NiteTalk: JennyLee Molina Helps Spark an ARTFUZE

Saja by Margaret Accurso R
Saja by Margaret Accurso (Detail)

It may or may not be officially affiliated with the same-named site, but it is unequivocally of the same mind. It mixes the vividly visual (both moving and still), with the resoundingly sound (both played and spun), and makes of it all a magic suitable for unframing this very city. It is an idea turned bright, a notion given flight, and yes, it’s for a damn good cause. It is ARTFUZE, and it takes place Friday at LMNT. JennyLee Molina arcs the spark for Niteside.

What, in brief, is ARTFUZE? ARTFUZE is a benefit organized by Dani Bernal, LMNT and JLPR that will celebrate local artists, musicians, and filmmakers while benefiting art and education, namely Art Studio Miami and Build A School In Africa, who will split 100 percent of the proceeds. Drinks will also be provided for those thirsty for more than just art. The event features a great collaboration of promising emerging artists, as well as some who are more established, and it will be an experience culture junkies will enjoy.

Is there some kinda overall mission? The aim of ARTFUZE is to educate, advocate, and provide a platform for all mediums of art and art enthusiasts to connect in a festive atmosphere under one roof while supporting two very worthy and “under the radar” organizations. This is a labor of love for everyone involved and we hope it is received with equal amounts of it.

Who all is in on the action with you? Dani Bernal had the vision to create a benefit event that featured various art forms, thus ARTFUZE. She reached out to Ashley Cumberland of LMNT and myself for support. Dani and I first met on FourSquare; we'd check into the same art events and our relationship continued online, until one day she reached out to hire JLPR to help with the event. Being an art advocate with a soft spot for children and education, I couldn't help but get involved pro bono. We're really a great team with similar appreciations pulling together our resources for the greater good.

Which artists are being featured? We have music by DJ Xavier Bustos and K/Rex who will keep the party going – it definitely won't be background music. Rocio De Maio and Ted VanCleave will showcase their photography. Nicole Crespo, Deb Garcia, and Jess Weos will feature their films, and there will be a live exhibition by Lauren Ann Wolfe and Nietzsche’s Ghost. Last but not least will be the artwork of Margaret Accurso, Vince BadPanda Herrera, Trek Six, Isabel Brinck and Havi Schanz. It may be sensory overload for some, but only in the best way!

Who’s responsible for who’s being shown? It was a collaborative effort between Dani Bernal and myself. We incorporated contemporary, cutting-edge artists who complemented each other and who shared the same passion for art and education advocacy.

How’d you connect with Art Studio Miami anyway? Ashley Cumberland of LMNT, who graciously offered the space for the event. Art Studio Miami empowers at-risk youth in the Little Haiti area by providing a safe location where they are inspired and guided by artists, teachers, professionals and volunteer mentors who support the student’s education and career development through the arts.

And Build a School in Africa? Build a School in Africa, together with Save the Children, has built nine schools in Mali through volunteer fundraising efforts across the United States. We agreed it was an amazing initiative that we wanted to support. To think that roughly only $12,500 builds a school in Africa boggles my mind. We hope to make a nice contribution through this event.

ARTFUZE takes place Friday, Aug. 24 at LMNT. For more information log on here.

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