GO Proudly Presents: 100 Women We Love, Class Of 2020

Kristen Kaza

Photo by Glitter Guts.

Think state-wide shutdowns would stop event-planner Kristen Kaza’s mission to foster social connections? Think again. Kaza, who is the principal and creative director behind No Small Plans Productions, has transferred her popular dance party series, “Slo ‘Mo: Slow Jams for Queer Fam” online, rebranding it as “Slo ‘Mo From Homo.” The new incarnation, which features DJ sets and dance lessons, got over 5,000 views for its inaugural event. “Slo ‘Mo” is just one of many such “parties with a purpose” that Kaza’s No Small Plans Productions organizes. “I chose to pursue cultural production because I believe in the power of community connection and building cultures of belonging,” she tells GO. “I wanted to use parties as a platform to showcase the talents and experiences of underrepresented communities, especially LGBTQ+ folks. Seeing ourselves reflected in culture, but in particular in a physical space like at an event, is such an important affirmation.” Her parties, which focus on drawing LGBTQ+ and POC artists, have been featured all over Chicago in the past decade and include collaborations with such institutions as the Museum of Contemporary Art and Navy Pier. She’s also the co-founding force behind Reunion Chicago, which provides space for community events for LGBTQ+ and POC artists and creators. “The most rewarding aspect of my work is witnessing the joy and confidence of my community when they can be in a space that supports them,” she says. “Queer spaces and programs are so important for us to see ourselves reflected, and it’s an immense honor to provide opportunities to cultivate connection and affirmation.” —RK

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