Arts Council transforms itself into Mardi Gras |

Arts Council transforms itself into Mardi Gras

Steve Ranson
The highlight of "An Evening with the Arts" is a silent auction featuring such items as paintings, photographs, books and dinners. The annual event sponsored by the Churchill Arts Council is Saturday.

The social event of late winter is transporting its guests to a Mardi Gras celebration Saturday night as the Churchill Arts Council hosts is 29th annual “An Evening with the Arts.”

Already, the transformation of the Fallon Convention Center from the sights and sounds of a small city to the lively French Quarter of New Orleans — Mardi Gras headquarters — should provide for an electrifying backdrop.

“The dinner is very popular this year,” said Valerie Serpa, CAC’s executive director. “We’re almost sold out. We have a maximum of 30 tables, and some tickets remain.”

Serpa said the Mardi Gras theme has generated great interest to make the fundraiser more of a festive event. Furthermore, she said the annual “An Evening with the Arts” gives people an opportunity to visit with others, some they may not have seen for months or since the last fundraiser.

According to CAC’s program director and LVN arts columnist Kirk Robertson, “An Evening with the Arts” raises funds to assist with expenses not covered by grants. The fundraiser includes a silent auction of almost 190 items ranging from paintings to tickets for a San Francisco Giants baseball game. Robertson and Serpa began receiving donations months ago and have been categorizing them both for show and also in a small catalog for Saturday’s patrons.

“It’s a great chance to get a little something for yourself and support CAC,” Robertson said. “One of the featured items in the auction will be local artist Robert Petersen’s large format photograph of the Oats Park Art Center.”

Petersen will also set up a photo booth where attendees can have their photograph taken to commemorate their attendance at the 29th annual event.

In addition to paintings and photographs, Robertson said people from Fallon, Reno and Carson City have donated posters, ceramics, dinners, weekend getaways, Reno Rodeo tickets and gift certificates.

Robertson said other artists who will have artwork in the auction include Mary Ann Bonjorni, Jack Fulton, Dayna Galetti, Larry Neel, Marie Nygren, Kevin and Jaime Sammons, Michael Sarich, Joann Serpa and others.

Both Robertson and Serpa said “An Evening with the Arts “brings in additional funding for the programs, utilities and other expenses.

“The grants are for the performances and readings,” Serpa pointed out.

She also said the city of Fallon has been solid in its support of the Churchill Arts Council in both bad and good times. Throughout their creativeness during the Great Recession, ticket sales began to slide in 2008.

“We went conservative and didn’t spend more money than we had,” Serpa said.

As a result of the recession, Serpa said several foundations shifted their emphasis from construction to sponsoring programs, a move that helped.

“Tickets sales have been coming back,” Serpa added.

Robertson said the silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. and catered by the Slanted Porch. The menu includes house-made focaccia, mixed green salad, Yukon gold potatoes, herb crusted beef tenderloin with red wine demi-glace, half lobster tail and Bananas Foster. An entrée of vegetarian mushroom ravioli will also be available.

Robertson said the cost is $70 per person and includes dinner, wine, admission to the auction and a copy of the catalog. For $80 per person, the guest receives all of the above plus $20 worth of raffle tickets.

For information, call Robertson or Serpa at 775-423-1440.