By Joannah Clemente
In the heart of Riverside’s White Park, local artists and residents celebrate the city’s rich cultural artistry at the Riverside Art and Music Festival on Oct.7.
The Riverside Arts Council and Riverside Downtown collaborate to present regional talents, disseminating arts and culture in the Inland Empire.
Fernando Blanco, the Creative Director of the Riverside Arts Council, underscores the goal of this year’s festival.
“It’s really about expressing yourself,” Blanco said. “We try to showcase that you can express yourself through complex arts such as dance, theater, music, poetry and literature.”
Local artists and art organizations cluster at the venue, imparting their distinctive contributions and brilliance to the festival.
“I think it conveys the beauty in how multiple artists can get together and be in one central venue or unit to power the arts in different cultures,” Blanco said. “If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think this festival would be possible.”
The council welcomes families to celebrate cultural variety and inclusivity by covering the costs of artist workshops and free admission.
Renowned local bands like Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse, The Violet Mindfield, Cold Cut and Integra Pink, with community performances, grace the stage.
Multicultural art displays by Division 9 Gallery, Beautify Riverside and Eastside Arthouse are in attendance throughout the festival.
“I think an event like this brings the art community together,” said Juan Navarro, founder of Eastside Arthouse. “I get to bring and showcase my business, Eastside Arthouse Studio, a co-working space for artists in our community.”
This festival encourages interaction between residents and the art community, which impacts the local arts sector.
“I’d like the community to humanize the idea of artists having conversations with the public and being present,” Navarro said.
Local artist Ekaterina Orlovie shared her thoughts on collective art initiatives for local artists in Riverside.
“Being a visible working woman in the arts community is very important to me,” Orlovie said. “I want to inspire people who might enjoy art but not a part of their everyday lives through public artwork.”
Orlovie said her involvement as a visible artist helps and promotes the Riverside arts community.
“I hope to inspire joy and happiness, and I can see that the community needs it because art doesn’t ask you anything; it’s just letting you be free,” Orlovie said.