"Noche de Encanto," the summer fund-raiser for Inner-City Arts, which had a modest start three years ago with a little tango party at the Autry Museum, has quickly become a hot ticket on L.A.'s summer social circuit. More than 2,000 partyers turned out for the annual dance party held for the second time on the "streets" of Paramount studios.
"It's a great place to see and meet people," said John Good, development director. For Lillian Peralta, a fourth-grade teacher, and her boyfriend, Jake Alba, a former Trojan baseball player, this year's bash was a sentimental journey. "Last year I saw a flier for the party in a coffee shop," Peralta said. "I love salsa dancing and it was a benefit for kids so I decided to go with a friend. Jake asked my friend to join him in the salsa competition, but, she said, "You should ask Lillian. She loves to salsa. We didn't win the contest, but he contacted me later. My friend also met her boyfriend the same night."
The music of three bands, Son Mayor, Johnny Polanco y Su Conjunto Amistad and Katia Moraes & Sambaguru, kept the three dance floors jammed until midnight.
"We keep the benefit-ticket price low [it was $75] to attract a young crowd and to make more people aware of the work of Inner-City Arts," said event chairwoman Consuelo Moran. "We don't want to get too big so we're working on expanding our corporate sponsorship."
Another highlight of the evening was a mini-concert presented by the Inner-City Arts Children's Choir--all from Harrison School in bright-red T-shirts--and an art exhibition by painter Yolanda Gonzalez, an Art Center College of Design graduate who has taught at Inner-City for 10 years. "Teaching these kids has been an education in itself," she said. "It's like a family. I've wanted to paint since I was 4, but I didn't have a voice. I didn't get serious until I was 18. For me it is so rewarding to give these kids a voice and a head start."
Information for Social Circuits can be directed to Patt Diroll in Los Angeles or Ann Conway in Orange County. Diroll is at email@example.com; Con-way at (714) 966-5952 or, by fax, (714) 966-7790.