boob/bo͞ob/ noun: A woman’s breast.
cel·e·brate/ˈseləˌbrāt/ verb: To observe an event with ceremonies of respect, festivity, and/or rejoicing.
Although on the outside they may look incredibly similar, there is a huge difference between a party and a celebration. A celebration intones a sense of purpose. A party can be a celebration, but a celebration can never just be a party. What sets Beats for Boobs above other parties is the fact that it is a celebration of something lovely and sacred: women. It is an event to dance, drink, laugh, and party at; but more than that, it serves as a beautiful reminder to maintain gratitude, respect, and awareness of our bodies.
Beats for Boobs takes place in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Each event features a full sensory experience, including music by female artists, art installations, cirque style performances, breast awareness education, gourmet food, full bars, and spectacular fashion shows. The original Beats for Boobs in San Francisco has raised over $125,000 for Bay Area based breast cancer agencies. This year’s fundraiser will benefit the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, Breast Cancer Fund, Shanti’s Project Breast Cancer Program, and Women’s Cancer Resource Center.
This awesome event has always intrigued and inspired me, so I got in touch with Beats Co-Founders Juliana Cochnar and Radhika Ragsdale, who took turns answering a few questions for me. I believe the passion that shows through their words helps to explain the personal significance of their collaboration.
What inspired you to get involved with Beats for Boobs?
In the very beginning, I wanted to do something for my Mom and Radhika’s aunt. They were our main inspiration – however what has kept us involved is the deep support from our volunteers and commitment from local communities. We’re always amazed at how many people want to offer helping hands. They truly go beyond what is expected and are the very reason we are in our 9th year! People feel satisfied and rewarded when they engage in selfless activities and give to a cause. Breast cancer connects all of us and we hope that through volunteering or through attending a Beats for Boobs event, people can realize that they can make an impact and a difference.
Why choose such a unique style of fundraiser, with light shows and dancing to continue the fight against breast cancer?
We noticed that most breast cancer fundraisers were one dimensional and geared towards a small and often privileged part of the community. We wanted to target the younger, artistic and activist community that would engage individuals who had been impacted by breast cancer. By hosting a multi-dimensional and creative fundraiser, we aim to provide a platform where artists can showcase their talents. Our hope is to harness a collective of energies and build a critical mass to honor and remember people who have battled breast cancer.
What’s your favorite part of the evening?
Observing all of the creative and artistic components of the event that come together is amazing. The fashion show is truly inspiring and a way to highlight wonderful local, philanthropic designers. Our talented DJ’s carefully orchestrate beats so that the participants can dance, mingle or simply walk around and take it all in. Our events also have some measure of interactive art – aerialists, singers, poi/ fire dancers, body painter and photo booths, so that people can engage and witness the creative form. We’ve made education fun – by developing the “boobie prize wheel”. Folks can learn important and critical facts about breast cancer through an innovative means. Most importantly, there is a palatable energy and positive vibe in the room that is undeniable for everyone to experience.
Any favorite stories about courageous young women and their determination to fight this disease?
Our team member Kome came to know Beats for Boobs after her diagnosis at the age of 30. She attended her first event a week after learning she had breast cancer at the recommendation of some friends. She felt instant support from everyone she met that night and was particularly moved when she met co-founder Juliana’s mother, Barb. She felt so empowered to fight the disease, she joined the Beats for Boobs team to ensure that other women affected by breast cancer were able to experience the same kind of love and encouragement that she felt that night.
Mission Statement: Beats for Boobs™ is an all-volunteer organization that grants financial support to local breast cancer non-profits that provide direct services to people battling breast cancer and survivors, promote prevention or offer breast health education. Beats for Boobs strives to encourage volunteerism and philanthropy towards the breast cancer community. For the past 9 years, Beats for Boobs has united a diverse group of artists and activists to honor and remember people impacted by breast cancer. We maintain low event overhead and keep attendance fees low to maximize community involvement.