Tell us about your non-profit organization.
We are Presence Fest. Presence Fest is a non-profit organization located in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area. Our goal is to plan and curate experiences around the city to promote positive, social engagement and provide financial assistance to people and other organizations in need. We use our platform to highlight and promote local businesses, restore communities, and encourage art entrepreneurship.
Tell us about your upcoming event.
Our upcoming event is our Presence Fest Event. July 7th and 8th at the Arts Council of Baton Rouge, we are planning our Presence Fest exhibition titled "Presence". Presence is an art exhibit and artist performance showcase that will serve to highlight local visual artists and performing artists in the community. Some of the local performing artists will include Taylor Lorell, Darrionne Ellis, Stephen King, and Wizeman Music, as well as local visual artists Chris King and Matthew Barton to name a few. The event will be a two night event consisting of a private curatorial VIP dinner where patrons will have the opportunity to meet the artists while engaging in conversations with other collectors, gallerists, and business tycoons. The dinner will be curated by private chef extraordinaire Khari.
Why did you become an artist?
I thought I became an artist, because I love to create, but I have found that I have been used as an artist to create and advocate spaces for other artists. It's through my artistry that I have been able to not only provide platforms and access for others, but also agitate systems that possibly needed correction.
What inspires your creativity?
My relationship with God inspires my creativity. I enjoy trying to create in a way that connects my world to God's word. My work serves as a way to explore my identity in and through Christ, while helping me manage the things that are beyond my control.
What does success look like for you?
For me success is peace. Success is authority in knowing who you are and being able to stand on that. Success to me is joy. Having the joy to choose yourself everyday and protect yourself mentally is success for me. Everyday you have the opportunity to enjoy what you do and not sacrificing your character or morals to do it is success for me.
What impact do you feel the arts have on our culture?
Art serves as words when words are escaping. Art is inspiring, but can also be interrogating. Art forces you to have honest conversations with yourself and others regarding the world around you. Art forces transparency and vulnerability. Art is one of the few things in which what was deemed ugly can be perceived as beautiful.