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Street Musicians Perform in a Free Concert

By Robin Pierson, Special to the Independent

Local street musicians will perform in a free downtown concert Saturday, Sept. 7, a festival intended to draw support for needs both locally and globally.

Finger-picking guitarist Tomi, 7, and her father, Hemet glass artist Tom Licon, weekend street buskers on Forest Avenue, will perform in Saturday’s free concert downtown.

Finger-picking guitarist Tomi, 7, and her father, Hemet glass artist Tom Licon, weekend street buskers on Forest Avenue, will perform in Saturday’s free concert downtown.

The parking lot of The Plaza at 303 Broadway St. will be closed to cars from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. for the Laguna Beach Street Artists Festival and performances by Jason Feddy, street busker Tom Licon and his 7-year-old daughter Tomi and others. There will be food trucks and information about the work of local charities, including we92651 and Laguna Beach Net-works. (Neither, however, are recognized by the IRS as tax exempt organizations.)

In addition to the music, festival organizer Roberto Romano is hopeful that people will come and discuss how they might use their particular skills to help ease and fill the needs of others.

“It’s not about writing checks but sharing what you know, passing on your knowledge, connecting the needs and goods together, locally and globally,” Romano said.

In May, Romano and Don Sciortino travelled to Jacmel, Haiti, where they repaired a roof for the Art Creation Foundation for Children, a Haitian charity that teaches art to street children, who are also fed, educated and provided with medical care, often for the first time in their lives. After repairing the roof, they left their tools giving their Haitian helpers the opportunity to become employable.

Jacmel is known for its art and the children of ACFFC have become identified with mural making, having received funding to create wall mosaics  throughout town, the last one of Martin Luther King Jr. Romano hopes to be able to return to Haiti in October with enough funds for a Laguna wall featuring Main Beach’s historic lifeguard tower.

Any funds raised at the festival will also be used to address problems faced by the local homeless population, including creating conditions that will make it possible for the homeless to secure employment. “Many of the homeless are ready to go to work,” Romano said.  “They just need a break.”

“There are unique people in this town and we can do some powerful work when we put our heads together. We lose our power when we are separate but if we get together we can create a bigger circle,” he said.

Resident Robin Pierson writes about local topics.

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