(Originally posted for Facon Magazine)
This past May, the Phillip’s Collection hosted it’s annual gala where DC art lovers, philanthropists, and supporters gather to celebrate the acclaimed works and cultural influence of the museum’s art collection. The highly anticipated event now has it’s own popular tradition: The After Party. Known as the Contemporaries Bash, this year’s Gala afterparty transported guests with it’s theme, leading them straight into the heart of Tokyo’s Nightlife. Car doors opened as the Taiko drums sounded, and a steady stream of beautiful ball gowns and tuxedos descended on Dock 5 at Union Market, where stiff manners were happily checked at the door as the well-dressed guests made their way into the world of Tokyo’s vibrant underground.
The event was inspired by Tokyo’s Harajuku and Shimokitazawa neighborhoods, which are credited with giving rise to Japanese Pop Art Movement. They remain the city’s epicenter for the latest emerging fashions, ideas, and sensational nightlife. Guests sipped Japanese-inspired cocktails while DJ Ben Chang took revelers on a hypnotic sound journey through the streets of Tokyo. The event featured a sushi conveyor belt, a really creative fashion lounge, and a private arcade area where tuxedoed gentlemen pulled their bow ties lose and frantically competed at classics like Super Smash Brothers, Street Fighter, Mario Kart, and Minecraft. I personally couldn’t play because my hands were reserved by a cocktail and my sno-cone from the truck outside. As a kid I’d immediately quit video games and run outside for a sno-cone if I heard the ice cream man. My nature remains unchanged. Priorities.
The afterparty is hosted each year by The Phillip’s Collection Contemporaries, a council of young professionals with a shared appreciation for the historic art displayed at the museum that are passionate about introducing it’s rich cultural significance to their own generation.
The evening was overall spectacular, with a chic crowd buzzing about excitedly against the backdrop of this incredible and well executed atmosphere. It was also for a great cause. In addition to the gala, the Contemporaries Bash raised many thousands of dollars that will directly fund The Phillip’s Collection’s renowned education programs, where they are developing a teaching framework that gives teachers of all subjects the tools to develop art-integrated lessons and curricula that will strengthen K-12 education for all of our future leaders.
Interested in learning more about TPC Contemporaries? Visit them online at http://www.phillipscollection.org/support/join for more information about their programs and the benefits of membership.