Open Gallery Benefit Concert By Camerata Singers

By Armando Jacobo

Through the rubble and debris, the Long Beach community rallied together to uplift the Open Gallery with a benefit concert on Apr. 12.

The fundraiser concert was performed by the Long Beach Camerata Singers (LBCS) and partnered with Grace First Presbyterian Church located at 3955 N. Studebaker Road, proceeds would be given to the owners Artos Saucedo and Liz Garibaldi.

“It was incredibly powerful. Very healing, didn’t know what to expect coming here but it was definitely the opposite side of the tragedy,” said Saucedo. “The amount of love we feel at once is just super moving.”

The building on E. 7th Street is known as a hub for local artists in Long Beach to showcase their respective works and projects to the community, but on Feb. 26, a drunk driver crashed into the property just after midnight

The accident destroyed most of the building and the home of the family, along with their 13-year-old son. Despite the unfortunate series of events, it never deterred the family to rebuild and hold an optimistic perspective toward the future of the Open Gallery.

“We’re all just out here together, trying to push each other forward and this unfortunate event has really opened our eyes to see that more. We have the opportunity to step back and really feel and see the whole community as one and it’s just really overwhelming in the best way,” said Garibaldi.

The LBCS was scheduled to perform at the Open Gallery before the accident occurred for an art installation collaboration with a local artist, but instead of canceling the scheduled performance, the choir ensemble chose to hold a benefit concert to “basically make lemonade out of what’s a really difficult situation,” according to president of the Long Beach Camerata Singers Jan Hower.

“We made the public aware of their situation and people donated. I think we made a beautiful evening out of it,” said Hower.

The Open Gallery is known as a hub for local artists in Long Beach to showcase their respective works and projects to the community.

It shows how many good people there are, and that we can be very close in the community (in Long Beach) and come together when needed. It’s something we all crave to be together and it sometimes takes things like this to happen to remind us all of that good spirit,” said Saucedo.

As of Apr. 13, they have raised over $43,000 through their GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $150,000 in order to facilitate rebuilding efforts. Donations can be made on https://gofund.me/f0c5d73c.

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