Article by Keryl McCord, Alternate ROOTS Operations Director | November 3, 2015
On Saturday, October 24, Alternate ROOTS held our first-ever Un-Gala, Burlesque, Barbeque, and Bourbon, or 3BQ. 3BQ was designed to not be your typical fundraiser. We didn’t want it to feel stuffy or posh or exclusive. Instead, 3BQ was designed as a cabaret. You could dress comfortably, you could eat with your fingers. And people had a great time.
The food was off the hook – it was just amazing. The chefs did an incredible job. We had brisket, ribs, chicken, pulled pork, roasted vegetables. Chef Fred Heurtin made an amazing mango coleslaw. The food was everything we thought it would be and then some. People went back for seconds and for thirds.
The performances were wonderful. Shimi kicked butt, especially her closing act on the pole. Next to her, Bryan Gaynor, aka Chibi, a local performer who auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance stole the show.
I looked around the room that night, and most of the people in that space were not ROOTS members. Between 3BQ advertising, publicity, and the event itself, the number of people who know about ROOTS in Atlanta has increased exponentially. That’s huge. One of the goals of 3BQ has been to find a way to expand ROOTS’ circle of support beyond our members – we’re looking to build and extend the network of people who share our values and want to support this work and our artists. People for whom, art and activism may not be their work, their passion, but they too want to see a better, more just world, and a better South.
There are so many people who came together to make 3BQ possible. Thank you to our host committee, especially Representative Simone Bell who spoke that night and Camille Russell Love who joined us from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Thank you to all of our fantastic volunteers and our fabulous sponsors – J.R. Revelry Bourbon, Cakes and Ale, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, and Endulgers CupCakes. Thanks to our chefs who really threw down – Chefs Curtis Ross, Fred Heurtin, and Elroy Simmons. Thanks to Sadie Hawkins for curating the performances, to S.T. Shimi for coming all the way from Texas to represent ROOTS, and to Charmaine Minniefield, 3BQ’s Producer, who went above and beyond, transforming our barebones vision into the incredible event we enjoyed last Saturday night.