Spanspek Unlike Any Other Tulare County Festival

The Orosi Memorial Hall will again be transformed into a smorgasbord of sights and sounds for the Spanspek Music and Arts Festival on Friday, October 4. The eighth annual homegrown festival is unlike any other event in Tulare County, and it brings locally produced music and art to the Cutler-Orosi community.

The Spanspek fest features curated musical performances on two stages, multimedia art installations, and an interactive art station for youth. Co-organizer Cristobal Carrillo says the small space is designed to create an immediate and intimate experience. “Once you step into the venue,” he says, “the hope is to engulf you in art and music.”

Musical performers this year include: Fresno roots rock duo Strange Vine, fresh off an appearance at the MidPoint Music Fest in Cincinnati; Visalia Latin groove specialists Mezcal; longtime Fresno punk rockers It’ll Grow Back; Orosi garage rock duo Werebear; and more.

Participating artists include up-and-comers from Los Angeles, locals from all over Tulare and Fresno counties, and dozens of Orosi High School students. The festival will feature Los Angeles-based multimedia artist Teresa Flores, Visalia comic strip artist Eric Rodriguez, and Orosi painter Sergio Huerta. Artists will be on hand to talk about their work.

Also, in a three-year tradition, the Spanspek fest has partnered with art instructors Elise Stringham and Jason Whited from Orosi High School to introduce the work of the community’s student artists at the event. Students produce artworks in multiple mediums for class assignments, and they get to see their work displayed at the festival. Spanspek admits participating students to the festival free of charge.

Carrillo says the connection to local art students plays an important part in Spanspek’s mission, which includes funding annual scholarships for Orosi High art students, hosting small shows at Orosi venues, and advocating for local music on the organization’s website.

“The festival is one day, but Spanspek is year-round,” he says.

Carrillo and Israel Flores, both former Orosi residents who are currently active in Fresno’s music scene, co-founded Spanspek in 2006. Initially conceived as a way for Carrillo and Flores to perform at home, the event has grown to attract more diverse and talented participants and attendees each year. All festival proceeds go toward funding Orosi High scholarships, commissioning new works of art from local artists, and ensuring the continuation of the event for years.

The all-ages festival starts at 6 p.m. and costs $5 at the door. Visit SpanspekFestival.com for details.

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