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Santa Monica’s Arts & Literacy Festival Returns to Virginia Avenue Park

Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

After two years of virtual events, the City of Santa Monica welcomes families back to Virginia Avenue Park on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for the annual Arts & Literacy Festival.  

This year’s theme is “Bugs, Bugs, Bugs,” and the event will host over thirty different community organizations offering games and activities that align with Santa Monica Cradle to Career Building Blocks for Kindergarten campaign. The campaign promotes social and emotional development, self-care and physical well-being, motor skills, language development, and early learning. The goals of this campaign are to help parents, educators, early childcare providers, and other community partners work together to make sure all Santa Monica children start kindergarten ready to learn, inside and outside the classroom. 

Activity highlights include: 

  • Santa Monica Public Library’s Storytime Stage, featuring insect-themed books read by Santa Monica librarians.  
  • Family Service of Santa Monica’s “It Bugs Me” activity to help children identify what might be bothering them. 
  • reDiscover Center’s make-your-own bug costume activity using recycled materials.  
  • Santa Monica Public Library’s Bug House, where children can explore and identify a wide variety of insects.  
  • Art of Recovery artist Teresa Flores demonstrates preparing “Experimental Quesadillas” to build cross-cultural understanding using a wide variety of fresh vegetables from the Santa Monica Farmers Market
  • Stilt-walking by Rebecca “Firebug” Nelson
  • An event Explorer Card, where children can receive stamps from participating booths and redeem for a free book at the Santa Monica Public Library booth. 

Main Stage performance schedule: 

  • Emcee Sean Hill 
  • 10:00 a.m. Santa Monica Youth Orchestra’s Mariachi Ensemble 
  • 10:15 a.m. Kayamanan Ng Lahi, Filipino Dance Group presented by The Music Center On Tour 
  • 11:00 a.m. Elemental Music’s Prelude and Elemental Strings Ensembles 
  • 11:15 a.m. Critter Squad: Insect Defender Party live bug show 
  • 12:40 p.m. Jungle Drum Circle with Chazz Ross 
  • 1:15 p.m. Magic Show with Allen Oshiro
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