While the picture to the left might just look like another night at Brillobox, these people are partying to support a good cause. PGH Party for a Purpose has been contributing to area nonprofits in a hip, unique way for a few years now and we couldn’t help but notice. They like to party. We like to party. But really, who doesn’t? The organization “partners with local artists and venues to throw a great party every quarter, donating 100% of all proceeds to a partner beneficiary. In addition to raising support for local nonprofit organizations, PPP provides space for local musicians and artists to share their work with a new audience. By engaging venues across the city, PPP’s event-goers have the opportunity to see emerging new talent in awesome spaces”. Their next event happens this Saturday, November 10 at Shadow Lounge and is called “The Hip-Hop Time Machine”. It benefits The Arts Greenhouse, a CMU-based organization that educates local teens on hip-hop music. We had a chance to ask one of the newly-crowned leaders of PPP a few questions about taking over and some of her favorite memories from past parties. Check it out, and when you’re done, mark your calendar for the 10th because you’re going to time travel for a good cause!
Kymbo Slice: How did you become involved with PGH Party for a Purpose and eventually take it over?
Vanessa Veltre: PGH Party for a Purpose was founded by three grad students at CMU and about three years later they were ready to pass on the torch to some new leaders. I expressed interest and was chosen along with three others to lead the organization into its next phase. Since then, due to moving, life, etc., the others have taken on less active roles within the organization. In the last year we’ve expanded to allow more people to be involved in the leadership at different levels, depending on how much time they have to give and what they want to gain from the experience.
KS: How do you choose which nonprofit you donate to each quarter?
VV: Nonprofit organizations can apply to be a PPP beneficiary. We typically get a lot of applications, which is great! We read them all and look for things like originality, creativity, and appeal to our crowd when choosing which organization to select. PPP doesn’t throw your average benefit party, so we look for organizations who are ready to have some fun and think outside of the box. You can apply to be a beneficiary on our website.
KS: Now that you’ve obtained 501(c)3 status, will that change anything?
VV: We wanted to get 501(c)3 status to make us more of a permanent place in the nonprofit community in Pittsburgh. Our hope is that this will allow us to further build relationships with other organizations, foundations and corporations with the hope of raising funds for ourselves that will help us to become a sustainable organization and allow us to offer more to our party goers and beneficiaries.
KS: Do you have any memories from past events that particularly stick out in your mind?
VV: Our March 2012 party for the organization Words Without Walls was very memorable and one of my favorites. The party had a 1920s speakeasy theme and most people were dressed the part. It started with a poetry reading by some local poets – the room was full and everyone was so captivated with the words of the readers – there was so much great energy and emotion in the room. The energy continued through the night – we all danced & celebrated until the Brillobox turned out the lights!
KS:How can one get involved with PGH Party for a Purpose?
VV: We’re always looking for people to join our team! There are many ways to get involved – as a director, performer, DJ, venue, or beneficiary. You can contact us through our website.