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Meet Mylesha Morgan and Carly of ALLIN Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mylesha Morgan and Carly.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
[Morgan] Carly and I first met at Artist Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) Artist As Citizen Conference hosted at Julliard. A group of young artists who wanted to use art as the catalyst for real change was invited to a week-long program in NYC. Keynote speakers re-iterated over and over again that the way to change the world is to start at home in your community. We bonded during the conference in and promised to keep in touch back in LA. This was the first spark.

[Carly] We stayed in contact, and I was inspired by this new friendship – I had so many friends around me hustling but with no interest in arts activism just their art. One thing led to another and our first show, Spectacular Spectacular! was born. We didn’t know how we were going to do it, but we knew a few things – we wanted to feature our talented friends, raise money for a good cause AND celebrate Morgan’s bday!

[Morgan] After much deliberation over a name (‘Show4Hoes’ was our first pick making humor a priority, but it wasn’t in line with our feisty female forward message) we settled on ‘ALLIN’ as the declaration to be all in, 100% dedication to ourselves, our art and our community – to be ALL – IN for something greater than ourselves.

[Carly] Spectacular Spectacular! Our debut show took place on December 9th, 2016 in my backyard in Silver Lake – featuring 3 bands, 4 artists & a DJ and we raised $600 for The Giving Spirit, a non profit that makes survival duffle bags for the homeless community of LA and hands them out person by person, eye to eye, hand to heart throughout the city. I’m grateful to say we have had four successful benefits happen since then – featuring over 30 local artists. Our last event Into the Void was our most experimental yet – featuring dance, theatre & live music while we created our own world and invited the audience to come along with us.

[Morgan] Past charities include: Downtown Los Angeles Women’s Center, Step Up Women’s Network, Animal Wellness Foundation, & The Young Center for Immigrant Children Rights. Past sponsors are Live Nation LA, Tito’s Vodka, Sufferfest Beer Co., Guild Guitars, Bare Republic Sunscreen, Lone Wolf Surf, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Our Vodka.

Our next event on Saturday 09/29 in Carly’s backyard turned venue that we’ve named The Bamboo Room which is our first ever festival called Friends Fest, featuring six live bands and ten local artists, maker & creators.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
[Morgan] A couple of challenges along the way has been trying to balance being an artist and producers. Carly and I both have busy lives with big ambitions – Carly is a musician and the lead singer of her band, KiSMiT, I am an actress & writer. We both wear so many hats so figuring out a time in both our schedules to produce events for ALLIN can be a bit overwhelming, but we somehow figure it out! It has proven to us that with our dedication to ALLIN, the artists and non-profits we work with – we can do anything!

[Carly] I agree, prioritizing ALLIN while working two jobs – our survival jobs & our dream jobs can be a lot but we are a great team, and that is sacred! I think the only other big challenge is money (a tired challenge I’m sure) but finding volunteers to care as much as we do with no financial incentive is difficult. Luckily we have incredible friends who believe in us, and our mission so with every show angels come out of the woodworks and make it happen!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about ALLIN Los Angeles – what should we know?
ALLIN was founded by two feisty artistic women who made the promise to be 100% all in to prioritizing activism alongside their artistic pursuits. ALLIN was born out of the desire to prompt awareness, change, and conversation through art. As an organization, our goal is to put on a series of recurring curated events featuring local musicians, artists & performers uniting for something bigger than ourselves. The question we ask is, “How do we engage artistically to help our community and the world?” ALLIN is our answer.

[Carly] I should clarify we are an organization, we aren’t a business or a company, but we have hopes to grow into one maybe someday in the future.

[Morgan] We are known for producing intimate events showcasing a myriad of art forms including dance, visual art, avant-guard theatre, music, and visual artists! Our specialty is bringing people together to celebrate each other and the arts, to foster connection & community and revel in the magic that is LA, a city full of optimistic dreamers. Once you attend or are apart of our Allin family – you’re in it for life!

We offer a unique experience for our guest to really connect to those who share the same passion or to just see something different! We dig deep and explore all facets of artistic expression that is not typically offered at any other event. Our events are usually paired up with a non-profit, so we can party with a purpose! We love to get weird and have fun!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
[Carly] Our friendship and balance – I like to call Morgan the fire to my joint! It’s 2018, we’re in California, I think this is a safe space for marijuana references (or you can edit this!), but she fires me up, holds me accountable and makes sure we get things done! We have the same intention, our hearts are in the same place, we have the same end goal but work very differently, and that has proven to be very successful.

One meeting she will be logical about costs and volunteers, and I’ll be dreaming of a light show and decorations, the next I’ll be worrying about alcohol vendors, and she’s envisioning actors draped in glitter gauze. We recognize the importance of the business side of this but always leave room for our creativity to soar!

[Morgan] The way we hold space for each other is the same way we hold space for our artists and collaborators too! We really care about finding the best ways to showcase those involved and manifest their vision within ALLIN. All we really wish to do is activate, inspire and give space for exploration, all while hosting a rockin’ party for causes that mean something to us!

Contact Info:

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Image Credit:
Melodie Casta , Lesleigh Arratia, Alex Tafreshi and Monique Piazza

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