Fairbanks Arts Association Celebrates 50 Years With Gala

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In 1965, a small group of art lovers meet to discuss ways to grow and deepen the appreciation of the arts in Alaska. The Alaska Association for the Arts (AAA) was established a year later. As the only arts association in the state, the AAA was the driving force behind the establishment of the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the construction of the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts inside Pioneer Park. The Alaska Association for the Arts became the Fairbanks Arts Association in 1983.

FAA celebrates a milestone this Saturday – 50 years of serving Interior Alaska through the arts at the Fairbanks Arts Gala: Golden Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser. The event is on May 6, from 6-9PM (doors open at 5PM) inside the Exhibition Hall of the Centennial Center at Pioneer Park. There will be a lively auction with fantastic arts experiences, delicious desserts, and arts related items.

“This promises to be a fun evening, with a mix of performances, a great auction, and refreshments,” said Jessica Peña, Executive Director of the Fairbanks Arts Association.

The auction will have a variety of arts experiences and items including a dinner and studio tour for four with artist Sara Tabbert, a house party/event from the klezmer band Almost a Minyan, two Alaska Airlines round-trip tickets, season tickets for the Fairbanks Concert Association and Fairbanks Symphony, a gorgeous bed-size quilt from the Quilters Guild, and much more. A classes section will offer more opportunities for individuals or groups to try a new skill, and there will also be an art sale and dessert auction.

There will also be a wide variety of events throughout the evening including music by Ron Inouye and Emily Anderson, as well as performances by the North Star Ballet and the Great Land Sounds men’s barbershop chorus. There will be an aerial silks demonstration by Teal Rogers and a live art piece (being painted during the event!) by artist Brianna Reagan. She will come in with a blank plank of wood (her canvas of choice) and race the clock to complete the painting in time for the auction at the end of the evening. The finished piece will be up for bid at the outcry auction.

“The Gala is a golden opportunity to support Fairbanks Arts and kick off the next 50 years of arts in the Interior,” Peña said.   

Tickets are $45 in advance, $50 at the door. People can purchase tickets at the Bear Gallery or online.

Sponsors of the event include: Mt. McKinley Bank, Design Alaska, Foundation Health Partners, Usibelli Foundation, Kohler Entertainment, Kohler, Schmitt & Hutchison PC, McCafferty’s, A Coffee House, Etc., Alaska Universal Productions, Odom Corporation, Samson True Value Hardware, Shannon & Wilson, Inc. and Jackie of All Trades.