Guests of the 5th Annual 12G Gala. Photo Credit: J.R. Blackwell

The evening of March 17th marked the fifth annual fundraiser held by Twelve Gates Arts, a non-profit arts organization, directed by Aisha Kahn, with the mission to enrich the community with South Asian art and culture. Held at La Peg Brasserie, it was a night filled with gourmet dinner, glitterati photography by J.R. Blackwell, an art auction, and live dance performances.

State Representative Brian Sims makes opening remarks. Photo credit: J.R. Blackwell

With this year’s theme as “Tales of the Future Past,” or as the fur-collar-clad Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims called “Mad Max goes to the Oscars,” during his opening remarks to the evening, attendees were dressed from classic black to futuristic metallics. Original art by artists like sculptor Saks Afridi, painter Kiki Gaffney, and Red Raven artist Bryan DeProspero was silent-auctioned throughout the night.

A special part of the night was the Transform(art)ive Award Ceremony, a segment honoring individuals in the creative economy who “transform the world incrementally and positively by increasing social and cultural awareness”—previous honorees have been Gayle Isa and Hazami Sayed. This year’s honoree was Samip Mallick, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA). With degrees in both computer and library information science, Mallick has combined technology and storytelling as a way to promote a greater understanding of diverse communities. SAADA is an organization that documents, preserves, and shares stories of Asian cultures, in order to bring their stories to the foreground of the American narrative. 

A dance performance by the Xcel Dance Crew. Photo credit: J.R. Blackwell

And just before the dance floor opened to guests, a special performance was given by the Xcel Dance Crew, an international performance group run by digital influencer and choreographer Kemar Jewel. With a mixture of vogue and hip-hop, and a rich selection of house music, the dance crew set an amazing mood for the duration of the event. 

To learn more about Twelve Gates Arts and their exciting year of engaging programming, learn more from their website and calendar. 

 

Robert Arnosky

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