Idea Fest: Long Beach will take place this Saturday, June 7th

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RPNA is happy to let our readers know of this Saturday’s inaugural Idea Fest: Long Beach, a one-day festival presented by members of the 25th class of Leadership Long Beach, which will take place this Saturday, June 7th, from 11:00a until 7:00p. The event will be held in Orizaba Park (14th St at Orizaba Ave) and in several nearby locations—Alex’s Bar, Joe Jost’s, Gladys Urban Farm, and the Artist Co-Op (1330 Gladys Ave). Idea Fest is designed to transform and inspire the Long Beach community through classes, music, art, food, and fun. Stop by, exchange ideas, enjoy live music, sample wonderful food, and celebrate the diversity of our city.

More than 20 classes, lectures, and idea exchanges (all an hour long) will be held throughout the day either at the park, which features a wonderful new LEED-certified community center, or at the four other locations. Topics will include urban gardening, the sounds of Long Beach, the history of the Zaferia District, an overview of the oil islands of Long Beach, and many others. In the park, on the main stage, entertainment will be offered, including performances by the Long Beach Community Band, Riot Stage, Peacemakers, Evin Shegina, and other local Long Beach musicians.

You can review details about the courses and other offerings at the event’s website, ideafestlb.org. Seating is limited for classes and lectures and can be reserved on the event site. Classes costs $3.00 plus a very small service fee when purchased via the web site; they can be purchased for $4.00 in cash on the day of the event at the door of any class that has remaining seats available.

In addition to the event’s classes, entertainment, and food—which, by the way, will be prepared by local restaurants and some terrific food trucks—organizers are hosting several IF:LABS, which are topically oriented discussions for atendees that will be facilitated by local thinkers, creators, and community builders. All IF:LABs are free. The graphic below, which shows the day’s events arranged into its hour-long tracks (11:00a, 12:00p, 1:00p, and so on) will give you a means to know how to plan your day so that you won’t miss any of the classes, lectures, or labs that look interesting to you. Clicking on that graphic will permit you to view it as a downloadable/printable PDF document.

Everyone is invited to attend. It looks to be a great day of food, music, and fun, where participants can greet, meet, and network with neighbors and other lovers of Long beach, and engage in some constructive dialog about the future of our city.

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Announcing our Spring Benefit Concert in the Park: Sunday, April 27th, 2 pm–​4 pm

Featuring the Belmont String Quartet and an opportunity drawing with wonderful items donated from many RPNA area businesses

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Belmont String Quartet members Joanna Velázquez Alpízar, violin; Heather Mansell, violin; Carrie Mock, viola; and Christopher McCarthy, cello

A few weeks from now, lovely live music will be playing in Rose Park (E. 8th St at Orizaba Ave) in a one-hour concert performed by the Belmont String Quartet for the joint benefit of RPNA’s upcoming Utility Box Art Competition and Wilson High School’s Music Program. The concert itself is free. Residents and their friends and family are invited to make an afternoon of it by bringing a blanket and picnic basket. From 2:00 pm until the concert starts, you’ll be able to browse the list of terrific items offered by area businesses and purchase tickets ($1 each; $10 for 12) to the opportunity drawing. After the concert ends, we’ll draw winners for each of those donated items, distributing them to the lucky winners.

A little more about RPNA’s Utility Box Art Competition

Later this year, RPNA, working with the Arts Council, will be announcing an art competition that will result in the selection of artist commissions for decorating those plain and rather ugly looking utilityl boxes that populate parts of our neighborhood. Below you can see an example of an unpainted utility box flanked by two others whose exterior surfaces were cleaned up and refinished in creative ways.

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A trio of utility boxes from around the city: Wrigley (image by Ioana Urma), Rose Park (Junipero Ave at 4th St, image by RPNA), and Belmont Heights (photo by Drew Reed, art by Doug Walker)

Our Utility Box Art Competition will require that applicants provide designs that highlight our neighborhood’s historic character and identity. To fund the competition and awards, RPNA is creating a special fund that will kick off at the Spring Concert.

An important reminder about the concert: Alcoholic drinks are prohibited in city parks.