Posted by lemonjelly on:
The Contemporary Arts Forum hosted the SBIFF's VIP Lounge at the opening night gala, and as I was cruising into the space to get photos before the event, I spied the poster for their Valentine party and fundraiser and grabbed a snap of it, mentally filing it away for after the film fest wrapped up. And now I have time to chatter about it.
This is when the CAF holds a benefit auction and party in its space above Paseo Nuevo, and proceeds raised support their year-round events, like the free Forum Lounge held on First Thursdays. The benefit auction and party is this Saturday, 11 February. Hello, alternative Valentine's Day options.
What's new this year:
CAF is pairing up with the Grey Area pop-up shop, which will have cool art items for sale throughout the event, independent of the silent auction. Good for non-competitive types. It'll feature artists like Ed Ruscha and Kiki Smith among others. This was not available last year.
There's a Gentlemen's Lounge, which concerned me at first because I'm a lady, not a gentleman, but I asked a few questions and it turns out that this is a portion that offers auction lots that are more suitable for dudes. You know how most silent auctions are gift baskets of girlie toiletries and jewelry things? This addresses that over-abundance of estrogen goodies. And the Gentlemen's Lounge will have whiskey tastings offered by local spirits connoisseur Macduff Everton and beer from the Brewhouse. So ladies who love whiskey and beer: get in there to buy things for your dudes.
Foodwise, this is very important to me, Sugar Cat Studio will have cupcakes (I like the tiramisu), cake pops from Kristin Van Ramshorst, sweets and cheese from C'est Cheese and the VIPs will also get hors d'oeuvres from Lazy Acres.
Boozewise, in addition to the whiskey and beer tasting, there will be wine from Bridlewood and a signature cocktail with RND vodka.
Last year I attended CAF's Valentine party and fundraiser and I liked it so much, I'm going again this year. And I'm here to share with you the lessons I learned from last time.
First: Going VIP does cost more, but it rocks. VIP means open bar, more nibbles to nosh on, and more support for the CAF. Regular tickets are $75 in advance, $85 at the door, while VIP is $125 in advance, $135 at the door. VIPs also get a champagne opening preview at 7:30 pm. If you have a couple cocktails and plow through the VIP savory nibbles, you've made your money back.
Ticket info and link to buy. Presale gets a discount.
Second: Being fashionably late is for losers, because you'll lose out on the first round of silent auction items. I arrived late last year and the first round had already closed. These were the items that were easier on the pocketbook too, like single bottles of local wine, or a cute handmade leather good by a local artist. It was a great way to walk home with something cool and affordable, and I totally blew it. So, please, arrive on time. It will be worth it. VIP entry is 7:30 pm, regular tickets is 8:00 pm.
Third: do not fear the hassle of bidding on things. You register your payment info upon entry, so all you have to do is walk in with pen poised. There's no gridlock at the end of paying for your stuff. And last year, I got a straight-up-baller 5 liter magnum of Buttonwood wine, so I couldn't have even carried it out with me if I had to haul it away that night. Just picked it up a few days later when all the paperwork had been done by them. Easy peasy.
Fourth: dress up and have a grand old time! This is a really fun event, full of young folk and artists. Quite a party, and oh yeah, there's some fundraising too, but your ticket is already a help to the organization, so you're supporting CAF just by being there. Really, though, I scored some awesome stuff last year, so if you're wanting to splurge on a couple luxury items, this is a good place for it.
Above all, it's a FUNraiser. It's a party! With the added benefit that this supports their year-round projects, like the Forum Lounge. The Forum Lounge is free for anyone to attend, and you know why? Because of events like these.
Contemporary Arts Forum Benefit Auction and Party
Saturday, 11 Feb. 8-11 pm (VIPs are 7:30 pm)
653 Paseo Nuevo, upper floor.
Event info: http://www.sbcaf.org/valentines/index.html
Here's my citizen blogger photo from last year. The official photographers from the event obviously do a much better job.