The international arts organization RAW returns to the Queen City Sept. 26 at concert hotspot Bogart’s to showcase the work of local, independent artists ranging from Cincinnati-based musical group New Van Goghs to handmade jewelry and accessories line Closet Ruckus.
RAW hosts collaborative art experiences in more than 70 cities around the world. The Cincinnati event, entitled ARISE, will offer everything from artisans and tech shops to runway shows and live performances. We sat down with the Cincinnati showcase director, Kiana Brown, to chat about RAW before the event.
What makes an artist, for lack of a better word, RAW?
In my eyes, what makes an artist RAW is them creating unique work that speaks to you. A lot of the artists in our showcases are new and emerging artists, but each and every single one of them are willing to grow while remaining humble about it. Each artist in our show all have something different to offer.
What is RAW’s goal?
RAW’s mission is to open up artists’ minds, eyes, wingspan, and hearts. There are so many artists out there that deserve to be seen and heard. We want to give the opportunity for artists to at least get their foot through the door.
What drew you to working with RAW?
In November 2018, RAW scouted me and asked me if I wanted to be one of their artists for their Hollywood [show]. I loved the experience and everything about it. I didn’t know a whole international festival like this existed. After the show in November, I reached out and asked if they were hiring, and they gave me a job literally a day after I graduated college.
What is your favorite part of working with RAW?
I love the traveling aspect of this position. Going to different cities around the country and witnessing emerging artists growing and getting inspired to progress in their work is beautiful.
Have you ever been to Cincinnati?
I’ve only been to Cincinnati once, and that was a few months ago for a RAW show, and it was awesome! It’s such a charming city with extremely nice people. I didn’t know that when I went, but it was during a big soccer tournament and the city was packed. I’m really excited and looking forward to coming back.
Learn more about RAW and its upcoming Cincinnati showcase here.
ARISE, Sept. 26, 7-11 p.m., Bogart’s, Clifton