A day of art, music, dance, food and more awaits the community this weekend as Broad Fest returns to Santa Monica Sunday, September 2. The open-to-all outdoor event, now in its eleventh year, will bring a few small changes to this year’s event that organizers hope will have a big impact.
New this year (aside from a myriad of musicians) will be performances held at the Broad Stage’s Music Hall, a venue that will provide sound and sight for all attendees, regardless of where they sit. A dance floor in the plaza, a KCRW DJ, programming of short films, and double the amount of art making stations round out new additions to the festival.
Ilaan Mazzini, Director of Education & Community Programs for The Broad Stage, says the improvements, expansion of programming and entertainment options makes for a unique experience for all festivalgoers.
“We want everyone to have a great time and the opportunity to express a bit of their own creativity,” she said. “During the course of the day, everyone can create their own personal adventure of music, dancing, movies, art making, drumming, socializing, dining, and being in a beautiful environment.”
Mazzini, who also curates the entire festival, highlighted a couple local connections at the outdoor event. “MATT”, part of the short film programming, is a standout for Mazzini, whose description of the film sounds akin to a Samohi version of “Rudy”. Another local project of note she mentions is Global Motion, a social dance art project featuring members of the SMC dance and Music department.
Other standouts the festival highlights include Armenian groove band Element Band & Ara Dabandjian, all-female percussion and vocal group Adaawe, and an interactive drum circle led by Anindo Marshall and Adaawe artists.
As for food, Middle Feast food truck, Treats froyo and dessert bar, and Border Grill will be on hand.
In short, residents will find something to like at Broad Fest, and that’s by design.
“We want our community to know that we are here and have a variety of offerings,” Mazzini said. “We really hope that our local community finds The Broad Stage to be a welcoming, generous, and wondrous place with something for everyone. It gives all of us a space to connect with each other.”
Broad Fest takes place at The Eli & Edythe Broad Stage, 1310 11th St. Admission and parking is free.