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H Street's Inaugural Millennial Ball Offers Alternative To Black Tie Celebrations; Some Rebels Still Wear Gowns/Tuxes

By Daniel Swartz on January 25, 2013
Photo: Ben Droz /
Photo: Ben Droz /
Be sure to check out all 89 of our photographs from this event HERE!
The Guest List:
All photographs by Ben Droz for

H STREET -- Perhaps rather unsurprisingly, some in Washington's burgeoning arts community chose to defy the convention of a 'stuffy' black tie inaugural affair, with a more accessible and relaxed party that catered directly to 'the thousands of enterprising and civically-minded young people' that were in town for the inauguration.

In reality, the so called Inaugural Millennial Ball helped fill a celebratory void amidst the holiday weekend for younger voters, in the absence of an official Youth Ball, which drew then President-elect Barack Obama himself back in 2009.

Each $75 ticket to Saturday's celebration bought guests access to an open bar (for those 21+; the event itself was open to 18+) and five hours of music from the likes of Brass Connection, The Funk Ark, Oddisee, and DJ Mayer Hawthorne.

The Inaugural Millennial Ball was just one part though of a weekend-long series of events hosted by The Millennial Trains Project, a D.C.-based non-profit organization, No Kings Collective, a D.C.-based arts collective, and the New America Foundation, a non-partisan public policy organization.

Other events included an art exhibition, dubbed 'The Americana X Trains Exhibition', comprised of progressive and civically-inspired artwork created by some of the country’s leading contemporary artists, as well as a series of panel discussions and interactive workshops that touched on issues important to the so-called Millennial Generation.

Still, it was somewhat ironic to find a few guests at the ball nevertheless dressed to the nines in black tie duds. And while they were likely coming from or going to other events, we prefer to think of it simply as an alternative to the alternative.

Be sure to check out all 89 of our photographs from this event HERE!
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