Kathy Nichols

Artbeat celebrates one year

By - Apr 30th, 2010 04:00 am
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Annie B.

Artbeat was started a little over one year ago by singer/songwriter Annie B.,  and has since had a warm reception in Milwaukee. Having lived in various other cities, including Seattle, Reno, L.A. and Austin, she feels Milwaukee has an arts scene worth showcasing.

“It’d be really cool to be able to expose the community to the rich arts scene we have here,” she says.

Tonight, the arts variety show celebrates its (unofficial) one-year anniversary, but Annie is thinking about the future. Her goals for this project are numerous. After  recently attending a meeting aimed at ensuring that  the local arts community is heard by those in charge of the Milwaukee school system, Annie learned that 30 of MPS’s K-8 schools have no arts programs whatsoever, which affects nearly 11,000 students. She’d like to fix that, and is working on applying for grants and recruiting volunteers to help in that endeavor. It’s so important, she says, in part because  of the cathartic benefits that come from creative self-expression.

“The arts are very important for the well-being,” she says.

The theme for this upcoming Artbeat event is “A Taste of Central and Latin American Flair.”  Annie B. will host the program with  local philanthropist and social networking specialist Lisa Blythe. The evening will include dance lessons, artwork, spoken word, music and more.

To warm up before the show, you can treat yourself to a salsa lesson from the professional dance instructor and “Salsa Goddess” (so-called in a recent “Milwaukee Magazine” article) Christine Almeida.

Entertainment will be provided by local performers, including nationally-renowned spoken word artist and hip-hop poet Joshua the Scribe, pop music recording artist Ronnie Nyles, reggae singer and rapper JD Rankin (known for his involvement in the bands King Solomon and the Love Monkeys), Latin dancers from Capoeira Nagô  and mosaic artist Shelly Bird.

The gallery will be filled with works from seven regional artists, including photographs, sculptures, paintings and experimental works using a variety of mediums. Haven’t been to an Artbeat yet? Check out the video below from Jaja Jarrar.

This edition of Artbeat takes place on Friday, April 30 at the Hide House, located at 2625 S. Greeley Street. Doors open at 6:30, the dance lessons begin at 7, and the show starts at 8 p.m.  An $8 donation is appreciated.

Categories: Life & Leisure

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