By: Donte Chase Bridges
Chicago, IL– As the temperature mellowed to a calm 72 degrees, and the sounds of Neo-Soul played in the background, more than 200 of Chicago’s socialites (dressed to the nines) enjoyed an event with such beautiful scenery, you would’ve thought Solange Knowles was the creative director. Sophistication, style, positive vibes, fashion; these are the words that describe a celebration Chicagoans eagerly wait for every year in anticipation.
On Saturday, September 7th, City Beautiful LLC, partner with White Claw, hosted one of the most unique and sophisticated pop-up dinners of the summer, Chicago in White, at the Sunken Garden, located at 740 East 56th PL, adjacent to the historical Dusable Museum. To say that Chicago in White was remarkably executed would be an understatement. It’s tranquil setting, mixed with a sociable atmosphere, made this cozy evening a walk to remember.
“I look forward to coming to these types of events. There are a lot of people that I know here, and it just feels like family,” expressed patron, Natalie Smith.
As the afternoon turned to the evening, and the crowd prepared for dinner, I had the privilege to talk with Chicago in White’s Creative & Communications Director, Chelsea Williams, as she gave me some insight on the inspiration of creating Chicago in White, and what it takes to execute an event like this.
SCENE: What is the inspiration behind throwing an event like “Chicago in White”?
Chelsea Williams: It was an idea of my mother’s (Founder and CEO Kelly McCoy Williams) that derived from the event, Die Ne En Blanc (Dinner in White). It occurred to my mom, a black woman, that we deserve this type of an event, this type of attention, where we could not be so weighed down by realities that plague our people living in Chicago. Chicago in White is a time to gather and realized what can come from simply sharing food.
SCENE: What are the manpower and man-hours behind throwing an event of this Magnitude?
Chelsea Williams: It requires a lot more than meets the eye. We try to create a tone for people so they can sit down and only have to worried about the food they bring. We have to find a location- which is usually the first step; find our sponsors-which is White Claw this year; then, make sure that people know that we’re here.
SCENE: So, how long does it take to execute this vision?
Chelsea Williams: It takes about 4 months of consecutive work. It’s a lot like having a temporary restaurant, and I should know because I’ve worked in the restaurant industry.
SCENE: Is there something bigger in the background that Chicago in White will become in the future?
Chelsea Williams: Yes, we are launching a business called City Beautiful LLC. where in the future, people will be able to come to events like this in more than just all white. We will be able to talk about issues that are important to us (the founders)
SCENE: What is City Beautiful LLC?
Chelsea Williams: There is so many beautiful American Cities, and there are so many people in those cities where the full scope of who those people are will not be fully seen. So, we encourage people to come together to simply share a meal. This is the reason why my mother created a company that shows people that Chicago is Beautiful.
SCENE: What is something interesting about you that no one could tell at first glance?
Chelsea Williams: Wow lol, even though my role in the company is to interact and talk to people, I’m an introvert that likes to read and write a lot in my free time.
We must highlight events where Chicago is shown in a positive light. Oftentimes, the “City by the Lake” is used as target practice to push agendas of violence, crime, and corruption. Nevertheless, it’s truly refreshing to participate in a celebration where the “dark part” of Chicago is brightened by an event ironically named “Chicago in White.” Is this event worth attending? In short, Definitely yes. The personable atmosphere, eclectic music, and Serene low-key vibes should make this event a staple on the Chicago scene.
For More Information go to http://scene-chicago.com/scene/