RAM Talks Art: Giving season offers many ways to support local museums

By Carrie Breitbach
Education Director, Rockford Art Museum

Does anyone else notice that the “holiday season” starts earlier every year? Honestly, I saw a commercial with “Silent Night” playing the day after Halloween. Now, does that mean I start my festivities that early? Heavens, no. I typically start right after Thanksgiving—and Evergreen Ball Dec. 4.

Evergreen Ball is an annual fund-raising event that is held at Rockford Art Museum the first weekend in December. I love Evergreen. It’s a night when we all get dolled up, eat like kings, and dance until we’re blue in the face. It’s also a night chock-full of great auctions that help raise funding for the museum. In the RAM Art Annex, there is a wine auction; Kuller Gallery houses the silent auction; and a live auction follows after dinner. Then, the music begins and the dance floor fills. I can’t say that my dance card is full, but I’ve been known to shake a leg.

Every year, hundreds of people attend this ball. Sure, it’s fun to get bedazzled and schmooze with friends—but it’s also a great time to see all of our supporters who help keep our doors open having fun and taking in the museum in a different setting.

Museum support group FRIENDS has its own committee of volunteers who dedicate copious amounts of time to this event. Getting donations for the silent and live auctions, finding generous businesses and individuals to sponsor the event, and redesigning the interior of the museum are just a few of the tasks they tackle every year.

Evergreen Ball is only one of the ways we raise support for the museum. Throughout the year, RAM hosts several fund-raising events, including a casual wine-tasting at La Paloma Gardens; outdoor summer gala Art in the Garden; Oktoberfest at Pearl; and Appraisal Day—all in the hopes of keeping the museum doors open to continue offering quality exhibitions and programming for you, our community.

On a daily basis, museums in the Rockford region are focused on enriching our community. Let’s face it; preserving arts and culture is imperative. Art, music, science, dance and history all contribute to our collective quality of life.

Museums are especially important for children. Giving kids the opportunity to visit and learn about the arts and sciences will only help develop their minds and give them greater opportunities later in their lives. Knowledge is power!

Supporting local not-for-profits is essential throughout the year. Evergreen Ball is only one small example, at one museum, of how you can support organizations in our community. If going to a ball once a year is not your style, remember that there are many ways, at many places, to help. Just visiting a museum to appreciate exhibits and leaving a donation at the door helps, more than you know.

Please consider supporting local museums and arts organizations this giving season.

Contact Rockford Art Museum Education Director Carrie Breitbach at cbreitbach@rockfordartmuseum.org.

From the Dec. 1-7, 2010 issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!