Logan Avenue Consortium Doing Good Work on the Avenue
Hipster galleries may have opened selling thousand-dollar bongs and tours of the neighborhood, but there are still people and organizations doing solid work trying to keep barrio culture alive. Groups like the Logan Avenue Consortium (LAC).
The Consortium states that they are “a grassroots community organization dedicated to promoting cultural events, local artists, and businesses on Historic Logan Ave. Members of the LAC are community leaders, residents, artists, event planners, veterans, and business owners who dedicate their time and energy to their community and ensuring its culture stays relevant in every aspect.”
The LAC promotes Barrio Art Crawl and organizes the bi-weekly summertime La Vuelta Car Cruise that has been a hit among the lowrider set. They also support each member’s endeavors from the weekly Latin Jazz Jam to the Logan Avenue Flea Market to the various events that take place at many of the different cultural spaces along Logan Avenue.
Some of the members of the Logan Avenue Consortium are a who’s who of the major players in Barrio Logan’s recent grassroots cultural revival, including people from ¡Salud!, La Bodega Gallery and Studios, Chicano Art Gallery, Border X Brewing, Por Vida Café, Mesheeka and other spaces along the Avenue.
The Logan Avenue Consortium not only has the best interests of their respective businesses in mind, but the greater Barrio Logan community as a whole. Recognizing the need to keep barrio culture alive in the face of gentrification, they are organizing a barrio street fair Saturday, August 26.
La Vuelta Car Cruise End of Summer Cultural Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Logan Avenue in the historic heart of Barrio Logan. This family friendly, free event will feature a car show, vendors, food, a beer garden, DJ’s and live music from a stage located at Logan and Sampson.
When asked about why he’s helping put on this event, Milo Lorenzana of Por Vida café wrote, “Most importantly it’s to bring our community together, whether it’s businesses, residents or people who love and support Barrio Logan. Hopefully we can inspire others in our community to do more cool events that represent who we are as Chicanos!”
Milo also mentioned the Consortium “are also raising funds so we can finally have some legitimate maintenance on Logan Ave. Tree trimming, lighting, sidewalk washing and other necessities we need due to not being in the MAD [Maintenance Assessment District] boundaries. But we do support the MAD and hopefully can build a relationship with them.”
Music is a big part of the barrio arts scene, with live bands and DJs playing up and down the block on any given night. This festival will be no different, with DJ sets by Chulita Vinyl Club San Diego & Los Angeles, Barrio Arts District originator Air Nandez, DJ Betty Bangs, and others. There will also be live music by Quinto Sol, Maiz (featuring Logan Ave’s own Karlos Paez), The Sleepwalkers, Saviorself, Banda Paso De Tecuala, Mariachi Juvenil Azteca and other sounds heard around the Avenue.
La Vuelta Car Cruise End of Summer Cultural Festival plans to highlight the finest in barrio art and culture. But, first and foremost, it’s about the rides, the cars, the ranflas, los lowriders. Bringing back that car cruising culture of yesteryear and making it just as relevant today.
Beginning on May 3 and running every other week through last Wednesday, La Vuelta Car Cruise has been able to capture that old school feel of cruising through the barrio. And the people were out to see what it was all about! Onlookers lined up along the sidewalks to check out one cool ride after another.
To end the summer series the Consortium wanted to go out big — and Saturday will be the culmination of all the hard work put in by this all-volunteer crew.
“This is the opportunity to showcase the uniqueness that is Barrio Logan, and the reason why we were designated as a Cultural District in California,” says Logan Avenue Consortium member Miguel Alatorre. “It will allow us to put our unique art, music, food and lowrider lifestyle on full display. At the same time, it will allow us the opportunity to raise money and keep the money here in Barrio Logan, and help our block and community get the necessary upgrades we need.”
Barrio Logan may be the target of gentrifying developers and other outside influences, but as long as there are groups like the Logan Avenue Consortium keeping barrio culture alive, through good people like Milo and Miguel, this community will continue to persevere. Like it always has.
In addition to the Logan Avenue Consortium organized festival that takes place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. between Evans and Sampson on Logan Avenue, there are many other happenings along the Avenue including La Vuelta Photography & Art Show at La Bodega and a fundraiser for Danza Azteca Capitan Juan Manuel Flores of Calpulli Mexihca at Mesheeka. La Gente Lowrider Club’s fourth annual picnic will take place at Chicano Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with food, raffles and live music featuring hip hop performances by Smokey Loco, Mz. Lovely, Lil Ant and C-Siccness.
Parking is expected to be messy. Best bet is to take the Blue Line trolley, get off at the Barrio Logan station and walk to the festival.