The Journey of a Brown Girl's launch party on November 15 brought attendees to The Living Gallery in Brooklyn, a cozy space just waiting to be christened with community. The walls were decorated by original creations by Journey's own team members and performers, including Vanessa Ramalho's handmade scarves, apparel by Inez Galvez, the iconic Journey painting, and even live art created on site by Karoleen DeCastro. Aside from fundraising for the production itself, 15% of proceeds from donations would benefit Sagip-Tulong sa Pilipinas (STP)'s relief funds for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The four actresses, Vanessa Ramalho (Fire), Karen Pangantihon (Earth), Renee Rises (Wind), and Precious Sipin (Light/Mother) opened the show, along with a piece from the show's creator Jana Lynne Umipig. The night was akin to an intimate family gathering, including familiar faces from Tagalogue, with an abundance of drinks and people, packed in to the point where some were sitting on the floor. A wide range of acts went on, including those by Chris Celiz, Andre Dimapilis, Nicole Maxali, Renee Rises and Luis Guillien, Deep Foundation, and Hydroponikz. Spoken word, stand up comedy, beatboxing, rap, and song were all part of the lively mix–a testament to the growing Filipino Arts Renaissance. The center of the room played a stage, and the absence of boundaries allowed the vibrant audience and artists alike to absorb one another's talents and messages.
Learn more about The Journey of a Brown Girl's message at thejourneyofabrowngirl.com. Keep posted for its debut in Spring 2014.
Photo credit: Kristina Rodulfo