The evening before her unforgettable set at Lollapalooza music festival, performer Janelle Monae attended an event at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago on Aug. 1. The theme of the Belvedere Vodka event was "A Beautiful Future," and the event featured influential people in the Chicago area.
The multitalented activist wanted to celebrate and endorse the important message through Fem the Futurea movement that is dedicated to advancing awareness and opportunities for people who identify as women through music, art and education.
The night's festivities began with DJ Rae Chardonnay on the turntables and Belvedere Vodka martinis. Belvedere became involved with Fem the Future after company executives heard about the project.
Monae worked the red carpet in a Ralph Lauren suit and stopped to answer a few questions. When asked about what the average person can do to move forward the Fem the Future movement. She responded, "Fem the Future is a grass roots organization to help women, that's trans women and any woman who identifies as a woman. It's for the arts community through mentorship and education programs. If someone is creating an album and they need an engineer or a producer please reach out to us. We have a lot of girls that are excited about the possibility of being in front or behind the camera, making things work. I have been in New York, Berlin and now Chicago hosting events like this. We will continue to bring together the city's thought leaders and change makers to bring about A Beautiful Future."
Monae talked for a moment about coming out and the reaction from people, "It was great. It's a part of me, being a queer woman. I'm Black and was raised in a working class family. I feel so light and free now. I feel so supported. There are some people who don't understand it, but I think as I continue to evolve as a person, my commitment is to walk in my truth, whatever that means at that time."
After the red carpet, guests were casually seated at a long table in the room to share experiences and dialogue on what a beautiful future means to them. Heroes in the room were honored with charitable donations on behalf of Belvedere Vodka and Monae, among them were co-founder and executive director of A Long Walk Home Scheherazade Tillet; founder and CEO of Moon Meals LaForce Baker; Nikki Roberson, who is the fundraising director for Kicks 4 the City; and aw Studio visual artist Amanda Williams.
To find out more about empowering women, visit FemFuture.com; for more, about "A Beautiful Future," visit www.belvederevodka.com/.