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Philly RAW Artists to host Semi-Finals Showcase, and the road to Hollywood awaits!

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Back in my music playing days, there was no MySpace, Facebook, or any kind of social networking pages on the internet to spread the word that our band was coming to your town. We (or mainly I) did it the old fashioned way: Going out in the DEAD of Winter to staple posters on telephone poles and go to the local record or CD shops while you froze your tail off!

My how things have changed. Fortunately, there are now smoother paths to success no matter what artistic field you are presently in.

That’s where RAW: natural born artists comes into play. Philly RAW Awards is Thursday, November 17th!

RAW is an independent arts organization that hand-selects and spotlights independent creatives. 
Although RAW started in Southern California three years ago, this is Philadelphia’s first year of national expansion into 21 cities.

Usually, the regular season runs through nine months, from February to October. Each show is a project that can require heavy undertaking, according to Philadelphia-based client relations director Fred Calalang.

“Our events are quite massive, with a typical show featuring four bands, four individual runways and about 15 visual artists.  There are also an additional 30 artists in supporting roles for those featured.  We have it down to a science, but they still require at least three weeks to effectively plan and promote,” Calalang says.

This Thursday is the Philadelphia RAWards Semi-Finals Showcase. There are 35 RAW Artists’ nominated for Philadelphia Artist of the Year in 7 categories: fashion, music, art, photography, hair design, makeup artistry and fashion accessory. It's non-stop action as 5 bands, 15 runways and 15 visual artists converge on G Lounge (111 S. 17th Street) from 8pm to 12am.

Artists have to be a member of RAW to have access to their creative team. There are currently over 3,000 artists in those 21 cities across the country, and there have been over 150 RAW Artists showcases across the U.S.

“We encourage contact with our artists and other entities, there’s no exclusivity there,” says Calalang. “There’s no out of pocket expense, we have a ticketing requirement for each artist which offsets our costs for producing the show. This allows artists their perk package (promotional photography, videography, and a free showcase in a city of their choice) and gives our guests a 30+ artist show for just $10.00.”

As an organization, RAW seems to be getting bigger by the day. In January, Calalang is going out to Hollywood for the RAWards at the newly refurbished Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Although the respective city winners still have to be chosen by the national panel of judges, Calalang is still more than happy to be a part of the event.

“It’s amazing, and I’m quite lucky to be able to be a part of our organization on both local and national levels. I see the fantastic energy and momentum we have on a city level; taking it to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood is just incredible. We had big plans for RAW when this season started, but again; watching it actualize is something else altogether. It’s a testament to the dedication and leadership of our main office, as well as the other city directors across the country.”

RAW Artists accepts submissions via their website at www.RAWartists.org/submit-your-work .   

To get tickets for the Philly RAW Artists Awards as well as a list of this year’s nominees, check out their website HERE!

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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