Two local designers will face off Thursday night during Project Conway, a fashion show organized by Toad Suck Creative.
Conway resident Robert Addison founded Toad Suck Creative in January in an effort to bring more life and activity to the area.
“There’s a lot of people that talk about doing things, but not a whole lot doing anything,” he said, adding that the Conway scene is need of new attractions and events to spark residents’s interest.
The group’s first main event – Project Conway – is set for Thursday night at The Brick Room in downtown Conway and will showcase local artists.
Designers MacKenzie Miller, a University of Central Arkansas student, and UCA alumnus Michael Johnson have designed seven outfits each as they vie for the crowd’s support.
The event aims to bring local artists together under one roof while inviting others to view and participate in a night that highlights neighborhood talent, Addison said.
“There’s so much talent that’s being squandered and if you just have someone who looks after you and believes in you and can reassure you, that goes a long way,” he said while encouraging local artists to join in on the fun.
As the two designers prepare to battle in the fashion showdown, Johnson said he was thankful for the opportunity to feature his work.
“Honestly, what inspired me the most was just the opportunity to express myself to (a) mass group,” he told the Log Cabin Democrat. “I think (the event will) be entertaining and informing in an artistic way, definitely showcasing the talent in Conway from across the country.”
In conjunction with focusing on local talent, Addison said he was proud to snag Fernando Johnson III as the emcee. Johnson is a UCA film major and is also a Channel 6 news anchor.
“I just want to inspire people and (let them) know they have different medians to explore,” Addison said.
Lo-fi, hip-hop jazz artist chordanjocks will perform live and those who purchase VIP tickets are able to participate in an Q&A session with the designers.
Lori Melton of First Community Bank will lead the Q&A session.
The night’s theme will feature “The Roaring 20s,” focusing both on the 1920s and 2020, Addison said.
Tickets can be purchased online for $6 at www.toadsuckcreative.ticketleap.com/projectconway/ before the show. Tickets are $10 at the door, and to participate in the Q&A, VIP tickets are available for $15. In memory of Cody V. Sublett, 10 percent of the proceeds will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease research.
Cody’s wife, Kelly Sublett, said she was thankful Toad Suck Creative found a community-oriented way to honor her late husband.
“Organizers contacted me about raising funds for Parkinson’s Disease research in Cody’s name and I didn’t hesitate. Anytime attention can be brought to the disease, its symptoms and the battle fought by patients and caregivers, that’s a good thing,” she said. “Realizing Parkinson’s is not just an ‘old person’s disease’ and that its non-motor and mental health effects can be devastating is important.”
Cody was 35 when he died on Jan. 18. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2015.
Kelly said she hopes to see a large crowd Thursday night, both in her husband’s honor and also for the local talent.
“I hope turnout is great on Thursday, not just for this effort, but for the event itself,” she said. “I know it will be fun and exciting for the designers. Having something in Conway this unique to attend is fantastic!”
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at The Brick Room.