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People often complain about not feeling connected to a community when they live in Los Angeles. There are neighborhoods, but the claim is that there is rarely a mixing of cultures. While I can see that point, I think I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy what the city has to offer regardless of where my home base has been.  It might take more effort than in some cities, but there are real opportunities out there to enjoy the cultural benefits of the city.

The Broad Stage in Santa Monica was offering one of these experiences this weekend.  As a way of introducing the community to their upcoming music, dance and theater programs, The Broad Stage held Broad Fest, a free celebration of the arts.  There were food trucks and performing groups in both the outside courtyard and the Edye (the smaller stage space).

It was a beautiful day, and my friend and I opted to stay outside and enjoy the performances of La Santa Cecilia, the Crossroads School Jazz Ensemble and the Santa Monica College Emeritus Gospel Community Chorus. I loved the energy of each of the groups I saw, and I must admit that I’d like to join that Gospel chorus.  Is there anything more elevating than talented people sharing what they love?

The crowds were lively and joined in the spirit of the event—young and not so young patrons danced along with the musicians. It was an easy, free way to appreciate something that we all had in common (regardless of age, race or gender).

I hope we all keep discovering this side of Los Angeles!