COACHELLA, Calif. - The countdown to the Coachella music and arts festival is on. The first weekend kicks off Friday. Before the headliners come into town, some local artists and musicians got a chance to perform in the east valley.
The third annual Hue Music and Arts Festival is a project of Building Healthy Communities Eastern Coachella Valley which is a comprehensive community initiative that is creating a revolution in the way Californians think about and support health in their communities. Local musicians and DJs provided the soundtrack for the event at Dateland Park in Coachella. The student-run, free festival creates an environment for talented students to put their work on display. "Every single year, it's awesome," said Dianna Castellanos, a student at Desert Mirage High School. "It grows, and you see new things going on."
This year the festival featured local and international artists from genres of music, cultural arts, food, and interactive art opportunities for festival-goers of all ages. New to this year's festival were interactive art exhibits, skateboarding exhibit sponsored by Epidemic Skate Shop, a youth poetry slam, and a health expo in partnership with Dr. Oz's HealthCorps. "It's really important that our community and students receive nourishment, artistic nourishment," said Valeria Garcia-Pineda, a student at College of the Desert. "I think it's a really big part of the being and a lot of times, poor communities don't get that nourishment."
Many of these students say they cannot afford to attend Coachella, but their work's getting recognized by the group behind the festival. Promoter Goldenvoice continues to help sponsor and support the event. In fact, some of the artists showcased at the Hue will also be on display at Coachella. "It's amazing, If you think about it, no kids around the nation get this opportunity," said Garcia-Pineda. "So just to be granted that is something we have a lot of gratitude for."
The Hue also has something, Coachella does not-- a health expo. Teamed with Healthcorps, the festival encouraged people to eat healthy and get plenty of exercise. The students say, a natural connection to expressing themselves. "Health can be done in so many ways," said Naomi Soto from Healthcorps. "I think it's really important that young people know that they can decide what health is to them and can start doing that at a young age."
"They can also see that art can calm you down if you're angry," said Victoria Contreras from Healthcorps. "Music can help calm you down or inspire you to do something great, so that's why I think it ties in with the Hue event."
The students hope the Hue continues to transform their community for years to come, creating a better place for a new generation.