Sunday’s Artist’s Feast Creates Community Support for Local Artists


Jewell Faamaligi & Efren Luna, organizers of The Artist’s Feast. Photo by Bogart Raquelsantos

This Sunday, local arts activists Jewell Faamaligi [Catalyst Network of Communities, Long Beach Music Council] and Efren Luna [Cultural Alliance of Long Beach, Art, Music & Culture] are hosting The Artist’s Feast, a public dinner that is, according to the organizers, “designed to connect arts patrons to local Long Beach artists, and generate funding for artists.”

The event, which is being held at Sound & Vibe Recording Studio, runs from 6:00PM to 9:00PM, and will include a four course dinner and presentations from five pre-selected artists. Community members will evaluate the presentations, and the artist who receives the most votes will be awarded proceeds from the event.

Long Beach Post: What was the impetus for The Artist’s Feast?

Jewell Faamaligi: The artist’s feast was founded by Tehani Surreal and myself when she was a board member of CALB in its early days. We did one event a few years ago. She stepped away from CALB and I moved on to work on other projects. We both believed it was a valuable thing to do for the community if we could dedicate the time and secure the right support to do it again. I feel like now is a good time to revisit the event and see what happens.

We started it to bring people together in a creative way, to build support for local artists, and create an additional stream of money where there wasn’t one before. The event, if well-attended, essentially creates a micro-grant. That’s why we started it. It’s still designed to meet those objectives.

How did you go about the process of selecting the current batch of artists?

I intentionally left the process as loose as possible. When artists apply for grants, the details can be so technical that it could possibly be a barrier to them bothering with seeking support at all. With the intention of making it simple, we put out an open call for Long Beach artists to submit. The criteria was: You have to be an artist living and working in Long Beach. We asked them to submit a synopsis of their ideas, with their artist statement. That was it.

Efren Luna: We sent out an email blast in the CALB newsletter, and other social media sites, to spread the word for the call.

JF: Because it was a new concept for people, the proposals didn’t really flood in. We had to do a lot of asking, and explaining, to bring in a decent selection. We hope that will change as the event grows, and the community becomes more familiar with the added value of an event like this. Still, we’re really happy with the results. We have some great presenters to start with.

EL: It was kind of weird because people didn’t believe we were giving out funding without anything in return. Artists were hesitant at first but, once we made a few calls and and started talking about it in person at CALB members meetings, artists started submitting.

Which artists have been selected?


JF: We have Art Martinez, who is a world traveler and industrial designer.

EL: Art considers himself more of a designer than an artist but, in my view, he’s an amazing artist with his own concepts. His work is focused on the perception of color.

JF: Then there’s painter and activist Suzanne Starr. She submitted her beautiful paintings and will be discussing her next series with the community, and explaining what inspires her.

EL: Her proposal has to do with the need of communities around the world to be more humanitarian.

JF: We also have Matt Lee, an exciting assemblage artist doing large-scale installations. We think the community will find his ideas interesting and controversial, because they challenge ideas about sexuality.

We have also included David Hennage, a sculptor who has a passion for yoga. That lends a sensibility about the human body that I think will be interesting to people.

We have also included cellist Daniel Smith. He has a great idea to activate public spaces, which is a very Long Beach approach to art, right now. Putting something you wouldn’t expect in a public space for people to serendipitously discover is a fun way to frame art, and engage people who might not be reached otherwise.

How is the event structured?

JF: The Artist’s Feast will be very comfortable and casual. The beginning will be social: Eating, meeting the artists, listening to all of the music being produced at Sound n Vibe. The dinner will include four courses. Then we’ll get to the business of the presentations. All five artists will pitch their ideas, then the community can vote. The highest vote-getter will be the recipient of proceeds from the door.

EL: There’s also a trust element, as the artists are not required to prove to us that they used the money for the proposal. We are trusting that they will use it for that purpose, and will invite them to come and speak at the next event.

Why did you partner with Sound & Vibe Recording Studio?

JF: Sound & Vibe is a creative space that hosts monthly themed dinners. They’re a good partner for this because they know how to throw a party and get everyone full and happy.

At the end of the day, what do you hope will come from these events?

JF: My hope is that artists will see that they are supported and valued in their community. I want Long Beach to have art that is engaging and exciting. As for participants, I hope they walk away feeling like they connected with people, that quality relationships form over time, and inspire new collaborations. I also want this to be a place where new artists are discovered, to enable non- artists to be part of a creative process, and let them contribute in a meaningful way.

Sound & Vibe Recording Studio is located at 2670 Magnolia Avenue in Long Beach. Advance tickets are $25, and can be purchased at If you can’t attend, but want to support the event, donations can be made via EventBrite, too. At the door, any remaining tickets will be $30.

To learn more about The Artist’s Feast, check out the event on Facebook.  

{FG_GEOMAP [33.805633,-118.197743] FG_GEOMAP}

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.