An Experience Like No Other

Spicing up paint nights in Peoria...

by Mae Gilliland Wright
drag show
Miss Flo NoMo’ and Megan Couri of Drag N’ Paint

At a time when the arts face innumerable hurdles, a new way to create has emerged—and it’s an experience like no other. Artist Megan Couri had hosted paint nights throughout the Peoria community, but she longed to spice up the experience a bit. “My dream was to make art a performance,” she says. 

One night an idea came to her: combining her painting instruction with drag shows. She reached out to Trevor Neff, a comedy drag queen known as Miss Flo NoMo’, and they booked their first show at the Betty Jayne Brimmer Center for the Performing Arts in August 2020—and it was a hit. “Part of the allure is not really knowing what to expect. So many people ask what the show is, but they have to experience it firsthand,” Couri explains. “We promote a highly energetic, interactive and inclusive performance. You do not have to have an ounce of painting experience to be able to create artwork.”

The reason it works so well, Neff adds, is due to the nature of the performance. “We are all colorful, over-the-top entertainers who have years of experience behind us that allows us to read the room and know where to take the crowd during our songs,” he explains. “Drag is an art form. We are costume designers, makeup artists, choreographers and directors of our own performances.”

drag show
Ceduxion Carrington at Drag N’ Paint

 

drag show
Miss Flo NoMo’ at Drag N’ Paint

Demand for their Drag N’ Paint events continues to increase, and they recently added visual and social mastermind Ben Abbott to the team. “We started out doing one show every other month; now we are doing two shows a month,” Neff says. “Our next step is to do shows in other cities and states.”

From Kenny’s Westside Pub to the Broadway Lounge and beyond, Neff and Couri are excited to make a positive impact on others through the arts. “People are very happy to see something happening in our community that is creative and unique,” Couri says. “The atmosphere is eclectic and electrifying!” For upcoming events, find Drag N’ Paint on Facebook or email dragnpaint@gmail.com. PM

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