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This Week | LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes at First-Ever Virtual Awards Gala

This Week | LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes at First-Ever Virtual Awards Gala

Cástulo de la Rocha of AltaMed Health Services Corporation and Chicano Rock Legends Los Lobos, to be Honored by LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes at First-Ever Virtual Awards Gala

The event set for streaming on website, social media channels Wednesday, October 14  

 LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes presents its first Virtual Pobladores Awards Gala and Silent Auction, taking place on Wednesday, October 14, 6pm to 8pm.  The Gala will stream free on LA Plaza’s website and Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.

The Pobladores Award recognizes individuals, who much like the original pobladores settlers from Mexico, have blazed a trail that continues to endure, inspire and enrich our community. Cástulo de la Rocha, President and CEO of AltaMed Health Services Corporation and noted patron of Chicano art, and Los Lobos, Chicano Rock Legends are 2020 recipients of the Pobladores Award.

The Annual Gala serves as LA Plaza’s primary fundraising event and supports its many educational workshops, exhibitions and public programming initiatives. Half of all proceeds will be directed to the Eastside Arts Initiative COVID-19 Artists Emergency Relief Fund.

The streaming presentation includes the presentation of the Pobladores Awards, musical performances by Grammy-winning artists Los Lobos and La Marisoul, and musical interludes by Jesús Martinez. Highlights include a retrospective of LA Plaza’s most recent exhibitions and programs, a cocktail demonstration from Madre! Oaxacan Restaurant, the presentation of select items from the Gala’s Silent Auction, and a preview of LA Plaza’s 2021 programming. 

“In this challenging year, we cordially invite everyone to join us for a festive night as we honor these giants of East Los for more than 40 years of service in the arts, music and healthcare,” said John Echeveste, CEO, LA Plaza. “Although the event is free to all, we invite viewers to show their support of the important work of LA Plaza by purchasing tickets and supporting our silent auction.”

Emcees for the virtual program are newscasters Michelle Valles of NBC4, and Dunia Elvir of Telemundo 52. The Silent Auction is hosted by actress/singer Rocío López and Kimberly Chavez of LA Plaza. Joining a growing list of online guests are California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, California State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Dolores Huerta, Gloria Molina, Judge Armando Durón, Lupe de la Cruz III, Andy Carrasco, Smithsonian Director Anthea Hartig, LA Dodger Broadcaster Jorge Jarrín, Bamby Salcedo, chefs Socorro and Dora Herrera, Chef Bret Thompson, Lucy Ramirez Thompson, and artists Wayne Healy, Jose Lozano, Judithe Hernandez, and Janelle Hartley.

Those who choose to support the organization by purchasing tickets receive a LA Plaza Membership at the Sepulveda level and a signed print of The Aliso Tree by noted Chicano artist José Lozano. Tax deductible tickets are $125 and are available at:  

Supporters can also participate in a silent auction offering a bevy of art and cultural items as well as dynamic experiences. The auction continues until October 17 and can be accessed at:  Viewers can also order LA Plaza Special meals from some of the most celebrated Mexican restaurants in Southern California, including Pez Cantina, Madre!, Guelaguetza, and Yuca. Go to to pre-order a meal. 

Sponsors include Bank of America, PepsiCo,  Walmart, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), American Airlines, Reyes Coca Cola Bottling, Wells Fargo, TELACU, Cowley Real Estate Partners, and Aetna.

2020 Honorees:
Cástulo de la Rocha: As President and CEO of AltaMed Health Services Corporation, Cástulo de la Rocha is an enduring trailblazer in community health. Under his visionary leadership, AltaMed has transformed from a storefront barrio clinic in East Los Angeles into the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in California, and among the top five in the nation, with approximately 50 medical, dental and PACE sites staffed by more than 2,800 employees, providing compassionate care to nearly 300,000 patients a year. An avid believer in the healing power of art, de la Rocha has spent 30 years assembling the AltaMed Art Collection. It champions the works of emerging and established artists who reflect the history, achievements, and struggles of underserved communities, and it lives on rotating display across AltaMed’s entire clinic network. De la Rocha has been recognized by the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), and is also a member of the Getty Pacific Standard Time Business Leaders Council.

Los Lobos: One of America’s most respected and hardest-working bands, Los Lobos has won fans world-wide with their potent blend of rock, blues, Tex-Mex, Latin, country, R&B and folk influences. Formed in East Los Angeles, Los Lobos are David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin. The group got their start playing acoustic Mexican folk music in backyards, weddings, quinceañeras and restaurants, embracing newer sounds and larger audiences after exploring the energy of the early 80s punk scene. Since then they’ve produced singles and albums that remain classics, won multiple GRAMMY Awards, toured internationally, and scored movie soundtracks. They also lent their name and music to community causes, including voters’ rights, immigration, the homeless, farmworkers, and, most recently, encouraging people to wear masks. 

ABOUT LA PLAZA: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes celebrates the past and inspires the future by sharing the untold stories about the history, cultures, values, and traditions of Mexicans, Mexican American, and all Latinos in the founding and continuing evolution of Southern California through compelling and culturally enriching exhibitions, educational programs, and public programs. 

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 North Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours: Temporarily Closed
Admission: FREE 

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