A one-day traveling performance entitled ¡NO RONA! celebrated the resilience of the Latinx and African American communities during the pandemic. Baltazar and local artists performed original songs and poetry in Spanish, English and Spanglish while riding two-, three- and four-wheel bicycles, and performed original dance and performance pieces at parks along the route from South to East LA, along a nearly 20-mile route.
A four-person bicycle featured a colorful sculpture and plants valued in Mesoamerican, symbolizing blessings for the community. Stories of the pandemic followed the themes of: ‘Rona, Respect, Remembrance, Resilience, Regeneration, and Renaissance.’ Stops at culturally significant parks and public spaces along the route were designed to draw crowds and educate about how the pandemic affected different communities.
The performers, dressed in scrubs, paid homage to front-line medical workers who have worked tirelessly to care for those affected by COVID-19. Large, adorned piñatas were broken at the various park stops.
About the Artist
Raul Baltazar (lead artist) received his MFA in Public Practice from Otis College of Art and Design in 2013, and his BFA in Sculpture and New Genres from Otis College of Art and Design in 2008. He has exhibited and performed extensively in Los Angeles, and internationally in Mexico, Australia, Vienna, Egypt, and Taiwan. He was the 2015 recipient of the California Community Foundation, Fellowship for Visual Arts, LA County Arts Commission Short List, 2015 and recipient of The Armory Teaching Fellowship, 2016. In 2015 he was the recipient of the California Community Foundation, Fellowship for Visual Arts; and in 2016 he received The Armory Teaching Fellowship.
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