By Alex Medina
Boyle Heights Beat
“Hecho en Boyle Heights” (Made in BH) was the theme of the fifth annual “Neo Classic” held Friday, June 19th, at Felícitas and Gonzalo Méndez High School. According to the school, the Neo Classic is a “student-inspired, student-produced showcase of art, design, writing, music, and more”.
Members of the community, many of them parents of Méndez students, attended the event. Some parents brought their children to see what it would be like to attend the high school. Others just came to see the various groups performing, which included two Mendez High School bands, Chaotic Theory and Spare Change. The Méndez Cheer Team and Mariachi also put on a spectacle.
The event, scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m., got filled quickly. As the evening progressed, more people continued to show up and as groups began to perform, people would crowd around to enjoy their performances.
“I like it because all the community gets together”, said Claudia Martinez, a local resident and parent of a Méndez Senior who has attended the Neo Classic for the past four years. “It gives kids from the neighborhood an idea of what Mendez offers, so if they’re interested, they can apply and go to this school”.
A variety of clubs, groups, and classes offered information to attendees about the many activities available for students at the school. These included clubs such as Mendez’s Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA), the Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (SETA), and Quetzalli Mariposas.
Monserrath Resendiz, a tenth-grader at Mendez, represented the GSA club at their booth. Resendiz said the event is “a good way to promote the clubs at Méndez and be social with the community”. Resendiz also said the event helps to highlight students’ accomplishments.
“We all get to come together” said Resendiz. “We get to celebrate each other’s success and it’s the end of the year, so we all get to have lots of fun”.
The event featured an art exhibit of works from Danny Martinez’s art class. Martínez, who recently became an art teacher at Mendez, said that he is very proud of the work his students have done.
“My favorite thing at this event is my student’s artwork” said the art teacher. “These kids are really talented, and it’s important that people get to see what their hard work has created”.
The Neo Classic ended with a fashion show, which displayed the work of Jennifer Vega, Anaís Hernández, and Erick Valenzuela, all students at Méndez. Each student put together an array of different outfits inspired by a unique theme. Students from the school strut down the catwalk wearing the student-designed apparel.
Both professional judges and the community voted for the student they believed had created the best overall assortment of clothing. Student Erick Valenzuela won the fashion show and was given an award for his accomplishment.
All photos by Alex Medina.
Alex Medina is a junior at Bravo Magnet High School and a journalist with Boyle Heights Beat.