In October of 2015, local artists Carey Fountain and Travis Rice started Lit House as a way to build community among art creators in Birmingham. Since then, local musicians and visual artists have come together for a total of six events to showcase their talents while raising money for worthy causes.
“I have this artist project that I had started about three years ago called Do.Re.Me Media group,” said Fountain. An online platform which “incentivizes people to give their opinion and express themselves,” the website allows users to purchase local art and other merchandise by commenting on current events and relevant issues. “So through that, [Lit House] kind of turned into trying to do more events to get the word out about that and just try to create something that allows artists to network and connect with each other.”
On July 2, the seventh Lit House event will feature local DJs Gina T and Micah Lewis, as well as a program called Lit Karaoke. In exchange for a small donation, attendees will have the opportunity to perform original or cover music while supporting a local foundation.
The proceeds from the first Lit Karaoke event benefited the Women’s Breast Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, a choice that was personal to Fountain, whose mother died of breast cancer. This event’s proceeds are going to the Alabama School of Fine Arts Foundation, which Fountain said is “creating the next generation of artists and musicians.”
The day before the event, Lit House will participate in the NAACP’s Practice Non-Violence Block Party in the Fourth Avenue Mini Park from noon to 4 p.m. “We’re going to do an art installation, have a Nintendo 64 Super Smash Brothers tournament, and we’re going to sign people up if they want to do Lit Karaoke and perform,” Fountain explained.
It’s a part of Fountain and Rice’s attempt to incorporate “some kind of visual art aspect” in each event in order to emphasize the correlation between visual art and music. “Because I think sometimes people don’t realize how connected self-expression is,” Fountain explained. “There’s always album artwork on every CD you see, there’s always music videos that are important to communicate what a song’s about.”
So far, Fountain said that the turnout to Lit House events has been high, and that the feedback has been positive. “Sometimes, people just give because they want to give,” he said. Sponsors for previous events include Vibe Street, the Kickback Podcast, and artists like Devonte Holt.
In addition to helping people find courage to share their talent with the public, Fountain added that he wants to help foster a community of artists who will work together to help Birmingham fulfill its potential. “I just want it to be a platform for Birmingham creatives of all sorts to come together and really grow Birmingham and the community,” he said.
Lit House Karaoke will take place at the Syndicate Lounge on Sunday, July 2 at 6 p.m. Admission is $7 in advance and $10 at the door, but tickets are also available for DoReMe Dollars at Dorememovement.com. For more information, or to register to perform, visit LitHouse.Splashthat.com.