UICA Announces Date and Performers for Return of Off The Wall Event

PRESS RELEASE—The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) has announced the return of their annual fundraising event, Off The Wall. This event, occurring at 7:00 PM, May 23, 2019, reframes the four floors of UICA galleries into immersive stages presenting a night of contemporary performances by visionary artists, musicians, dancers and singers. The public is invited to meet and mingle with West Michigan’s boundary-breaking creative community, see the current works on view, enjoy small bites from San Chez Bistro, and experience the sights and sounds as artists disregard the conventions of performing arts, reveal original works, and experiment with new performance material.

Off The Wall transforms The Galleries at UICA into an energetic platform for artists to draw inspiration from one another and from the response and reaction of guests. Event attendees will enjoy multiple short-format performances in rapid succession by select local and regional performers. With careers that range from emerging to established, each performer will present a unique and engaging performance on a non-traditional stage that will travel from floor to floor, throughout the expansive space at UICA.

For this one-night event, the performances will range from accordions to dance to hip hop and include performances from Isaac Aoki and Lady Ace Boogie. Aoki, originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, is a member of Michigan’s only professional dance company, Grand Rapids Ballet. Aoki is an accomplished dancer as well as photographer his photo exhibition “les bêtes” was the ArtPrize 8 Two-Dimensional Juried Award winner, and his dance skills have been on display in multiple shows including most recently Movemedia: Handmade. For Off The Wall, Aoki will perform a composition of contemporary ballet. Lady Ace Boogie, who recently released an EP titled “Feel Good Music”, was born in Atlanta and wrote her first rap by the age of 10. That early spark ignited her passion for creating music, and she is now an award-winning artist living in Grand Rapids where she is dedicated to preserving the true art and culture of hip-hop while focused on growth, change, values, and a positive, inspirational message.

To date, the confirmed lineup for this uniquely formatted experience includes performances by Michael Schaeffer (accordion), Kalamazoo Community Taiko Ensemble (Japanese drumming), Isaac Aoki (dance), Serita Crowley (vocals), and Lady Ace Boogie (hip hop). Guests can stay up to date on additional performers at uica.org/otw.

“Every day UICA challenges artists and audiences alike to enter into new levels of dialogue and creative pursuit,” shared Miranda Krajniak, UICA’s Executive Director. “Off The Wall extends that challenge to forms of artistic expression that are not, generally, presented in a gallery atmosphere. But these additional art forms have equal importance and relevance in the discourse of our day.”
In addition to the ticket providing access to an exciting night of performances, guests will know that their money will go to support West Michigan’s leading contemporary arts organization. Proceeds from Off The Wall support UICA’s community programming, exhibitions, films, and arts-focused events year-round.

In addition to the variety of building-wide performances, the event will also feature meandering small bites from San Chez Bistro, and a cash bar featuring premium wines, craft beers, and soft drinks. This one-of-a-kind fundraising event happens May 23, 2019, from 7 – 9 pm. Tickets are required to attend and are now available via Eventbrite. Early Bird tickets are available until March 31, 2019, for $35.00. After March 31, tickets will be available for $50.00 for the general public and $35.00 for UICA Members, until sold out.

More information about the event and participating artists can be found at uica.org/otw

At time of printing, event supporters include Conduit Studio, Alliance Beverage Distributing, San Chez Bistro, WGVU, and WYCE. Members of the Off The Wall Host Committee include Andrew Biggs, Michele Bosak, Casey Cid, Janene Cummings, Sam Cummings, Becky Dickinson, Mark McKenna, Michael Peoples, Stafford Smith, Tom Stavrou, Eddie Tadlock, Pam Vitaz, Chuck Wieten, and Amy Wilson.

To purchase tickets, visit Eventbrite or uica.org/otw. To receive UICA Member pricing, join or renew a membership today, or purchase early bird tickets prior to April 1, 2019. For information about additional sponsorship opportunities and benefits, please contact Kristen Taylor kristen@uica.org or 616.454.7000 x17.

What: Off The Wall – a unique annual fundraising experience
When: May 23, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Where: Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), 2 Fulton W, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503
Pricing: UICA Members: $35, Public: $50, Early-Bird (before April 1): $35

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