Summer Sensation Concert Rallys Young, Santa Ana Community Organizers

Youth members in a meeting.
Youth members in a meeting.
The Center OC

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A fiesta is brewing in Santa Ana. Only this party is more about waking up to help a community versus passing out on your neighbor's grass while wearing your favorite sombrero. The first-ever 2012 Summer Sensation Concert is part of "Building Healthy Communities," an initiative of The California Endowment focused on transforming Santa Ana--a majority Latino, low-income community--into a safe and healthy environment for the city's neighborhoods, and primarily its youth.

"I feel like there's limited safe spaces, safe and fun spaces for us," says 22-year-old Tony Ortuno, an intern with The Center for Gay and Lesbian Community Services of Orange County. He worked with a coalition of youth groups from Santa Ana-based organizations like KidWorks, Latino Health Access, and The Grain Project, to plan the concert, which features local bands, live art, food and a resource fair at the Yost Theater.

Event coordinator

Barbara Garcia

of Kidworks said a festive concert will provide a rare opportunity for Santa Ana youth to showcase their talent whether it's local rock bands like

Bell Haunts


Frank Zeen Band

, and


, or African drummers and a belly dancing ensemble called

The Z-Dance

, or Spanish rock band

La Causa

Upcoming Events

. There will also be live rap battles, Folklorico dance, and performances by the gymnastics team and martial arts crew from Jerome Center, the community recreation center.

Attendees can also learn about the resources available in their community, like Santa Ana College, voter mobilization group Orange County Congregation Community Organization, and Healthy Smiles OC, a group that increases access to dental care for lower-income communities, among others.

Through music and education, Garcia hopes the event will empower youth to get involved in their community.

"We are responsible for our own transformation within the community," she said.

The 2012 Summer Sensation Concert takes place tomorrow, Saturday, August 25 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana.

Follow us on Twitter @OCWeeklyMusic and like us on Facebook at Heard Mentality.

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