TROY — After a year and a half with so few opportunities to be surrounded by people, to listen to music from anything other than headphones, or to even get out of the house, the Arts Center of the Capital Region’s annual gala will be all the more exciting. Hearing the music provided by DJ Trumastr, tasting the food from Franklin Plaza Ballroom, and getting to interact with some 150 guests will be a breath of fresh air.
“I’ve been event planning for almost 10 years at this point and this is the most fun party I’ve ever been able to produce because everybody is just so on board,” said the center’s Director of External Relations and gala coordinator of five years Nicole Peterson. “It’s always a very creative group that I get to work with.”
The gala, which will take place on June 23, will be held at two locations: the center’s main gallery and under a tent on Broadway between 2nd and River St.
The Arts Center brings art into the community with classes, galleries, a public art program, and a host of art-filled events. They manage to do all of this while maintaining free galleries, summer camp scholarships, and funding for a variety of programs, all thanks to the gala.
This year, the fundraising goal is $74,500 before expenses.
The gala is recognizing two honorees for their contributions to the community amidst the challenges of the past year.
The first is Leslie Cheu and the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation for its support of nonprofit organizations in the Capital District. Cheu is also being recognized for her oversight of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and the projects that came from her efforts, such as a community art project that depicts the Music Hall in a public mural.
Robert McCarthy and the McCarthy Charities are also being recognized for the assistance they provide to non-profits in the City of Troy and Rensselaer County. They have also provided numerous grants to organizations across fields such as Arts, Education, Health Care, Social Services, and the Environment.
“The CEO and the board chair will speak, the two honorees will speak briefly. And other than that, there really is no program. We strive to keep this as fun as possible and there will be some street performers,” said Peterson, who admitted that the identities of the street performers will be left a surprise until the event. “This is really a come to the party and find out moment.”
The gala will be asking those who are not vaccinated to wear a mask during the event. They will also be offering a donation-only option, as well as a stay-at-home ticket option, which comes with a gift basket so the event can be enjoyed from home.
To donate, visit https://www.artscenteronline.org/events/2021-gala/.