The National Urban League kicked off its annual four-day conference with a Target-sponsored welcome reception at the Kennedy Center July 28.
Event producer Philip Dufour worked with Target and Greater Washington Urban League president and C.E.O. Maudine R. Cooper to create the event’s look, which relied heavily on Target’s red-and-white color scheme. The partnership was further promoted by projecting both the league’s circular logo and Target’s bull's-eye trademark onto the reception tent's walls.
Since 2009, Target has worked directly with N.U.L. affiliates to plan events, like last year’s welcome reception at the Field Museum in Chicago. The Washington event, however, marked the first time Target’s color scheme and trademark have played such a prominent role in the conference kickoff party—a nod to its sponsorship of this year’s welcome concert and reception.
N.U.L. turned 100 this year and began its celebration after an address from president and chief executive Marc Morial at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden. Buses then transported many of the 2,000-plus guests from the church to the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall. Attendees ranged from members of the league to the community, as the event was free and open to the public.
A celebrity performance is standard for the event, and this year John Legend played a 45-minute set in the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall that included his hits “Ordinary People” and “Lifted.”
Afterward, attendees headed out to Signature Special Event Services’ 260- by 80-foot tent for the reception on the South Plaza. “[Target] always wants to create an environment that is friendly and open and fun for attendees at an event,” Dufour said.
Restaurant Associates manned the tent’s buffet stations, serving sautéed chicken with peanut sauce, macaroni and cheese, and vegetarian spring rolls.
Next July, the 2011 National Urban League will hold its conference in Boston.