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Sharp Avenue Elementary School students lead a drumming clinic for festival participants.

Hundreds of students from schools across the Northeast San Fernando Valley showcased their talents in visual and performing arts Saturday at the annual Local District Northeast “Arts & Lit Fest.”

Visitors were treated to dance, music, and theater performances throughout the day, including mariachi groups, drum lines, marching bands, jazz, ballroom, Folklórico dances, choirs, plays, and musical theatre.

“There is nothing in the world like arts and literature to open our hearts and take us to places we otherwise never could have imagined,” said Linda Del Cueto, superintendent of Local District Northeast. “Education is the most noble profession in our society, and what better way to honor it than by watching the talents and expression of all our wonderful students?”

Crowds of families and community members poured through the gates of San Fernando Senior High School starting at 10:00 a.m. Saturday where they were greeted by the sounds of musicians and singers and the sights of dancers, visual arts and theater performances. The event included three stages where students performed, dozens of information booths and food vendors and opportunities for students to receive hands-on lessons in drumming, dancing, Shakespeare and more.

“This is the biggest event of the year for us,” said Betsy Rubino, an arts integration specialist for Local District Northeast and one of the event’s principle organizers. “Though we are a small team, it is because we receive so much support from the community — and it is a labor of love — that we are able to provide the grand celebration our students deserve.”

Dozens of community partners worked closely with the local district staff to produce a showcase of talent from across Northeast Valley schools.

Aiming to promote literacy as well as the arts, the event included a “Book Nook” promoting the joy of reading to students. Attendees were given a ticket upon check-in, which entitled them to select a free book to take home after visiting ten exhibits at the event.

School Board member Scott Schmerelson, whose Board district includes many Northeast schools, was on hand to welcome the community to the event.

“Today is a great showcase for the incredible things happening every single day in our schools,” he said. “I am so proud of our students. This is a wonderful day.”


View additional photos from this event