88Nine Radio Milwaukee

4 reasons to go to Colors & Chords

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Colors and Chords on stage 2015Paulson Photos

Music and art merge at last year’s event.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee
Live music and live art -- to help educate children and young adults on the autism spectrum

What: Colors & Chords
When: Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2017   Doors 6PM / Show 6:30PM
Where: Turner Hall Ballroom
Tickets: $25  pabsttheater.org/show/colorsandchords2016

Why should you head to Turner Hall next Tuesday night? Let us count the reasons…

1. The clever, creative, exciting, multi-sensory, collaborative experience

It calls itself “Milwaukee’s Music and Art Spectacle.” And it is.

While a bands plays live on the stage, an artist paints — inspired by the music. The artist’s work in progress is projected behind the band. The result: unexpected and memorable collaborations.

“The most satisfying thing to me is that both musicians and artists walk off the stage with a new view of what’s possible,” says Mark Fairbanks, co-founder of Islands of Brilliance, the nonprofit producing the event.

And for the audience? “It’s overwhelming in a really good way.”

Perhaps Victor DeLorenzo sums it up best in the video below: “When there’s a question mark hanging over a performance, that’s where magic happens.”

2. The cause

This is a fundraiser for Islands of Brilliance, a nonprofit that provides learning experiences developed specifically for children and young adults on the autism spectrum. Each student is matched 1 : 1 with a mentor—a volunteer from the professional creative services industry. Students work with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create posters.

Fairbanks says the dynamic between musicians and artists at “Colors & Chords” mirrors the collaborations between students and mentors in their workshops. “What happens when you pair a student on the spectrum with a design professional? What will the collaboration look like? Who really influences whom? Do both parties walk away with a new sense of what’s possible?”

He says the money raised will help the young organization grow.

“It will help us build capacity to both engage more volunteers — the lifeblood of our program — and to offer more programming for our students.”

That programming — and the students’ success — “give families a lot of hope.”

Colors and Chords - student at computer

Mentor and student at Islands of Brilliance workshop.

3. The lineup

We’re biased, so we’ll start with the fact that 88Nine’s Dori Zori is hosting, along with Nick Pipitone of the ad agency BVK.

But, hey, they’re only on stage between the bands and artists. So, check out the outstanding lineup of music. (Each set is 20-25 minutes.)

Rusty Pelicans, Lex Allen, Midwest Death Rattle, Nineteen Thirteen, The Lovelies, C.M.P. (featuring Montreal Cain), Hello Death, Keith Pulvermacher Band, Dryhouse Ruins

And, yes, the artists:

Pfister Hotel Artist in Residence Pamela M. Anderson, Dwellephant, Jeff Redmon, Melissa Dorn Richards, Frank Juarez, David Mark Zimmerman, Tia Richardson, Cynthia Short, Betty Blexrud-Strigens, Kim Henry.

Lex Allen

Lex Allen

4. Extend your holiday

Let’s face it. Nobody really gets any work done on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. So, let’s call Wednesday a Saturday.

So, that means Tuesday night – when this event happens – is really like a Friday night.

“There’s no better way to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday,” says Fairbanks, “but I realize I’m biased.”