Submitted by Christina Hernandez on Fri, May 4th at 7:20 pm
By Micah Starkey

Happy Fresh Funded Friday, friends!
This week we are featuring Fresh Funded participant, Deux Voix Concerts. This trumpet-organ duo is comprised of trumpeter, Justin Langham, and organist Stephen Distad. Together, they are on a mission "to positively impact as many lives as possible through the power of music." The pair met four years ago when Justin was a graduate student at the University of Houston.  Their first performance was at a church, and, long story short, they were both ecstatic to showcase the ultimate sound combination of the organ and the trumpet. As a former solo musician, Distad is especially refreshed by the synergy created while performing as a duo.  
Distad captures the aura of Deux Voix’s energetic repertoire, saying:
Deux Voix is the only trumpet/organ duo, that we know of, that offers a variety of music from the traditional repertoire of Bach and Telemann to contrasting styles of music such as Frank Sinatra and Sam Smith. The basis of our concept is to provide a “new approach to a classic sound,” with a strong emphasis on attracting people of all ages and musical tastes to experience something new and different, and to leave them wanting more!... Many who have attended our concerts have commented positively about the overall flow and energy, feeling that they were constantly engaged due to the variety of musical styles and genres...While we offer a wide variety of music during our concerts, the goal of a substantive musical experience is not lost. We make sure to include selections from both the organ and trumpet’s standard repertoires, such as works by Bach, Telemann, Liszt, Saint-Saens, Hovhaness, and Eben, interspersed throughout the concert.  
It's no surprise that this dynamic duo is setting records and selling out venues! Deux Voix set a record for the highest attendance of any organ concert in the 37-year history of the Piccolo Spoleto Music Festival and recently presented a Sinatra-style program at Memorial Drive United Methodist in Houston that sold out a week in advance. August promises more excitement, as Deux Voix will celebrate their 4th Anniversary Concert and then jet off on their first international tour in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
With the support of Fresh Arts Deux Viox has set goals to expand their breadth by acquiring a professional level flugelhorn, going on international tours, producing additional recordings and possibly purchasing their very own portable digital organ! Fresh Arts is proud to support the Deux Voix Concerts and looks forward to the inspiring things they will bring to Houston, the US and the globe.

For a complete listing of all Deux Viox’s upcoming shows, check out their website. And don’t forget to subscribe to the  Deux Voix YouTube Channel.

For more information on Fresh Funded, please visit Check back next week for the next feature project of our Fiscal Sponsorship Feature Series.
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Submitted by Christina Hernandez on Mon, Apr 16th at 7:19 pm
By: Micah Starkey

Happy Monday! As promised, we are back to feature another of Fresh Arts’ exciting fiscal projects. 
This week we are featuring the "¡France Spain!" event designed by Agnès Bourely and friends. The event will be a fusion exhibition of paint and music that will bring a piece of French and Spanish culture to Houston. Bourely told us that she and her fellow artists wanted to create an exceptional evening where the public could enjoy a classical and contemporary music concert while visiting an art exhibition, and Houston’s multicultural nature offers an ideal setting for such an evening.

The main attraction of this cultural showcase will be the concert featuring vocalist, Anne-Lise Polchlopek, and international guitarist, Pierre Laniau. Their program blends Polchlopek’s love for Spanish culture and language with Laniau’s affection for the French repertoire for 10-string guitar. They will revisit classical and contemporary music hits as well as other lesser known pieces. The exhibition of paintings by Agnes Bourèly, a French painter settled in Houston, will enhance the musical experience by providing a stimulating and unique visual backdrop.

The night promises to be a rare, intimate harmony of music and visual art. ADMISSION IS FREE, so don’t miss it!

For more information on the Fresh Arts Fiscal Sponsorship Program, please visit our website. Check back next week for the next feature project of our Fiscal Sponsorship Feature Series.

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Submitted by Christina Hernandez on Tue, Apr 3rd at 9:43 pm
Ruby Rivera and The Texas Salsa Congress
By: Micah Starkey

Fresh Arts is thrilled to announce that we will be launching a mini blog series called the Fiscal Sponsorship Feature Series. The series will spotlight the Fresh Arts’ 2018 fiscally sponsored projects, the artists behind them and the exciting things they are doing in Houston.

We kick off our series with salsa queen, Ruby Rivera, founder of the Texas Salsa Congress and a proud product of Houston's Northside. As the child of a single working mother, she didn’t have the opportunity to go to dance classes and other types of extracurricular activities in the city.  Instead, she first discovered the freedom and beauty of the arts through after school programs at her elementary school.  Unfortunately, neither her middle school or high school carried such arts programs, which made her realize that kids of all ages should have access to the arts. 

