Grand gala raises funds for art center endowment

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Matt Senjem and Reynold Phillipsek performed at the “Été é Paris: An Evening in Paris” fundraiser at the Grand Center for Arts & Culture on Saturday.

NEW ULM — For one night New Ulm got a taste of the city of lights. The Grand Center for Arts and Culture began its endowment campaign with Paris themed fundraiser “Été é Paris: An Evening in Paris.”

Over 60 guests attending the fundraiser in the best formal wear to support the arts.

The goal of the fundraiser is to create an endowment fund for the art center. Interim Director Anne Makepeace said they are hoping for an additional base of $75,000 and $100,000. The idea is to invest enough money to allow the Grand to pay for annual programing through interest generated by the fund. The Grand currently has $1 million in its endowment, but the nonprofit needs $2 million in principal.

The Grand does generate revenue from renting studio space, but additional fund are necessary to maintain the 10,000-square-foot building.

“We really need the building to be sustainable,” Makepeace said.

Maggie Swab and Misty DeLeo dressed to match the Paris theme.

Saturday’s fundraiser was special because an anonymous donor promised to match all donations received.

Makepeace said once the Grand achieves its base goal it can focus on raising money for arts programing.

The Grand hopes to eventually expand studio space into the basement for printing and ceramics.

During the fundraisers guests were able to tour the basement levels. The basement of The Grand is rarely seen by visitors, but is as impressive as the rest of the building.

A few guests compared the basement to the catacombs underneath the real Paris.

A special dinner was held on the main floor with musical accompaniment provided by the Matt Senjem and Reynold Phillipsek.

On the second floor pianist Grace Hennig entertain crowds participating in the silent auction, while other guests had their portraits drawn by in house caricaturist.

A live auction began at 8 p.m. on the main floor.

The party continued outside on the back deck for a performance from The Minnesota Barking Ducks.

Makepeace said those wishing to donate to The Grand may contact The Grand at (507) 359-9222.


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