When young Alice had her first adventures in Wonderland in 1865, she didn’t know her exploits would inspire a fundraiser for the arts a century and a half later.
Art in Wonderland is the theme of the Columbus Arts Council’s annual gala set for Friday, Feb. 19. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Rosenzweig Arts Center at 501 Main St. Silent and live auctions, live music by Style and the Suzuki Strings ensemble, heavy hors d’oeuvres by Harding Catering and an open bar are featured at the gala. Patrons will also have the chance to meet “Alice” herself, along with the “Mad Hatter,” at a live tea party photo op.
Corie Walters chairs the gala committee.
“The theme is Art in Wonderland, a play off of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’ so it’s going to be magical and fun,” said Walters Wednesday. “There will be a lot of detail put into the entire event.”
Plans call for the silent auction to be staged in the Omnova Theater on the arts center’s second floor. The theater will be transformed into a dance venue for the latter part of the evening, when the band Style (formerly Misused) provides live music. The Suzuki Strings ensemble will perform on the main gallery level earlier in the evening.
The acquisitions committee is busy gathering items for the silent and live auctions. A few highlights include a week’s stay at a cottage in Rosemary Beach, Florida, valued at $4,800; a tour of historic Columbus and mint julep tasting for four with historian Rufus Ward; a seven-hour spa package with champagne lunch; and a unique coat-rack made of golf clubs. Other auctions items include original art, jewelry, gift certificates and much more.
One piece of art up for bid will be an original “Wonderland” piece by Maria Andrews of Columbus. The 17-by-21-inch painting inspired the gala’s promotional materials.
“She really outdid herself,” Walters said of Andrews’ artwork.
CAC Executive Director Tina Sweeten-Lunsford said, “The committee has worked hard to ensure that this year’s gala is a fun, relaxing evening for all involved. We appreciate all of the support we receive each year from the participants and the auction item donors.”
A maximum of 170 tickets will be sold for the gala. The deadline to purchase is Thursday, Feb. 11. Cost is $60 per ticket. A limited number of tables for eight may be reserved for $500. Purchase tickets at columbus-arts.org or call the arts council at 662-328-2787 Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Melissa Rushing, chair of the CAC Marketing and Membership committee said, “We have a lot of young people on our board, and we’re trying to be innovative in ways that help the arts council grow and be sustainable, because the arts are so important for a vibrant community. This will be another awesome event to come to in downtown Columbus.”
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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