Washington's upscale party set was out in full force Thursday night as Nerd Prom weekend kicked off.
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner and all its ancillary events bring together politicians, members of the media and celebrities decked out in tuxes and gowns. But compared to the upscale dinner this Saturday, events Thursday night gave D.C. insiders a chance to let loose with two parties taking place roughly one mile away from each other in Northwest D.C.
More than 100 party-goers gathered at 18th Street Lounge in Dupont Circle to celebrate the one-year anniversary of BlueLabs, an analytics, data and technology company founded by top analysts from the Obama campaign. One source told HOH this was “the true ‘nerd prom.’ ” Eleis Brennan, a spokeswoman for BlueLabs, told HOH, "We looked at the numbers, analyzed the data, built a model and were able to project that the highest concentration of nerds this week were at the BlueLabs party last night, making their first anniversary party the true 'nerd prom.' "
Obama campaign veterans including Yohannes Abraham, Obama for America's 2012 deputy national political director; 270 Strategies founders Jeremy Bird, Mitch Stewart and Marlon Marshall, who is now deputy director for the White House Office of Public Engagement were in attendance. Reggie Love, the president’s former body man, was also seen enjoying the festivities.
About one mile up Connecticut Avenue, thumping dance music and modern art surrounded the more than 200 people who gathered at Hierarchy art space in Adams Morgan. At the event, young politicos celebrated the beginning of WHCD weekend at Rock the Vote’s “The Spin Room.”
“We have all weekend to put our suits on and network but this is really more of a kickoff to celebrate and get ready for the weekend,” said Jessica Hoy, co-founder of the public relations and branding company Ink blot Army, one of the event’s sponsors.
Along with Inkblot Army, Fine Point PR and Future Civic Leaders joined forces with Rock the Vote to host the event. Rock the Vote has been hosting an event during WHCD weekend for the past six years. Meredith Fineman, founder of FinePoint PR, said, “We were really keen on the Thursday night time slot because we get everyone before all the crazy begins.”
The crowd in attendance were able to get a little crazy Thursday night, enjoying a variety of drinks from an expansive bar that also displayed Rock the Vote pins and specialty cupcakes.
Matthew Curran’s art exhibition “Shred,” featuring small and oversize three-dimensional stencils of plants and animals, lined the walls of the open room as well as a room extending around the bar.
At 9 p.m., the lights dimmed and the party was off and running, with more people descending into the venue to chat and drink with their fellow Washington insiders.
The crowd was mostly young and publicly engaged, who mingled as the dance music filled the underground art space. Kyle Lierman and Liza Heyman of the White House Office of Public Engagement were spotted in "The Spin Room," along with congressional staffers, journalists and entrepreneurs.
These festivities were just the beginning of a WHCD weekend filled with parties, so HOH found something that could help you survive all the craziness. Or, if you’d rather skip the parties, here are some other non-WHCD things to do this weekend.