Last night at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery in Downtown D.C., the inaugural Millennial Week kicked into high gear with its Opening Reception. Upon walking in, I was greeted by members of the Millennial Week team, as well as the founder Natalie Moss. She was very grateful for the turn out for the first event of the week, and expressed her excitement for this week’s upcoming events as well. As I made my way through the gallery, I couldn’t help but admire the pop of my favorite color (and the official color of Millennial Week) that made the gallery so warm and inviting. Each table was dressed with beautiful orange tablecloths and complementing orange roses as center pieces by Urban Stems, a millennial-owned florist in Rosslyn. And for our enjoyment, violinist Chelsey Green played songs by Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Rihanna beautifully throughout the evening.
I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that Favored By Yodit Events had executed this event flawlessly. From the gorgeous decor, to candy bar by Sugar and Ice, to the delicious hand-made cocktails by Bloomery SweetShine, Yodit Gebreyes and her team did an excellent job utilizing the space and making sure that guests had an enjoyable evening. Around 7:45 pm, founder Natalie Moss shared a few remarks and thanked her team for all of their hard work over the last nine months. She also thanked the Millennial Week sponsors, many of which were present, for their service to community and support of millennials in The District.
Before long, the emcee of the evening Tommy McFly of 94.7 announced that it was time to recognize the 2014 Millennial Award winners. In the categories of social good, entrepreneurship, and arts and culture, each nominee was acknowledged for the work in their field and how they are all changing the world. The highlight of the evening was definitely Andy Shallal, founder of the D.C. restaurant chain Busboys and Poets, sharing his inspirational remarks on the millennial generation, specifically those in Washington, D.C. “See, I’m a baby boomer, and we never had a ‘Baby Boomer Week'”, he joked. “But while we were considered ‘revolutionaries’, I look at the millennial generation as ‘solutionaries‘ — you all are more than capable of solving the problems our world has and making it a better place.” He continued by encouraging the millennials in the audiences to embrace the city that they’ve chosen to call home. “Expand your horizons. Visit Anacostia and the shops on Good Hope Road. Register to vote and VOTE. Be aware of race and how it impacts this city. You can change the world.”
Overall, I thought that the evening flowed extremely well, and it was an amazing kick-off to the week of great events to come. Many thanks to Natalie Moss and her team for working hard and so diligently to raise awareness about the presence of our generation in the city, and the amazing things that my peers are doing to incite change in the D.C. community.
Are you attending any events this Millennial Week? If so, send me a tweet and let me know — I hope to see you there!
Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners of the inaugural Millennial Awards!
Millennial of the Year:
Patrick Dowd, Millennial Train Project
Steven Olikara, Millennial Action Project — WINNER
Jonas Singer & Cullen Gilchrist , Union Kitchen DC — WINNER
Emile Aries, Bossed Up )
Lauren Wesley Wilson, Color Comm
Arts & Culture
Ariana Austin, Art All Night: Nuit Blanche DC — WINNER
Bitches Who Brunch
Very Smart Brothas
Sunni and the City
Darla Bunting — WINNER