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Meet Paymaneh “Bibi” Khalili of DAM Events

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paymaneh Khalili.

Paymaneh, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve always had a passion for music and the arts – growing up as a first-generation Iranian-American, I remember going to family parties where everyone was dancing, playing music, and just having a good ole time.

I became involved in the art scene via my love for hip hop dance, first by learning dances from music videos and performing them (do you “Remember the Time?” ), and then eventually landing a few awesome dance gigs. I didn’t actually begin training in dance until college, but once I started, I couldn’t stop. Since then, I’ve made my way through a few dance companies (Funkanometry, Chapkis Dance, Mind Over Matter) and teaching various workshops, while also getting to share my opinion as a Judge for hip hop dance competitions (most recently, World of Dance).

Somewhere along the line, me and a friend decided it would be cool to host a performance showcase where not only premiere dance talent could perform, but we could invite our talented musician friends, poet friends, and vendor friends (shoutout to Tawnya Kuzia of Nor Cal Dance Arts). About eight years later, DAM ( Events is still providing a space for developing + established artists to grow, connect, and inspire each other.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s still not a smooth road lol. On the production end, there’s always something new that happens at each show that you didn’t prepare for. On the artist’s end, everyone involved needs to feel inspired and on the same page and in this day and age, that is not easy. Financially speaking, funding for the showcases is not easy. There are a lot of struggles along the way, but it’s how this network of artists comes together during those moments to press forward that keep me inspired.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
DAM ( Events is basically a mixed arts showcase, in a club-like setting, with top Bay Area DJ’s and hosts, intermingled with locals selling/promoting their works. The main difference between our events is the VIBE – it’s hard to come into a DAM setting with a huge ego (you will gain nothing from the experience), but all these hungry artists who are ready to put in work and grow? They make these amazing connections (business and friendships alike) and grow at an exponential rate together. THAT’S what makes me proud about my DAMFAM.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Still working on this master plan…. but I would like to get more artists on the road and outside of the US in the future.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Images by Larkin Clark + Montage Productions

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