Michigan City’s Blue Chip Casino was transformed into a world of color and artistic energy on Saturday evening as community members gathered to celebrate ArtBash, the annual gala hosted by Lubeznik Center for the Arts (LCA). This year’s theme, Paint the Town, called for a wave of coloras guests arrived donned in all colors of the rainbow.
From the eye-catching entryway featuring vibrantly colored paint cans, to the multicolored lights that shone all night long, the night’s theme was perfectly represented in the decorations created by Rose Tejeda, LCA board member.
“It’s pretty exciting for me tobeinvolved as a board member this year,” Tejeda said. “I came last year as an attendee, so to be in a position to represent Lubeznik Center from a stronger perspective is amazing!”
The lovely décor, delicious food, and incredible art pieces up for auction drew a crowd of more than300 guests, much to the delight of the LCA staff.
“The ArtBash is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said board member Shannon Denny. “It’s a great event to highlight the Lubeznik Center, bring the community together,and just celebrate the arts.”
“This event will bring about 20% of our revenue for the year,” added Mike Hackett, LCA Board President. “It’s a big night for us, but we’re here to have fun; if people are willing to take their time, their evening, and their money to come out here tonight,we want to make it something they’ll remember and enjoy!”
The LCA offers a variety of art programs, classes, and workshops for adults, teens, and children, bringing experiences in the arts to everyone in the community. Thanks to generous donations, all of these programs are available free of charge, seven days a week.
“Tonight is about supporting the development of arts in the community, and raising funds to continue to make the LCA free and accessible to everyone,” added Kyle Murphey, Marketing Coordinator for LCA. “Art is a great way to establish community connections; it brings people together and inspires individuals in countless ways.”
Those connections were evident throughout the evening, as everyone in attendance was an advocate for the arts, and had a connection to LCA in one way or another.
“My kids participate in the Lubeznik Center activities and they love it,” said attendee Olga Gucey. “We’re members at the center, and we come here every year to support it.”
“It’s beautiful in here,” added attendee Anthony Kayce. “I couldn’t think of a better cause to bring awareness to than the arts, and this is just a great way to do that!”
After a delicious meal and an opportunity to view all the incredible items available, LCA Executive Director Janet Bloch took the stage to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who came out.
“I am beyond grateful for the dedicated board members, passionate staff, the most kind and generous donors, and the variety of people that gather in joy to learn, teach, and create a sense of community belonging at the center,” Bloch said. “The LCA is free and accessible to the public seven days a week, and everyone here makes that possible.”
Among the audience members were Mayor Mark Krentz of LaPorte and Mayor Ron Meer of Michigan City. This year,the LCA was thrilled to be one of the beneficiaries of Mayor Meer’s Biannual Ball, from which it received $29,000 in funds.
“There has always been a great collaboration between the city and the arts here in Michigan City,” Meer said. “We realize how important that is to our community and our society, and we will continue that dedication to the arts.”
The evening ended with a live auction led by NBC News Reporter Mary Ann Bergerson Ahern. AsaMichigan City native herself, Ahern conveyed her own passion and support for the arts.
“The arts are so important to all of us and were definitely important to me when I grew up here in Michigan City,” Ahern said. “I am absolutely convinced that my involvement in the arts growing up gave me the confidence to go after my dream and have the job that I do today!”
“The LCA is a fantastic place,” Ahern continued. “It’s set the tone for appreciation of the arts for awhile now, and it’s only going to do much more in the years ahead!”
To learn more about the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, visit http://www.lubeznikcenter.org/