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Hi aChicagoThing readers, Teni here, one of Billy’s interns!

With Chicago’s ever increasing roster of parties, bars and events around the city, it can be difficult to find a one-of-a-kind experience that’ll keep you coming back. But Slo ‘Mo, a once monthly dance party curated and created by Kristen Kaza definitely goes beyond expectation. This Saturday, she, along with The Inconvenience’s Isaac Ike Holter and their resident lady on the decks Tess Kisner, will throw a winter spectacular to benefit Project Firece. I got to chat with the party purveyor herself via email about Chicago, music and Slo ‘Mo earlier today.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your time in Chicago. How long have you lived here?

A: I have been in Chicago 10 years and counting now, coming from Vermont, the maple syrup state. I came to Chicago to attend Columbia College, where I teach as adjunct faculty now. I also have my own event production company, No Small Plans Productions.

Q: When did you start Slo ‘Mo? What do you feel you were trying to accomplish with this idea/party? What are some of your goals for the future?

A: I started Slo ‘Mo in August of 2011 with the intentions of creating an environment that was a little more “grown and sexy” where you could have a conversation and enjoy good jams and grooves, while being completely affirming and welcoming to people of different gender and identity expressions. All kinds of people from all over the city come to Slo ‘Mo. It’s the great music and positive vibes! We’re the third Thursday of every month at the Whistler, and have grown to start hosting “satellite Slo ‘Mos” around the city like at the Coup D’Etat/Shrine and at the Bottom Lounge this Saturday. We are working toward spreading the Slo ‘Mo love to more communities and neighborhoods, and involving more live and interactive entertainment. The slow jams showdown will always be our bread and butter, though.

Q: What is your involvement with Project Fierce, the charity that the Slo ‘Mo Spectacular will be supporting? Why did you choose to support them? How else can people get involved?

A: We’ve been wanting to move more into live performance with Slo ‘Mo, and I had the idea to do a holiday show featuring local talent, which was the perfect opportunity to also shed light on an important organization. Project Fierce is a new 501c3 non profit aiming to provide housing for homeless LGBTQ youth with the goal of purchasing a house on the South or West side by May, 2014. With over 40% of homeless young people identifying as lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer, this is a massive problem that needs great attention and resources. All the proceeds from the Slo ‘Mo Spectacular will go to the organization, and folks that can’t attend can still support by donating their ticket so that a young person can attend in their place, which we will coordinate with the Broadway Youth Center. We are also going to host a warm clothing items and hygiene products drive for the Broadway Youth Center, who also work with LGTBQ young people. For more ways to get involved, people can . A donation of a gently used or unwanted item, a donation of time to the organization, spreading the word about the mission – these are all incredibly valuable ways to support without having to spend a dime!

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Q: Sidewalk Chalk is an awesome group. You’ve also got 19 other performers that will be at the Slo ‘Mo Spectacular. Do you have any favorites? What other Chicago artists have you been listening to lately?

A: We have some pretty real deal musicians giving their time and talents to this cause and event this Saturday. Sidewalk Chalk is an amazing eight-person soul/funk/hip hop band covering all holiday classics with over ten incredible guests. I love supporting and getting down to their music, like JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound’s new album,  the incredible jazz chanteuse Lili K, David Sampson’s great band Cain’s & Abels, Jeanine O’Toole’s new project Bare Mutants…everyone on the bill is doing great things! Separate from the artists you’ll see at the show Saturday, I am also loving Girl Group, a massive all-female 60s soul band, My Gold Mask, and Wild Belle.

Q: Last but not least, what’s on your holiday wish list this year?

A: I’ll be really honest, I want this show to be a success and for Project Fierce to have an awesome 2014 getting their housing up and running. It’s been an honor to be involved in the organization and they need and deserve the support of Chicago. As for stuff, the creative, thoughtful gifts are what always mean the most to me, and you can never go wrong with books. Viva print!

This is an exciting event that benefits a great cause. Be sure to check it out at 8 pm on Saturday, December 14 at Bottom Lounge. Buy tickets here!

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