On May 19, In Demand Entertainment and Heroes of Change Org. Inc ( H.O.C.O.I. ) presented the Seventh Annual Mayday Show Down and Mini-Ball in celebration of five years of community service, while acknowledging the mini-ball tradition. The eventwhich took place at Je'Nia's, 3840 W. Madison St.featured celebrity judge Hazel E. of the reality TV show Love & Hip Hop Hollywood. The night also featured performances and ballroom talent competitions.
This was the second half of events that Solomon Arnold and In Demand Entertainment organized. The first eventwhich took place on May 12 on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanstonwas open to the public. It featured a community forum, and included discussions on runway modeling, the art of vogue dancing, fashion and gender expression.
The mini-ball celebrated H.O.C.O.I.'s fifth anniversary while addressing the issue of homelessness among LGBTQ youth and the importance of creating safe spaces while offering cultural programming and vital resources. In addition, The Coalition for Justice and Respect Foundation was also at the event, presenting information regarding PrEP access, emergency food resources, medical and health service information, trans safe spaces and legal assistance.
Performers at the event included Shasha Lauren, Karma Rajah Mizrahi, ball emcee Kentrele Mizrahi and DJ Lil Ant Mizrahi. Dance-floor competition categories included best dress, open mic, vogue dance, "realness," runway, and creative presentation.
Photos and text by Vern Hester