Outfest, the leading LGBTQIA+ arts and entertainment nonprofit, hosted its 40th Anniversary Legacy Awards Gala on a warm Saturday evening in November. JJLA produced the milestone event centered around honoring those who have impacted the community.
Keeping the theme of ‘Bringing Fancy Back’ front of mind, JJLA created multiple event spaces and curated a menu for the evening with a keen eye for detail. Upon entering the event at the seven-week-old Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, 400 guests were invited into a lush pre-reception space created on the Piazza. Home to an IMDb Photo Studio, Cadillac’s Escalade, and the sweet intro treats of WPK Catering, it was a classy introduction to the night!
Guests were then guided to the David Geffen Theater for the evening’s award presentations, collaboratively scripted by JJLA and Outfest. Along with honoring Victoria Alonso, Rain Valdez, Robin de Jesus, Neon, Jonathan Howard, Marissa Roman Griffith, and Alan Koenigsberg, there were special Broadway-inspired performances from Garret Clayton and a troupe of charismatic, dancers as well as a meaningful look back at the very first LGBTQIA+ march on Washington. JJLA was behind the scenes running the show, ensuring smooth transitions, overseeing the technical elements, and supporting the talent.
Following the program filled with a wonderful mix of celebration, pride, nostalgia, and powerful calls to action, guests were guided up to the Dolby Family Terrace for a specially-curated meal. JJLA turned the patio into a gorgeous lounge space where guests could take in the amazing views of the Hollywood Hills while enjoying a delectable dinner. It was the perfect environment for mixing and mingling, which was a priority for Outfest given how long it had been since many of the attendees had seen one another in person. Guests had the opportunity to capture their moments of togetherness at the IMDb photo studio as they exited the party.
JJLA was proud to be one of the very first event producers in the new Academy Museum space, bringing together friends old and new in celebration after a long Covid hiatus.
At the end of 2021 JJLA went on the road with Equality California’s annual Equality Awards Event Series. With over 900,000 members, EQCA is the largest statewide LGBTQIA+ organization in the United States.
Focusing on EQCA’s major donor markets across Northern California, Southern California, and Nevada, JJLA produced six reimagined Awards Shows, each with a focus on meeting fundraising goals and creating unique experiences in out-of-the-box hybrid indoor/outdoor venues to keep our LGBTQIA+ communities safe and healthy.
JJLA kept entertainment and community engagement top of mind by securing talented musicians and performers for each event , including pop artist VINCINT, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 Winner Yvie Oddly, and American Idol’s Mikalah Gordon. Additional creative responsibilities included fully scripting each program and devising the Run of Show. On top of that, the JJLA team sourced all food and beverage, floral arrangements and decor.
The JJLA events team took pride in taking the concept of showcasing each EQCA region from just an idea to a fully formed, beautifully executed reality.
On May 2, 2021, non-profit City Year hosted their annual Spring Break event which celebrates their dedicated AmeriCorps members who stepped up for students during a time of enormous hardship, helping them achieve academically while also serving as a critical social lifeline. While the incredible work being done is always worth honoring, the 2021 event had an extra layer of poignancy given how AmeriCorps members stepped up for students ina time of enormous hardship, helping them achieve academically while also serving as a critical social lifeline during a pandemic full of isolation and uncertainty.
Mirroring the pivot to virtual in the classroom, City Year’s Spring Break fundraiser took place on a virtual platform, energetically blasting through the screen to provide an evening of music, inspiration, and fun. The free event featured musical performances by Miguel and guest appearances by actors Steve Yeun, America Ferrara, Regina King, Jesse Williams, and Sterling K. Brown who read beautiful “Why I Serve” pieces written by AmeriCorps members. Long-time supporter Octavia Spencer returned as host, sharing her love and dedication for the organization.
On top of countless sponsorship contributions, roughly 200 donors took advantage of the text-to-donate feature over the course of the one-hour show This resulted in over 1.6 million dollars raised for the nonprofit.
JJLA creative produced, directed, and edited the live event which can now be viewed on Vimeo. Check it out here.
On Sunday, May 9th, 2021, DAP Health hosted its annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards virtually, broadcasting as a Mother’s Day television special on NBC Palm Springs for the first time in the organization’s 30 year history. In celebration of the successful “Hope Begins with Health” fundraising campaign, DAP Health highlighted leading humanitarians, healthcare workers, and heroes of the community, as well as local businesses and mother-figures for a powerful hour of inspiration focused on spotlighting the selfless efforts of healthcare’s finest.
JJLA creative directed, produced, and edited the show, including filming on-site with TV Personality and DAP Health Board Member Scott Nevins; interviewing DAP Health clients, employees, and community supporters; and producing in-studio performances with Sheryl Lee Ralph and Shoshana Bean. Working hand in hand with DAP Health, JJLA made sure that each element of the show illuminated DAP Health’s four pillars of service: Ongoing HIV Care, Access to Healthcare, Behavioral Health, and Coronavirus Testing. This expert attention to storytelling drove connection with the audience, streamlining DAP Health’s messaging and ensuring that each moment of the TV special had maximum impact.
