Mahal fundraiser at FREECANDY

Tat’s entertainment: Artists raffle off tattoos for fund-raiser

The Brooklyn Paper
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Attendees at this Philippines fund-raiser can wear their support for the typhoon-ravaged country on their sleeve — forever.

A group of artists is holding a unique charity event in Crown Heights on Jan. 4, to raise money for disaster relief efforts in the Philippines. The fund-raising “experience” will be held at creative co-working and gallery space FREECANDY, and will include burlesque performers, painted models, and live hip-hop. But the big draw of the event is an old fashioned raffle — where the grand prize winner will score a tattoo.

“Our generation is thrifty,” said Miranda Sullivan from event co-sponsor Anonymous Arts Alliance, adding that this means the group often has to come up with unconventional ways to get people to part with their hard earned money.

“We come up with a lot of great ideas that maybe don’t make any sense,” she said.

The arts alliance is teaming up with producer and booker feliciacruz, as well as the ArtForSkins clothing line, the MC Media Group, and Fighting for Futures, to deliver the cash-generating bash. The event will offer three cheap raffles, chock-full of hipster and hippie prizes. One features a chance to win signed paintings and original artworks for $2 per ticket, while the others, for $5 and $10 per ticket, promise the lucky winner a gift that will stay with them for a very long time — a tattoo, courtesy of ink artists Jillien Reveron and Terrell Middlebrooks.

“That better bring every hipster in Brooklyn,” Sullivan said. “You are going to be answering to that decision for the rest of your life.”

The collaborative evening — dubbed “Mahal” from the Filipino word for “love” — was designed not only to raise money for those affected by the typhoon that hit the island nation in November, Sullivan explained, but also to explore how people can transform and heal through human interaction.

“We’ve chosen to focus on a particular incident, Typhoon Haiyan, because it is easier for humanity to understand the reactions needed of them in these situations — to put effort into love for a select group instead of the collective,” she said.

“Mahal” at FREECANDY (905 Atlantic Ave. between Waverly and Washington avenues in Crown Heights, Jan. 4 at 8 pm. $10.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018: One of the event organizers was incorrectly identified as Fight for Futures, and the description of the tattoo prizes were previously described as "half-sleeve tattoos"; the tattoos can, in fact, be anywhere on the body.
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