After trying, for some time now, to figure out what my niche posting style was going to be, I’ve decided to begin writing longer articles, producing more audio interviews, in addition to my newest craze, creating captivating snapchat recaps to showcase The (real) Lyke Aesthetic and everything my friends and I do. For example, on Saturday, I went to #ArtBeat Chicago with my friend Jade Krystal of Power92. Check out snippets from my amazing time there and learn why it was the perfect night to support melanin, music, and magic, and should be every Month!
Melanin, Music & Magic
As a Black socialite, it’s hard finding new places to consistently kick it and meet new people. It seems like every time you turn around, someone is kicking off a networking series during happy hour on Monday or Wednesday evenings. Because you’re a big kid now and pay bills, you can’t lose a night’s worth of sleep just to speak with Deluxe Nails Inc. about a promotional collaboration that will never happen.
I had been geeked up all week about an art event my friend Brandon Blanton of The BLVDs put me onto last month. #ArtBeat Chicago, created by Marcus Rashad, founder and CEO of Paradigm Creatve Group, is a themed social art party featuring a handpicked selection up and coming artists, musicians, vocalists, dancers, and even caterers. The gathering also serves as a live art contest, featuring body painting, henna, and performance art. Although the event mainly featured African American artists, it was open to all walks of life and backgrounds to attend and participate, and offered a unique lense into Chicago contemporary art scene. I haven’t been to a well-rounded event like this in a long time--with ticket purchase, guests got free food, free wine, free henna designs, and access to a cash bar, live body painting, AND live performances. I only paid $25 for two early bird tickets and just showed my receipt upon arrival.
This month, there was a Beyonce theme, which had every artist channelling their inner Yonce. Among the Visual artists featured, there was Ace The Painter, who did a phenomenal portrait of the Queen Bey’s golden mane. There were also two gorgeous pieces inspired by Beyonce’s critically acclaimed “Formation” video, created by Sherelle B. all the way from St. Louis. Another dope thing about #ArtBeatChicago was the music. Not only we the performing artists doing dope covers of classic Beyonce hits, Jukie Tha KidD did an fantastic job maintaining the crowd with mixes--just like how parties used to be, there were moments of trap, reggae and pop, throughout--in between vocalists doing live covers. Some of the hottest acts in Chicago music were in the room, I.e. the entire smart mouf crew, including leading rapper Ace Da Vinci and Bella Baahs. Let's just say, if you weren't at this tunrt up event, you missed out big time!
Similarly to Party Noire, though, #ArtBeat is very straightforward in terms of promotion. The idea is by eliminating consumer worry--culture biases, bad music, small venues--influencers can create a space where people of color are celebrated, appreciated, and welcomed with open arms and free create whatever their hearts desire. Whether it’s a fine art piece, and dope dance move, or a new dining spot, here we are free to just be.
Be sure to follow me on Snapchat @AllieLyke for more exclusive peeks inside chicago's hottest social gatherings, music events, and workshops!