The House of RAD, 900 E. Keefe Ave., is fighting hunger with art on Friday, Nov. 4, from 7-11 p.m., with the 19th annual Feed Your Soul. The event offers local businesses, organizations and individuals the opportunity to play a part in helping provide food for under-served residents.
"We exist to prevent empty plates and hungry stomachs," said Brandon Minga, House of RAD's owner and one of Feed Your Soul's organizers.
The event will feature over 35 artists who will actively create prints, drawings, paintings and sculptures live throughout the evening. Additionally more than 25 completed artworks will also be displayed around the premises.
All pieces can be bid on by the general public in a silent auction throughout the evening, with proceeds benefiting Feeding America.
Minga hopes to pump up the spectacle around the event as well, offering an unforgetably dazzling experience.
"The House of RAD space will be transformed with dramatic lighting and music, enhanced by a VJ experience featuring a projection-mapped area of the event space. Plus fire dancers and aerial performances, larger-than-life stilt-walking birds, mingling drag queens and much more throughout the night," Minga said.
The immersive and entertaining spectacles are a far cry from Minga's initial involvement with Feed Your Soul eight years ago: "I started volunteering by collecting cans and emptying the trash," he said.
After his humble beginnings, he eventually found himself on the planning committee, volunteering through the now-defunct Flux Design. In 2019, upon opening the doors to the House of RAD, Minga noted, "It was a pretty natural transition into hosting the event."
Since then, the House of RAD has picked up and moved down the way twice, expanding each time.
"Now that we're in a much larger space and have 33 R.esident A.rtist D.oers, we are prepping to host the largest FYS yet," said Minga.
During 2020's virtual event, Feed Your Soul managed to raise a record high of $85,000 and then smashed it last year, raising $120,000 (and donating $112,000).
"We are very proud to say that we are paying our live artists and entertainers," Minga said. "While we are open to all in-kind donations, we know that without our talented artists and entertainers we wouldn't have an event as special as this."
This year the goal is to raise $150,000 for Feeding America.
You can get tickets here.
Can't make it to the event? You can still bid in the auction virtually on the night of the event.
Jason McDowell grew up in central Iowa and moved to Milwaukee in 2000 to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
In 2006 he began working with OnMilwaukee as an advertising designer, but has since taken on a variety of rolls as the Creative Director, tackling all kinds of design problems, from digital to print, advertising to branding, icons to programming.
In 2016 he picked up the 414 Digital Star of the Year award.
Most other times he can be found racing bicycles, playing board games, or petting dogs.