The Lubeznik Center for the Arts hosted its Starry Night Gala to raise funds for its programs and exhibitions throughout the year. The ticketed event brought guests together to celebrate and continue developing the programs that are adored by communities from Chicago to southern Michigan.
“I think it's first a celebration with the people that mean the most to us,” said Mike Hackett, Board President for the Lubeznik Center of the Arts. ‘And we get to celebrate all the things that we do with the people that help us get to do the things that we do. And then this is our biggest fundraiser for the year. So we raised generally 15 to 20% of our annual budget through this one night. So this is our biggest chance to get people to hear about the things that we do and then to help us achieve those things. Without their donations, we can't be where we are.”
The Lubeznik Center’s exhibitions bring impressive art to Northern Indiana. The current exhibits are moniquemeloche presents… and LOK Young Artist Expo. Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago intends to create a diverse experience with conceptually challenging programming. The Lubeznik Center has the honor to bring that into the community.
“The benefit of the event is to raise money for the center year-round for all of our different activities for children as we are a free museum,” Janet Bloch, Executive Director of the Lubeznik Center. “We try to offer these free to the schools. We have free field trips and almost 2000 kids a year visit us. We serve students who have developmental disabilities. So all of those things we give are free, but we have to run the Art Center and hire all of our fabulous teachers and staff.”
Local businesses donated to the silent auction to help the Lubeznik Center, and attendees donated in increments of up to $5,000 during the event.
“We have club seats for Blackhawks tickets, which are super,” Bloch said with a smile. “Those come with parking, food, and drink. Gift certificates to lots of local places but also Chicago museums, and Hubbard Street Dance. We have a lot of art pieces. We have a piece that was donated by a local artist, Jay Zerbe, who is a wonderful painter. We have a signed photograph of Neil Peart of Rush. There's also some really lovely wine. There are so many unique items.”
Guests bid on the silent auction, ate, drank, and danced throughout the event.
“We always want to come up with themes that—if people are going to take their Saturday night and spend it with us, if they're going to donate money to us—we want them walking out of the doors at the end of the night going, ‘Oh man, that was fun,” Hackett said. “We always try to do something that is going to be a fun night. We want people to walk out of our doors and want to come back next year.”
These donors help create programs like Dino Action Camp, Passion for Fashion Camp, and Wildlife Around the World Camp. All of which are for children 7-14 and are running this summer.
“I'm the director of exhibitions which means that I curate the shows,” said Lora Fosberg, Director of Exhibition at the Lubeznik Center. “And for all of them, we are really determined to include every kind of person in our community. It’s important to let little kids in our community see themselves in the artwork that we show. So sometimes our institution is the first museum kids ever go to. Before they go to the Art Institute, before they go anywhere in Chicago, they come to the Lubeznik Center. So we really want to make them feel like they're part of it, see themselves in the exhibits.”
Guests at the Gala enjoyed themselves knowing that they were there for a good cause. Appreciating the fact that when they were young, they took a field trip to the Lubeznik Center and that their donations would provide that same appreciation of art to the next set of children to visit.
For more information about the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, visit their website at: https://www.lubeznikcenter.org/