Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Second Second Fridays

The second Second Fridays shindig which is the Event Formerly Known as The Downtown Art Crawl in Excelsior Springs was a success once again. Second Fridays is a name that encompasses the art crawl, Music Under the Stars On Broadway and shopping and dining as well. The event highlighted diverse art and music and even featured a fundraiser benefiting the Uganda Soccer Project. The weather was working with us for a second time as a chilly, dreary day gave way to warm sun and painterly skies just in time for the event. As the night concluded, the skies were lighting up from approaching storms.

The Gallery Off Broadway hosted a benefit for the Uganda Soccer Project last night. The project is explained from this excerpt from the gallery's Facebook site....

“The worst place in the world today to be a child is northern Uganda,” said Olara Otunnu, who served at United Nations under secretary for children and armed conflict from 1997 to 2005. Over 22 years of rebel violence has torn the Northern region of Uganda apart. Extreme poverty, starvation, millions of families and even more orphans displaced in camps, ramped preventable disease, as well as the abduction of 60,000 civilian children forced to become soldiers are among the many unthinkable tragedies going unnoticed in this remote part of the world. Despite of all this horrible devastation, soccer is uniting many children in the region and is giving them hope. Soccer helps these children to understand their potential and it teaches them how they can live a better and healthier life."

The benefit showcased an art installation from the Nelson-Atkins and included original artwork, artifacts and an actual Ugandan hut. The gallery enjoyed a healthy crowd and the Divine Ms. Kathleen Fenton led the revelry of another successful Corkscrews and Canvas class. The class fittingly painted pears as the Bradford Pear trees were all in bountiful bloom outside. Cocktails such as Mexican martinis were sipped and served and Kevin made some killer hors d'ouevres, including a savory salsa dip that Molly referred to as gazpacho dip. Latest word is they raised quite a bit of money to help the ES soccer coach and others send soccer gear to Uganda. This was Kathleen and the Gallery Off Broadway's first benefit and 'twas a smashing success! How will they top themselves? Check out the gallery here.

We had dinner at Ventana and ended up crashing the Schuttes and Co. table and were gifted with a much more lively and entertaining dinner. K and I enjoyed the evening's special which was curly taglioni pasta with asparagus and crabmeat in a garlic-wine sauce. I sipped a deliciously dark Italian beer called Menabrea with my meal.

Interwoven in the night was a crooning trio at Willow Spring, Movie Night at Broadway and Penn and the unique musical experience of the melodious Marimba Sol de Chiapas. Four talented musicians played the marimba and its soothing sounds wafted through the air up and down Broadway. Daphne's daughter Maddie, a percussionist herself, got to join in with the group for a song.

Driving home, the lightning slashed across the night sky and the hail pelted my car and I was amazed the evening's festivities managed to hold such great weather during the critical hours. I also realized that I've been attending these art crawls since their inception and this year is truly the first year that I really can't wait to see what they do next.


Lisa Mandina said...

I'm intrigued by the painting picture at the top. I want to take a painting class so bad. I haven't had an art class since middle school, and even though I'm not a good artist, I think it is so relaxing and fun to try.

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