New website builds community around pursuing passion

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New website builds community around pursuing passion

Perez (left) and Castro (right) began Wezmer to build a community of artists in support of each other's work.

Perez (left) and Castro (right) began Wezmer to build a community of artists in support of each other's work.

Photo courtesy of Christina Castro

Perez (left) and Castro (right) began Wezmer to build a community of artists in support of each other's work.

Photo courtesy of Christina Castro

Photo courtesy of Christina Castro

Perez (left) and Castro (right) began Wezmer to build a community of artists in support of each other's work.

Kyle Chitwood, Life and Arts Reporter

New website Wezmer features local artists specializing in all mediums and was founded on the idea of developing a supportive community around the aspirations of each artist featured on the website.

Mass communication senior Christina Castro and Adrian Perez co-founded and launched Wezmer June 2019. What started out as a band titled “Wezmer” that hosted block parties to showcase other local bands and artists eventually became a database where artists display their work online.

The website—which features painters, writers, filmmakers and musicians—provides a platform for artists to showcase their work and for fans to discover new, local talent.

“It’s a safe space to just be creative and be yourself,” Perez said.

The ultimate goal of Wezmer is to become a nonprofit organization supporting a living community of people working toward their dreams, whether it is art, trade or entrepreneurial effort.

“Right now, we are in that first basis of thought and are working toward that end goal,” Castro said. “That’s what drives us with this website.”

Castro and Perez shared the idea that having a community that assists each other will lead to greater success overall, rather than acting alone.

“Why not build a community that helps empower each other?” Castro said.

Perez and Castro expressed their frustration in having to worry about basic living expenses while simultaneously chasing dreams and goals; developing a community centered on self-expression is their way of giving back to those who have experienced similar situations in trying to perform this balancing act.

“You love yourself, you love your life and you love what’s happening to you, so why wouldn’t you want to spread that even more and give the opportunity to people to do that for themselves?” Castro said.

After his experience in the band Wezmer, Perez said it is important for anyone striving toward their goals to maintain a strong support system.

“Without community, you can’t do anything,” Perez said.

The website continually develops, and Castro and Perez look to expand the site to feature artists from all across Texas. Currently, the founders’ main goal is to share the brand, showcase a variety of talent and begin nonprofit efforts.

“This is just the beginning of a really large project that involves pretty much a safe haven where artists can go and collaborate,” Perez said.

Michael Imo, electronic media senior, performs as a pop musician under the name “Maikeru,” and is featured on the site. Imo joined the coalition after being asked by Perez shortly after the website’s launch.

“For them to have even asked me to be on (the site) was a huge honor for me,” Imo said.

Through the website, Imo is able to share his personal artist page and display his work. Imo said it is important for artists starting out to get press any way they can, especially in a region with a deeply rooted music and arts culture.

“I think it’s very important for (artists) to come together and support each other,” Imo said. “Whichever way we can do that for each other, I think it’s great for everybody.”

Wezmer founders plan to work with several nonprofits to host events showcasing featured talent on the website and raise funds to support each organization in the partnership.

Among those organizations includes SARA Sanctuary (Society for Animal Rescue and Adoption) in Seguin, Texas. Wezmer founders will release details regarding an event at SARA Sanctuary when summer temperatures begin to decrease.

Tracy Frank, founder and executive director of SARA Sanctuary, said she hopes the event will raise awareness for the organization and its endeavors.

“(The event) could potentially be a big deal,” Frank said. “Hopefully it will attract people who believe in our mission.”

Another expansion achievement for the site includes a YouTube page displaying “educational, inspirational and informative” videos of various people who wish to share knowledge and insight into their respective skills.

Artists interested in being featured on Wezmer can contact Castro or Perez through the website or on Wezmer’s Instagram @_wezmer.

Edit: this story was only partially printed in the Aug. 27 edition of The University Star by mistake. This is the full version.

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