Arts, entertainment, tribute combine in CAC gala

February 9, 2019 9:54:54 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


A Chicago Wrigley Field adventure, getaways at the beach and lake, elegant feasts, a mint julep tasting and custom-made fire pit are only a few of the items soon up for bid at the 35th annual Columbus Arts Council Gala Saturday, Feb. 23. The event at Trotter Convention Center includes a tribute to Mississippi University for Women Professor Emeritus of Art Larry Feeney. 


Mardi Gras masks are in order for the black tie optional gala featuring a New Orleans style buffet, open bar, silent and live auctions, raffles and dancing. The night's music will be by The Bouncing Betty, Suzuki Strings Advanced Ensemble and The W's Jazz Ensemble. 


All stops have been pulled out to make this year's event especially festive, according to co-organizer Colin Krieger. He teams up with his wife, CAC board member Desiree Krieger, in spearheading the function that serves as the nonprofit arts council's primary fundraiser. 


"This will be one of the most spectacular ones we've thrown," said Desiree Krieger. "It's going to be really fun." 




Evening line-up 


Doors open and the silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m. Following the auction and buffet dinner by Lion Hills Center and Zachary's, a presentation honoring Feeney for his contributions to the arts community begins at 7:30 p.m. Feeney taught at The W for more than 35 years, helping to shape its art department and influencing numerous future art-makers. He has donated five paintings for the gala auctions. 


"Larry's paintings very rarely come up for sale," Colin Krieger noted.  


"And we have beautiful pieces by several other local artists, too," said Desiree Krieger. 


A live auction featuring high-profile items begins at 8 p.m., followed by music and dancing. 


Volunteers have focused on elevating the gala's auctions and raffles to the most expansive in recent memory, with tempting combination packages included. A dinner for six at J. Broussard's with honoree Larry Feeney, for example, will also feature a mint julep tasting with Rufus Ward, along with premium bottles of wine. 




Quilt, added raffle 


Drawing for a Mississippi Bicentennial Quilt made by the Possum Town Quilters will take place at the gala. Tickets are available at or at the Rosenzweig Arts Center at 501 Main St,, where the quilt is displayed. In addition, a late-night raffle has been added to the event.  


"We'll have a lot of fun things in the late-night raffle, including a summer pool membership at Lion Hills," said Desiree Krieger.  


Even before she began serving on the CAC board, Krieger said she and her husband always made a point of attending the gala. Proceeds help provide arts programming and education throughout the year as well as the Young Peoples Artist Series for area school children 


"I'm glad he and I can be such a part of it this year," she remarked.  


Colin Krieger added, "The (gala) momentum is really going and the community has been tremendous. We're trying to set some records." 




How to go 


Gala tickets are $60 at or at the arts center, or call 662-328-2787. Reserved tables are $475; an Arts Champ VIP table is $575. Sponsor tables are $750. For sponsor information, call 662-329-7653 or email [email protected] 






WHO: Columbus Arts Council 


WHAT: 35th Annual Gala 


WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 23; 5:30-11 p.m. 


WHERE: Trotter Convention Center, Columbus 


TICKETS: $60 (reserved tables $475-$575); or 662-328-2787. (For sponsor tables, 662-329-7653.)

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.