As an undergraduate at the University of Texas, Rivera helped create the Latin Nights event on campus where students could come and dance to Latino music that wasn't anywhere near mainstream at the time.  After graduation, she returned to Houston and joined a salsa dance team.  During her two years with the team, Rivera traveled and performed at several events, including the Puerto Rico Salsa Congress, the Chicago Salsa Congress and the New Mexico Salsa Festival.  After being exposed to the international salsa community, Rivera began teaching salsa lessons at Houston's infamous Sky Bar in the Montrose area and eventually at venues throughout the city, including the Downtown Aquarium.  

Having experienced firsthand how rich and large the Houston salsa community was, Rivera couldn’t help but wonder why the city didn't have a salsa congress of its own. This burning question and the memories of limited access to dance during childhood inspired Rivera to create the Texas Salsa Congress (TSC). 
In 2005, the TSC came into fruition as an annual three-day namesake event, bringing some of the most renowned dancers, musicians, and instructors from across the United States and the globe. For more than a decade, the TSC has helped create partnerships and establish free, public events, such as Texas Salsa Congress, Latin Beats at the Downtown Aquarium, Salsa Beats, and Salsa Sundays at the Kemah Boardwalk, to showcase dancers, performers, musicians and DJs from the Greater Houston Area. 

This March the TSC event celebrated its 14th anniversary! The event featured talent from Mexico, Florida, and Puerto Rico, regions all devastated by recent natural disasters. It was a special showcase of how powerful music and dance can be during the rebuilding and healing process. Click here to watch the 2018 recap video!

Rivera continues to work tirelessly to ensure that Houston is highly regarded within the international salsa community and to provide children, teens, seniors, and families from all walks of life the opportunity to experience the performing arts.  Rivera and the TSC have become an integral part of the Houston arts scene—so much so that in 2010, Mayor Bill White declared August 4th Ruby Rivera Salsa Appreciation Day, and in 2015, Mayor Annise Parker declared a Texas Salsa Congress day in the City of Houston. However, Rivera says that she is most proud of the fact that the Texas Salsa Congress is the longest running salsa congress in the United States that is fully produced and owned by a woman.

Fresh Arts is proud to support the Texas Salsa Congress and looks forward to the inspiring things they will bring to Houston in the future.

For more information on the Fresh Arts Fiscal Sponsorship Program, please visit our website. Check back next week for the next feature project of our Fiscal Sponsorship Feature Series.
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Submitted by Christina Hernandez on Fri, Mar 23rd at 3:28 pm
By Micah Starkey

Today's Friday! We're always excited about Fridays, but this week we are especially thrilled since spring is in the air and the Bayou City Art Festival kicks off today! 

The festival will be a weekend-long celebration of art at Memorial Park with fun for the entire family. Spend the day enjoying live art displays, shopping, listening to live music, grubbing on Houston cuisine and taking part in children's activities. 

While you're strolling through the market, check out Fresh Arts WHAM artists Tony Parana, Homer Allen, Kristen Kramlich, Adriane Wiltse, and Melanie Schlossberg! Plus, come visit Fresh Arts in the Kid Zone where we'll be coloring one-of-a-kind, Houston inspired coloring pages by Houston graffiti artist, Gonzo247

Festival hours are March 23-25th from 10am-6pm. Information on tickets and parking can be found at the BCAF website!

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Submitted by Christina Hernandez on Mon, Feb 12th at 9:32 pm


By Micah Starkey

Our magic 8 ball has spoken, and... The Crystal Ball brought spectacular fortunes! In fact, it was our most successful gala ever, raising over $200,000 for the Houston arts community!

The night was nothing short of dazzling.  Patrons brought the sparkle with costumes ranging from crystal-adorned coats and sequin-covered jackets to flashy headpieces and glittery shoes. As always, our honoree, Marita Fairbanks, turned heads in a glistening, white ballgown and a luminous crystal ball headpiece designed by Kasi Kubiak.

Dressed up and ready to transcend reality, patrons reveled in the glittery, mystic atmosphere. Of course, the extravaganza was a celebration of art with artistic attractions at every turn. The entire Silver Street warehouse glowed purple as crystal projections, designed by Input Output, glimmered on the walls. Live painters John Whaley, Jr., Angela Fabbri, and Daniel Elliott mesmerized onlookers, while tarot card readers and fortune tellers, courtesy of Next Iteration Theatre, told us our future. Neal Hamil Models were turned into fanciful creatures by RCC Creations and roamed alongside-party goers on the dance floor while DJ Yung Hiram brought out the dancer in all of us.


Attendees delighted in delicious hors-d'oeuvres from Grace’s and Carrabba's, and sweet-tooths enjoyed the Candylicious candy bar, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Jello shots and spiked popsicles from Popston and Austin Eastsiders. And, of course, libations were plentiful, as guests toasted Buffalo Bayou Beer, wine, and the Crystal Ball’s featured cocktails, the Crystal Gayle (made with Deep Eddy’s vodka) and the Billy Crystal (made with TX Whiskey).

