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All words by Deb
All photos by Kimberly Cadena and Anchyi Wei

Back in June, BYT broke out our paint set and went to check out ArtJamz, one of DC’s newest and most creative additions to the nightlife scene.

The premise, developed by Michael Clements of Genki Media LLC, is straightforward: instead of doing the same old restaurant and bar routine, Jammerz can instead enjoy some drinks, delicious food, good jams, fun company and four hours to get a little down and dirty painting their very own works of art.

Tonight, at Long View Art Gallery, ArtJamz is partnering up with B.O.I Marketing & Productions to party for a good cause. The proceeds from the first December session of ArtJamz will go to support DC’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth organization, Youth Pride Alliance (YPA).

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BYT talked with Ebone Bell, founder of B.O.I. Marketing & Promotions about ArtJamz and YPA. Get a little insight below and get your tickets to tonight’s Jam here.

BYT: Have you been to ArtJamz before? If not, what do you expect?
Ebone: Wednesday will be my first time at ArtJamz. I’ve been looking forward to seeing what all the buzz is about. I’m expecting a lot of fun and creativity from our guests. I think ArtJamz is a great way to bring artists and non-artists together outside of the club scene. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone will paint!

BYT: What are you planning to paint?
Ebone: My girlfriend is the artist in our household, so she will be painting on Wednesday. She has yet to tell me what she is going to paint though. While she’s painting, I’ll be going around encouraging people to purchase raffle tickets to support the Youth Pride Alliance. We are giving away tickets to the Capital Queer Prom, two free ArtJamz sessions, and a free membership to the Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

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BYT: Tell the folks at home a little bit about the Youth Pride Alliance.
Ebone: The Youth Pride Alliance is a local non-profit organization for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Ally youth empowerment to encourage positive self-development and expression. They are dedicated to celebrating the dignity and courage of all young people in our community.Their primary function is the annual production of Youth Pride Day. As a small, all-volunteer run organization, they rely on the support of the community for their programs and services. In addition to Youth Pride Day, they also organize other events for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, Queer, and/or Questioning youth throughout the year, such as the Allies Reception and the Youth Capital Pride Dance. If people are interested in making a direct donation to YPA, they can do so on the home page of the Capital Queer Prom website (www.capitalqueerprom.com).

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BYT: You’re one of the chief organizers behind the annual Capital Queer Prom. Was the event originally intended to raise funds for the Youth Pride Alliance? What was your inspiration to do so?
Ebone: 2011 will be our 5th Anniversary of the Queer Prom and every year since we started we have picked a local non-profit organization as our beneficiary. I thought it was not only important to give our community the prom we should have had years ago, but also give back to worthy causes. Every year we pick a non-profit organization that we feel is doing big things in the community, but might have small exposure. This is a great way to give to a great cause, but also promote an organization that is making a difference in our community.

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You can find out more  at www.artjamzdc.com

For more on Youth Pride Alliance check out http://www.youthpridedc.org/