Local artists from East Los Angeles gathered in mid-October at Boyle Heights’ iconic Mariachi Plaza to sing about the joys and misfortunes of this historic neighborhood. At a live festival, songwriters and singers premiered a dozen compositions created during virtual sessions with people from the community. The songs were inspired by the social problems faced by the neighborhood and the role of culture as a force for freedom. The new songbook is part of the series “Sounds of California,” a research and community engagement project sponsored by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and the Poder Comunitario Collective. Ruben Tapia has this special report that we bring you this holiday weekend.