We are gleaming with excitement at the success of the Crystal Ball! A special THANK YOU to the sponsors and artists who made this wonderful night possible:



Eloise Nichols Grill and Liquors


Deep Eddy Vodka

Buffalo Bayou Brewing

GTX Event Productions

Art Attack

Neal Hamil Agency


Le Meridien Houston Downtown

ShutterBooth Houston

Austin Eastciders

Côté Mas provided by

Stephanie and Ernie Cockrell & Houston Wine Merchant

Sequester Wine provided by

Raquel and Andrew Segal


RCC Creations

Swift + Company

TX Whiskey


Pinks Pizza

Jerry's Artarama

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Paper City

Shipley Do-Nuts


Silver Street



RCC Creations

Next Iteration Theatre

ShutterBooth Houston

ms. YET

Input Output

DJ Yung Hiram

John Whaley, Jr.

Angela Fabbri

Daniel Elliott

Neal Hamil Agency

Poetry Busker Traci Thiebaud


And, finally, thank you to all who celebrated with Fresh Arts! We can’t wait to see you again next year—and to top this year’s fundraising feat!!


Click HERE for the Crystal Ball event pictures, and HERE for Shutterbooth Houston photos.

For more post-event coverage visit,, and

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Submitted by Christina Hernandez on Wed, Jan 31st at 8:04 pm


Creating the Crystal Ball Experience – Part 2

By: Micah Starkey


It’s Gala week!! And, as promised, we are back to introduce more of the artists that will be creating the mystical atmosphere of our Crystal Ball.


Angela Fabbri, Fabbriology

Live Painter

Although Angela Fabbri has been pursuing art for 7 years, she dove into live painting just a year ago. Her first live painting experience was during Houston’s Super Bowl saga, and she has loved it ever since!

In the past, Fabbri didn’t like the idea of people looking at her pieces until they were finished. However, over time, Fabbri gained confidence as an artist and is now invigorated by sharing her creative process with others. She explains, “I thrive on the energy of the people anticipating what the final piece will look like…it’s pure magic.”

Fabbri is a self-proclaimed color-obsessed artist whose contemporary, vibrant style is inspired by life, music and the concept of time. So, of course, her Crystal Ball pieces will feature lots of color and playful messaging, but we will have to wait until Friday to see all that she has in store!


Y. E. Torres, ms. YET

Fusion Belly Dancer

Y. E. Torres (ms. YET) - 2017,

Y. E. Torres (ms. YET) is a fusion belly dancer, burlesque performer, teacher, curator, model, and muse. She has been belly-dancing for 24 years and even earned a spot in the Houston Music and Arts Hall of Fame in 2016.

ms. YET describes herself as an “exhibition of deviance and sweetness”. To her, dance is an expression of her emotion—a direct reflection of her survival. To create these caricatures, ms. YET relies on her background in fashion, fabric design and drawing. What she once created in still art forms, she now expresses dynamically through the movement of dance.

Unique to her creative process is her anti-choreography mindset. Instead of performing choreographed pieces, ms. YET works in a space she calls “structured improvisation”. Since the inspiration for her creative work is constantly changing, no two performances are the same.

ms. YET seeks to motivate, inspire and revitalize her audience and is ignited by connections with other artists. She is especially excited to entertain alongside other Gala performers and to be the mystical muse in our captivating Crystal Ball realm.



Excited to see what Angela and ms. YET have in store for us? Of course, you are! 

Buy your Crystal Ball Gala tickets now to ensure you will see these unforgettable live art displays.



Click to view the Fresh Arts Blog
Submitted by Christina Hernandez on Wed, Jan 31st at 7:33 pm

Curious about what to expect? Click the video above!
Fresh Arts Coalition founder and Crystal Ball honoree, Marita Fairbanks, and Glasstire founder, Rainey Knudson, sit down and share funny stories of past Fresh Arts galas, while giving tips on how to have the best gala experience!

Fresh Arts works to strengthen the sustainability and vibrancy of Houston's arts sector by bolstering the capacity and professional practice of artists and arts organizations and enhancing the public's engagement with the arts.
Through its annual gala, Fresh Arts raises the critical funding needed to continue its work in strengthening the Houston arts community by supporting the artists who create it.
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Submitted by Christina Hernandez on Wed, Jan 24th at 8:31 pm

Creating the Crystal Ball Experience – Part 1

By: Micah Starkey

To create the mystifying aura of the Crystal Ball Gala, Fresh Arts will rely on spectacular artists ranging from captivating dancers, to enchanting body painters, and we are thrilled to introduce some of them to you in this blog, and the next.


Rudy Campos, RCC Creations

Body Painter

Instagram: @Creatures_and_Paint

Rudy Campos is a body painter who has been mesmerizing gala patrons for 3 years now. 

