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Founder Kaye Popfsky
Missy's Performance

Tweet's Performance

Backstage

Vanity Fair Concert Series for the Step Up Women’s Network
By Julia Laricheva

Vanity Fair magazine recently held an “In Concert” Series in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles in order to raise money for a wonderful cause titled “Step Up Women’s Network.” Created by Kaye Popofsky, Step Up is a nonprofit membership organization committed to advancing philanthropy and volunteerism in partnership with the entertainment and media industries. (If that means we get to see less boobies on screen and more boobies in charge of decision making, count me in.) Step Up Network creates community outreach programs and mentoring opportunities and aims to improve social change for women. The group also throws great parties and raises money to support women’s health issues and advocacy programs. Learn more at www.stepupwomensnetwork.org.

The Artsy staff attended the October 22 concert series in NY at Irving Plaza. Performers included Tweet, Aaliyah’s dancers, Vanessa Carlton and Missy Elliott. Aaliyah’s parents and brother were present, along with Fatima (choreographer), Lil’ Mo and a few others. The opening acts were a scruffy- haired Canadian (or was he Australian?) boy who did an acoustic set, followed by Vanessa Carlton. Both performed for 45 minutes each. For all those who don’t worship TRL, Vanessa Carlton has a video in rotation in which she plays a piano on top of a moving van. The headliner was Missy. By the end of the two hours, the fans were getting bored and irritated. The opening line-up was bizarre to say the least. It was like having Elton John open up for Iron Maiden. There was a group of Aaliyah fans standing next to me and they were about to riot.

When the time came, Missy Elliott, looking very glamorous, put on a powerhouse performance. Her frame, contrary to what we often hear, was normal and healthy. Missy appeared to have spontaneously grown about two feet of hair. A large gold chain with a dangling “Buick” logo adorned her running suit. Her break dancers wore the same type of pink, fuzzy Kangol hat as she. With the exception of Missy occasionally forgetting her own lyrics, all was well. The Aaliyah fans didn’t riot, and Missy, a true altruist, even donated $5,000 to the Step Up Network.