Monday, March 3, 2008

Cirque de So Gay

There are several great fundraising parties geared toward the younger professional that benefit Detroit's cultural institutions, but none are as eclectically exciting as Cirque, the DIA benefit thrown by the Founders Junior Council.

(Click for full-size invite.)

Now in its eighth year (measured in internet inches, by the way - I'm pretty sure it's really more like the seventh), Cirque is a formal masked ball that injects a little creativity, sexiness and fun into the dark winter months. It is a revival of a masqerade ball originally held at Detroit's Scarab Club in the 1920's. Masks or disguises are strongly encouraged, and the idea is that creative expression rules and anything goes.

In the past few years Cirque has really gone into overdrive, moving from its original location in the Scarab Club to a hot gothic party at the Masonic Temple two years ago, and a hedonistic Studio 54-themed event on the top floor of 1001 Woodward last year. This year is a kind of Louis XV pre-French Revolution theme, so I imagine a powdered wig is in order. Wait, did someone say wig??

The Cirque party, like Fash Bash before it (also thrown by the Founders Junior Council) has tremendous gay appeal. Not only is there a costume element (if you aren't in Marie Antoinette drag, you can at least create the most fabulous mask ever), but past years have had strong - and hot, I might add - gay attendance, and featured a drag queen for the first time ever at a DIA event.

A view from Cirque at the Masonic Temple
(photo swiped, er, courtesty of Dave Kreiger for Model D)

Tickets are $75 for general admission ($100 at the door) and $125 for VIP, which features a faboo pre-party and a private VIP area (mostly notable for raw bar champagne pre-party, balcony view of the main event and private, ie: faster, bar). It's held at the Colony Club on Park Avenue, and I guarantee none of you have been there yet. Well, unless you were at the ESPN party during Superbowl XL.

As Detroit fundraising cultural events go, Cirque is top drawer. With food and premium booze involved (well hello Grey Goose! It's French.), and a tasteful minimum of overt sponsorship branding, you will be drunk and debauched in high style.


Anonymous said...

I hope this event is different, but the couple of times I have attended Founders Junior Council affairs I felt very out of place in a very cliquicish and snobby group of people. FJC seems like more of a networking who-knows-who than anything else.

SupergayDetroit said...

Cirque is definitely more of a blowout than any FJC events held at the museum. It's dress-up but people really get down. Here's an additional take on it:

D-tales Countdown to Cirque

My experience with regular FJC events has been a little different from yours, but depending on what the function was I can see how it might have seemed cliquish.

Most of the people I've met at these events go to them pretty regularly and bring friends, so it turns out to be an occasional way to see people you don't often see, and you tend to end up talking with people you already know.

When I first started going I met a few people and ran into a few people I knew, and I made a point to bring a friend or two. I also tried to be extra outgoing and talked to new people whenever I could (I also do that at bars and at events held by other non-profits). Eventually I was going to these things and running into a ton of people I knew.

I definitely wouldn't describe FJC events as networking events, and I guess snobbish is in the eye of the beholder - I can honestly say that has not been my experience at all. To me the people who attend these events are mostly friendly professionals in their mid 20's to early 40's, and they come from all over the metro area. I've found it's a cool way to keep your social circle from becoming too myopic!

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