Corporate event planner Nasira Abdur-Razzaq hosted the first Midnight Brunch, featuring food, entertainment and conversation, in her living room last year.
In March, she hosted the sixth at the Durham Arts Center, bringing 70 people together for food, drinks, entertainment, conversation and a unique way to give back. The event raised $2,500 for Banquet Under the Bridge, a local group that helps the homeless.
Abdur-Razzaq, Durham mom of identical seven-year-old twin girls, launched Midnight Brunch in June 2016. The events offer a way for adults to get together and give back. A portion of Midnight Brunch's proceeds go to local nonprofits. And, this month, Abdur-Razzaq is starting a national tour with stops in New York this week and, later, Charlotte, Dallas and Los Angeles, in addition to the events in Durham.
"I have always had a passion for detail, artistry and creativity," Abdur-Razzaq tells me. Starting her business, MP Productions, and the event, seemed like the next step.
The first Midnight Brunch, in her living room, started at midnight. But, these days, the events starts at 7:30 p.m. At the March event, a stilt walker served drinks and dancers entertained the crowd, who ranged in age from 25 to 70 and came from as far away as Wisconsin.
"It's a lot of fun," Abdur-Razzaq tells me. "I'm the event planner. As you can imagine, ... it gets a little crazy. But it is exciting to see everything come along and it really makes me happy to know that everybody had a great time."
I checked in with Abdur-Razzaq to learn more about what Midnight Brunch is all about. Here's a Q&A:
GAM: How does Midnight Brunch work?
Nasira Abdur-Razzaq: Midnight Brunch is open to the public and is held quarterly in the Triangle. Our 2017 kick off event was March 25. To keep the event exclusive, we disclose the location after you purchase your ticket. We love a good surprise!
GAM: What's it all about?
NA: The foundation of this event is to build community through communication. Our initiative is to bring diverse influential people together to begin discussions on social and economic changes in our community.
For each Midnight Brunch, we choose a different nonprofit and a portion of the proceeds from the event will go towards their efforts to better the communities in which we are looking to serve.
Our approach to philanthropy however is a bit different, because well ... we like to have FUN! Midnight Brunch is an event that is filled with live entertainment, a private chef that prepares a gourmet three-course meal and complimentary wine and champagne.
GAM: What are your hopes for the future of Midnight Brunch and your business?
NA: My hopes for MB Productions is that we are able to produce our Midnight Brunch event around the country and then around the world to bring as many people together as we can! We launch our national tour in May with our first stop in New York. The Midnight Brunch website has more information, locations and dates.
The next event in the Triangle is June 24. Tickets are $65 per person and $125 per couple and on sale now. They include a three course meal prepared by a skilled chef, wine and champagne and live entertainment.
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