The following is a press release from SOPAC:
The South Orange Performing Arts Center will host its annual benefit Gala in celebration of the successful completion of its ninth season and receiving the Discover Jersey Arts People’s Choice Award for Favorite Small Performing Arts Center in New Jersey on Saturday, May 30, 2015.
The theme of this year’s SOPAC Gala is “Arts and Education,” which will highlight three honorees for their extraordinary contributions to cultural and educational endeavors in the local community.
Purchase tickets online, or call SOPAC at (973) 313-ARTS (2787).
Legendary South Orange educator and Star-Ledger Coach of the Year Johanna Wright, former Maplewood Mayor and passionate New Jersey environmentalist Fred Profeta, and real estate investor and Newark philanthropist Paul Profeta are all to be honored at this distinguished event. Wright is also a member of the SOPAC Board of Governors, most recently serving as emcee for the Regional Poetry Out Loud competition hosted on SOPAC’s mainstage. The Profeta brothers have both been key contributors to Columbia High School projects, including the addition of the Lynn V. Profeta Alumni Field named after their mother, a well-loved local educator, and the renovation of the Columbia High School auditorium, providing students with a much-needed quality performance space.
The festive evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with an expansive cocktail party featuring appearances by talented Columbia High School music students and a gallery show of Columbia High School visual arts students.
Patrons looking for exceptional items and experiences will be able to bid on in a silent auction on items such as a Les Paul guitar signed by renowned jazz musician John Pizzarelli, a week-long vacation in a gorgeous Nantucket home that is the epitome of old school charm and style, sports and theater tickets, backstage experiences and much more.
Next, celebrated arts professionals, leaders and supporters will gather for the highly anticipated headline performance by Tony® Award-winning performer Brian Stokes Mitchell, who will perform songs from his critically-acclaimed album, Simply Broadway. An awards ceremony spotlighting the three honorees is to follow, with the evening culminating in an exclusive after-party.
The gala is SOPAC’s main fundraiser and all proceeds benefit arts and education programming. “We rely on the gala to raise critical funds necessary to serve our community and sustain our work in the arts and education,” says Gala co-chair Diana Hart, of Diana Hart Fine Catering in Maplewood.
SOPAC hosts more than 70 artists each season on both the mainstage and LOFT, in addition to a full slate of school performances and multiple exhibitions in the Herb and Milly Iris Gallery throughout the year.
With philanthropists, elected officials and many devoted friends and volunteers in attendance, SOPAC galas attract a diverse and culturally savvy crowd. Tickets start at $250, include valet parking, pre-performance cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, seating at the concert and an after-party and are available on the SOPAC website to the general public. E-mail Vivian C.R. James at [email protected] with further questions.
SOPAC programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is a 501(c)(3)charitable organization.
South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