In 2009, President Obama hosted a Youth Inaugural Ball for his younger supporters. In 2013, that's not happening, thanks to a slimmed down official Inaugural Ball schedule. But not to worry, young people of America. The folks over at the Millennial Trains Project are taking over a pop-up space on H Street NE for a part-party, part-thought-fest, part-art show that will go on for several days during inauguration.
"[We] thought we need to create a unique space for the thousands of young people coming to D.C., and M Central is the event that we conceived," explained Millennial Trains Project's Jessica Straus. "And we wanted to do more than just replace the youth ball, we wanted to create a venue that would be a place for young people to convene and connect throughout the inauguration weekend."
M Central, as it's being called, will be located at 700 H Street NE. Besides the Millennial Trains Project, the No Kings Collective, a local arts cooperative, and the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank, have gotten involved to bring in diverse programming. For example, on Jan. 18, the space will host an art opening, whereas the following day, the space will be used for the Millennial Ideas Forum. That night, the Millennial Ball will be held, with tickets being sold for $75, plus cash bar. Finally, for Monday's swearing-in ceremony, the venue will be open to the public and will offer food, coffee and free Wi-Fi.
"We want to be the very opposite of your Capital Hilton, $150 Inaugural Ball; we want to be just super young and hip, and to us, this is really like the Lower East Side of D.C.," Straus said.