Hey there! Rafael here. I’m a huge fan of the Charleston arts scene and I’m so excited you are enjoying Contraband.

Originally from Sissonville, I now call the East End home. I now serve as an Editor for Contraband and will also sometimes contribute photography to accompany articles.

My hope is to share my enthusiasm for our arts community with anyone who happens to find themselves in our fair city.

As the Volunteer Coordinator for FestivALL, I get to assist with the largest Arts Festival in our state. Additionally, you’ll often catch me at area concerts with my digital camera–shooting photos of bands or catching some tunes. Or perhaps you’re tuned in to WTSQ 88.1FM The Status Quo on Sunday nights and listening to my jazz show Keeping the Feel Going. And as the treasurer of the WV International Film Festival, I’ve seen our region’s passionate cinema fans flock to the recently opened Underground Cinema.

Anyway, I’m so excited you are reading this issue. It feels like the arts scene is a vibrant, evolving thing and we at Contraband want to highlight all the best Charleston has to offer. Check out our calendar, read the mag or our web-based content. Most importantly, seek out the art in your world!