Ticket sales close Friday for CRMA Gala

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Cedar Rapids Museum of Art Gala 2018

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art — Friday, Nov. 2 at 5:30 p.m.

The third annual fundraising gala for the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art is Nov. 2. — Paul Sableman

The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (CRMA) closes out ticket sales on Friday, Oct. 26 for its third annual fundraising gala. Patron tickets are $100; benefactor tickets are $150. The gala takes place at the museum next Friday, Nov. 2, at 5:30 p.m. for benefactors, who get an extra hour at the outset to bid on silent auction items and purchase buy-it-now packages. Patrons are welcome to join the party at 6:30 p.m. The fundraiser — the only one the museum holds each year — supports the CRMA’s educational programs and outreach.

“The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art Gala puts the ‘fun’ back in ‘fundraiser,” Executive Director Sean Ulmer said in a statement about the event. “Great food, generous libations and fun music await attendees, along with a wide variety of art, packages and experiences in our silent and live auctions. It will be a fun evening and will make an important difference in all that we do for the Corridor and all of eastern Iowa.”

The CRMA acquired its first painting in 1906 and has been an integral part of the Cedar Rapids community since. It earned accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1981, and formally opened its current building in 1989. Its classes, both in the museum and in the community, served over 5,200 people in 2017, according to gala co-chair Elizabeth Prowell Mitchell.

“As a mother myself,” Mitchell wrote in an email, “I feel strongly about the importance of introducing children and the greater community to art and nurturing their appreciation of it, and particularly look forward to the upcoming Pajama Storytimes where children get to go to the CRMA in their pjs, listen to a story, and make some art to take home.”

Mitchell’s event co-chair, Alexandra Harder, who was part of last year’s silent auction committee, said she was excited to be asked to take a bigger role (both women wrote that they “could not say no” when invited to serve as co-chairs). Harder wrote in an email of her fond memories of a childhood spent at the CRMA.

“I have a specific memory of being a little girl and coming with my family to see Grant Wood’s Young Corn,” she said. “My father was a farmer and it was a painting of the property he owned at one time; we even bought the T-shirt and stamps to commemorate our visit. Personal experiences like this are why our community is so fortunate to have a gem like CRMA, and why I am honored to support it.”

Music for the evening will be provided by ProSound of Iowa City, including for the dancing that will begin after the live auction, which follows the silent auction. There are just 300 tickets available for the gala; the museum is hopeful that they will sell out this year (last year, 300 tickets were sold).

“The CRMA is one of the cultural gems of the Corridor,” Mitchell said, “and it is essential to make sure that it continues to offer these wonderful opportunities for our community for many years to come!”

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