2013 Star: Raices Cultura

December 20, 2013 /

The Raices art installation at Coachella Fest. Photo: Courtesy of CARLOS GONZALEZ/Raices

Raices Cultura students created an art installation at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Photo: Courtesy of CARLOS GONZALEZ/Raices


Raices Cultura: Strengthening the Community Through the Arts


Why Their Star Shone Brightly in 2013

2013 was a banner year for Raices Cultura, a Coachella-based non-profit. From art festivals to advocacy, Raices Cultura — dedicated to youth and cultural expression — made a major impact on the Eastern Coachella Valley.

It comes as no surprise that the dynamic group is being named Non-Profit of the Year tonight by the Coachella Chamber of Commerce, in recognition of their continued commitment to young people and to their mission of improving the community. This award is given annually to a non-profit organization whose work ensures that the city of Coachella is not only safe, but healthy and prosperous as well.

Carlos Gonzalez, chairman of the board of directors, recently shared why 2013 has been so memorable for Raices Cultura.

Highlights of 2013

2013 was a series of highlights for Raices Cultura. Its students created an art installation that was displayed during both weekends of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The nonprofit also played a major role in the inaugural Run with Los Muertos 5k event and Dia de los Muertos celebration in Coachella.

“We consider our festivities in downtown Coachella to be quite a success with an attendance of over 1,500 people,” said Gonzalez.

Raices Cultura also launched “Artchella,” a student-based concert series featuring an outlet for local musicians to express their talent. Another major accomplishment of 2013 was the creation of the Eastern Coachella Valley Boys and Men of Color program, made up of 25 young men seeking to become leaders within their community.

Raices Cultura students also had the opportunity to walk the halls of the Sacramento State Legislature and assisted in the passing of the Student Bill of Rights.

Gonzalez concluded with another exciting moment.

“This December, local filmmaker Christian Sesma took note of our unique artwork and will be incorporating Raices art pieces in a local film called The Nightcrew,” he said.

Biggest Lesson Learned in 2013

“I believe our biggest lesson is the need to keep on dreaming and keep dreaming big. Turning the impossible into the possible. We have already seen it, through the accomplishment of many seemingly impossible feats this year,” said Gonzalez.

Goals for 2014

“Our goals for 2014 is to continue to grow our organization, especially with our new board and continuing to work with community partners to turn the dreams of our students into a reality, instilling hope within Raices youth and creating a better community for the younger generations to come.”


-JOHNNY FLORES JR/Coachella Uninc

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