To top it off, JJLA curated custom gift boxes for guests to enjoy the evening of the show at home. Gift items were selected from local businesses that have supported DAP Health over the years, creating the perfect virtual event viewing kit for an in-person tangible experience.
JJLA is so pleased that during a time when coming together in person was difficult, we were able to put our technical savvy to work, creating a virtual show that streamed across social media and a custom website in addition to airing on NBC Palm Springs. You can take a look at it here!
On Sunday, September 13th, 2020, Equality California hosted its first-ever statewide Golden State Equality Awards virtually. The evening began with ticketed guests receiving personalized Equality Awards Gift Boxes, complete with touches of California – including La Crema wine, a charcuterie set, a California-themed candle, and custom Golden State cookies.
In the week leading up to the show, guests were directed to a custom event microsite designed by JJLA, where they were asked to register for additional notifications of content release. Two days prior to the main show launch, five regional pages went live with a mini-awards program, highlighting the work of Equality California’s honorees in the cities in which their live events are typically held each year. JJLA produced and edited the five 20-minute programs that gave out local awards, thanked sponsors and teased the launch of the upcoming live Statewide program.
At 6pm sharp on September 13th, the Statewide Program began its livestream, highlighting inspirational and essential work that has been accomplished in the fight for LGBTQ+ Civil Rights and Social Justice work, while showcasing BIPOC and
Transgender Communities. Honorees included Norman Lear, Pete & Chasten Buttigieg, and the Netflix Original Documentary Disclosure. Speaker Nancy Pelosi honored the late U.S. Representative John Lewis, accompanied with a performance by Rufus Wainwright. Other musical performances included songs by Shea Diamond, Alex Newell, Robin S., Betty Who and Melissa Etheridge, all booked and curated by JJLA. The evening supported Equality California in its efforts to raise $1.75m for their continued integral work in the Golden State and on a national level.
JJLA produced, edited, and called the liveshow remote from their offices in Los Angeles. In addition, the team lead the charge on gift box curation and fulfillment as well as talent booking and full site design on a customized platform. Click here to view the full show and experience the custom built microsite.
In celebration of one of the largest black communities on the west coast, Destination Crenshaw creates a central hub to showcase local education, arts and culture, history and community to a gentrifying neighborhood in South Los Angeles through 1.3 miles of outdoor exhibits. JJLA had the pleasure to curate multiple activations based on Destination Crenshaw’s four Organizing Themes: Improvisation, Firsts, Dreams and Togetherness, to enhance the overall event experience for guests including local celebrities including Issa Rae , LA City & Statewide leadership, and numerous investors.
The event began with the designing of the Groundbreaking Ceremony to highlight donors at the construction site to break ground on the renovation, and a gallery hedge wall to develop a title treatment for the event and the information desk. The activations delved into the overarching themes in the re-creation of two telephone booths for guests to share “Stories of Black LA,” through a recording session to share what makes Crenshaw home and to highlight the Dreams theme of Destination Crenshaw. An interactive push pin world map displayed the “Journey to Black LA” to display the theme Togetherness, and to show the migration from other parts of the world into Black LA. JJLA tied the event together by designing out the focal point of the event, the Sankofa Supermall – a compilation of local retail vendors, customizable screen printing by Supervsn and Destination Crenshaw branded apparel. With the purpose to cultivate pride to the community, Destination Crenshaw’s mission has just begun.
For Saint John’s 77th, the Foundation chose the theme of the Health Center. JJLA was challenged in taking what might be expected corporate colors of blue & orange to an elegant gala dinner. With a mix of luxe velvet shades of blue, accents of copper – the Beverly Hilton Ballroom was transformed. The perimeter of the room was lit with Revelry’s Light Box installations which brought warmth to the space and sparkled against the hammered copper chargers on the table. Seed Floral was inspired by warm fall colors that continued the copper & gold narrative.
The program of the evening was centered on – a Day at Saint John’s. This immersive look at the health center’s day to day activities – from a child being born, to life-saving surgery brought an urgency in pace and their cause. The stage design complimented the day, starting with a dusky early morning, to bright noon, and ending with an iconic Santa Monica sunset, bringing the show to a close.
As part of the 2019 World Pride Celebration and the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, NYC PRIDE selected JJLA to produce their flagship festival and concert, Pride Island. Pride Island is a 2-day high energy music and dance experience. As the producer, JJLA oversaw all event management, design, logistics, production supervision, concessions and security planning. The large-scale build, which featured a 5-story arch structure that towered over the Hudson River, was the largest of its kind in Manhattan. The event featured a two-tier VIP and cabana deck that helped to elevate the guest experience and cater to premium clientele while still providing plenty of space for festival goers to revel in Pride Celebrations. Over 7500 attendees per day celebrated this iconic anniversary which was headlined with performances by Grace Jones and Madonna.
