With classes back in session, there will be a ton of events to plan -- fundraisers, student showcases, conferences, and socials. HELEN MILLS is here to help!
We are excited to host NYC Black Pride's upcoming SONGS FOR MARSHA TOO: A MUSICAL CELEBRATION at HELEN MILLS Event Space & Theater on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018.
Read our exclusive Q&A with NYC Black Pride's director, Lee Soulja, below and mark your calendars so you can come show your support!
What is NYC Black Pride?
NYC Black Pride is a five day festival of multicultural events targeting LGBT people of color. These events are executed in collaboration with other community based organization such as Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and Gay Men of African Decent (GMAD).
What prompted the creation of Black Pride in NYC?
The rise of Black Pride in NYC and other major cities around the country began in the late 1990s. It served primarily as a way to give voice to and culturally celebrate Gay Pride. In NYC, Black Pride resonates deeper than any other city across the country because the overall movement of Prides and Stonewall originated here. It was LGBT people of color that were at the forefront of that movement. In particular Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Storme Delarverie were the key figures. That true history has literally been whitewashed and/or forgotten. So the need for Black Pride became increasingly more important. On June 28, 1997, the first Black Pride event took place in NYC.
Who are you in the community?
Under the direction of Lee Soulja, NYC Black Pride is no longer solely just a once a year celebratory event. It has over the last decade grown to become a voice of visibility and a source of support for the LGBT community of color all year round.
Why is it so important?
Black Pride is so vitally important because we are the only ones acknowledging, celebrating and historically archiving the contributions of LGBT people of color. In order to breakdown stigma and end discrimination against the LGBT community, we have got to tell and document those stories of our major contributions to the world.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far?
NYC Black Pride was not the first Black Pride in the country, BUT we are surely the ones leading the change of the movement for the next generation. We have changed the narrative that Prides are nothing more than a bunch of parties. I am proud to say that we are advocating for the needs of the community to the Local and State government.
What are you hoping to accomplish next?
We are working toward opening a Center for Black Pride. This would be a cultural and educational center that would house and archive LGBT people of color history. It would also be a safe space for the youth to gather, learn and empower themselves.
How can we get involved and/or show our support?
If you are interested in attending one of our events or supporting the organization, please contact us through our website: http://www.nycblackpride.com or on any of our social media pages!
Welcome to 2018! After a hectic holiday season, we’ve stepped into the New Year energized for a full schedule of festivities. Below, we recap three fun events hosted in our event space and theater.
BrownGirlsLove POWER Day
In early January, Christina S. Brown, founder of LoveBrownSugar, cultivated a day filled with inspiring speakers, workshops, panels, makeovers, and more. Their event, produced alongside Toyota, focused on providing resources for millennial women's success in today's world. You can read more about the day over on their blog, as well as peruse photos from the event. Below are a few of our favorites!
United Airlines Olympic Campaign Kick-Off
In anticipation for the 2018 Winter Olympics, United transformed our event space into a wintry ski lodge that left us awestruck. From the larger-than-life depictions of Team USA athletes and United employees, to the amazing 3D photo backdrop created by Wasabi3D, the evening was a non-stop celebration. United unveiled their commercial campaign, themed "Superheros", to an excited crowd of influencers, press, and internal team members.
Vote Run Lead
Vote Run Lead, the brilliant organization that empowers and trains women to run for public office, hosted their post-Women's March event with us on January 20th. Following the march, a group of over 200 women and men met in our event space for an afternoon filled with panels, networking, and dancing!
Boston University School of Theatre held their graduating student showcase, featuring a year's worth of work in costume design, set design and production. From corsets hanging from the venue's ceiling, to mini-set designs, to intricately designed costumes - are hats go off to the students. Congratulations to all!
Above: The event featured signage showcasing this year's performances as well as costumes hanging from the ceiling.
Below: A mini-set design as well as an intricate lion head.
Below: The showcase featured a wonderful collection of hats designed for the stage. Below are just a few of the impressive details.
