Sunday, December 28, at Studio 11 in Mid City, Creative Director/Producer Jason Sneed and Executive Producer/Event Designer Courtney Grace curated the third installment of the LA Renaissance. The event included an art gallery with live paintings by artist Brandon Alexander, as well as performances by Marian Mereba, Kevin McCall and DJ D’MXCI.
Proceeds from the event benefited O.B.E.Y. (Organization Behind Empowering Youth) Arts program. The nonprofit is dedicated to replacing the drama programs in public schools that have lost their funding.
Millan Phillips, CEO/Founder of O.B.E.Y gives this insight on her organization, “We make sure that we get instructors over to the schools to teach these programs free of charge. We take donations and grants as the salary for the instructors.”
Phillips is also the founder of Mixologists LA which provided liquid catering services at the event. When asked why she was interested in partnering with LA Renaissance she comments, “Courtney is a great friend, she’s a young lady that I think other young women should admire. The vision for my nonprofit is align with the attributes that I see in Courtney.”
She also adds, “It was the right choice to partner my organization with this event because Courtney and Jason are on a fast track to doing something amazing.”
When asked how the concept of LA Renaissance first came about, Sneed, who is a native of Los Angeles and recent graduate of USC (University of Southern California) comments, “A friend who’s a painter wanted me to produce a show for her. That initial idea turned into an artistic showcase with several friends of mine. At USC, I studied Political Science and I minored in Music Industry. I had a lot of colleagues that were musicians so I sort of stumbled into art and event planning.”
He continues, “I’m a creative mind, this is just as much my art piece as it is the people that are performing. I get visions for it as anyone else would. My muse is people, my paintbrush is their energy.”
Previous installments have included body painting, harpists, and dance performances. Sneed says LA Renaissance differs from other art galleries in the fact that, “I give each artist-painter, photographer, musician their chance to shine. I want them to be able to say at LA Renaissance they were truly themselves and that they felt free.”
For the third event, Sneed collaborated with fellow USC alumna, Courtney Grace of Courtney Grace Entertainment, LLC. He says, “We sat down and realized that we compliment each other well from the details to our creativity. This was an experiment, I’m excited to see two visions merge into one.”
On selecting the artists to participate Grace said, “Jason has this quote, ‘God level only’ which means we looked for the most prolific talent. We have very different tastes but we agreed upon making sure that our artists had great personalities. I don’t believe in working with people that don’t bring great energy and great vibes. We found that in everyone that we worked with to put this event together.”
LA Renaissance is the first venture into event production for Grace, who is also an aspiring actress. When asked her goals in planning the event she comments, “Jason and I both have a desire to be limitless in a sense that we don’t want to be defined by the normal boundaries that are attributed to you when you’re young and a person of color. We’re about pushing the limits and creating eclectic collaborations.”
She continues, “We want people to take away the feeling of being in a safe environment with great people. Everyone in attendance were young professionals that you needed to know and should work with. We’re all about bringing people together so that they can grow and build with each other. If you can’t build with them don’t chill with them!” Grace exclaims.
Sneed echoes similar sentiments on the future of LA Renaissance, “My main goal is to not only produce a quality experience for attendees but to actually innovate and push the culture of art forward as much as possible. At LA Renaissance, I want people to fall in love, find their next business partners and be inspired to be their best selves.”