is our annual year-long series of monthly performances and programs celebrating innovation and experimentation in Yiddish culture.
Beginning in January 2012 Yiddishkayt will present a concert, performance, lecture, film, reading, dance party or workshop once a month involving local and non-local Jewish, East European and Latino artists, performers, and scholars at local venues from East to West Los Angeles. Our inaugural year focuses on linguistic and cultural fusion amidst the diverse landscape of Los Angeles. YidArts 2012 events will cluster in two distinct parts of L.A. with deep-rooted significance to Jewish life in Southern California: the Eastside of Los Angeles and Boyle Heights as well as West Hollywood.
Some highlights of our inaugural year of YidArts include Yiddish-Latino fusion concerts inspired by our highly lauded ¡Viva Yiddish! Project: The Yiddish-Latino Sound of Los Angeles; the return of the Winograd Trio; our third Kugl Kukh-Off (the olympiad of Kugel); East European traditional music and dance programs fused with Yiddish, led by world-renowned klezmer singer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Alpert; and much, much more.
Another aspect of YidArts is yidArts: reMIXED. Tied-in with each musical event in the series, we will post on our website some musical samples of music and invite you to remix them as you like and repost it to our site. We’ll collect your remixes and use them at our quarterlyYidArts dance party event.
Over the past 16 years, Yiddishkayt has recognized that its creative arts programming has consistently set the organization apart from other Jewish cultural organizations in and around Los Angeles with our emphasis on cross-cultural programs. Although Yiddishkayt has presented groundbreaking work, we have never offered an annual performance series with ongoing monthly events. Until 2004, our hallmark events had been our Yiddishkayt Festivals, the largest Yiddish cultural festivals in the country. These festivals comprised a one-day family festival with a week-long series of events. Our first citywide festival in 1998 featured 26 events in 19 venues, including many cross-cultural collaborations like our famed Klezmer-Mariachi commission, and presentations at non-Jewish venues. Events such as the first reading of Yiddish at the Los Angeles Central Library helped put Yiddish culture on equal footing with the many identities that make up Los Angeles.
If there are any innovative performers or artists that you would like to see here in L.A., we’d love to hear your ideas!