Everyone is a Winner at the Center for the Arts Signature Fundraising Event “Off the Walls!”
6:00pm Friday January 18, 2013

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By Patrice Shields

Everyone is a winner at the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs signature fundraising event “Off the Walls!” The event that brings back hundreds of loyal attendees each year is back at 6:00pm on January 18, 2013. For the ticket price of $150, every guest will leave the gallery with an original piece of artwork or collectible of his or her choice, valued at $275 to $6,000. National and international artists make this event possible with donations of original artworks that support the Center for the Arts Youth Scholarship Program. While each guest feels like a winner leaving the event with the original artworks that they chose, the real winners are local youth who will benefit from the quality art, theater and dance programming this event makes available to them throughout the year.

Enriching the lives of local children through the arts is the goal of this unique event. Guests purchase tickets for $150 prior to the event on January 18 and on arrival to Center for the Arts are greeted with catered hors d’oeuvre stations, wine, beer and a dessert and coffee bar. Doors open at 6 p.m. and ticket holders are able to browse the selection of art, jewelry, sculptures, and other valuables. This is not an auction and there is no bidding —your $150 ticket secures you an item. At 6:30 p.m. ticket numbers are called and that guest selects a piece of art to take home. There are always 20 more items than ticket numbers so there’s a large selection available. Artworks and collectibles are valued from $275 to $6,000.

Prizes include a diamond tennis bracelet valued at $6,000, original paintings valued from $500 to $5,000; a pair of bronze sculptures by Merri Roderick valued at $3,000 and a wine and restaurant package worth $1,000.

While “Off the Walls” ends at 8:30 p.m., the funds raised secure an entire year of student programming. All of the money raised goes directly to scholarships for students in the youth education program at the Center for the Arts. Last year over $70,000 was awarded—much higher than the prior year’s amount.

“Twice as many parents requested financial aid this year for their children,” said Susan Bridges, President of the Center for the Arts. “Some lost their jobs or took pay cuts to keep their jobs. The point is they wanted to provide their children with our wonderful programs and needed our help.”

Over 70 percent of students enrolled in Center for the Arts classes receive some type of scholarship assistance. All classes in the Youth Education program are available for scholarships. Classes include pottery, dance, drama, photography, along with other creative courses. A five-week semester ranges in price from $45 to $113 depending on the course selected. A portion or all of the cost may be covered by a scholarship for eligible students. A complete listing of children’s programming is available at http://www.artcenterbonita.org.

“Off the Walls” guests not only get to take home a beautiful piece of art from themselves, but they also provide a way for a child to experience art.

“Studies show children who participate in the arts are more likely to succeed as adults,” Bridges said.

“Off the Walls” is 6:00pm, Friday, January 18, 2013. Tickets are $150 each. To purchase tickets or for more information, please call the Center for the Arts at 239-495-8989. “Off the Walls!” is sponsored by FineMark National Bank and Trust.

Those who join the Center for the Arts for the first time receive two tickets to one of this season’s Live at the Promenade events. The Center for the Arts offers this benefit for first time members only.

If You Go:
Who: Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs
What: Off the Walls
When: 6:00pm, Friday January 18, 2013
Where: Center for the Arts Bonita Springs, 26100 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs, FL
Cost: $150 per person



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