Urban Culture Vulture: Artists get RAW

On Friday night I headed out to Foundry on First in Phoenix to check out the RAW: Phoenix presents JUNCTION put on by Raw: natural born artist, an arts organization that provides independent artists of all creative genres with the resources, tools, and exposure needed to cultivate innovative art. So who else better to go to the showcase with than fellow bloggers Faith (Piece of Craft), Amanda (Broke’s the New Black), and Mackenzie (Spark’d TV)?

The highlights of the evening for me were the performers, and though they were both very different, each one gave a stand out performance.

Aspiring spoken word and hip-hop artist Sean Avery Medlin started the evening with a grabbing and thought-provoking performance of his piece “Kalashnikov.” His purposeful, engaged, and smooth cadence and gestures conveyed the intensity and depth in his words (which is rare to see, especially in an 18-year-old). You could see that what he spoke about came from a very real and very personal place. He definitely left a lasting impression on the people I came with and myself. Anyone who is interested in the poetry community should be sure to look out for him as Medlin is already turning out to be a creative success in the area.

Another stunning performance came from Ghazaal Beledi, a world fusion and tribal belly dance troupe based in Tempe.  The dancer’s choreography ranged from Middle Eastern belly dance to East Indian Bhangra to Spanish flamenco. Ghazaal Beledi’s  (Arabic for ‘Dancing Gazelle’) high-energy fusion performance included fire breathing, candle twirling, and undulating moves to give a mesmerizing show.

Consider me more than impressed with the RAW performers—consider me enthralled.

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Be sure to check out what Faith and Amanda have to say about RAW later this week!

Have any suggestions for what I should check out next? Email me at Mary.G.Richardson@asu.edu or follow me at @MG_Richardson on Twitter.

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