Level Up Studio launches #ArtIsEssential fundraiser | Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Level Up Studio launches #ArtIsEssential fundraiser

"With your help we can continue to be a place where a sense of family and creativity meet."

click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JORDAN SNOWDEN
CP Photo: Jordan Snowden
Since 2016, Level Up Studios has provided classes and studio space for Pittsburgh creatives of all ages interested in everything from creative writing to martial arts and dance. Now, to continue to bring its services to the area, the Bloomfield business is asking for help with the launch of the #ArtisEssential fundraiser.

"Many of you know that we have done our best to adapt to this situation by moving our programming online to virtual classrooms. [H]owever, it has not been enough to maintain our regular overhead," reads a Facebook post. "The #ArtIsEssential movement is about making sure we all have access to arts for years to come."

Run by Patrick Everett (creative director), Shaun Mbateng (chief financial officer), and Mario Quinn Lyles (executive director), Level Up Studios has 17 teachers and five administrative staff members who depend on the organization's ability to operate. Their goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of June to support their programming and teaching artists. (Level Up quickly surpassed the original goal of $5,000 and decided to double it.)

There are a few ways you can support Level Up. One is by simply donating to the GoFundMe. Another is by purchasing an #ArtIsEssential t-shirts. Level Up partnered with local artists Jessii Marie, Deavron Dailey, River Bennett, and Trenita Elizabeth to design a collection that "embodies the importance and beauty in art."

The final way to support Level Up is to attend an #ArtIsEssential event Fri., June 19. There will be vendors, food, and an open mic from 8:30-10 p.m., and performers including Asylum Dance Crew, Royce Band, Dizzy D, and Bruce Ruger from 10 to midnight.

"With your help, we can continue to be a place where a sense of family and creativity meet," says Lyles.

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