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Off the Grid to create dance party at Wexner Center

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Cosmo Strauss, also known by his stage name DJ Cosmo Baker, is set to perform at the Wexner Center’s Off the Grid art party March 8.  Credit: Courtesy of Dan Raff

Cosmo Strauss, also known by his stage name DJ Cosmo Baker, is set to perform at the Wexner Center’s Off the Grid art party March 8.
Credit: Courtesy of Dan Raff

The Wexner Center for the Arts is gearing up the dance floor for this year’s Off the Grid contemporary art party. As a part of the continuing exhibition, “Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil,” this year’s theme is set to borrow from Brazilian art, with bright, loud colors and florid art exhibits.

Set to take place Saturday and featuring catering from local restaurants and music from Columbus and abroad, the fifth annual Off the Grid is set to bring a fusion of dance and art to Ohio State.

Adam Vincent, the administrative assistant in performing arts and film at the Wexner Centersaid Off the Grid is a way for patrons to enjoy themselves and give back to the arts.

“It’s definitely a party. There is a big social aspect to it,” Vincent said. “The galleries are open, we have food from a bunch of local restaurants, people come, hang out, they eat, they enjoy themselves, then they get down. It’s meant to be a party, something for people to enjoy while their giving back to the arts.”

Vincent said the Off the Grid program has been successful in the past.

“We’ve sold out every year,” he said.

Amanda Potter, educator for Public and University Programs at the Wexner Center, explained how the Off the Grid party hopes to inspire a new generation of museum lovers.

“We have a few different objectives: reach out to people through their friends, hopefully developing the next generation of museum visitors and donors, getting them engaged while they’re young, so they can see the variety of things we’re doing — that museums can be fun places,” Potter said.

Potter also spoke on why the ticket price is a little higher compared to that of other dance parties around Columbus, explaining 100 percent of the proceeds go back to the community. General Admission tickets cost $60 in advance and $70 the day of the event. VIP tickets cost $100.

“It is more expensive than your average dance party. But it is chance for people to give back.” Potter said. “The proceeds all benefit the education programs. We have a really wide range of programs, covering all areas the Wexner does. We have programs in performing arts and film, we engage with exhibitions, we really like to work with teaching artists.”

Potter said through the proceeds raised by these programs, the Wexner Center is able to serve more than 27,000 people a year in its educational programs, from kindergarten to college.

The featured artist for this year’s Off the Grid is Brooklyn’s Cosmo Strauss, better known by his stage name, DJ Cosmo Baker. Strauss said he has been involved with music since he was a child.

“I’ve been a DJ for 20 years. When I was younger I started at an early age, I took violin lessons, I took piano lessons and drum lessons during grade school,” Strauss said. “Eventually I fell into my niche, the turntables. I let everything go after I fell into my niche. I took to it like a fish to water. It sunk in quick. It became an obsession with me.”

Strauss said he particularly enjoys playing Columbus shows, and said he was thrilled to be performing for an art party.

“The idea of me performing at the Wex is really exciting for me. I expect a really amazing crowd, people who are in tune with art. Those crowds are really open to things which may be foreign, so I can just branch out and do my thing,” Strauss said. “I hope to see everybody out, and I hope that everybody is ready to have a great time, get sweaty and lose their s—. Columbus is a wonderful city, and I always love coming back.”

Off the Grid is scheduled to take place Saturday at the Wexner Center. The doors are set to open at 8 p.m. for VIP ticketholders, and 9 p.m. for those with general admission tickets. The event goes until 1:30 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Wexner Center website. Admission is 21 and up.

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