Nashville CARES’ annual fundraiser Avant Garde has become one of Nashville’s most exclusive and popular events, with exciting themes providing the Nashville community with another opportunity to dress up for a cause. Last year’s Mad Hatter’s Ball inspired weird and wacky outfits and, most especially, out-of-this-world hats.

This year, Avant Garde: Speakeasy will be held on Saturday, February 27 from 7pm to 11pm, hosted by presenting partner NPS Pharmacy and event chairs Mat Brooksher, Amber English, Matt Donahoe, Jeffery Humble, Mike Moore, and Harrison Perry. Expect outfits inspired by characters as diverse as Al Capone and Gatsby, on the one hand, and the heroes of Prohibition, Tennessee moonshiners, on the other!

One thing that sets Avant Garde apart from other theme parties every year is its commitment to authenticity. Therefore, when CARES invites you to its Speakeasy for a night of bootleggers, bookies and burlesque, it can’t even tell you where the party will be held! In true Speakeasy spirit, the secret location will be revealed the week of the party.

“This is the fifth year for Avant Garde, and each year is better than the last,” said event co-chair Matt Donahoe. “Everyone really gets into the theme! It’s a fun way to raise money for Nashville CARES.”

Guests will enjoy a twist on roaring twenties fare from Nashville favorite, The Chef and I. Music City Burlesque dancers will tantalize the crowd, the Nashville Repertory Theatre will perform a number from their upcoming production of Chicago, and DJ Apollo will keep everyone moving on the dance floor.

The evening features a silent auction with more than 100 items, including a $2,500 Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams shopping spree, handwritten lyrics by the songwriters of country’s biggest hits, music memorabilia and more.

“Avant Garde is a unique event because it really gets guests involved in the fun,” said event co-chair Harrison Perry. “From pop-up performances, to interactive food stations and a spectacular silent auction, Speakeasy has something for everyone.”

Avant Garde has become one of Nashville’s most exclusive events. It was recognized by NFocus Magazine as “Best Revamped Party” and “Best Hors D’oeuvres.”

“Avant Garde: Speakeasy is a one-of-a-kind gala, and I am thrilled to be a part of it this year,” said newly appointed Chief Development Officer Doug Alexander. “Our goal is to raise $90,000 to help Nashville CARES end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Middle Tennessee.”

Additional partners presenting the event include: The Cat’s Meow Partner – Embassy Dental/Marquee Dental; The Big Cheese Photobooth Partner – James A. Rothberg & Associates; and The Dapper Flapper Paint Your Event Partner – AEG Live.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit Through funds raised by events like Avant Garde, Nashville CARES, the premier HIV/AIDS organization in the region, provides comprehensive education, a broad range of targeted services and effective advocacy, all in a highly personal, confidential and compassionate manner, with a mission of proactively and aggressively working to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Middle Tennessee.



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Nashville CARES announces 'secret' fundraiser location




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