JJLA is proud to have partnered with ShareWell on their annual Discovery Award Dinner, benefiting their two main programs, The Zimmer Children’s Museum and youTHink. Southern California’s only children’s museum is on the move to Santa Monica in 2019 and will be renamed The Cayton Children’s Museum. Over the course of an elegant evening at the Skirball Cultural Center, design elements from the new museum were brought to life. Colorful lighting and the infamous gummy bear statue by renowned street artist WhisBe greeted guests before they were welcomed inside for a lively cocktail hour. Once inside the ballroom, guests found tables with bright florals and sleek linens, while on stage, a custom-fabricated set piece of rainbow-colored acrylic panels gave a subtle nod to the design and color scheme of the new museum space. The evening’s Master of Ceremonies was comedian Demetri Martin and the program included speeches from key members of the organization and its honorees. This year’s Discovery Award Dinner was a space for adults to rediscover the magic of childhood through the lense of some of the organization’s inspirational work for youth in Southern California.
The Beverly Hilton International Ballroom is a staple in the event landscape of Los Angeles. On Saturday, October 20th JJ-LA transported guests out of the ballroom and into an international bazaar that still has guests recovering from jetlag!
Saint John’s Annual Celebration Gala has seen many iterations throughout the years. For its 76th gala, the foundation board of Saint John’s Hospital approached Producer Jeff Consoletti of JJ-LA and asked for a gala that would leave donors talking. With the theme of The Power Of Partnership and a goal to showcase Saint John’s global impact in the world of healthcare, Jeff and his team immediately went to work designing a show to bring that vision to life.
Utilizing the International Terrace, JJ-LA designed an executive airport lounge straight out of the Pan Am era with clean, white decor that started the guest journey. From the International Terrace, guests were encouraged to explore the outside balcony which housed an additional arrivals bar and a 5 piece steel drum band.
Upon entering the International Ballroom, the sights and sounds of a bustling international bazaar offered a feast for the senses. Utilizing design inspiration from Morocco, India, and Asia, cozy seating banquettes allowed for guest interactions amongst glowing golden lanterns, plush jewel-toned cushions, and a custom-built lantern curtain. Global-themed cocktails and passed hors’ d’oeuvres kept the crowd of 500 attendees and honorees satiated until dinner was served.
The evening was full of surprises starting with host Kym Douglas keeping the energy light, yet inspirational. Performers David Foster and Ray Parker Jr. had guests on their feet and eventually on the stage! Such a dynamic stage show would be enough to complete the evening on a high note, but the surprises weren’t over yet. An after party featuring a troupe of belly dancers and an array of international inspired treats ended the international journey in a dynamic and unforgettable way.
Saint John’s Health Center was founded in 1942 and has established itself as one of the leading hospitals in Southern California and the preeminent institution for clinical excellence and award-winning care. As the hospital prepared for their 75th Anniversary, they turned to JJLA to create a gala event unlike anything their donors have experienced. Previous galas seemed standard, hosted in elegant hotel ballrooms, yet didn’t align with the health center’s commitment to technology and development. JJLA suggested the chic and sought-after 3LABS as the venue for this year’s event, and transformed the raw space into a well-rounded event that honored the Health Center’s past while welcoming a new era of innovation. Guests arrived to a recreation of a vintage Santa Monica Pier, with a welcome arch, food carts, a jazz band and a Ferris wheel. Following cocktails, guests entered a breathtaking ballroom, featuring 70 seated rounds, to reveal a large stage with a custom LED video panels inspired by the architecture of the hospital. A palette of gold and silver created a shimmering effect throughout the room, while a stained glass motif in a sunset palette added warmth and familiarity to the set. Guests dined family style on a California inspired menu while being entertained by the likes of Jake Simpson and his band and Emmy-nominated actor and singer Darren Criss, before dancing the night away. As their lead producer, JJLA oversaw all details of the event including management, design and production. The event raised over $1.4M for the Health Center with the highest attendance to date.
The LA PRIDE Festival and Parade is the largest ticketed LGBT event nationally, the largest music festival in metropolitan Los Angeles and one of the largest and most widely publicized LGBT events worldwide. Since 2012, JJLA has been engaged by Christopher Street West, the non-profit who produces LA PRIDE, as it’s overall event Producer. During that time, JJ|LA has helped the event realize double-digit growth in ticket sales, concessions, programming, attendance and sponsorship. As it’s producer, JJLA oversees all aspects of event management, including event design, logistical oversight, artist booking and programming, production supervision, vendor coordination, site operations, safety and security planning, and city coordination. The event consists of three days of programming across multiple stages and performance venues, with over 70,000 attendees to the festival and over 150,000 parade spectators.