For Upturn Arts fifth annual Appetite for Art, the group turned to appetizing eateries to create a unique menu for what was an inviting soiree for supporters of this year-round arts enrichment program for children.
The party, sponsored by the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust, on Oct. 24 started at the Dryades Public Market, where hors d’oeuvres prepared by market chefs were served and Upturn Art’s Youth Percussion Ensemble accompanied by Boyanna Trayanova performed. After the patron party, guests then participated in a second line lead by Red Hot Brass Band and Dancing Man 504 to Toups South.
There awaited a four-course dinner: Boucherie (chicken liver mousse on flatbread), Le Citron Bistro (blue crab cake topped with Meyer lemon aioli and petit herb salad), Toups South (braised local rabbit served with egg noodles, andouille, parmesan cheese and sauce piquant) and Atchafalaya (chocolate and pumpkin mousse). During dinner, Blato Zlato and an Upturn Arts client Skylar Williams, performed an original song she wrote called “You’re Not Alone.”
A live auction with auctioneer John Calhoun included vacation packages for New Orleans and elsewhere, a New Orleans Saints package, and a signed James Michalopoulos painting, as well as fund-a-need, when Calhoun asked the room to pledge donations ranging from $100 to $5,000.
Helping throughout the event were Tulane University TIDES class, a group of 25 freshman who volunteered their time to help set up, serve, and assist in various tasks throughout the evening. The Barman’s Fund provided volunteer bartenders and servers.
Supporters included event Chair Maureen Long and James Pirtle, Executive Director Dana Reed and Adam Orzechowski, Lisa and D.J. Romano, Donna and Vincent Giardina, Ben and Jeanette Jaffe, David and Stephanie Barkesdale, Edmond Wattigney, Hazel Romano, Maggie and Mike Doussan, Benjamin Faulks, Wiley Verstappen, Holly Scheib and Paul Wisneskey, Dwayne Breashears, Alli and Daniel Womac, Rye Bornstein, Monique Pyle, Greg Lucas, Annie Gaia, Phillip and Alicia Smith, Pearce and Babs Wood, Katie Witry, and Marianne Cohn.
“Our city is known for its creative culture, and it is important for our youth to experience it first hand,” says Executive Director Reed. “Our programs and events allow us include local artists, students, families and the community as a whole.” The mission of Upturn Arts is “Arts for All: There are no auditions and the group uses a sliding-scale fee model.