For Love of Layla

imageThe New York City nightlife scene is at its worst when pretentiousness wins out over kindness and class — when a dress code is more important than a heart code, and when being snarky is more relevant than giving charity. This Friday, Collective Hardware will host a benefit for Layla Love, a photographer who is loved almost as much as she loves. Layla is slowly losing her eyesight, so supporters will show up to give what they can in order to raise money for an operation which is her only hope. Everyone is hurting right now, but whatever can be given should be given. Collective’s creative director Stuart Braunstein, who is helping to put this gig together, spoke of “giving a member of our community the opportunity to continue her art.”

The events I’ve attended at this amazing space have been brilliant … they invariably draw the downtown in-crowd. So with this host committee, all that’s at stake here, and the love for Layla Love, I figure it’s a can’t-miss event. The winter of discontent is ending, the world seems just a bit more stable than it has in recent months, and there’s a sense of possibility as the flowers bloom and the news isn’t all bad every day. We need to bring our optimism to Collective Hardware and give a lady a hand. Check out the event details, with a personal message from Layla herself:

What: Le Cirque d’Art Gallery Opening and Performance with music and dance until 2 a.m. When: Friday, March 20, 6:30-9:30 p.m. (after-party until 2 a.m.) Where: Collective Hardware, 169 Bowery. Hosted by: Caron Bernstein, Karliin Mann, Anthony Haden-Guest, Layla Love, Yuki Tanaka, D. Finley, Susan Anton, Michael Musto, Norman Reedus.

Layla says:

My dear friends, strangers and comrades, I am coming together with a most beautiful, collective group of people and throwing a benefit. It will be a gathering of healers, artists, dancers, aerialists, fantastic observers, giggles and the sassiest of NYC, this Friday, March 20th. This is the night to celebrate living art, healing through creation. The room will be alive with an abundance of over 200 images by Love and 20 artists & performers lighting up the room. We all bring to the room one intention — that we are connected, that we all leave a mark. We all have the ability to turn passion into action, to feel — feel alive, scared, sad, hurting, alone, coming together, bridging, knowing that everyday we choose to add our energy to the creative or destructive force- that we have that choice, and that freedom makes any test worth passing.

I will do all I can to protect my vision so I can continue to shoot and share my whole life. The fear of losing my ability to see how my images are organized, to be accurate in housing what I have seen has pushed me to come together with my beautiful friends and fill this space from floor to ceiling. To open every travel, every trail — it is a story of politics, lust, self & other … it is the hidden spaces of complexity in between what is said and what is done. Feel alive, feel blessed, feel the power of action, know that joy matters — these are the things we had in mind while putting this show together. I hope to see you there. Feel free to spread the word. It is an open space to bring whatever creative force you have into the room. There will be an open mic after our lineup of performances, room to dance; a place to celebrate being alive through the good the bad and the ugly. All you need to bring is yourself, starting with just your body. Just come if you can — we promise to give you all we’ve got.

Putting the gurr back into grassroots. Bless & Be Blessed.

Layla www.lovephotography.org

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