We recently had the chance to chat with the founder and executive producer Scott Edward McDowell about the Urban Arts Show. Check out our conversation below!
Q: What is the Urban Arts Show?
A: The Urban Arts Show is an event I series started in late 2012 in New York City. The concept behind the Urban Arts Show is to pay homage to the original elements of HipHop; Graffiti writing (street art), emceeing (Live Music), Bboying (dance) and DJing. In my opinion, fashion is a large part of the HipHop culture as well so I added in a streetwear fashion show component where the brands/designers featured in the show will also have a vendor space at the event. Often people associate rap music with violence and drugs, however, the roots of HipHop culture were meant to stop gang violence and promote positive values through arts and entertainment. My mission with the UAS is to stay true to the elements of HipHop and show people what the culture is meant to represent.
Q: Where have some of the Urban Arts Show events taken place?
A: Originally I launched in Tribeca at Graffiti Art New York gallery as a way to help drive traffic to a holiday party. We invited over 30 different artists to tag and paint NYC subway maps that were displayed and sold during the UAS. The second Urban Arts Show was a three day weekend. After the first two UAS events, we quickly outgrew the gallery in Tribeca and had to look into other locations to host the Urban Arts Show experience. The first UAS show outside of the gallery was held in the Jewel Yacht and we went on a cruise around the east river under the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. After the yacht party, I rented out a former bodega that was destroyed by hurricane Sandy and turned it into a black Friday pop up market urban arts show experience. Once that event was over I formed a partnership with Open House Cocktail lounge and did several shows there. In the summer of 2016 did the first UAS event in Denver, Colorado and have plans to produce the first LA edition in 2018 and expand to other markers worldwide before 2020.
Q: Who are some of the sponsors that have supported the UAS?
A: We have had a wide range of sponsors and far too many to list but some of our more notable brand partnerships have included Redbull, Pepsi, Ciroc, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Cazal Eyewear, Hendricks Gin, Boxed Water, Casio G-Shock, Arizona Ice Tea, Reebok, Voga Wine, Sullen Clothing, Kidrobot, and many other independent designers and brands from all over the world. One of the opportunities we offer our sponsors is to be featured in a streetwear/urban fashion show in addition to having a vendor space onsite for our guest to buy, sample, promote and data capture during the UAS. We are always looking for cool and innovate products and brands to integrate into the show and we have an endless amount of onsite sponsorship activation.
Q: Whats next for the Urban Arts Show?
A: The big picture plan is to turn the Urban Arts Show into an interactive experience festival. There would be an area of the festival for DJ/Beat battles where guests could learn how to DJ and make beats. Another part of the festival would be a breakdancing competition and we would also teach basic moves to guests. We will have graffiti and street art exhibits and areas for guest to tag and paint on a giant canvas for everyone to not only enjoy and buy art but to create and make art as well. Of course, we will also have ciphers and live music but the interactive part of the show will teach guest how to rhyme and how to catch the flow of a beat. Stay locked into our social media for more info on the UAS event series coming to a city near you!