A group of local volunteers are bringing together artists and performers from the region for the first-ever Culture Storm from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at The Lantern in downtown Huntington.
The event will feature up-for-sale artwork from a variety of visual artists, as well as performances by musicians, a disc jockey, a fire breather and others.
Zac White, Eric Wilson, Cindi Fuller and Amanda Winters took the initiative to organize the event as a way to showcase the underrepresented talent in the area.
“It will be a collection of people from the area who don’t get a lot of exposure,” White said. “A lot of these people don’t have a proper venue. It’s not particularly traditional art, I guess ‘outsider art’ would be a more technical term. But really, it’s just a showcase of what people around here are doing.”
Despite this being the inaugural event, Wilson said this “storm” is already gaining ground.
“It wasn’t that hard to get people to do it,” Wilson said. “Zac reached out and conjured a whole storm of people to celebrate the culture in Huntington.”
Already, the Culture Storm scheduled for January 2016 is booked with artists and another showcase is scheduled for April 2016.
“I want, eventually, this notion to be something that can be more around like a weather pattern throughout Huntington and eventually other locations in Appalachia,” Wilson said. “This Culture Storm can drift around like a meteorological element and bring with it a celebration of the area, wherever it winds up going.”
Wilson noted this event is not just for the benefit of the artists but also those who want to see Huntington flourish.
“There’s a lot of negativity surrounding Huntington, bad vibes out there on social media and complaints about the lack of culture here,” Wilson said. “That was a direct inspiration for pulling this together, to show Huntington is actually rich, vibrant and full of life.”
“Sometimes, we’re bitter and angry about it, but that doesn’t mean we have to hate the entire town. Instead, we can just ‘hate it out’ with our art,” Wilson added.
Cultural Storm cofounder Cindi Fuller said the best way to revitalize a city is to start bringing people together.
“We are really passionate about arts and culture and Huntington itself,” Fuller said. “We want to make Huntington a better place, so why not take the initiative? Everyone sits around and talks about how Huntington could be so good, but no one ever does anything about it, so we did.”
The event is open to the public and will accept donations, which White said will go towards the next Culture Storm events.
Rob Engle can be contacted at [email protected]