LET THE PARTY BEGIN!

Winter Party was founded in 1994, as a one-time party on the beach but over the past 23 years, the party has grown into a series of events that take place throughout Miami and Miami Beach. This year, Winter Party will take place from March 1-7. For more information visit WinterParty.com or check out our feature in this issue of Hotspots!

Tell our readers a little about the National LGBTQ Task Force and how you got involved with the organization.

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice and equality for all LGBTQ people. The organization is actively training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation, to deliver a world where you can be you.

The Task Force has a Miami office, which produces the Winter Party Festival and our sister event, Task Force Gala – Miami. These events raise funds for both local LGBTQ nonprofit organizations, while supporting the work of the National LGBTQ Task Force.

The two annual events require hundreds of volunteers – a great way for you to make an impact and get involved. There are still volunteer opportunities available during Winter Party Festival – just visit http://www.winterparty.com/volunteer2017 to learn more about the benefits of volunteering

There are many ways to get involved! You can support the Task Force financially to helping progress  the training and activism work being done, or you get can involved, as an activist in your own community. Visit thetaskforce.org  for more information on the ways to get involved.

I personally first got involved with the Task Force by volunteering for the Task Force Gala – Miami. After meeting amazing new friends and seeing firsthand the work being done at the Task Force, I decided to become more involved by engaging with the Winter Party Festival. This is my fourth year with the Festival – my third year as Festival Chair.

How important is Winter Party to the Task Force?

Winter Party Festival raises critical funds that support numerous South Florida LGBTQ organizations, while also supporting the national work of the Task Force.

But Winter Party Festival is so much more than just a fundraiser – it’s a consciousness raiser! Bringing together thousands of LGBTQ people and allies for a week of celebration is powerful.

At Winter Party Festival, we create an environment where, for one week, the world is full of acceptance and love. Our Festival goers join us in beautiful Miami to live, love and laugh, returning to everyday life happier, stronger and wiser.

Where does the money that Winter Party raises go?

The Task Force is committed to forward-thinking, progressive change, both locally and nationally. That’s why the Task Force donates a significant portion of the proceeds from both Winter Party Festival (and the Task Force Gala – Miami) to LGBTQ advocacy and community groups in South Florida, through a grant–making process administered by the LGBT Community Projects Fund of The Miami Foundation.

To date, these donations exceed $2.4 million and have benefited over 70 local organizations. In 2016, the Task Force made the largest donation in its history, thanks to a record-breaking year for Winter Party Festival and Task Force Gala – Miami.

What can the LGBT community expect from Winter Party this year? Is there anything new and exciting?

For 2017, we’re bringing Festival-goers the largest international DJ lineup in Winter Party Festival’s history! We’re flying in talent from four continents, representing nine countries. We’re also pumping up the size of our Under One Sun Pool Party on Saturday by moving the party to The Deauville Beach Resort – one of Miami’s largest pool decks overlooking the white sands of Miami Beach.

A highlight of the weekend will be The Beach Party, where Rosabel will spin as Festivalgoers dance into the night. We also offer various social events including ArtScape, a VIP Cocktail Reception at the New World Symphony. We’re excited to once again be partnering with Miami Film Festival for a film screening at The Regal South Beach Stadium 18 & IMAX.

Besides coming to the parties, how can people get involved in Winter Party? The Task Force?

Winter Party Festival is forever growing and changing as we open our arms to welcome bigger crowds every year. We’re taking the lead as the festival that honors every dimension of who we are, and who we may become – and volunteers are the backbone to our evolution and success. So I encourage you to get involved by volunteering and being part of the magic! There is a Festival Committee that works year-round to plan the Festival, while there are shorter-term volunteer opportunities for those looking to get involved the week of the Festival. Ask any of our volunteers and you’ll learn that the experience is very rewarding and you’ll walk away with life-long friends.