BrilliantlyMad's 20th Anniversary Cruise

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

WoWee did it!! Our dream event since we started BrilliantlyMad 20 years ago. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible by buying tickets and/or donating services. BrilliantlyMad Collective (BMC) has always been supported directly by the members involved—and this event beautifully embodied that tradition.  Although the boat party’s expenses exceeded its direct revenue, fortunately we’ve recently established a more corporate wing, Make Believe Professionals (MPB), which served as BMC’s financial sponsor to cover the difference.  It was an investment in the momentum and cohesion of our Collective, leaving us more poised than ever to manifest our dreams sustainably together.

I’m forever grateful to my righthand-man, David Medina, who pimped out the Palace for our afterparty, organized supplies across the board, then installed decor throughout the boat.  Likewise to my left, Yeshua provided vital audiovisual gear, tuned the sound system, and even got Consensus’ Peace Bus repaired to offer shuttle services for both crew & attendees.

House Music Reunion

In turn, our DJs & Musicians kept the boat rocking those lakefront waves so powerfully that we decided to add an extra hour to the cruise—holding it down through 11pm. The C.H.M. (Chicago House Music) reunion got our motors pumping first with Frankie Naples and Ryan Jury on decks plus live sax by Edmund Vega. That was enough fuel to travel well beyond fresh water into the tropical global beats of Shannon Harris, hand-picked and converted from his exceptionally rare vinyl collection. Amman spun those poles back into a single hemisphere of worldly drum and bass as Todd Genome lit up some ill live beats on digital hand drums. By then the heat ran deep and photons were flying—a perfect moment for Tommy Ruffingers to trip us out with those glitch breaks that got both floors hoppin’ n’ poppin’!  And finally, DoJo swam through all that loosey-goosey vibrations with elegantly mysterious electric violin over spicy tech grooves, for a smooth yet enlivening arrival back to dock.

Meanwhile, as the music captains commanded their helm, Tatiana Fonseca and Siren De Paradis wooed us with their magical, illustrious dance performances, encouraging even more flair on the floor. My sister Lisa Balloon’s brought jewels and glitter to bedazzle guests. Chris Gordon spearheaded videography, and Jessica Love was snapping pictures of the beauty that surrounded, which we look forward to sharing soon.

The food team thoroughly nourished crew, cruisers, and afterparty attendees with a large, luxurious spread. Mary Wolters took lead, receiving assistance from Joanna Albrecht, Margo Mejia, Renee Dawson, Shannon McGregor, Shawn Coleman, Vivianne Segura, Andrea Sausen, Chris Gordon, Tree DiGuido, Cole Stephens, Tatiana Fonseca, and Michael Franco. Melissa McCarthy made the anniversary cake from scratch for us, learning how to do so for the first time days before the event.

Boat Party

While we hope you got a printed copy of BM Magazine in its special edition packets on the boat, either way good news! Steve Raden (Handsome Squid) has been working hard on the relaunch of—so you can download a free copy of BrilliantlyMad Issue 2o11 there right now! Many more interactive experiences await in this portal, especially for those eager to participate…

For when wave comes to shore, BM is all about how our creative and spiritual explorations can thrive and evolve on land when we stay committed to nurturing channels that keep us in touch with those divine parts of ourselves which would rather float or fly.  We believe that media and entertainment have the power to rebuild the toxic systems we were born into, and now that it’s been two decades, our collective voice has an unprecedented capacity to activate kindred spirits.  

So, if BMC inspires you, please consider donating funds to not only ease the costs of the boat party but more importantly help catalyze our upcoming fundraiser for the magazine and website. (Paypal “Friends & Family”:, or if PayPal doesn’t work for you just email us at that address to make arrangements.)

And of course, please keep a close eye on our next moves over the next few months! They will call for your support because we trust you to help BrilliantlyMad transcend every box that keeps any creature from seeing & seeking one’s own divine identity— till we meet yet again on the calmest of locks… maybe on a boat in Chicago…

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
David Jason Ziemba