By Steven Rosenthal
Anything free these days seems to be disappearing like the copper penny.
However, even with rising festival fees, James Panozzo is firm in his commitment to keep the annual Tarfest music and art festival free for everyone. “Our vision is to provide emerging creative talent with an opportunity to have their work seen, heard and enjoyed by all Angelenos.”
Now in its 13th year, Tarfest 2015 is presented by 88.5 FM KCSN and LAUNCH LA on Sat., Sept. 26 at the La Brea Tarpits Park on Museum Row from noon to 8 p.m. in the midst of a “treasure of green space” as Panozzo describes it.
Festival goers will see creativity unfold on huge eight foot canvases, which are brought to life in the inspiring “Live Painting” put together by KP Projects and LAUNCH LA. Adults can hang out at the beer garden in a picnic-like setting and children of all ages can make their very own Picassos at the arts and crafts activities. An on-site art gallery is curated by Merry Karnowsky and students from the Integrated Community Arts Pathway at Los Angeles High School will help with set up and installation.
“To help find new talented artists for the festival we traditionally have used museum professionals and the galleries,” tells Panozzo. Kevin Bronson of Buzzband LA and 88.5 FM KCSN help put together the music program. He knows what is going on in the emerging music scene, acknowledges Panozzo.
It all started after Panozzo had just returned from New York City (2002) where he had experienced a strong civic engagement with the arts and music. He felt that Los Angeles could do something similar. He discussed his thoughts with Stephen Kramer, Miracle Mile Chamber president, who has been instrumental in bringing local businesses and the arts together.
Panozzo says, “One of the first businesses to support Tarfest was Midway Hospital, now Olympia Medical Center, which saw the importance of artists and neighbors to experience new art and great emerging music.”