Unless you are in the know, the Window Factory on 9th and Dauphin looks like any other semi-abandoned warehouse in the North Philly area. The building is home to dozens of studios curated by photographers, designers, myth-media specialist, and anyone else who might find use for the thrifty little creative spot.
When I did climb the seemingly endless flights of stairs at the Window Factory, the events I attended were pretty much invite only – an Afro-Futurist ball, a screen printing party, and a feminist photoshoot. Yes the events were innovative, and across the board unique, but they definitely had a “members-only” vibe about them. Kahali Love Studios is challenging that conception with a more collective approach.
Founder and Owner of the Kahali Love Studio, Sabia Wade, has a business model is that is more holistic than most. Instead of charging impractical rental rates to the oh so common starving artist, Wade plans to maintain an affordable cost.
“You might have artists who have individual studios, who may rent out their studios here and there when they feel like it. This is primarily for people who can’t afford $20 an hour,to run a class, they can have it here for ten bucks.”, says Morris Marquise Burns, Creative Director of Kahali Love Studios. “They know that the Kahali Love brand will promote what they are doing. Not just say ‘Good luck, here is a space’, but create that sense of community and support each other.”
Aside from allowing renters to use Kahali Love Studios at the lowest possible rate, Wade intends to further facilitate her community oriented approach through programs that not only encourage growth, but an all over healthy lifestyle.
“The mission is to have a space that holds event, workshops, lessons, and all this other fun stuff, that comes under the umbrella of arts and wellness. And to be a place where people feel comfortable.”, says Wade. “You can expect more activities, workshops, arts, wellness, gallery showings. We want to help artist to develop, and to teach them not just about art, but the business aspect of it. But in a way that is not greedy but beneficial and to let them know that art can be a lifestyle and a career.”
The opening reception of Kahali Love Studios, held on May 9th 2014, showcased work from Anthony Cavins, Art Robinson, and Alex L Art who is known for his racially charged comics. In addition to the visual exhibitions, there were live poetry readings, and interactive art stations. Towards the end of the nite Wade, encouraged visitors to take part in an impromptu yoga class.
The studio opening was just a glance a what Kahali Love plans to offer. Since that night, the space acquired a partnership with local collective, Pop Up Yoga. Their mission seems to fit right in line with that of Kahali Love.
“Pop Up Yoga Philly is a cooperative of Philadelphia area yoga instructors. We don’t have a studio, instead we create partnerships within our communities and with local businesses to ‘Pop up’ Vinyasa yoga classes in a variety of neighborhoods.”
Personally, I am highly excited to see what Wade and Burns will be bring to Kahali Love studio, and if you would like to stay up to date on future events or would like to get involved, please follow @klovestudio on instagram.