Arts District nonprofit hosts first annual fundraiser

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COLUMBIA - Thursday marks a big night for Resident Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping teen emerging artists. 

The organization's first annual fundraising event is called "Fill Your Plate," and the program's founder and director Madeleine LeMieux says the title is a metaphor for consuming art as you would good food. 

The event will include wine and beer from sponsors, live music, artist presentations, an auction and a raffle. 

"We provide professional development opportunities for young and emerging artist and the way that that happens is through a number of programs. We have an afterschool program for teenagers where teens learn from professional artists and then have an exhibition at the end. We have an emerging artist residency where emerging artists can propose a project, get funding for the project, have studio access, take our professional development workshops, have one on one career coaching, and kind of be walked through the entire process of creating a large scale project," said LeMieux. 

LeMieux came up with the idea for Resident Arts by observing what the city was missing: a program for emerging artists who hadn't yet established themselves.

"I had this idea of having an artist services agency and it has since kind of morphed into the thing that Columbia needed," LeMieux said. 

There are still a few tickets left for the fundraiser which also features locally made food and drink.