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The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival, designed specifically for fifth grade students, is an annual admission-free program at The Music Center. Students experience a live professional performance at a world-class performing arts center, then gather together to perform a short choreographed dance inspired by the production.  

The 2018 Children's Festival dates are February 13, 14 and 15, featuring the all-male Argentinian dance company Che Malambo. Captivating audiences its their powerful dance and music performances, Che Malambo blends precision footwork, rhythmic stomping, drumming and song. Invitations will be mailed in late September, and reservations are accepted on a first come basis upon receipt of the invitation. There are six performances available over the three-day festival; one at 9:45 AM and one at 11:30 AM each day.

The Children’s Festival is sponsored by The Blue Ribbon, a support organization of The Music Center, founded in 1968 by Dorothy Buffum Chandler.  The festival began in 1970 as part of The Music Center’s commitment to engage young people in the arts and is one of California’s longest ongoing free arts education programs.  More than 800,000 children have participated in the festival since its inception, and, for many, the festival is their first experience at a live performing arts event.  The chairs for the 2018 festival are Marcy Hammerstein and Kathleen Doheny McCoy. 


Thanks to a generous gift from Blue Ribbon member Maxine Dunitz, each participating student receives a copy of A Journey Through The Music Center, a book that introduces the four theatres of The Music Center and the performing arts presented in each venue.  The book also includes profiles of performers and behind-the-scenes staff, as well as vocabulary and Fun Facts.

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Merlinda School Thank You