The raucous White Party is starting to put its wild 20’s behind it and going into a phase of newfound sophistication.
Mixing its roots of high-end class with its fun, party vibes, Care Resource is celebrating the party’s Diamond Jubilee from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 and keeping with tradition of the milestone gems of diamonds and pearls.
“We weren’t always so clubby. In fact, people used to bring their yachts up to Vizcaya,” said Jonathan Welsh, marketing and development manager. “It was something that was very glamorous.”
Guests at White Party years ago included Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Calvin Klein and Yoko Ono. Once the event moved away from Vizcaya and onto South Beach’s party scene, it’s become a famously long weekend of clubbing. This year, the pinnacle event and fundraiser will be hosted at the 1-year-old Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) in downtown, where a 30-piece orchestra lead by Sam Hyken will be joined by DJ Knapp for a musical experience of old and new.
“We’re going back to our roots. We want to bring back the magic, the excitement, and the glamour of the White Party that is kind of reminiscent of what we used to have over at Vizcaya Mansion and Gardens,” Welsh said. “We want to have a classy, fierce, fashionable, magical event but at the same time, it’s at the all-new Perez Art Museum Miami.”
In its rebranding, the advertising materials for White Party have been toned down and the agency has been reaching out beyond the LGBT community to spread the word about the event, because the nature of the disease has changed so much since its attack on the gay community in the ‘80s. As the epidemic has changed, so has Care Resource. Started namely as an HIV/AIDS treatment center, it has expanded to include primary care, gynecology, dental, pediatrics, and other care to help a larger scope of people.
“The reality is that HIV/AIDs isn’t just an LGBT thing. It affects everybody. Blacks, whites Hispanics, young, old, it don’t matter who you are — it can affect all of us,” Welsh said.
That’s not to say Care Resource is ditching its entire past of White Party. There are plenty of crazy parties with hot men and women dancing well into the next day — sometimes, afternoon. Having the club scene has been important, Welsh said, because it draws out throngs of younger people, people who could benefit from hearing about the importance of getting tested regularly for HIV/AIDS.
Last year, White Party brought in $592,425 for the organization (86 cents for every dollar went to Care Resource). It might not sound like a lot, especially for an agency with a $20 million budget, but it does. Since many grants they receive are earmarked for specific programs, having this money gives them more flexibility for expenses and programs that might get left behind.
White Party’s events will be hosted in Miami, Miami Beach, and one final event in Key West. Events range from free mixers to the high-end fundraiser at PAMM, as well as all-male or all-female soirees. For more information visit, WhiteParty.org.