Many around the borough are counting the days until ‘It’s The Bronx’ begins at Union Crossing on Saturday, January 26.
What’s expected to be a fun, exciting get-together of the Bronx’s most talented artists, musicians, writers, chefs and much more has an equally exciting back-story.
The event series, scheduled for the last Saturday of each month was created by Marco Shalma and his media company Round 7.
“When I began Round 7 I had just gotten my masters in film from NYU, before that I had a background in advertising and to be perfectly honest neither of those were satisfying to me, I wanted to do more,” Shalma said.
In 2013 he conceptualized a media company that was “very loud and very clear” with direct goal-oriented objectives for those clients that truly were dedicated to their respective crafts.
Soon after that, he created the concept of the Bronx Night Market, a sizzling hot hit that made summer nights in the Bronx delicious while capturing some market share from Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg.
After witnessing first-hand the night market’s success, Shalma realized that there was a significant amount of unrecognized talent in the Bronx.
“It made me realize, there’s so many people out there that have these amazing gifts and skills, but no platform, no mentorship, no way to put their names out there, no recognition,” Shalma said.
“That’s when I came up with the concept of ‘It’s The Bronx,’ and what we’re going to do is become a platform for talent, a place for people to showcase what they do and if they’re dedicated enough, we will give them exposure,” the creator added.
His philosophy stems from three major points; create a space, move artists and entrepreneurs forward, and establish mentorships, each of which is accounted for in ‘It’s The Bronx.’
Shalma secured a space with Union Crossing, the means to progress artists forward with his Round 7 company, and a committee and panel of media and entrepreneurial go-getters to mentor the undeveloped talent.
That media panel will consist of Bronx Times reporter Alex Mitchell, BronxNet talk show host Gary Axelbank and his site ThisI
Other committee members are Amaurys Grullon, Jerome Lamaar and Jalen Andux.
Grullon is the person in charge of Bronx Native, a clothing store that promotes Bronx culture at 127 Lincoln Avenue.
He’s also promoting ‘It’s The Bronx’ as the event series’ marketing director.
Lamaar is a clothing designer and lifestyle futurist that hails from Pelham Bay.
Beyonce is just one of many A-list celebrities that he’s designed for.
Andux is the founder of ESCAPE2NY, another Bronx-based media company. He’s also a self-made event producer that promotes arts for his native borough.
The inaugural, free ‘It’s The Bronx’ show, sold out in the first few hours after being publicized.
“This is something you can only do in the Bronx,” Shalma said. “This is the greatest collaboration in Bronx history,” the entrepreneur proudly boasted.