About Art Beyond the Glass

Art Beyond the Glass (ABTG) is a special event that showcases the artistic pursuits of top bartenders when they're not behind the stick. ABTG began, as many things do, with a conversation in a bar. In the fall of 2011, bartender Zahra Bates and writer Daniel Djang were at Sunny Spot in Venice, discussing how so many bartenders in Los Angeles express themselves creatively through painting, photography, music, and other arts. But at the time there wasn't a proper showcase for bartenders to share their artistic pursuits. To fill this gap, Art Beyond the Glass was born: uniting the bar community, which gives back to the art community, and strengthening the community in which we live.

At ABTG, everything from the cocktails to the art and music is created and performed by bartenders. Proceeds from every ABTG event are donated to a local arts-based charity. To date, Art Beyond the Glass has donated more than $98,000 to nonprofit organizations across the country.

The inaugural ABTG raised more than $6,000 for Inner-City Arts. In 2013, ABTG II raised $13,700 for Art Share L.A. and saved this vital nonprofit from closing. ABTG III raised $18,000 for the Mural Conservancy to restore Struggles of the World, one of the landmark Freeway Murals from the 1984 Summer Olympics. ABTG IV raised more than $20,000 for KCRW on behalf of its Capital Campaign to open a new Media Center and public event space in Santa Monica.

To celebrate its five-year anniversary in 2015, Art Beyond the Glass expanded to cities outside of Los Angeles for the first time. The fifth annual ABTG was the largest event to date and raised over $25,000 for Global Inheritance. In July 2016, the first-ever ABTG outside of L.A. took place in Oklahoma City and raised $7,300 for Arts Council Oklahoma City. ABTG Chicago took place in August 2016 and donated $8,450 to ArtReach. 

Art Beyond the Glass will continue to grow into established and emerging markets that are eager to demonstrate the creative prowess of their bar community.

Zahra Bates - Co-Founder

Zahra Bates is currently the National Brand Ambassador for Courvoisier. She was previously a bartender at The Pikey in Hollywood, Senior Bartender at the historic Cole's Red Car Bar in Downtown L.A., and the Bar Manager at Providence, which earned two Michelin stars during her tenure. In her role as National Brand Ambassador, Zahra shares her knowledge and experience at seminars and events across the country.

Daniel Djang - Co-Founder

Daniel Djang is the founder and editor of the award-winning cocktail and spirits blog, Thirsty in LA. When he's not bending an elbow at a bar near you, Daniel is the Content Manager for discoverlosangeles.com, the official website of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.