Giving back, coming home

May 23rd was a special performance in the musical career of Perla Batalla. In many ways, it was a moment when life came full circle, a homecoming of sorts.

When Perla performed on stage at Venice Art Walk & Auctions, she did more than share her music, she said thank  you.  At 16, Perla found Venice Family Clinic through her friends at Santa Monica High. Her family had a record shop in Venice, but as a daughter in a hispanic family, “certain things were just taboo,” she tells me.

Finding the Venice Family Clinic was a pivotal moment for Perla. She learned through her experience that she was responsible for her own body and with that knowledge came immense freedom and the ability to take charge. Now the mother of a teenage daughter herself, Perla hopes that places like Venice Family Clinic exist for women everywhere.

On a short break before her next tour, the Grammy-nominated singer chatted with me from her home in Ojai about the role of free clinics in her life, in her childhood neighborhood and in her culture.

“They are vitally important,” she says. “Community support for the clinic is huge. The support around the work of Venice Family Clinic in the neighborhood is so needed.”

If you missed Perla at Venice Art Walk & Auctions or want more, check out her summer schedule at perla.com.  She’ll be performing at a benefit concert in L.A. Tía Chucha Centro Cultural, another passion of hers, on August 1st at the Ford Theatre.

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