When the Beaux Arts Ball started two decades ago, it was designed to be a fun theme party to raise money for a great cause. Twenty years later the event is still going strong.
“From the start, we had the idea that we wanted it to be kind of madcap fun,” said John Cain, executive director for South Shore Arts. “The themes really caught on, and, over the years, people started looking forward to seeing what we’d come up with next.”
The 20th annual Beaux Arts Ball will be June 7 at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts with a Roaring '20s theme. The black tie event includes cocktails, dinner and dancing as well as a raffle and live and silent auctions.
Last year, the event had more than 400 attendees as it raised money for the South Shore Arts everykid program. The everykid program brings arts education to schools, not-for-profits and other groups. Last year, more than 28,000 children were served by the program, said Tricia Hernandez, director of marketing and development for South Shore Arts.
Cain said the event is not only the organization’s most serious fundraiser, but it’s also a way to introduce people to the organization.
“It gives them an idea of our mission. We champion the artistic identity of the South Shore,” he said. “So it’s a fundraiser and a friend-raiser at the same time. It’s absolutely essential to us.”
When the ball began 20 years ago, it had a neo-classical theme and about 175 attendees.
“Our first theme was based on the Michelangelo David,” Cain said. “The ball has become so much larger over the years, not only in terms of the number of people attending, but in the amount of money raised, the amount of auction items donated and the prestige of the event.”
Hernandez said the event takes over the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, and people stay and dance until the party’s over.
“People enjoy dressing up and get into it,” she said.
This year, with the Roaring '20s theme, the center will have a speak-easy feeling, with feather boas, strings of pearls and fedoras.
“We’ll have fun decorations and jazzy music from the era playing during dinner,” she said.
Cain said the ball has a generous following of supporters, with new faces coming every year.
“Last year, I was stunned by the number of new faces,” he said. “We’re very fortunate.”
Cain, who has attended every ball, is happy to be celebrating his 20th year.
“I love the organization and what it does for the community,” he said. “The arts are alive and well in our community, making people feel better all the time. We just want to ensure that they remain that way.”
The South Shore Arts 20th Annual Beaux Arts Ball will be at 6 p.m. June 7 at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster. Tickets are $150 per person or $1,500 for a table. For more information or to purchase tickets visit southshoreartsonline.org or call (219) 836-1839.