On January 19th, 2009 I was lucky enough to have a tough decision on my hands. I had a ticket to 2 of the biggest Inaugural parties in Washington D.C. that night. Those 2 parties were Arianna Huffington's Huff Post Inaugural Ball and Shepard Fairey's Manifest Hope Party. Instead of making this impossible choice I decided to go to both. First, I attended The Huffington Post Inaugural Ball. I was there because of my amazing friends from CauseCast.org. Brian Sirgutz and Levi Felix helped get me in and for that I am forever grateful to them.
Arianna threw an insane ball that had everyone from The Jonas Brothers, to Larry King, to Newark Mayor Corey Booker in attendance. Pundits came out en masse as John King, Jeffrey Toobin, and many others roamed the crowd. Hollywood came out to celebrate as well. Everyone from Ron Howard to Ben Affeck was there. You could really feel the incredible network of people that The Huffington Post has created. I am so honored to be a blogger for The Huffington Post and I'm always very blown away by how much it has grown since I started blogging here back in April of 2006. Sheryl Crow, Will. I. AM, and Sting performed and they all rocked. It was my first time seeing Sting perform so that was very special for me.
Here is a quick clip to see what it was like for 24 seconds inside the ball...
Once I had my fill of HuffPost mania I bolted from The Newseum and ran around D.C. attempting to chase an empty cab so that I could book it over to The Manifest Hope party in Georgetown. My dear friend, photographer Matt Bologna, was already at The Manifest Hope Gallery and he had his camera in tow to take some photos.
Shepard's Manifest Hope Party was SO much fun! It was a much more private gathering than most of the events that I went to in D.C. The vibe at the Gallery was incredible. The one and only Yosi Sergant put on an insane bash and Shepard rocked the crowd when he spoke and when he DJ'd later that night. Shepard is a great DJ and he continues to DJ in LA frequently. I recommend you check him out if you are in Los Angeles a night that he is spinning. Moby, Santogold, and De La Soul also performed and rocked the house.
Here is a quick clip to see what it was like inside The Manifest Hope Gallery...
The Manifest Hope Gallery was sponsored by SEIU, Evolutionary Media Group, MoveOn.org, and OBEY. Those 4 groups have done all given wonderful support to my film, The Youngest Candidate, so I was so excited to see that they had united to create this wonderful gallery. I have been working with Eli Pariser and Laura Dawn of MoveOn.org for 5 years now. It boggles my mind to even say that. I remember helping them put on the Bush in 30 seconds campaign at the Hammerstein Ballroom in 04. What a long way we have come since then. SEIU is one of my major sponsors and helped me put get the youth vote out in '08 with a 21 city election tour of my film, The Youngest Candidate. Wyatt Closs, Michelle Miller, and Stephen Chavers of SEIU have been a huge support to all my efforts and it was so exciting for me to celebrate at their amazing gala. Yosi Sergant, of Evolutionary Media Group, was one of my first friends that I showed a rough cut of my film to in LA. He has been a huge help to my cause since then and I was overwhelmed with pride at watching his amazing work during this entire presidential campaign. I think Yosi may run the world at some point so watch out world. Shepard Fairey and his design team at Studio Number One have also helped my work with The Youngest Candidate. He created an amazing visual campaign for my film and non-profit movement and we plan to roll it out throughout 2009.
Needless to say, I was so happy to be amongst such great friends at Manifest Hope. I had such an amazing time that night and I will never forget it. The gallery was such an special and unique place to be in. All of the artists who were displayed there had created such powerful pieces. The gallery only lasted for a few days in D.C. but it has left such huge ripple effects throughout the art world as well as the political world. January 19th will forever be a day that I will always remember as a huge step forward for our country and I feel so humbled to have been a part of it like this in our nation's capitol.
CLICK HERE to see the pictures I took at the Huff Post gala. CLICK HERE to see Matt Bologna's AMAZING pictures from the Manifest Hope Party. I can promise you that you haven't seen pictures of Manifest Hope like Matt's.
All of excitement of the parties and celebrations that took place in D.C. that week will never replace the feeling that we all had that this is finally our time to act and make real change in America. I know that I am so ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Now the real work begins and we all have to be a part of the change that we want to come to America.