Art meets gala

It’s time to haul out those fancy pants — because a wonderful variety of Arizona arts organizations are readying for upcoming galas. Here’s a sneak peek at just a few of these special events…

Southwest Shakespeare Company is one of many arts organizations that'll present festive fundraisers during 2011

Theater Works of Peoria presents a “2011 Night at the Oscars Gala Weekend” Jan 14-15 at the Peoria Center for the Arts. Their “Youth Gala” — which features “a theatrical show, buffet-style dinner, karaoke, upbeat dance music and auctions” — takes place Fri, Jan 14. Their “Adult Gala” — featuring “Main Stage entertainment, silent and live auctions, gourmet dining and dancing” — takes place Sat, Jan 15.

Mesa Arts Center presents “An Evening of Musical Magic” Sat, Jan 29 — presented by the Mesa Arts Center Foundation. The event features a reception with hearty appetizers/beverages and a concert featuring local talents, plus a live auction and raffle.

Phoenix Theatre presents a “90th Anniversary Gala” Sat, Feb 5, at Phoenix Theatre. The event features cocktails, dinner, live music and “outstanding professional theatrical entertainment.”

Phoenix Art Museum presents “Carnivale!” Fri, Feb 11 — hosted by the “Museum’s Friends of European Art.” The event features “festive food with live music by Snake Eyes and a silent auction,” with all proceeds from the evening being used to “fund a new acquisition for the European Collection.” Cocktail attire is on you, but masks will be provided.

Watch your local museums for fun events that help raise needed support

Arizona Science Center presents “Galaxy 2011: Infinite Possibilities” Fri, Feb 11, at the Arizona Science Center. The event features cocktails, dinner, entertainment and more.

Southwest Shakespeare Company of Mesa presents “A Midwinter Night’s Dream Gala” Sat, Feb 19, at the Mesa Country Club. The event features dinner, silent and live auctions, live entertainment and a vintage photobooth. Tickets are available at a reduced price through Dec 31.

Arizona Opera presents “Opera Ball 2011 – The Devil Wears Opera” Sat, Feb 19, at The Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix. The event features cocktails, hor d’oeuvres and a four-course dinner — plus a silent auction and “surprise appearances by artists from the world of Opera and Broadway.”

Arts and cultural organizations like the Children's Museum of Phoenix present gala events with unique creativity and flair

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix presents “Night at the Museum: The Markets of Marrakesh” Sat, Feb 19, at the museum. The event — which is being presented by the “Friends of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix” — features “a fantastic bazaar of eclectic entertainment, fabulous food, live music & dancing, [and] raffle items.”

Stay tuned for news of fundraisers taking place during March 2011 and beyond — including special events for Ballet Arizona, Childsplay and many more.

And snag those babysitters before they get a better offer.

— Lynn

Note: As always, I invite you to drop me a line at rakstagemom@gmail.com if your arts and culture organization is presenting an event, exhibit or performance that you’d like to share with our readers.

Coming up: “Respect: A Musical Journey of Women” takes the stage at the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix (through Feb 12, 2011).

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