EL PASO / CIUDAD JUÁREZ – Two different community festivals will take place over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend with a goal to uniting people through music, art, and dance.

On Saturday, January 18, 2020 from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM, a free, family-friendly event titled, Reunidos en arte” will take place in Ciudad Juárez at El Punto, an outdoor venue constructed for Pope Francis’ 2016 visit. Featured performers include Esperanza Azteca Youth Orchestra and Chorus (Ciudad Juárez), Dallas’ Credo Community Choir, and a variety of ensembles from the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas at El Paso. This festival also features opera legend Frederica von Stade and other special guests.

On Sunday, January 19, 2020 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM these same artists will travel to the historic El Paso County Coliseum (4100 E Paisano Drive across from the El Paso Zoo) for a second free, community-wide celebration called, “Reconnecting Though Art.” This event is in cooperation with and in support of The Opportunity Center for the Homeless, a local nonprofit serving El Paso’s unsheltered. Entry to this event is free with a donation the 20th Annual MLK Canned Food Drive. Food vouchers for those living on the streets will be provided.

Dr. Jonathan Palant, Associate Professor of Music at the University of Texas at Dallas and founding conductor of the Credo Community Choir, hopes these two programs will unite Texans in a very unique way. “We are eager to offer friendship, peace, respite, and dignity to our brothers and sisters living closest to the U.S. / Mexican border. Be it residents, asylum seekers, new immigrants, or those reeling from a recent mass shooting, we know that music has the power to lift spirits and unite hearts.” Palant says.

“We are delighted the Dallas community wants to forge a special bond with the residents of El Paso, and we are pleased these choirs will sing here in the borderland. Their help and their generosity is a gift beyond words.” Said John Martin, Deputy Director of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless.

Cecilia Levine, businesswoman and Esperanza Azteca co-founder says, “It is a wonderful gift of peace and friendship to welcome singers from Dallas to El Punto and Ciudad Juarez. We know this event will unite our communities in a very unique and special way.”

Visual artists from both The Opportunity Center (El Paso) and The Stewpot (Dallas) will display their work and have it available for purchase.

These events are free of charge with a non-perishable donation to the 20th Annual MLK Canned Food Drive benefiting El Paso’s homeless community. Hot/cold drinks and food will be available for purchase.

Want to support the food drive? Click HERE to learn how.