Chelsie Rose

PHOTO/Brad Bynum

The Illuminati Ball is an upcoming event presented by the organizers of the Reno InstaGrammys, including co-founder Chelsie Rose. Tickets for the Illuminati Ball are $50, which includes drinks and confections, and live music. VIP tickets are $100. The event will be on Friday, Feb. 13, at Reno Provisions, 100 N. Sierra St., from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. For tickets or more information, visit

What is the Illuminati Ball?

The purpose of it is to raise money for the Reno InstaGrammys, so that it can continue to be free for anybody of all ages to participate, and we can raise money for the Holland Project. … We threw the InstaGrammys last year, and the only cash flow we had was from our personal checkbooks and that proved to be a little tough at the end of the day. … The Reno InstaGrammys is an all-ages photo and video competition that uses the popular social media application Instagram. It’s free for everyone to participate. We really want to encourage everyone in the Truckee Meadows area to create, and that’s an easy way to do that.

Why an Illuminati Ball? What’s an Illuminati Ball?

We made it up. It’s based on the 1972 Rothschild dinner party. The Rothschilds were one of the wealthiest families in history. It was a surrealist dinner party with people like Audrey Hepburn and Salvador Dali. … It was formal, but they wore surrealist masks. And we created the name the Illuminati Ball because what’s the Illuminati historically? It’s an exclusive club for old, affluent white guys, right? But our goal for the Illuminati Ball is to be radically inclusive, so we want to bring together the business magnates and entrepreneurs in our community as well as the artists in our community under one roof. So it’s poking fun at the idea of what the Illuminati supposedly is. It’s a formal event. We are excited to see everybody stretch their imaginations and not just have a standard masquerade ball—get into what they’re dressing as, get into character, and have a lot of fun with that, but also have a nice, elegant environment to do that.

So, it’s a masquerade? People are supposed to wear masks?

Surrealists masks—to dress their madness. To create an idea, and it doesn’t have to be your standard Fat Tuesday mask. Just really going into the depths of your dreams. Surrealism is bringing a dream-like state into your reality. We want people to feel comfortable dressing a little bit weird, dressing a little bit bizarre, being creative. … We want to bring together all walks of life at the Illuminati Ball. So, whether you’re an entrepreneur or you’re an artist, you’re free to be who you really want to be this night. That can seem kind of corny, but you can dress as bizarre as you want. You can be a ringmaster. You can transform yourself into Salvador Dali. Or you can be the moon. There isn’t one archetype for the kind of costume we’re looking for. We just want everybody to be formal but also be a little wild.

It’s at Reno Provisions?

It’s at Reno Provisions on Friday the 13th in February. … The Illuminati is a little bit creepy. … It’s the same with Friday the 13th. So we thought pairing those together would be a fun way to get people out, and it’s close to Valentine’s Day, and we do not in any way want it to be a party for Valentine’s Day, because that’s super played out. But we wanted it to be something for people, for lovers, to do that weekend if they want to. And Reno Provisions is an awesome location downtown. They have been really supportive of the Holland Project and our initiatives—Mark Estee specifically is so awesome to work with. Kelly Somers and Jessica [Pauletto] over at Reno Provisions have been so supportive and awesome. We wanted to find a space that would fit our personality and not just be a casino ballroom. No offense to anything at a casino ballroom—that’s just not the kind of fundraiser that we’re trying to have. We want to go outside the box.