Just like its name indicates - the ArtBash was a worthy celebration. On Saturday night Michigan City organization the Lubeznik Center for the Arts hosted their annual ArtBash at Blue Chip Casino. The event asks for the community’s art supporters to come together for their biggest fundraiser of the year; which features auctions, great food, and live music.
To see more photos from the event, click here!
The annual party is hosted every year in order to raise funds to keep Lubeznik thriving. Though the location may change year by year, the amount of support the center gets and the need for the ‘Bash’ is incredibly important. Erika Hanner, the Lubeznik Center’s new Executive Director, said that the ArtBash is “a vital night for the health and stability of the non-profit organization.”
“Tonight is tremendously important for us. We work for every dollar that we raise every year.” Hanner stated. “The margin of success of this event lets us breathe easy or tighten our belts. We wouldn’t be here without this community and the time and effort they put into supporting us.”
Throughout the ArtBash the attendee’s of the celebration were welcome to bid through their smartphones on dozens of items, and were able to bid on two amazing prizes that were auctioned off by emcee of the night ABC 7 news anchor Ron Magers. The goal was to raise $150,000 by the end of the night. Though the official number was to be announced at a later time, the fundraising was strong the entire night.
Though the main focus was the fundraising through the live and silent auction going on throughout the night, Lubeznik also took some time to recognize the people that help the Michigan City art communitybecome better day by day with the Arts Leadership Award. This year Lubeznik honored two people - Debbie Hyndman and Chris Grohs. Chris Grohs is a local gallery owner with Walnut Ink on Franklin Street and is the board president of the Michigan City Main Street Association - and Debbie Hyndman is a longtime supporter of the LCA and a member of the LCA’S Lakefront Art Festival Committee. When asked about the honors they received from the Lubeznik both were humble about their accomplishments, but were honored to be thought of.
“I’ve volunteered for Lubeznik for around 15 years, and I’ve kind of always gone under the radar - and willingly.” Hyndman stated. “Maybe they had a thought of picking out people who aren’t noticed so much, but I’m very humbled to be chosen. It’s not often that I’m willing to be in the forefront, but if it’s for Lubeznik I’ll do anything.”
To do anything for Lubeznik was clearly the theme running on the entire night. Every person who was sitting in Blue Chip’s wonderful Stardust Event Center was there for a reason - to support Lubeznik. And not just for Lubeznik’s physical qualities like the gallery’s and the center itself, but for what it does within the community. Brought up throughout the night was the talk about Lubeznik’s work with local kids who are interested in the arts and how it’s a safe harbor for many. Angie Nelson Deuitch, a public affairs manager for the night’s main sponsor NIPSCO, said that her involvement with the center runs deep and she is glad to support it in order for the community to get the same experience.
“Before I was even involved with NIPSCO one of my daughters used to take classes [at Lubeznik] and got a scholarship to do so, and we’ve had so many celebrations at the center.” Nelson Deuitch explained. “It’s easy for me to personally support them but because they give back so much to the community it’s easy for NIPSCO to sponsor what they do. They are heavily involved with education - the dying subject of arts education - and that’s always something we’re happy to give to so that they can continue here in the Michigan City community.”
It was easy to see as well the effect they’ve had on the kids as well. Right outside the main hall three girls from local schools worked together on creating an art piece while the event was underway. And that’s just one example of all the great things Lubeznik is uprooting and developing for the better in their community. The ArtBash was a great illustration of how alive the arts community is within Michigan City, and how much stronger it is with the Lubeznik to foster it. Next year there will be another ArtBash, another auction, another set of honorees, and certainly another great party in the name of the great Lubeznik Center for the Arts.