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Filling the bar area of Rare Steakhouse and Tavern, dozens gathered for Maker’s Mark “Made to Be: Celebrating Women in the Arts” on Thursday, March 30, honoring three local culture curators who innovate, inspire and empower the next generation of artists through their work.
Hosted by Maker’s Mark, and its beverage producer Beam Suntory, “Made to Be” recognized filmmaker and entrepreneur Jami Ramberan, DJ and vibe starter Miss H.E.R., and award-winning craft cocktail specialist Monniquer Peacock.
“It’s really, really great to be honored tonight,” Peacock, founder of Topshelf Peacock, told The Informer during the event. “During the pandemic, it was a little scary for me as a bartender and I didn’t know exactly where my life was going to take me, but I wanted to stay the course. And I’m glad that Maker’s Mark saw something in me to honor me, and I’m appreciative. I’ve always wanted to keep going and make my mark on the world one day at a time, and now I can make it one cocktail at a time.”
The beverage menu featured carefully crafted drinks by Peacock, such as the “Made to Be” and the award-winning “Flavors of Moe,” which incorporated notes of mango and D.C.’s famous mambo sauce, perfectly blended with Maker’s Mark — a bourbon whisky produced in Kentucky.
Held at Rare Steakhouse and Tavern on I Street Northwest, the event also featured a three-course self-serve meal that included salads (caesar or marinated tomato and basil); entrees (broiled and sliced capital cut steak, grilled salmon and chicken bercy) with sides such as macaroni and cheese and sauteed green beans; and for the third course, guests could try out chocolate pot de créme and vanilla cheesecake.
At the end of the night, in celebration of Women’s History Month and all-around “girl power,” women attendees were gifted with monogrammed wallets and T-shirts.
Uplifting Through Art
With spirits flowing, bellies filling, and networking happening, the highlight of the event was celebrating the honorees, all of whom noted the incredible honor it was to be recognized. The awardees also emphasized the importance of uplifting others.
The audience learned about each honoree and their work through video packages filmed, directed and edited by an all-woman team – Elon Durant and Meagan Sims.
“As a woman of color, I seek to tell narratives that are universal, yet nuanced. I use film as a means of social advocacy and I do so unapologetically. By owning my production company Imagery Films, I’m able to greenlight my work as well as the work of others without anyone’s permission,” said Ramberan in the video. “You can empower other women by giving them whatever access that we have, whether that be a platform for them to use their voices or resources and tools for them to tell their stories and pursue their passions.”
As a woman in a male-dominated field, Miss H.E.R. said she defies some of the societal and cultural expectations for women DJs.
“I feel like I’m making an impact by not doing the typical thing that female DJs are expected to do. I’m a selector. I’m not the DJ that’s going to give you top 20 all the time,” she said.
The DJ explained that sharing work and posts on social media stories is just one of many tools to uplift other women.
“If you see a woman doing something that you consider dope, even if you don’t know them, especially if it’s on social media, you can throw that person in your stories, and say, ‘Hey, check this woman out, she’s doing something awesome over here.’ Be their cheerleader.”