Experience a Different Art Center Gala

Attendees of the Art Center’s virtual gala will pick up their meal and wine pairing in person at the museum before returning home to safely enjoy. Photo: Des Moines Art Center.

Writer: Allaire Nuss

Like everything else in 2020, the Des Moines Art Center’s Annual Gala will look a little different this year. The event will be held virtually from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. While it may not be an in-person affair, attendees can expect some familiar formalities.

Between 6 and 6:45 p.m., attendees will drive up to the Art Center to pick up a gourmet meal from Tangerine at the Art Center, paired with a fine bottle of wine. Director Jeff Fleming and Tiffany Nagel Spinner, director of development, will hand out goodies, dressed in formal attire. Participants will then return home to await the start of the virtual gala at 7 p.m. The night’s agenda will include a quick guide on the “art of plating food” and messages from community members about the role of art in Greater Des Moines. The evening will conclude with an announcement of the Art Center’s new inclusion statement.

The annual gala is an essential stream of revenue for the Art Center, bringing in an average of $150,000 to $175,000 each year. “It’s a large source of income for us, and it’s an imperative source,” Spinner says. Financial support helps the Art Center continue to offer free admission and also helps fund free art programming for other community nonprofits, Spinner adds. This year’s gala theme of “Illuminate, Invest, Impact” helps to remind the gala patrons why their investment matters.

Tickets are available online until Sept. 11. Single tickets, which include the to-go meal and bottle of wine, are $250; or $150 for young professionals under 35. Whereas in previous years the gala typically sold out early, the virtual gala has no attendance cap.

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