The Henrik Lundqvist Foundation (HLF) hosted a charity event at the HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater on Friday, March 6th, to kick-off the start of their online auction with goalie masks designed by Henrik and a celebrity friend. The HLF is a non-profit organization that creates positive change in the lives of children and adults throughout the world through education, music, sports and health services.
The event included a VIP screening of behind-the-scene clips from MSG Network’s ongoing series, “The Mask with Henrik Lundqvist”. Afterwards, VIP guests were able to meet and take photos with Henrik, enjoy hors d’oeuvres by Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs (which Henrik co-owns), and enjoy refreshments by their sponsors – Moet & Chandon, Grgich Hills Estate, Absolut and Coors/Molson – before the general admission guests arrived. Attendees had an exclusive view of all six masks that Henrik co-designed with Mario Batali, John McEnroe, DJ Tiesto, Jeff Gordon, Michael J. Fox and the FDNY. In addition to those six creative, humorous and thoughtfully designed masks, was the head-turning, Swarovski-encrusted mask made by artist, Don Blanton. It stood on its own, rotating in its enclosed case.
All seven masks are currently up for auction for the next seven weeks on Steiner Sports’ website. Signed and unsigned behind-the-scenes photos are also available for purchase on their website. To learn more about the MSG series, “The Mask with Henrik Lundqvist”, click here.
Dress for Success (DFS) hosted its fourth annual “Shop for Success” benefit this October at HELEN MILLS. DFS transformed the room into a pop-up store featuring shoes, bags, jewelry, and other accessories. In addition to raising money for a great cause, DFS did a great job of getting the details right for the event. Take a look below for photos:
DFS kicked off its three-day event with a VIP reception. Attendees could pre-shop the sale while sipping on specialty cocktails sponsored by Malibu.
The pop-up store featured products donated by a number of top-tier designers including Gucci, Coach, and Marc Jacobs.
DFS created a stylish outfitting lounge area where shoppers could try on shoes and accessories.
To learn more about DFS and find out about upcoming events in your area, visit DFS's website here.
Sightsavers International celebrated World Site Day in style with gorgeous fall decor as part of their Million Miracles campaign to eliminate avoidable blindness. During the event, Sightsavers showed footage of their work in the field as well as a live stream of a Malawian man regaining his site after undergoing Cataract surgery (watch the moment here!). In addition to an inspiring mission, Sightsavers did an excellent job executing a fall theme with a gorgeous color palette, creative floral arrangements, and unique touches. Below are a few photos from the event highlighting decor details.
Consider the Drape
Drapes often sit low on the priority list, behind decor items like flowers, furniture and lighting. However, thinking of drapes only as a functional item that divides a room or creates a visual barrier means missing out on a design element that can change both the look and feel of your event. For this event, the Sightsavers team made excellent use of the venue's in-house drapes by tying them back to create both a multi-stage event (breakfast in the front, presentations to follow) and a sense of intimacy among the select crowd of attendees. The drape material also introduced a new texture into the space. Finally, the simple white drapes contrasted perfectly with the orange wall wash and yellow uplights that produced a warm glow and complimented Sightsavers' brand colors.
Small Accents Make a Big Splash
Simple furniture pieces are great canvases for using accents to tie a space together and extend your color palette or decorative theme. These simple white ottomans with gorgeous patterned pillows and a brilliantly colored throw not only kept with the other decor in the room but were very inviting for guests. Other places to add decor are side tables, centerpieces on highboys or cocktail tables, bathrooms, and of course where you first see your guests - at reception.
Flowers Come in All Shapes and Textures
Flower arrangements can come in almost any shape, size, texture and color scheme. Don't limit yourself to what you think is typical or traditional. The Sightsavers team created unique floral arrangements by working within the seasonal color palette while at the same time being imaginative with the textures and types of flowers they used. On the left is a potted pepper plant which brought life to the event (literally and figuratively) and proved a good compliment for photos of the people the organization has helped through their efforts.
When it comes to event decor, designing small touches and taking a new approach to traditional elements will create a memorable experience for guests. Always ask yourself a few questions: Am I doing something new? Is there something special about the overall feel or each individual element? Have I ever seen this before.
Want to Learn about Sightsavers? Read more about the organization here.