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Music and Art Festival strikes a chord
April 24, 2016

The annual Music and Art Festival was held on April 24 this year, gathering local artisans and musicians including YouTube star Olivia Thai and local bands such as The Zero Summers, Ever In Bloom, The Lotus Band, and Desiah.

Abbot Venerable Hui Dong kicked off the afternoon with a few words, and the Hsi Lai Temple Drum Troupe started the line of performances with a rousing percussion routine. The Zero Summers then took the stage, keeping the crowd's energy level high. Olivia Thai performed a stunning solo, followed by the Lotus Band. Formed by Hsi Lai Temple members, they spread their positive lyrics throughout the temple before Ever In Bloom took over. Afterwards, Desiah, the youngest group of the evening, played a few original songs and rocked the crowd. Then, Beliu Kefelew and her team performed soul music with some hip-hop, adding unique flavors to the blend of tunes that afternoon. The performances were concluded by Eric Hatfield on sitar, and Venerable Hui Dong led the visitors in a guided meditation as the sun went down. The lamp offering was the last event of the evening, ending the night on a solemn note.

The festival also hosted numerous booths, such as Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority, Friendly Hills For Everyone, Southern CA Edison, Bike San Gabriel Valley, Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, BLIA YAD, Buddha's Light Publishing, face painting, Danelle DiBari-Starustka-- Creative Metal Works, Helen Stiver --Jewelry, Allison Fox-Lbarra-- Recycled Glass Art, Heather Sung --Sea Shell Art, and a food stand selling veggie burgers, noodles, and quesadillas.

The annual festival is in its third year and attracted nearly 300 participants. The aim is to give a voice to diverse talents with positive messages and use cultural activities to spread the Dharma.