ARC's Changemakers Ball | Minneapolis Armory Nonprofit Event Photography

Minneapolis Armory Nonprofit Event:

The Changemakers Ball, a nonprofit event hosted by the American Refugee Committee, was at the newly re-opened Armory in Minneapolis this past fall.  Wow wow wow - was it striking, highly attended, and vast.

From ARC: "We had over 1,800 people in attendance and the event raised nearly a million dollars.  Guests came from as far as Bangkok, Thailand and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The evening featured a one of a kind performance by the Drumbots, the official drumline of the Vegas Golden Knights, as well as remarks from partners from IDEO and IDEO.org and our Board Chair who is the President of Lansing Group LLC."

The Armory has so many different gathering spaces, and the American Refugee Committee used them all (it seemed).  For example, there were the various VIP or specialty lounges, registration area, dinner and presentation space (the biggest), and so on!  I had never been to this newly re-opened venue and is it ever impressive!  A staple of downtown Minneapolis, this building held the expected 900 people for the gala.  It was lovely to see - the bright colors, the lighting effects everywhere!  One lighting effect was a "river" that ran down the center of the main space.  It flowed in one direction (towards the stage) prior to the program and then in the other direction (toward to coat check and away from the state) after.  The staff and volunteers were well equipped to handle the crowd flow, too.  They had giant signs sectioning off table numbers, carried clipboards, and had voice-activated light-up t-shirts so they could be easily located.  So many details were successfully attended to!

As colorful and dramatic as the venue was to see with your eyes, it always takes experience and expertise to be able to successfully document an event in a relatively dark - and vast! - area like this one.  I've photographed in many many dark venues, so this was of no concern.  However, being professionally equipped and knowledgeable goes a long way.  The cell phone selfies attendees were taking wouldn't have popped with color and light like these (not that those aren't worth taking of course).  Simply, it pays in dividends to be able to trust a professional to document an event like this, one that so clearly took a year's worth of planning and preparation to execute.  Here's the proof to show their success!

Props to amazing vendors: The ArmoryUnparalleled Parking, Fladeboe Auctions (Hannah Kramer), DJ Mettabana (Besnik Hyseni), Drombots (the official drumline of the Vegas Golden Knights), Chef Mark Brand, BeThings Rentals, One Cause, Allied Productions, Lauren B. Photography, Sky Wild Photography (Shawn Orton), IDEO

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The Armory Minnesota has an interesting history.  From their website, here's just the beginning: "The Armory was the most expensive building in Minnesota at one time. The building was designed by St.Paul architect P.C. Bettenburg, who was also a major in the Minnesota National Guard. From the late 1930s through the 1970s, it was a venue for civic events, including concerts, political conventions and sporting events."