Friday, October 7, 2011

Charleston adora[tion] - October 7, 2011

I post-dated here, but forgive me, it's been a lazy weekend! And I know that I didn't write a single post last week, shame on me. So to make up for it, I'm going to do a series this week of our trip a few weeks ago to Brian's hometown of Monroe, Georgia. I try to do a simple post each day, so stay tuned!

Now back to the subject at hand... my weekly post of why I love this city that I live in. This week's love is a little forced because it also ties in a big frustration of mine, but we'll try to make it positive!

This is Lance Hall, and this week I helped to host an event here. This was also the site of one of the greatest night's of my life (a few years back), when Brian and I celebrated at our wedding reception! Of course that night is was decked out in different holiday decor... Christmas! But here we are in October, with more of a Halloween theme. So why do I share this with you as 'a thing I love about Charleston'? Well because it is a community that is small enough that I can partake in the planning of such events.

I am part of an organization that is a sub-organization of the AIA (American Institute of Architects), and that is the Emerging Professionals. It is a group that is meant to bring mentorship to the 'young' people of our profession, and I say 'young' loosely because I am still considered part of this group! It's really a 40 and under crowd, and we organize events like Mentor Dinners, firm tours, various outings, etc. And this year we decided to tackle a larger event, like the Beaux Arts Ball. 

The Beaux Arts Ball was a way to get architects in town nostalgic for their college days, where most architecture schools in the country would host a Beaux Arts Ball sometime in the Fall, and there would be a theme, and everyone would dress up in costume, and have a grand ole' time!

We decided on a theme, which was El Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a Mexican holiday where people celebrate their loved ones who have passed on. Usually it occurs in early November, but we didn't want to compete with Halloween or Thanksgiving, so we did it a little early.

Choosing the location was another big hurdle, but it seemed appropriate to have it at Lance Hall, which is located behind the Circular Congregational Church (where we got married) in downtown Charleston. The venue was so perfect because it is situated in the cemetery, such that you must walk through headstones to arrive at the party! Perfectly creepy. And as you can see, it was a gorgeous night.

There is also a courtyard and upstairs deck where we located the bar, and had tables set up for those wanting a quite place to relax outside.

Eventually the ghouls and goblins started to roll in, and it was great to see that the folks that did come, were not afraid to get dressed up! Some were in fantastic costumes, that were beyond anyone's expectations!

Here are some other costumes from the night...


The party had all the makings for an excellent evening, including an open bar, food from Taco Boy, and live music from the Garage Cuban Band!

There was also a silent auction to raise money and awareness for the Yo Art! Project, a local organization that brings art to inner-city youth.

Here is where my gripe comes into play. I don't know how in the world to get people to participate! In the end, attendance was EXTREMELY low, and it's beyond my knowledge as to why. Donating to a good cause (at a reasonable price) for free alcohol, free food, and live music, and nobody shows up?


  1. Hey, I'm a downtowner, and I'd say the reason might be because people really didn't know! This is the first I'm hearing of it, and I live only blocks away from Lance Hall.

    For people in our age bracket (post college to 40s) we spend an awful lot of time at work, so it might be worthwhile to let the companies that employ us know. I don't catch the evening news, but if it showed up in my firms "happening around town" I'd probably see it in the email. Its also helpful to get sponsorship from companies. There are a lot of deeper than you think pockets for charity giving at a lot of medium to larger sized companies. That way you get both sponsorship and participation.

    Another thought is to make sure the Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals group knows, or get them involved somehow...they have a pretty big network of the right age group there.

    Anyhow, glad I found your blog, I'll be back. Cheers, Jess

  2. Thanks so much for your comment Jess! I hope that I didn't offend you, that wasn't my intent! We were definitely marketing this more to the design profession, so it probably would have been better to open it up to others, including the Young Professionals group like you mentioned. I was actually at an event tonight that they were part of, and it was beyond successful! My gripe was more with the members of the AIA, since there are over 300 or so members in the local chapter and only about 15 or so came. Anyway, it's good to get feedback, and all advice is welcome! We hope to make it a more successful event in years to come, since this was our first attempt! Thanks again!