October 6–7, 2018

The 6th annual FandangObon (FO) Project is a growing Angeleno tradition that culminates on October 6 with an Environmental Encuentro, and October 7 with the music and dance Festival & Farmer’s Market at JACCC, the historic cultural crossroads of Boyle Heights and Bronzeville. Hundreds of folks of all ages and cultures will celebrate connections to each other and mother earth. Co-presented by JACCC, Great Leap, Inc., Artivist Entertainment, and Sustainable Little Tokyo. 



Great Leap’s FO convenes into one circle the participatory music and dance traditions of Fandango of Vera Cruz, Mexico 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. 

Quetzal Flores and Martha Gonzalez of QUETZAL, Grammy-award winning band along with other artists activists, have helped spread the Fandango throughout the U.S.. Great Leap’s Nobuko Miyamoto has composed contemporary Obon pieces danced by over 10,000 people yearly at Obon Festivals in So Cal. Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble and Le Ballet Dembaya take West African dance into schools and communities throughout LA. 


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Color Path of Memory: Resiliency through Stories of Land and Nature

Jessica Arana & George Sanchez

Color Path of Memory uses color cards to spark participant memories of public land, including parks, gardens and natural landscapes as well as urbanscapes. Those memories, documented and woven together, bring to the foreground the stories of people of color in public land that remain largely undocumented and uncelebrated by historians, public institutions and environmental organizations. We need to remind ourselves that our communities, no matter how urban, have unique and universal connections to the land that ultimately speak to the resiliency of culture and communal memory. 


Front Lawn to Gardens

The Aguilar Family

Come learn about urban gardening from a family who decided to grow a vegetable garden on every square inch of the yard. LA Green Grounds introduced this South LA family to this concept in June 2012 and they have been growing food at home ever since. In this workshop we will learn about creative ways to get a garden started with plant clippings, composting, and seed sharing. Learn about the mistakes and happy accidents that having an urban garden at home can bring to your life.


Light Gardening

Tim Bevins & Maya Santos

How can urban gardens address the needs, culture, and challenges of a neighborhood? In this workshop participants will explore the benefits of public open space, learn about how short-term transformations of blighted space can have lasting impacts. Using overhead projectors, color, and forms participants will visualize, design, and present urban gardens on sites in Little Tokyo that are rich in history and at risk of development without community input. Join Tim Bevins of Global Green and Maya Santos of Form follows Function in this design challenge!


One Straw Revolution

Leigh Adams & Jessica Perez

Join us as we learn about amaranth grain and its historic and contemporary uses.  Create seed balls inspired by the work of Masanobu Fukuoka and take some with you to plant culture, history, and food where you please. We also invite you to add some pieces to our community mosaic and enjoy the bringing together of disparate elements and creating a beautiful “whole.” Led by Leigh Adams, the Artist-in-Residence at the LA County Arboretum.

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What's Eating Us from Underground...

linda wei

The LA Worm Farm Collective will host a seed planting workshop using a mixture of LAWFC castings and soil. In this workshop, participants are invited to share anecdotes of their growing experiences. A facilitated verbal share on challenges to nourishment, and the many meanings of nourishment, will be held. LAWFC will end the workshop with one more practical demonstration in resilience and carrying seeds forward. Of course attendees are encouraged to ask questions of each other as well as of the facilitator. Happy worms, happy workers! 



Community Partners include:
- Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC)
- Artivist Entertainment
- Sustainable Little Tokyo
- LA Commons
- Little Tokyo Service Center

Partially funded by: 
- California Arts Council
- Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
- Surdna Foundation
- Artivist Entertainment


FandangObon is an annual festival in Los Angeles that brings together the Japanese, Mexican, and African-American communities into one circle to share participatory music and dance traditions in order to celebrate Mother Earth. This video contains highlights of FandangObon 2015, held on October 25 at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.
Last August, Nobuko Miyamoto, Great Leap Founder and Artistic director, created "SEMBAZURU," an oboe dance for children dedicated to children who suffer from violence all across the world. Nobuko was inspired by the Story Of Sadako Sasaki, a 12 years old girl who died from leukemia after being exposed to the radiation from the Hiroshima bombing.