On July 17, 2010, more than 420 enthusiastic art aficionados, political officials, business leaders and community members gathered in celebration of Bellevue Arts Museum
's annual fundraiser, Artful Evening. A much anticipated Eastside signature event, Artful Evening raised an astounding $575,000* in support of BAM's exhibitions and the Museum's growing educational and community programs.
The Raise the Paddle portion of the evening alone, where guests directly donate to the Museum's programs, generated over $287,000 a wonderful demonstration of the community's continued dedication to BAM. $100,000 were matched dollar for dollar by an extraordinary challenge match, established by BAM board members Carol Auerbach and Albert Berger, Patty Edwards as well as Norma and Leonard Klorfine.
"We are immensely grateful to the many individuals and businesses who help us bring world-class art, craft and design into the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year," says Susan Edelheit, President of the Board of Trustees. Mark W. Crawford, Executive Director/CEO adds that, "It takes financial resources to create an innovative, vibrant museum. Over the past five years, Bellevue Arts Museum has grown to be a cherished community center where people of all ages and backgrounds can directly experience the work, ideas and creative process of artist from the Northwest and around the world. Our vitality depends on the generosity of our patrons and we extend our deepest gratitude to every single one of them for helping us thrive."
The evening kicked off with a festive reception at the Museum where guests had the opportunity to bid on over 100 unique art objects, many of which were donated by this year's talented BAM artsfair artists. The festivities continued at The Westin Bellevue with a superb dinner, program and live auction featuring works and experiences by acclaimed regional and national artists, including Dale Chihuly, Sonya Clark, Sabrina Knowles and Jenny Pohlman, Cappy Thompson and many more. The evening also featured the announcement of a new national award in honor of BAM Director Emeritus and Artful Evening honoree Michael W. Monroe. Starting in 2011, the Michael W. Monroe Emerging Artist Award will be given annually to one emerging artist, selected from a national pool, who works in craft media. The winning artist will receive $10,000 in cash and the opportunity to be considered for a solo exhibition at Bellevue Arts Museum. "We are very excited to be able to honor Michael's legacy for years to come while providing a unique opportunity to national artists," says Director of Curatorial Affairs/Artistic Director Stefano Catalani.
Artful Evening has grown to be the largest, single fundraising activity to benefit Bellevue Arts Museum. Formally called the Patron Party, Bellevue Arts Museum hosted the first event in 2006 welcoming 200 guests and raising $75,000. Over the past few years, the Museum has continuously increased attendance and in just the last two years generated over $550,000 in funds through the event.
The evening was emceed by Scott Paine from 425 Magazine. Nationally recognized auctioneer Kip Toner officiated the live auction. The event was generously sponsored by Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP; GLY Construction and Tiffany & Co.