Imani Grant and Mary Fuller (M.Dot) are co-founders of the newest weekend celebration for queer “womynx.” The Weekend Soiree (TWS) , a 4-day event is designed for professional, multicultural, queer womxn “who want more than just a party weekend.” The organizers are committed to community building, while having fun.
Fuller and Grant are also joined by their Director of Operations Nicole Shawan and Hometown Host Robyn Vie-Carpenter. “The Weekend Soiree is exactly the kind of event that I’ve been waiting for,” said Vie-Carpenter. “I had been saying for years that something like this needed to exist and now it does.”
The inaugural weekend takes place in Denver, CO. However, each year the weekend will take place in different host cities. This year’s weekend soiree is packed with events from mixers to writing workshops to speed dating. The organizers have been very intentional in making sure there is something for every person attending.
The event also includes celebrity trainer and reality television star Carter the Body, who will be hosting a bootcamp and personal training sessions. Special guests also include Kia Comedy, DJ Tatiana, and The Muses, just to name a few.
We spoke with the TWS team about organizing this unique event and what people can expect.
How did you come up with the concept of Weekend Soiree?
Fuller: Grant and I met while attending Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Since then, we’ve met up at various conferences and LGBT events. We found that there was often a daytime element missing to those. Many of them seemed to focus on the parties, missing tons of opportunities for daytime experiences. After spending several months tossing around ideas about how to bring professional and multicultural queer womxn together for a 360 degree upscale weekend experience, we launched TWS in early 2018.
Why was it important for you to organize this event?
Grant: For me, The Weekend Soiree is about tapping into all dimensions of who we are as individuals and creating an environment where women can feel safe to be themselves to support growth, health, and happiness. As someone who is at the end of the millennial spectrum, I believe in hard work and sacrifice to get what you want out of your professional life. But sometimes it comes at a cost to our communities, health, and happiness. So TWS is about connecting with people who are rock stars in whatever their lane is, giving them the opportunity to restore themselves with people like themselves doing a bunch of different activities.
Fuller: I felt there needed to be an opportunity for like-minded people to come together to not only connect and unwind, but also to learn and explore new cities while expanding their tribes.
What can people expect during the weekend?
Grant: TWS focuses on our attendees, The weekenders can expect an upscale 360 degree experience that caters to a full range of interests from wine to art, working out to workshops, and of course nighttime parties including The Weekender Ball.
What do you hope people leave with after the weekend?
Grant: Fun times! Ridiculously good value, sense of rejuvenation, and an appreciation for Denver and diversity. [We hope] they can’t wait to attend the next one.
What are you most looking forward to?
Shawan: We’re looking forward to pampering our Weekenders with some of the best queer womynx talent in the world. It’s gonna be an amazing experience. Pure dope.
Why was it important for you to focus on a multicultural feel?
Shawan: MDot and Grant wanted to focus on our larger, multicultural tribe because queer is not white. Womynx is not white either. Nor are they black or brown or any other perceived singular race or ethnic group. Fierce, fly, dope AF queer womynx come in all races, ethnicities, bodies. Period. It was important that they make this statement. If you come to The Weekend Soiree, it will not be just for white queer womynx. It’s for all of us. All of us are welcome. All of us will be affirmed. Come through, spread love and receive it.
For those who can’t make it, can we mark our calendars for next year? Do you have a date yet?
Grant: Yes, we have a date. But, that big reveal is going down on Sunday, September 16 at The Weekend Soiree’s Rocky Mountain Rollout Closing Brunch. We’ll fill in everyone who’s unable to attend this year’s Weekend Soiree after the brunch.
Why should queer women attend this event?
Fuller: Because it’s going to be non-stop fun and love and community-building. Because no matter where we look – to the left, right, in front, behind – we will see US. This is our takeover. Our joy. Our tribe. Something most of us are starved of in our day-to-day lives.
The Weekend Soiree takes place September 13 – 16 at Magnolia Hotel Denver. For more information or to reserve your spot, visit www.theweekendsoiree.com.