Campos went to school for makeup and makeup FX (special effects). Once he finished, he began exploring his love for other forms of makeup, including body painting.  He then was approached by a model friend who proposed that he paint her for a photoshoot. He agreed, and so began his affection for body painting. Campos laughingly remembers, “The pictures and design were pretty laughable, to say the least, compared to what I'm capable of now, but, nevertheless, I take pride in them since they were my first.”

When asked about the live element of body painting, Campos expresses that he loves how the painting process becomes interactive. He is thrilled at the idea of people coming to watch the process since it is usually a new experience for them. To him, watching people see a live canvas transform into a work of art is priceless. 

This year marks Rudy’s third year at the Fresh Arts Gala, and he is dreaming of gemstones, graffiti and 80’s vapor for his Crystal Ball masterpieces.  He says he is always the most excited about the people at the Gala. He loves the variety of people who are in the crowd and is inspired by the fashion and creativity in all the outfits and makeup.



Image by: @rudovell

Alex Ramos, Input Output

Light Installations

Instagram: @1nput0utput


Alex Ramos and his team at Input Output are the masters behind the exciting light installations that will bring the walls of Silver Street Studios to life.

By implementing various digital technologies in inventive ways, they manipulate the properties of light, sound, and space to play with viewers’ perceptions. Ramos explains the sensation of each experience is guided by the human perceptions of sight, sound and touch.  Each piece is designed to be playful but mystical, leaving people questioning their experience.

To Ramos and his team, the gala is a creative playground. Ramos expresses his excitement saying, “The Crystal Ball theme of this year’s gala especially lends itself to the playful aspect of our work, as transporting patrons to a new world using technology is the pinnacle of our creative process.”

Excited to see what Rudy and Alex’s team at Input Output have in store for us? Of course, you are! 

Buy your Crystal Ball Gala tickets now to ensure you will see these unforgettable live art displays.


Check back next week to read about more gala artists!

Click to view the Fresh Arts Blog
Submitted by Christina Hernandez on Wed, Jan 17th at 9:02 pm
 By Micah Starkey
Each year, one the most anticipated features of the Fresh Arts Gala is the showcase of costumes. Our themed inspiration sets the stage for an imaginative, eye-catching display of fashion. At galas past we’ve seen Hollywood celebrities and fantasy creatures, aliens and astronauts, cotton candy hair and life-sized candy bars, candy skulls and paint splattered suits.  With such an impressive track record, we can hardly wait to see what our patrons will come up with for this year’s crystal-crazed affair. To get your imagination going, we are sharing our muses and costume ideas for the 2018 Crystal Ball Gala.
80’s Glam Punk
Our muse for this category is none other than The Purple One, the legendary Prince. His iconic mashups put the glamour in glam-punk. To create your own Prince-inspired look, try anything that dazzles, such as: 
• All things purple
• Sequins
• Ruffles
• Lace
• Iridescent fabric
• Tousled curls
• Metal studs or spikes
• Platform shoes

Fortune Teller
Every crystal ball party demands the presence of a fortune teller. Embody the mysterious ambience of a fortune teller’s tent with the following:
• Long, flowy, multi-layered skirts
• Harem pants
• Headwraps
• Corset top
• Long necklaces, bangles and rings 
• Beaded hip belt
• Tarot cards or a crystal ball
• Tousled waves
• Knee-high boots (with skirts), sandals, or colorful flats


Glitzy and Gatsby
Of course, all that glitters has a place at the Crystal Ball. Bring the sparkle by capturing the Gatsby glow of the roaring 20’s or adorning yourself in royal jewels. For those who want to shine in the spotlight, create an unforgettable look with stunning pieces like:
• Flapper dresses
• Beaded gowns or tops
• Sequins
• Crystals
• Glitzy jewelry
• Tiaras and crowns
• Embellished headpieces 

Finally, since crystal balls are gateways into our future, so too should our costumes be.  Futuristic costumes are the perfect playground for our creative party-goers, because the options are limitless. While there are no rules for futuristic fashion, these starting points can fuel your look: 
• Architectural lines
• Avant garde 
• Metallic colors
• Body suits
• Imagination 

Have a stellar idea for a crystal-crazed costume? 
Upload a sketch of your costume on Instagram with the tag #CrystalCostumes by January 26th for a chance to win a free ticket to the party!

Click to view the Fresh Arts Blog

Fieldwork Trial Day Registration


Complete the registration process to attend the FREE Fieldwork Trial Day hosted by Core Dance, Fresh Arts, and Dance Source Houston.  Participants will have the opportunity to try out the Fieldwork process - Art Making and Critical Thinking. 

Price: $0.00


PO BOX 66494
Houston, TX 77266-6494


Fresh Arts |  The Silos at Sawyer 1502 Sawyer St, Studio #103 Houston, TX 77007