DJ Stephanie Arzeno played music while a barefoot woman sprinkled coffee grounds on a white sheet, using her hand to draw a face.
Another woman recited poetry. A fourth created a painting of a girl with a sign above her head reading “one way,” with an arrow pointing to the sky.
These and other artists participated in September’s Blend The Femme, a monthly event that brings adults together to celebrate women and their feminine energy.
“You get visually and mentally stimulated,” said Michelle Alvarez, 27, “as opposed to places where alcohol is the only stimulant.”
Arzeno, a self-proclaimed “Miami girl” known as DJ Zehno, has been active in Miami’s music scene for eight years, but other events didn’t have a positive, lasting impact on women in the community, she said.
A year ago, Arzeno got the idea for Blend The Femme.
Every month, she and her team change the event theme, drawing from different ideas they are passionate about. The “High Voltage” event in August was inspired by electricity; “Avatar Mantra” in June, by the movie.
September’s Blend The Femme was called “Evolution,” focusing on sustainability and ecological awareness. Together, environmental groups, including Colony1 and People’s Climate Movement, attended. Independent jewelers, a vegan food chef, poets, musicians and others celebrated Mother Earth and creative women.
Arzeno, 28, hopes to create a party with more depth by building partnerships in the community while uplifting women.
“There aren’t many events that uplift women and tell women how beautiful and awesome they are,” Arzeno said. “I wanted to be the one to say, ‘Hey you need this stage, let’s make this stage beautiful for you so you can shine the way you’re supposed to shine and be appreciated the way you’re supposed to be appreciated,’ and other women supported that as well.”
David Nuñez Ariza, 23, agrees.
“I like the equality here,” he said. “When women excel at something, people tend to say she got that far because she is a woman and they make excuses for her success. Here everyone is the same.”
Arzeno wants people to network at her events. She feels that some places discourage networking, but she begins the night by telling attendees to get to know each other. She hopes people establish connections that can lead to artistic or professional collaborations.
Jae Santana, 30, who came to support her friend, vegan chef Lauren Von Der Pool, said events like Blend The Femme help spark creativity. “We need this,” Santana said.
Arzeno said she is seeking a new home, preferably in Wynwood, for the monthly event. The Social Lubricant, where Blend The Femme began in June 2014, will soon close for expansion.
She hopes to soon announce the locations for Blend The Femme’s October event in Miami and for its November event in Fort Lauderdale.
Arzeno says people have responded positively and understand the concept.
“It’s beautiful that we can get together and uplift each other,” said Von Der Pool, 31. “Once we acknowledge each other as strong beautiful women, everything shifts.”
▪ Instagram: @blendthefemme
▪ Facebook: Blend The Femme
▪ Hashtag: #blendthefemme
▪ Price: $5 cover charge
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