A Long Beach choir organizes benefit concert for local art gallery after devastating car crash

The concert will take place on April 12 at Grace First Presbyterian Church in Long Beach.

Amanda Palacios Image
Monday, April 8, 2024
Long Beach choir plans benefit concert for local art gallery
Owners of an art gallery in Long Beach known as Open Gallery say tragedy struck when a suspected DUI driver crashed into the building. Now, a local choir group is stepping up to support them with a benefit concert.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The owners of an art gallery in Long Beach known as Open Gallery said tragedy struck on Feb. 25 when a suspected DUI driver crashed into the building, causing significant damage.

"All you can see is the white BMW just parked, hit the driver door here. Some of the metal bars on top of the BMW, some tables just pushed all around, everything just crushed," said Artos Saucedo, co-founder and director of Open Gallery.

"It just really like makes me break down for sure. Like, see how much we actually did," said Liz Garibaldi, co-founder and coordinator of Open Gallery,

The gallery, a hub for creativity for other artists was left in ruins. Garibaldi and Saucedo said they were planning to host a performance for the Long Beach Camerata Singers. The local choir group was scheduled to collaborate with local artists and perform at the gallery on April 12.

"It was the perfect setting because the acoustics were just ideal for our singers," said Amy Luskey-Barth, general manager of Long Beach Camerata Singers.

However, that performance came to a brief halt.

"Unfortunately, due to a horrible accident, the creative core team has to find a new space," said Griselda Suarez, executive director of Arts Council for Long Beach.

To make the performance more meaningful, the Camerata Singers and Long Beach Arts Council rallied together and are now hosting a free benefit concert to support the gallery.

"The concert will take place on Friday, April 12. at Grace First Presbyterian Church of Long Beach," said Long Beach Camerata Singers President Jan Hower.

"It's free to anyone that wants to come. Of course, we're asking for donations to help in this benefit situation," said James Bass, artistic director for Long Beach Camerata Singers.

Garibaldi and Saucedo said what was once a devastating situation has now transformed into a glimmer of hope.

"It's really a beacon of hope that this community is that tight knit and we can all count on each other." Saucedo said.

The benefit concert starts at 8 p.m., plus you don't need a ticket to get in. Organizers said all funds that are raised will go directly to the gallery or you can donate through GoFundme.

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