Under the big top

For the past month, Valerie Serpa’s dining and living rooms have been transformed into a gallery of various artwork.

As executive director of the Churchill Arts Council, Serpa is a devoted patron of the humanities and champion of the annual Evening with the Arts, the major fundraiser for programs and activities for the 2019-2020 season.

An Evening with the Arts: Under the Big Top is March 7 at the Fallon Convention Center.

“We have some nice items again,” Serpa said of the donations she has received. “We have books, artwork, dinners, dinners at people’s home, crafts and photographs.”

Serpa lined up a sampling of this year’s silent auction items for a photograph that included a valuable cowboy poster, books and several photographs, one that depicts the loneliness of U.S. Highway 50 west of Middlegate Station, and a bench handcrafted by Mike Evans. She said authors include both national and local writers.

Not all prizes are for the den or living room.

“We have tickets for the San Francisco Giants, the Pioneer Center and its Broadway series, and the University of Nevada, Reno’s performing arts and jazz series,” Serpa, said, adding the donated arts include culinary, visual, performing and literary.

Although Serpa will take donated items until early March, she said the auction will have about 160 items.

“Something for everyone,” she said, smiling.

Every year the Evening with the Arts’ theme changes. Serpa encourages the community to dress in circus-related attire. She said costumes are welcomed but not mandatory.

Tickets are currently on sale for the annual event. The interest grows each year, but she said the arts council caps the number of tables because of the available room at the convention center. Every year she notices new faces attending the dinner, while others who have been patrons for years decide to take a breather and stay home for a year.

“It’s exciting our community is growing and interest is growing and reaching new people,” she said.

This year’s dinner is $90 per person which includes dinner, wine and admission to the auction. An additional $10 per person includes $20 in raffle tickets. Serpa said the auction review, bidding and no-host bar open at 5:30 p.m., and dinner is served at 7 p.m. Tables for eight or 10 people are available.

Serpa said seating is limited. Call 775-423-1440 or email info@churchillarts.org. The Slanted Porch is catering dinner, and the menu consists of house made focaccia bread, Caesar salad, herb crusted filet mignon and half Maine lobster tail, Yukon gold mashed potatoes, seasonal fresh vegetables and dessert or mushroom ravioli in a light porcini cream sauce as a vegetarian option.


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