They target artists / dancers / models / musicians etc promoting their art via social media. They convince them to showcase their work in a local oneday event, and only ask that they buy $200-$500 worth of tickets and resell them. Making it a pay to play situation.
Their very polished, very professional looking. Their events even get covered by local news outlets at respectible locations; giving everything an air of legitimacy. They describe themselves in media as a not profit driven indepdent artist organization, but are incorporated. They are not transparent about finances.
They targeted my fiance recently. It was pretty heart breaking to watch his hopes burst trying to get some of his art showcased somewhere, but im glad their burst now and not later.
Links to testimonies by victims:
- For the Love of Art: My experience with Raw: Natural Born Artists - SCAM or NOT? (A MUST READ FOR ALL ARTISTS WHO HAD SHOWN AT A RAW SHOW OR IS ABOUT TO)
- The RAW Artists Experience: The Aftermath — Meeting In The Media
Some Reddit threads on the subject: