biggest event of the season, the 10th annual Mariachi Festival Sin Fronteras, is scheduled from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the grandstands of the Imperial Valley Expo in Imperial.

Among the headlining groups are Mariachi Sol de Mexico, Las Princesas, Los Reyes del Valle, Mariachi Mixteco and Grupo Azteca.

Tickets will be on sale Friday at the offices of the Imperial County Arts Council, 230 S. 5th St. in El Centro. Remaining tickets will go on sale at the gates prior to Saturday's concert, which will be lots of fun with lots of great music!

Brochures are available for the summer youth program at the Arts Council. Many of the activities are similar to what we have offered in the past, but we have greatly expanded the scope of offerings and are proud to be running two programs simultaneously: a musical theater program in the main theater and a hands-on experiential program for art and music instruction in an upstairs work room.


Classes are forming for beginning guitar, beginning violin, an introduction to Shakespeare, Mexican folklore and traditional crafts, Native American storytelling, music appreciation, dance instruction and much more. There will be a film series, a lecture series and a free weekly concert for teen-age audiences.

Call 337-1777 to be placed on our mailing list, and be sure to register early as class size will be limited by the capacity of our facilities and resources. There is a fee for participation, but some financial aid is available. See Arts Council staff for details.

Mark your calendars for Youth Empowerment's June 22-23 event: The Imperial Valley Arts and Entertainment Conference. This event will feature dozens of workshops on the job skills and life skills related to careers in the entertainment industry, including commercials, marketing, radio broadcasting, television and film production, makeup and fashion, music studio, concert promotions and professional dance.

On June 22, the workshops will be hosted throughout downtown El Centro by the participating businesses and sponsors. On June 23, the workshops will be at Southwest High School in El Centro. This event will investigate both traditional careers and non-traditional careers, with an eye toward empowering local teen-agers who might be considering the entertainment field but who have no practical starting point for reaching their goals.

During the workshops, we hope to create a network of support services that will continue empowering local youth as they work toward their future here and away from home. The conference is intended to be the first in a powerful series of career-related activities, and it is sponsored in part by a grant in honor of Cesar Chavez from the Neighborhood House in Calexico.

The I.V. Arts and Entertainment Conference is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Brian Cochran, owner of Phat Beat Records.

In addition to the workshops, there will be live entertainment by professional musicians, including rap artists and jazz artists. There will be a drawing contest, a writing contest, a mural design contest and several other competitions. In addition, the event will embrace the "Spring into Stardom" talent show and a gospel music festival, both planned for the same weekend as the rest of the festival events.

Watch for flyers around town or call us at 337-1777 to request one by mail.

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