By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer

Los Angeles – Esperanza Community Housing presented South Central InnverVision: An AfroLatinx Futurism, on Saturday, July 31, 2021, at Mercado La Paloma, from 12 noon to 8pm.

South Central InnerVision: An AfroLatinx Futurism was an all-day community driven engaging and immersive pop-up arts, music, and dance festival. Participants were able to explore the Black/Latin Imagination! La Plaza and the Porch: Freedom Dreaming Exhibition, Repurposing Historical & Current Cultural Community Spaces within a Liberatory and Speculative.

Spiritual and creative energy permeated throughout Mercado La Paloma parking lot. People were invited to eat, celebrate, imagine, experience, heal, reflect, love, and enjoy in a relaxing and supported environment.

The program got under way with DJ Broso on deck, spinning a set of global rhythms in between live performances.

The AfroLatinx Futurism panel was up next. The distinguish panel of activists, artists, scholars, culture workers and performers interpreted and reflected upon the future and fluid relational nature of the Black and Brown power. The panelist shared insightful thoughts on the questions of “What does the call of an Afro Latinx Futurism ask us to imagine? How does it resonate for you collectively? What could it look and feel like? What new and ancient senses and possibilities, times and spaces does it conjure into being?” The panel was moderated by Dr. Valorie Thomas and consisted of Aura Vasquez, Dr. Amir Whitaker, Skryd Anu, LP AEkil Ross, Skira Martinez, Jonathan Williams and Dr. Valorie Thomas (see photo).

DJ Bianca Oblivion steeped on deck of the ones and twos to served up some contagious beat.

Contra-Tiemp (Ricky Richardson Photo)

Contra-Tiempo entertained the crowd with a dance performance entitled “joyUSjustUS” that was JOYFUL and thought provoking. joyUSjustUS is small sample of a larger performance. The group captivated the crowd with an energetic, and spiritual dance performance. They invited the audience to join them for some choreographed and spontaneous dances.

Richard Montoya and Xochitl (Ricky Richardson Photo)

Richard Montoya continued with a social commentary spoken word performance infused with some humor. His performance was entitled “Culture Clash” performed over a fabulous R&B/Soul, Jazz and Latin soundtrack. Richard Montoya invited Xochitl onstage to share her truth about her bi-racial background.

Jesus Candela and Boris Fosado (Ricky Richardson Photo)

Singer, Songwriter, and musician Jesús Candela played a set of Traditional Mexican music. He took the crowd on a musical journey through the Coastal regions of Mexico- Guerrero and Oaxaca. He was superbly accompanied by Boris Fosada on keyboards. This dynamic duo had the power and sound of a full-fledged band.

Garifuna Puntamania (Afro-Honduran/Belizean), Jessa Calderon (Tongva and Chumash Rapper/Spoken Word Poet) and Nikki Campbell Quartet (Afro-Panamanian) performed electrifying sets during their respective time slots.

Esperanza Community Housing Corporation is a social justice non-profit in South Central Los Angeles that achieves long-term, comprehensive community development that recognizes arts and culture are vital to communities to build healthy, equitable, sustainable, and thriving neighbors.

Mercado La Paloma, a project of Esperanza, provides affordable retail opportunities, technical assistance, start-up capital and support. Mercado La Paloma seeks to create business ownership opportunities and living wage jobs in the community. It is our goal to offer needed goods and services to residents and employees and retain spending in our neighborhood. Mercado La Paloma provides a range of services to our community under one roof.

This project was supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Kresge Foundation. South Central InnverVisions: An AfroLatinx-Futurism is an Equitable Creative Place Keeping Festival made possible through additional funding and support from Esperanza Community Housing, Mercado La Paloma, Zócalo Public Square, and many community partners!

Save the Dates! Esperanza Community Housing in collaboration with Inspired Sound Initiative presents: Inspired Sounds at Mercado La Paloma- A Summer World Music Concert Series. Visit for more information, schedule, performers and time of concerts, etc.