RAW’s Kristen Wehlow provides emerging artists with a platform to promote themselves.

RAW is an independent arts organisation that supports emerging artists. Candice Jackson spoke to the RAW Australian Executive Director and Brisbane’s Showcase Director Kristen Wehlow about RAW, Brisbane artists and their upcoming event.

 What is RAW and how do you help local artists?

The whole idea behind RAW is to provide emerging artists with a platform to promote themselves and their work. We do this via several ways, namely our bi-monthly showcases where they can exhibit/perform/showcase in front of crowds of 800+ people. We also provide each artist with a media package (head shots, shots of their work, and a promotional video interview) that they can use to further promote themselves. Once an artist has showcased in their hometown, they can then showcase at any RAW city in Australia, or the world! We also have our huge RAWards events at the end of each year where artists have the opportunity to win some great career-building prizes including consultations with movers and shakers in the industry, big gigs, gallery/store placements and more!

 Is the calibre of talent high in Brisbane?

Definitely! I am continually amazed and so impressed by the incredible talent that Brisbane keeps pumping out. There is never a struggle finding talented people to showcase at our events.

 How far has RAW: Brisbane come from since its 2012 launch?

The RAW Brisbane showcases have more than doubled in size since we first began in June 2012. We were running showcases with 20 artists and 400 attendees, now we are holding showcases with 40+ artists and 800+ attendees! Our March showcase this year actually saw 1,000 people through the doors, which is the largest RAW showcase ever, anywhere in the world! We want to continue to be able to provide this level and size of event for our amazing artists to showcase in!

How many applications do you generally receive for a RAW event?

A lot!! We’re almost completely booked for our November showcase, and have been for some time. It’s exciting to see so many submissions coming through here in Brisbane. We also do a lot of scouting for artists around town and contact them directly.

Has RAW nurtured now well-known local artists?

We’ve had musicians book big gigs off the back of RAW showcases, fashion designers go on to show at high level runway events and visual artists have been snapped up for further exhibitions. Our 2012 RAWards Musician of the Year, Brianna Carpenter, has actually recently had one of her tracks featured in an ADIDAS viral campaign!

When is the next Brisbane event?

Our next showcase in Brisbane, ENCOMPASS, will be held on Friday 22 November at The Arena and will be our final one for 2013. People attending can expect a one-night creative circus! We’re almost completely booked out for this showcase already, however if artists of any kind are interested in participating they can submit their work via RAWartists.org – though I highly recommend doing it ASAP!