2019 was a banner year for 21c—not only for our teammates, but for each of our guests who attended a cultural programming event, shared a meal, or stayed the night with us. Thank you for making our favorite moments of the year possible. To reflect on the close of this year and inspire thoughts of what can be accomplished next, we asked teammates to share their proudest moments from 2019.
No Kid Hungry is close to our hearts and each 21c hosts a fundraiser to help end childhood hunger. For the first time, Chef Jonathan Searle hosted Louisville’s No Kid Hungry dinner—a multi-course event featuring five guest chefs—Andrew McCabe (Bar Vetti), Travis Milton (Milton’s Shovel and Pick), Ryan Santos (Please), Newman Miller (Star Hill Provisions at Maker’s Mark Distillery), and Ouita Michel (Ouita Michel Family of Restaurants). The night was incredible—providing 900,000 meals for children struggling with hunger.
In June, 21c Cincinnati hosted White Whale Tattoo’s annual “flash day” fundraiser that supports their charity work in Guatemala. The White Whale Foundation aims to empower indigenous leaders of Guatemala who are changing their communities, including in the basurero (waste dump) and La Limonda, one of the largest urban slums in Central America. The annual flash day allows the team to travel to Guatemala annually, where they work with organizations and individuals to promote social transformation in the country. This year’s flash day was the most successful to date with over 300 people registering and 88 people getting tattoos (many opting for 2 designs instead of just 1). The entire White Whale team spent 10 hours tattooing and all of the funds raised are being used to support their ongoing work in Guatemala.
This year, 21c Bentonville partnered with Havenwood, a local non-profit that helps move single mothers and their children into self-sufficiency. During The Future is Female’s run in Bentonville, visitors could take a bracelet from Julie Levesque’s work Votive (You Are Going To Have To Save Yourself) and leave a small donation if they chose. The proceeds from this work were donated to Havenwood. Instead of a “Secret Santa” with staff this year, the Bentonville team adopted 30 children from Havenwood and provide toys and clothes for them to have a better Christmas.
In partnership with the North Carolina Museum of Art, 21c Durham presented South African artist Wim Botha’s first solo show in North America—Wim Botha: Still Life with Discontent. Spanning two locations, the exhibition allowed guests to experience his work in different settings. Botha created site-specific works for both 21c Durham and NCMA. We’re excited to bring this exhibition to 21c Louisville in 2020.
Being part of the Lexington Pride Festival was an incredible experience for the 21c Lexington team. As hosts of the “Chill Tent”, the Blue Penguins brought music, performances, readings, and of course, frozen drinks to Short Street. With so many teammates participating in Pride, it was a huge celebration for the team. The weekend capped off with a sold-out Drag Brunch!
In October, local artist Denise Duong debuted an immersive installation on the 2nd floor of 21c OKC as part of the Elevate @ 21c Program. The new installation features her signature black pen drawings and a pair of dancers inspired by the surroundings of 21c. She says, “I like to use different materials because I like the depth it gives my work; different layers upon layers. The background gets to set back from the characters.” 21c OKC is proud to present the work of this beloved local artist.
In June, 21c Nashville and Gray & Dudley launched their Cocktails for a Cause program. Each month, a portion of proceeds from a special cocktail is donated to a non-profit. The program kicked off with the Gay & Studly, benefiting “Just Us” at the Oasis Center in honor of Pride. Since launch, cocktails have supported Planned Parenthood, the Martha O’Bryan Center, the Nashville Public Library, W.O. Smith Music School, and NICE (Nashville International Center for Empowerment). End the year on a cozy note and cuddle up with the GD Hot Chocolate to benefit the Ronald McDonald House through the end of December. We’ll drink to another year of delicious cocktails and supporting great causes when the program continues in 2020!
This fall, 21c Kansas City hosted RubiX’s fall residency, Reckoncile. This multidisciplinary, site-specific performance series invited audiences to immerse themselves in thoughts and emotions that often go unsaid. This collaborative, transformative art group truly encapsulated the spirit of 21c and brought together the Kansas City community for three unique, interactive performances.
What a year it has been. Thank you for your support and cheers to a happy and healthy 2020!