Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts would normally be home to The Artrageous Gala that benefits the arts and innovation programs of Scottsdale Arts. The Civic Center Mall, a municipal complex where Scottsdale Center for the Arts calls home, is currently undergoing an extensive $30 million renovation, so this year’s gala was moved to the Scottsdale Stadium. For one magical evening on April 2, the spring training venue was transformed into a magical world of light, visual art and performance.
Funds raised during the gala, silent auction and live auction will go to supporting the complex remodel, and the arts and wellness, schools and educators and creative community pillars that make up Scottsdale Arts.
Co-chairs for Luminescence were designer Anita Lang and architect Oscar De las Salas. “Art has always had a powerful impact on humanity; our careers have been built on the importance of creating beauty and its effects on others,” said Lang “Art often provides a communal connection as we share the similar emotions and experiences portrayed or, conversely, challenges our perspectives so we grow in our understanding of other human journeys fostering unity and peace.”
De las salas added, “Through it many diverse branches, Scottsdale Arts continues to have a meaningful impact on the quality of our lives as citizens and on the many visitors we host per annum. Scottsdale Arts substantially impacts the quality of life we experience, including the vast array of public art displayed all over our city.”
The event began at dusk with “Arizona’s longest red carpet,” logging in at a whopping 220-feet. Guests entered the red carpet through a hanging “wall of lights” and were instantly transported into a world of ethereal entertainers in futuristic costumes performing in the trees and amongst the guests. Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction dotted the red carpet on its path to the interview stage co-hosted and live streamed by Carey Pena, founder and CEO of Inspired Media 360 and Brandon Lee, founder and CEO of Art of Our Soul.
A variety of cirque style performers from performance art collective, Quixotic entertained guests on the red carpet and center stage inside The Fieldhouse where the seated awards ceremony and dinner orchestrated by Delaware North took place. The seated portion of the event started off with an incredible vocal and light performance by Quixotic of “Diamonds” by Sam Smith.
Robert H. Karatz, Jim Bruner, Nancy Schamadan and Joe Sparks were honored as members of the Inaugural board of directors for the Scottsdale Cultural Council, the organization that preceded Scottsdale Arts. Their legacy set the course and vision for advancement of the arts in Scottsdale. The late “Francis “Fran” Cohen, who ran the Arizona Wolf Trap program for early childhood arts education, posthumously received the Trailblazer Award for Arts Educator. The Herberger Award for the Arts was also introduced, named after beloved philanthropists and Scottsdale residents, Billie Jo and Judd Herberger.
Local artist Walter Productions received the Trailblazer Award for Local Artist for its popular fire shows at Canal Convergence, that will be celebrating its 10th anniversary November 4-13, 2022. The In Memoriam portion of the event recognized Judd Herberger and Ellie Ziegler for their unwavering commitment to the arts.
Letitia Frye, internationally recognized “auction-tainer” took the stage and did a thrilling fundraise that included jewelry, trips and a variety of unique experiences.
Luminescence attracted gala goers from around the state and from elsewhere. Mike and Stacey Steele of the Steele Family Foundation – WISE (World Impact Scholarship and Education) are Canadian residents who also call Scottsdale home for part of the year. They were introduced to the gala and Scottsdale Arts through one of the gala committee members. “We really enjoyed supporting Luminescence,” said Stacey Steele. “It had the best top-notch entertainment. We strongly support education and look forward to working directly with Scottsdale Arts in the future.”
The Artrageous Gala – Luminescence raised over $330,000, more than twice what the virtual gala raised in 2021. Click here for additional information on the many programs of Scottsdale Arts.