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FandangObon and Encuentro This Weekend at JACCC

FandangObon incorporates music and dance from Japan, Mexico and West Africa. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

The sixth annual FandangObon Festival will be held the weekend of Oct. 6 and 7 at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo.

Presented by Great Leap, JACCC, Sustainable Little Tokyo and Artivist Entertainment, FandangObon is a community festival gathering folks of all ages and cultures that grows solidarity and sustainability from the wisdom of our roots.

Environmental Encuentro workshops will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participate in art and gardening workshops that share useful techniques and hear special guests from Veracruz, Mexico: Mizumi Familia, fandango practitioners of Japanese descent, who developed a community garden, Jardin Kojima.

Musicians Julio Mizumi, Kojima, and Belen Torres Morales are descendants of people who came from Japan to work in Veracruz in the early 1900s.

Cost $10, which includes lunch. To register, go to:

On Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m., join the circle and bridge the participatory music and dance traditions of fandango of Veracruz, rooted in African, Mexican and indigenous music; Japanese Buddhist Obon circle dances in remembrance of ancestors; and West African dance and drums of Nigeria and New Guinea. Hundreds of folks of all ages and cultures will celebrate connections to each other and our environment.

Featured musicians: Quetzal Flores and Martha Gonzalez of Quetzal, Nobuko Miyamoto and the Mottainai Band, Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble, Le Ballet Dembaya, and more. Free admission.

Encuentro Workshops

Session 1

Tree of Agreement Songwriting with Quetzal and Familia Mizumi (Part 1). Learn how to turn words and thoughts into powerful poetry and song. You must attend both sessions.

Bokashi Composting with Sustainable Little Tokyo. Learn the Okinawan tradition of anaerobic composting, which composts meat and dairy.

Growing Trees in Concrete with Omar Ramirez. Create a Tree of Life depicting ancestral knowledge (roots), social influences inhibiting growth (concrete), your experiences (tree), and the cultural knowledge you wish to pass to the next generation (seeds).

Three Trees with George Sanchez. Weaving memories of land in connection to the resiliency of culture and communal memory.

Session 2

Tree of Agreement Songwriting (Part 2)

Trees & Seeds with Leigh Adams and Jessica Perez. Create seed bombs inspired by the work of Masanobu Fukuoka and weave poems, ancestors, and art into Tree of Life sculptures that will be displayed at FandangObon.

Sharing Our Foodways with Crystal Gonzalez. Engaging our taste buds as we learn history and traditions tied to specific foods.

What Is Eating Us from Underground with L.A. Worm Farm Collective. Plant seeds with a mixture of LAWFC castings and soil and join in a facilitated verbal share on the challenges and many meanings of nourishment.

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