Hannah Stein, For the Miami Student

Jim Michael grabs an hors d’oeuvres at the 2010 Oxford Community Arts Gala. (PHOTO COURTESY OF OXFORD COMMUNITY ARTS CENTER)

The Oxford Community Arts Center will be hosting a gala to help fund their programs, such as classes on drawing, painting and acting, among many others, which are offered to the public, including Miami University students.

The Gala, which costs $75 for the night, will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. March 19, Gala chairperson Sue Clover said.

“There will be live entertainment (and) a variety of musicians,” Clover said. “We will have food from 10 vendors including everything from Arabian Nights to Paesano’s, sushi and just a whole variety of things. It’s just going to be a great night.”

The Gala is an event that aids in the funding of the Arts Center’s programs.

“A lot of the programs we have here are for the public,” Clover said. “We have art classes, drama or singing (and) drawing and painting for all ages. We have groups that come in and do concerts on the second Friday of each month.”

Clover explained that all the programs are free to the public and the Gala is a fun way to help fund them.

There are also two auctions, a live auction and a silent auction, which will take place throughout the night. The auctions will have around 100 items. According to Clover, the values of the items range dramatically.

“The low end is around $25 but we have a few things that could be valued at $2,000 or more. Whether we get that or not is doubtful, but that’s their value,” Clover said.

According to Clover, the silent auction will be conducted through bid sheets set out in front of each item with a starting bid and the bidder must raise the price at least $5. Whoever has the highest bid by the end of the night will receive the item. However, the live auction will have a professional auctioneer and will present the items like any live auction, Clover said.

The items that will be sold at the auction are “anything from vacation stays to artwork by many different kinds of artists,” Clover said. “There’s (also) afternoon tea for 12 and there’s is the possibility of hand drumming lessons.”

Another part of the Gala that will help gain funding money is the raffle. There are two levels for the raffle: the $75 prizes and the $50 prize, according to Clover.

The two prizes offered at the $75 level are a week’s stay a beach home in Destin, Fla. offered by Karen Schroer and a week’s stay in a cottage in Martha’s Vineyard offered by the Carol Immelt family. The one prize offered at the $50 level is a garden makeover by Gardens by Kathy, offered by Kathy Baxter, Clover said.

Carol Immelt offered the cottage in Martha’s Vineyard through her brother Norman Butt. Butt is on the board of directors for the Arts Center and was able to ask Immelt about offering the cottage as a prize.

“It’s been in the family for a long time and she just thought it would be good for someone to use it and donated it to the raffle for the Arts Center,” Butt said. “The cottage comes with all necessities such as linens and dishes and is offered the week of June 18 to June 25.”

Kathy Baxter, the donator of the garden makeover, has an art studio at the Arts Center, which is a separate business from her gardening business and wanted to do something to help benefit the Arts Center.

According to Baxter, the garden makeover will include a gardener, herself, a garden architect, Margarette Beckwith and donations from two nurseries: Shademakers Nursery and County Line Nursery.

“You have a little bit of everything depending on the needs of the person who wins it in the raffle,” Baxter said.

“I think the free classes are an amazing opportunity for people to learn about the arts, and the gala is a great way to bring in funding,” Miami freshman Anne Gotwald said.

With all the different activities taking place throughout the night such as the auctions and the raffle, the Arts Center knows the programs will benefit greatly.