Nexus File Photo

Nexus File Photo

Isla Vista Community Relations Committee (IVCRC), Associated Students Program Board and I.V. Recreation and Park District (IVRPD) will host the annual Chilla Vista music and arts festival from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on May 9 in People’s Park and Perfect Park.

The festival’s theme will be “Solidarity through Community,” celebrating the renewed sense of unity in I.V. following the events of May 23 last year and honoring the students who were lost. The event will feature local organizations, musicians and artists with exhibits, such as live spray paint art to protest police brutality. A.S. Program Board will also sponsor a surprise musical headliner.

According to IVCRC External Chair and fourth-year political science major Daniela Bayon, Chilla Vista evolved from a music festival into a multi-dimensional event with a focus on sustainability and solidarity.

“Our main focus here now is how do we build and celebrate a community while at the same time being understanding and inclusive of all the different identities that reside here,” Bayon said, “and I feel like we’ve really done that.”

Bayon said IVCRC has worked with Project I.V. Love to create a memorial garden with six benches, one for each of the six students lost in last year’s shooting, and attendees who arrive early the morning of the event will have the opportunity to help plant flowers.

“We’re celebrating life affirmation and just want everyone to be happy,” Bayon said.

Project I.V. Love founder and UCSB graduate Jordan Killebrew said he wants to help I.V. heal through art.

“The memorial is about honoring the victims of the tragedy of last year,” Killebrew said. “Art heals the community in times like these. A park is a great community place and planting is therapeutic.”

A.S. Program Board Special Events Assistant and third-year communication major Chrystal Anderson said Chilla Vista is intended to be a relaxed, enjoyable event that highlights local talent.

“We wanted to keep the vibes, as Chilla Vista is named, pretty chill,” Anderson said. “Very local and homey to Isla Vista and to what I.V. culture is like. The bands will be all local.”

Bayon said Chilla Vista’s theme, “Solidarity through Community,” commemorates the lives lost last year.

“It’s really important to us and to the committee and to what we want Chilla Vista to be — a community event,” Bayon said. “A community that celebrates who we are, where we come from and what we’re here to do. Our theme is addressing what happened last year.”

Anderson said Chilla Vista organizers want the theme to represent recovery and not prolong the tragedy of last year’s event.

“We don’t want to focus on the tragedy of last year as such a dampening thing, but celebrate the lives that were lost and the unity that the community built overcoming it,” Bayon said.

Bayon said Chilla Vista organizers are aiming for the event to be “zero waste.”

“We’re using solar generators and recycling using compost,” Bayon said. “Everything we do is sustainable so we’re really tackling a lot of different issues here.”

Bayon said while the biggest challenge of Chilla Vista will be addressing the needs of the community, she believes it will be successful.

“This year we’ve done a great job of identifying some serious issues and being able to create a fun and inclusive environment in which to have dialogue and to celebrate the life and culture in Isla Vista,” Bayon said.

A version of this story appeared on page 3 of the Thursday, April 30, 2015 print edition of the Daily Nexus.