I walked into my office this morning to room full of auction items. The Arts Center’s Gala auction committee has been hard at work gathering unusual and exotic items for the event. I found myself already imagining where this or that object might fit in my house. I see there are lots of selections that will entice the ladies but many (more than previous years) that the gentlemen will find useful. The gala theme is “An Evening in Morocco” so there are a few items with exotic and vintage appeal.
The Moroccan theme was inspired by the Caravanserai residencies occurring at The Arts Center. Caravanserai: A place where cultures meet is a groundbreaking artistic and cultural exchange program meant to showcase the diversity of contemporary Islamic societies through their art and enhance mutual understanding between our cultures. Last fall we hosted Majid Bekkas Gnawa Ensemble and Brahim Fribgane. The soulful gnawa music and dance are ancient Moroccan traditions and an ancestor of the American blues. The second Moroccan artist to visit Jamestown in November was, award-winning filmmaker, Hakim Belabbes. The spring 2013 Caravanserai music residency tour will feature masters of classical Judeo-Arabic music from the Andalusian tradition, the Orchestra of Fes directed by the legendary Mohammed Briouel. In a special collaboration, acclaimed Jewish songstress Françoise Atlan will join the Orchestra of Fes. Based in Marakesh, Morocco, Francoise Atlan is considered one of the world’s finest vocal interpreters of Sephardic music.
Gala invitations were mailed last week and people are already calling for tickets. If you didn’t receive an invitation, and would like to attend, please call 701-251-2496 immediately as reservations must be made by February 15. The evening will take place at the Quality Inn just like last year so there will be lots of room to socialize, shop the silent auction, dine with friends and dance the night away. The music will be provided by the 42nd Street Jazz Band of Fargo.
The Annual Gala is the Arts Center’s primary fundraiser which supports all general operations: classes, exhibits, artist residencies, community theater and much more. The event is made possible by a tremendous amount of work by community volunteers and a tremendous amount of generosity by local and regional businesses who contribute both dollars and merchandise to the auction effort.
The Gala is a chance to dress up and step out without having to leave town. Its a great way to have a fun evening and contribute to a terrific community organization. You can have fun with Moroccan theme–think of all the possibilities with your apparel, why not mix in a bit of the exotic. I think heating it up with this midwinter party is a great cure for the “blizzard blues”.