ArtsWestchester’s “Serious Fun” Continues With November 12 Sneaker Gala

Color Field Sculpture by Shelly Parriott in front of The Gateway Building at 1 N. Lexington Avenue, White Plains (photo credit Mary Alice Franklin)

ArtsWestchester caps off its Serious Fun Arts Fest with a November 12 gala that honors White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach and the creative developers who are helping to bring public art to the fore in White Plains.

Cities across the country – such as Boise, Idaho; Lexington, Kentucky; and Sacramento, California – have used public art as a linchpin for economic development and tourism. Now, local developers in Westchester are also realizing that works of public art can enhance their properties and give them an edge in the market. ArtsWestchester has long been a proponent of art in public places, helping to commission projects throughout Westchester County. With the support of Mayor Roach, the organization has established partnerships with White Plains developers to make the city an arts destination of its own.

This year, the State of New York Regional Economic Development Council stepped up with a major grant that pushed this idea into high gear. The funds helped ArtsWestchester to launch the Serious Fun Arts Fest, which took place last month (see pages A16-19) and filled the streets of White Plains with public art, gallery events and other cultural happenings.

Now the organization will continue its “Serious Fun” festivities with a gala that begins with cocktails in its White Plains gallery at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue, surrounded by the current The Social Fabric exhibition (see pages 6-7). From there, guests will stroll a red carpet that heads next door for dinner in the former Applebee’s space at 27 Mamaroneck Avenue. For a twist to the typical gala, ArtsWestchester will encourage guests to pair their favorite sneakers with their evening attire.

A silent auction, which this year features a $1,500 shopping spree at Neiman Marcus, tickets for The Lion King and a vacation in Antigua, among other items, allows anyone to bid regardless of whether they are in attendance at the event.

When the party is over and guests return home, the arts will remain. Public sculptures will continue to bring color to local residents and visitors as they work and shop, lively murals will brighten the commute of travelers as they walk to the train, and art in building lobbies will welcome people home after a long day.

About ArtsWestchester

For more than 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest private not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to create an equitable, inclusive, vibrant and sustainable Westchester County in which the arts are integral to and integrated into every facet of life. ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts; and builds audiences through diverse marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations and the community. A two-story gallery is located on the first floor of ArtsWestchester’s historic building on Mamaroneck Avenue.