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CMA Benefit Event ArtFUSION Coming Up Soon

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You’ve probably heard of the Art Ball – the see and be seen event where Columbus’ most glamorous raise money for the art museum. As cool as it might be to go and mingle there, at $1,000 a plate, it’s a little more than most of us want to pay – even for an awesome dressed-up, pampered night out. ArtFUSION is the event for us. It’s the same night as the Ball – and you still get to wear a cocktail dress – but it’s only $100. I hear you even get to hobnob with the fancy people at the end.

A ton of people have asked me about ArtFUSION in the last few weeks. Somehow a lot of us missed out on this cool event in years past, but word about it is spreading fast. So – just to make sure I got it right – I asked Sarah Pirtle, Art netWork President – all our questions about CMA’s ArtFUSION 2009.

Leigh Householder: Some people know (and rave) about ArtFUSION. Others don’t know as much. Can you give us the rundown?

Sarah Pirtle: ArtFUSION is one of the city’s premier annual art events, hosted at the Columbus Museum of Art in combination with the Art Ball. This year, it’s centered around the newly opened exhibition, Chihuly Illuminated, which explores the interaction of glass and light in really interesting ways. Other than that, it has all the makings of a great time: food, open bar, music by DJ O Sharp, dancing, good people-meeting and people-watching.

LH: You lead CMA’s young professionals volunteer group, Art netWork. What’s your group’s involvement with the event?

SP: Our group has always hosted fundraisers to benefit CMA. But we were engaged this year in ArtFUSION to bring new energy and momentum to the event. It’s a perfect fit. Art netWork and ArtFUSION are really about the same thing—bringing young supporters and lovers of art together. We’ve worked closely with ArtFUSION’s event chair, Pete Scantland, to tailor the event to the people we know will be first in line for tickets.

LH: Word on the street is that ArtFUSION offers a little something different to attendees this year. Like what?

SP: First, everyone who comes to the event will be entered in a drawing for an original Chihuly serigraph. You can be entered more than once if you’re willing to meet a few new people. (That’s all I’m saying. It’s going to be fun.) Second, we’re going to have a wall-size video projection of Chihuly in action. I think that’s going to be a great addition to the mood of the event.

LH: ArtFUSION happens at a special moment for the Museum this year. What’s on the horizon for CMA?

SP: It’s incredibly exciting for CMA—and for our community—that the museum will be undergoing a major renovation, starting just weeks after ArtFUSION. I see this as a way for us all to come out, and give one last big push of support to CMA as it enters a totally new era.

LH: So tell us, really—what are we supposed to wear?

SP: Love this question. Here’s the thing: it’s dressy, yes. It’s part of the ArtBall, where the guys show up in tuxes and ladies dress to the nines. For ArtFUSION, it’s black-tie optional. So guys, if you own a rockin’ suit, wear it. Ladies, a cocktail dress is perfect. Wear what you look great in. Plus, who doesn’t want an excuse to break out that hot little number that otherwise sits in your closet all lonely and neglected?

LH: Okay. Let’s go. Where do we get tickets?

Visit www.columbusmuseum.org, or call Kristy Emch at 614.629.0344. The event happens October 3, 2009, 8 pm – midnight. Tickets are $100, and benefit CMA.

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