Lovers of local music and artwork rejoice; the 6th Annual Art and Music Thing will begin at 10 a.m. on Jan. 21.

The all-day event will be hosted at the Laramie Plains Civic Center and will feature performances by local musicians and an art sale.

The creative gathering got its start as a launch party for News from Nowhere, a Laramie publication, at the home of the editor, Wiley Combs.

“We cleared out all the furniture in my house and hung art on the walls and had bands playing in the basement,” Combs said. “It was a truly great time; we had about 200 people crammed into my house.”

The next year, the Thing graduated to the Laramie Plains Civic Center. Combs said the move into the Civic Center allowed the Thing to expand and provide a wide variety of entertainment.

This year’s Thing boasts an impressive lineup of performing acts including musical performances, Relative Theatrics and Laramie Burlesque.

“There will be other attractions such as a drum battle, raffle drawing and dueling pianos,” Combs said.

Combs said the list of visual artists who will be featured at the Thing continues to grow. Thirty-one artists are currently signed up and submissions are still being accepted.

If the event still needs another selling point; it is this: the proceeds from the event go towards the Albany County Safe Project and WhatFest.

The Laramie Soup Kitchen will also be serving food on a “donations suggested” basis and all the funds raised will directly benefit their organization.

“The event is not only a great time, for a great cause, but it provides an excellent networking opportunity for local creative-types and their adoring fans. It’s great cross-exposure for the local ‘scene,’” Combs said.

Combs says the success of the event is in no small part due to the work of dedicated performers, promoters, Allison Pluda, the art director for the Thing and an increasing support base of community members.

“It is for and because of these different individuals and groups that I intend to continue to host this event as long as I live in Laramie.”

Tickets to the Annual Music and Art Thing are $5 in advance and $8 at the door and can be purchased online.

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