The last word anyone in Jersey City wants to hear at this time is “snow” – unless it’s related to the Arthouse Productions’ annual Snow Ball.
The champagne fundraiser for the renowned Jersey City arts organization returns for a fifth year on Saturday, Jan. 22 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
This year, the guest of honor will be Etta Denk, senior vice president and market development manager for Bank of America in New Jersey. Arthouse Productions founder Christine Goodman called her a “wonderful professional who has helped out the non-profit community.”
The Snow Ball is also a celebration filled with art and creative-dress costumes complemented by live music, this year featuring Manouche Bag, a gypsy jazz quartet founded by Mattias Gustafsson, owner of Jersey City’s renowned French bistro Madame Claude Café.
“It will be an exciting year.” – Christine Goodman
Also, a silent auction will feature fine art, including a signed print from William Wegman, who is a pioneer video artist, conceptualist, photographer, painter, and writer (www.wegmanworld.com). Other items up for action include gift certificates to a wonderful assortment of local restaurants, vacation packages, and a makeover session with Kathleen Brown, makeup artist to the stars.
For Goodman, it’s an opportunity for the locals to find an escape from the doldrums of winter, dress in their finest “black-tie creative,” and win a prize.
“It’s a fun night out, and people keep asking me about the ball,” Goodman said.
A celebration that has snowballed
Goodman looked back recently at how the first Snow Ball in 2007 was started as a fundraiser for a play. Now, the gala has grown larger in significance for a non-profit that has greater ambitions.
“This celebration has grown to help raise a significant amount of our operating budget, about 20 percent,” Goodman said.
A few years back, Arthouse was more of a grassroots group. Goodman and others chipped in their time between their busy schedules to make theatrical productions, open-mic engagements and parties come alive.
Now officially as a 501c3, Arthouse Productions has Goodman as a full-time executive director, the only full-time employee with a loyal core of 20 volunteers who help to create a wide range of activities, from humor writing and acting classes to art exhibitions.
Goodman said that this is just some of what’s coming up on the Arthouse schedule in its landmark 10th year.
“We plan to increase our programming, making our space more active by presenting more diversity, more cultural programs, and bringing more dance,” Goodman said. “It will be an exciting year.”
Goodman also hopes to hire more full-time staff members. But that will take serious fundraising, as Arthouse shoots for a goal of $12,000 to be culled from the upcoming Snow Ball. She expects about 150 guests like last year.
The Snow Ball will be held in Art House Productions’ arts space at Hamilton Square, 1 McWilliams Place, sixth floor, in Jersey City. Tickets are $60 ($70 after Jan. 17) and may be purchased online at www.arthouseproductions.org. The ticket price includes an open bar and buffet, with choice fare from The Embankment, Skinner’s Loft, LITM, and Made with Love Artisan Bakery and Café.
For more information, visit www.arthouseproductions.org.
Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.