by Doug Hill
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The hippest, grooviest, moddest party is taking place during The ONE Event, Norman Arts Council’s annual fundraiser slated for 7-11 p.m. March 29 at MAINSITE Contemporary Art, 122 E. Main St.
“It’s going to be a really fun party,” NAC Executive Director Erinn Gavaghan said. “We work hard to make it not seem like it’s a fundraiser.”
The gallery space will be transformed into a chrome edifice reflecting the “Andy Warhol’s Factory” theme for 2014. DJ Timmy B will be providing the musical vibe that’s sure to include plenty of Lou Reed, Rolling Stones and The Velvet Underground.
“We hope to raise at least $2,300,” Gavaghan said. “All proceeds will be used to support our operations, salaries, rent and utilities. It keeps us going and allows us to support the rest of the arts in Norman.”
Food will be catered by “Norman’s hippest restaurants” and the bar will be open. Ticket purchasing patrons are encouraged to attend in groovy attire suitable to the Warhol Factory uproar that stretched from 1962 to 1984.
“We’ll be doing awards for best-dressed,” Gavaghan said.
There will be an “itty bitty teeny weenie” art raffle conducted during the party. Local artists confined to a six inch by six inch format will have created work that patrons may vie for.
“It’s a blind raffle and people may indicate the pieces they hope to win,” she said.
The third annual “Chair-ity Auction” will be another chance for benefactors to purchase special seat-inspired designs from utilitarian to purely decorative.
“These will range from two dimensional works on paper to small sculptures,” Gavaghan said.
An auction for personal experiences such as a McNellie’s Pub beer tasting and Mariposa Coffee Roastery party will also be up for grabs to the highest bidder.
It’s no secret that state funding for the arts is under close scrutiny by the Oklahoma legislature this year. Gavaghan said support is needed from national, state, community and private sources to maintain many arts programs.
“It’s hard for organizations to raise operational support,” Gavaghan said. “Membership drives, donations from Republic Bank and First American Bank, grants from the Kirkpatrick Foundation and the Oklahoma Arts Council are all important.”
NAC’s overall annual budget is approximately $150,000.
“In my four years here I have observed a huge impact that the arts have had on the Norman community,” Gavaghan said. “Second Friday Art Walk Nights attendance has increased and that means more people going into downtown businesses.”
“Start Norman” is a new program being launched this spring by NAC emphasizing how the arts can play a positive role in economic development and quality of life.
“It’s vital for any community,” Gavaghan said. “Just like having good schools and strong businesses.”
Norman is scheduled to host the Oklahoma Arts Conference this fall.
“Arts leaders from around Oklahoma will be here to see the great things that we’ve done here in town,” she said. “We’re a good example of how a community can be positively affected by the arts.”
NAC has been a leader in extending operational grants to the various arts organizations around town. Building support for and within these groups helps make Norman a richer place to live. Raising funds through the ONE Event helps keep the momentum going.
General admission tickets are $50. VIP tickets are $75 and include access to the VIP lounge, VIP after-party at Guestroom Records featuring a Velvet Underground Cover Band and invitations to the Pre-ONE wine tasting on March 27 at LOCAL. The ONES tickets are $100 and include entire VIP access as well as recognition as an event sponsor. To purchase tickets visit normanarts.org.
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