The 2017 Columbia Museum of Art Gala
By Kirstie Boone
On April 1, Columbians are invited to step into the middle of a fairy tale and escape reality in exchange for a world full of art, fun and whimsy at the Columbia Museum of Art’s “A Night in Wonderland” Gala. The event, which celebrates and supports the arts, will feature delicious cuisine, specialty cocktails, lively entertainment and enchanting décor. Guests will have the opportunity to sip tea (or something stronger) in Alice’s garden party, dance to dueling pianos with the Queen of Hearts, nibble on treats from Scott Hall Catering, sample sweets in the Caterpillar’s dessert lounge, marvel at performances by the University of South Carolina Dance Company, and follow the Cheshire Cat and the Root Doctors down the rabbit hole.
Columbia Metropolitan Magazine is a proud sponsor of “A Night in Wonderland,” which will showcase the CMA’s spring exhibition Salvador Dalí’s Fantastical Fairy Tales, curated by CMA Chief Curator Will South. Prints are a major part of Dalí’s work, and the spring exhibition features 36 colorful prints from The Dalí Museum. With illustrations of beloved fairy tales and legends like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Don Quixote and The Little Mermaid, this exhibition explores the connections between art and literature as well as Dalí’s fine and varied techniques in creating art.
This whimsical, black-tie gala attracts 800 to 1,000 prominent community citizens, museum supporters, and art lovers from around the state. Since the museum’s first gala, hosted 10 years ago, the event has grown to become the CMA’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
“The Gala is not only the museum’s signature fundraising event, but also an opportunity to expose the museum to new audiences,” says Emily Brady Bedenbaugh, 2017 CMA Gala chair. “The Gala committee is charged with creating a unique and unforgettable experience that dazzles with food, entertainment and art to celebrate the Dalí exhibit and hopefully convert guests into lifelong museum members. We can’t wait to see you for a night in Wonderland!”
As a 2016 winner of the Institute of Library and Museum Services National Medal, the CMA is exceptional in its impact on the community. The museum was established in 1950 and now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors per year. The CMA and its educational programs provide an opportunity for the people of the Midlands to experience art in meaningful and impactful ways. One of the CMA’s goals is to reach and serve children and youth who have the least access to arts education and enrichment programs. The museum is investing in the community’s children and families and sustaining that investment to help them achieve great successes in school, life and beyond through art and art education.