Artist Looks to Drive Voter Registration at Upcoming Gala Celebrating LGBTQIA+ People of Color
Saturday, September 24th from 7pm-10pm
The Xperience Kalamazoo
145 Farmers Alley
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Artist Maya James is presenting the Come As You Are “Gay-la”, a celebration of LGBTQIA+ people of color, on Saturday, September 24th from 7pm-11pm at The Xperience located in Farmer’s Alley in Kalamazoo, MI. The event will feature a silent auction of Maya James exclusive art series entitled “Faces PT III”, a collection of over 30 original painted portraits featuring black and queer/trans community members, leaders, legends and entertainers. General Admission Tickets are available for $10 with VIP Tickets available for $40, with a generous portion of the proceeds going to support local nonprofits including Radical Kalamazoo & OutFront Kalamazoo. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.eventbrite.com/e/come-as-you-are-gayla-hosted-by-maya-james-art-studio-tickets-403604962307
The "Come As You Are Gayla!" will be the first of its kind in Kalamazoo. It is a community celebration of Black Pride to empower the LBGTQIA+ people of color to vote and create a safer place for all. “Faces Pt III” is the third collection of portrait paintings in a series by Artist Maya James entitled “Faces”, featuring LGBTQIA+ legends and community members of color. During the Gala, all the pieces in the collection will be put up for silent auction with each piece starting at $100. A portion of the proceeds will go to support Legacy House, an LGBTQIA+ youth housing facility created by Outfront Kalamazoo. The event will feature a DJ, Music, Hors D'oeuvres, fun, and dancing as part of the evening’s festivities. There will also be a cash bar to purchase signature cocktails, curated by The Xperience Event Venue in Farmer’s Alley.
Another component of the event is an initiative to register voters for the upcoming November election. Representatives from local community groups will be in attendance at the event to register voters, and local political figures will be in attendance. “Now more than ever, black queer issues must be put to the forefront and streamlined in the face of radical racist, anti-LGBTQIAP+, and anti-choice candidates within our state,” said James. “This benefit is how we fight back with the vote.” In addition to getting registered to vote, attendees can also sign up for text message reminders of election dates, and get more information on how they can help spread the importance of the Black Vote.
The Come As You Are Gala is sponsored by Black Voters Matter & the Kalamazoo Artistic Development Initiative, a program by The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo and Outfront Kalamazoo.
For more information on the Come As You Are Gala & to purchase tickets visit:
For more information on Artist Maya James visit:
For more information on The Xperience visit:
For more information on OutFront Kalamazoo visit:
Laney Morgan is vocal performer & musical artist from North Branch, MI, and now residing in Detroit. The only girl of seven children, Laney is currently in her senior year for a B.A. in Music, and will continue on for an M.A. in Music Business. She comes from a family that has spent their lives around music. Her mother sang with Bob Seger, and John Mellencamp, and her father was the body guard for The Rolling Stones. Laney sold out her first showcase to 200 people when she was 16 years old.
Laney has performed with the likes of Ethan Bortnick, The Gasoline Gypsies, & Printz Board. She has been seen at such venues and events as the Detroit Music Hall, Motown’s Amplify Competition, 20 Front Street, Royal Oak’s Arts, Beats & Eats Festival, Lansing Alive, Singers In the Round @ Otus Supply, & the Chicago Oscars Committee. Laney has also performed the National Anthem as a singer for The Midland Loons, and numerous events/festivals and small venues since 2013.
Laney is the winner of the Detroit Chapter of Ethan Bortnick’s Celebration of Music competition, & The Chicago Oscar for the 2018 Best Vocalist of the Year. She has been featured in small town newspapers, on magazines in Chicago, on PBS Detroit, and most recently, was featured on Comcast TV with Pepsi and Motown. Laney also founded & ran a non-profit musical group for kids for nearly 3 years.
“I love to create magic with songs; to create that bond between a listener and an artist. It’s something remarkable you can’t really explain. Music is my world, and I’m ready to share it again with everyone.” ~ Laney Morgan
For more information on Laney & her work visit:
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