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A Cultural Community

Annie B.’s artistic dreams

Mar. 23, 2009
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Singer/songwriter Annie B., a native Milwaukeean, traveled to Los Angeles in 1999 to create music with her alternative folk band, Shut Up Marie.But a 2006 solo music tour across America proved more inspirational, leading her to envision an innovative entertainment venue that would provide in-depth interviews with artists to reveal their inner inspirations. Upon returning to her hometown in 2008, Annie B. defined her dream by founding "Milwaukee Artbeat."

Her inaugural event,"The Milwaukee Artbeat Kick-Off,"showcases three performing artists and two visual artists. The event takes place inBay View's Hide House(2625 S. Greeley St.), thanks to Mercy Hill Church's donation of its existing space. Meanwhile, X-Facta Films has offered to videotape the performance for future broadcast on YouTube. The 90-minute show on Friday, April 3, begins with a reception at 7 p.m. that exhibits original artwork in the lobby.

At 8 p.m. hosts Annie B. and local rapper Nick Ramsey will introduce the performers and conduct onstage dialogues immediately after each performance, allowing the audience to experience the artists' creativity from an intimate viewpoint. Capturing feminine ingenuity for this first event will be songwriter Jennifer Dekorah Lee accompanied by guitarist Leigh Ann Holmes, while visual artists Sarah Horvat and Alisa Straumanis discuss their drawings and photographs. An informal Q&A session closes the evening. The $8 entry donation includes a glass of wine and light appetizers.

Annie B. has also developed a Web site community "for artists and art enthusiasts" that extends her original concept through a vibrant networking opportunity (www.milwaukeeartbeat.com). Through this Internet collaboration, Annie B. hopes to "convey an exploration of your own creativity and inspiration."

With plans for three additional Artbeat showcases this year, Annie B. Productions invites all artists, dancers, thespians, sculptors, painters, filmmakers and poets to share their ideas with Milwaukee audiences, either through performances or the Web site. Eventually she imagines these joint enterprises circling the globe, with entertainment and Internet members in every country.

Besides exploring art through every avenue, Annie B. also hopes to enrich the intellectual context for Milwaukee's coperative arts community. This energetic, vocal artist believes that "Artbeat's unique artist interviews may provide insight into the role of arts in personal growth, self-expression, catharsis, general well-being and cultural influence."




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