Autumn Art Soirée Raises Funds To Support Creativity In Burbank Public Schools

By On November 8, 2018

More than 350 people attended Burbank Arts For All Foundation’s Autumn Art Soirée on Saturday, November 3. Visitors to the fundraiser purchased a variety of pieces from the hundreds of prints, sculptures and original works of art on display. Proceeds from the event support the Foundation’s mission to help fund arts-related programs in Burbank public schools.

In previous years, the Foundation held the Secret Art Show, which showcased miniature works of art by everyone in the community from students to celebrities to professional animators and artists. Once a specific piece of art was purchased, the artist was revealed to the buyer.

For 2018, the Foundation changed things up a bit, partnering with two local art organizations, ACME Archives, Ltd, and Burbank Art Association, to provide art for purchase at the event. Pieces were available for $40 and upwards and the artist of each work was identified.

Photo by © Ross A Benson

“We are grateful to have partners like ACME Archives, Burbank Art Association, and our host, the Burbank Town Center, to support our fall fundraising event,” commented Foundation Executive Director Trena Pitchford. “Our mission is strengthened by the community’s support and we look forward to putting these critical funds to work in the coming year.”

“As a Burbank based, multi-national, small business we at ACME were very proud to be a part of the Autumn Art Soirée,” commented Lisa McLain, President and CEO of ACME Archives, Ltd. “We met a lot of great people from the community and had a wonderful time being part of such worthwhile event.”

“We do events all over the world and I can say without a doubt, Trena and her staff were one of the most organized and dedicated groups we’ve worked with. A big thanks to her and her team.”

Photo by © Ross A Benson

The Burbank Town Center hosted the event in the former Sport Chalet space, with the Foundation’s team putting in the work to transform the vacant space into a “fun, funky lounge party,” according to Pitchford.

“Burbank Town Center is proud to support the Burbank Arts for All Foundation and is always looking for creative ways to partner with the organization,” said Michael I. de Leon, General Manager of the Burbank Town Center.

“We are grateful they chose our venue to host the Autumn Art Soirée, and truly transformed the event space to make it their own.  We look forward to supporting and continuing to create unique events with them in the years to come.”

Photo by © Ross A Benson

Wine donated by Whole Foods and craft beer donated by Lincoln Beer Company added to the event, along with hors d’oeuvres served by Sandra’s Traveling Kitchen. Live music was performed by Burbank High’s Jazz Ensemble.

Live art demos were provided by American Master Carbon-Pencil Artist and 2012 ArtPrize winner, Adonna Khare, veteran illustrator, painter and storyteller Cliff Cramp, ceramicist and instructor Michael Hirsh and fine art painter, director and designer Guy Vasilovich.

While Burbank Unified School District has the Arts For All plan, the Burbank Arts For All Foundation is a separate nonprofit entity with its own staff. The similarity in name has caused some confusion, among parents, the community and the media, over the years, as the BUSD Arts For All plan has grown the arts within the district since its adoption in 2004.

Photo by © Ross A Benson

Since 2006, the Foundation has raised funds to run the nonprofit from events held throughout the year. To date, the Foundation has awarded approximately $544,000 in grants.

Teachers and administrators from within Burbank Unified are able to write grants requesting one-time funds for specific programs, such as building mini golf courses in middle school geometry class or supporting elementary school plays. In October 2017, the Foundation donated $10,000 to the BUSD Music Is Instrumental campaign to repair and replace instruments district-wide.

The funds from the Foundation are typically just one of the sources of funding that teachers draw from to enrich their classes and students with arts and creativity. Generally, school site funds and BUSD Arts For All plan funds support most of the arts related programs throughout Burbank Unified.

The Foundation provides a vital role in funding arts enrichment for everything from math, science and CTE (Career Technical Education) classes to language arts, social studies and the arts.

Adding creativity components and the arts to academic and STEM classes increases engagement and interest for students, according to numerous reports that have been published over the years, while promoting innovation, communication, collaboration and design-thinking.

Photo by © Ross A Benson

More information on the impact and work of the Foundation, along with their upcoming events, can be found on their website.

As of publication time, the net amount raised by the Autumn Art Soirée for the Foundation was not yet available.

United States Congressman Adam Schiff, State Assemblymember Laura Friedman, BUSD Board of Education Clerk Steve Frintner and Burbank’s Vice Mayor Sharon Springer attended the Autumn Art Soirée, along with members of the community including students, actors, artists, parents and business leaders. Board of Education member Charlene Tabet volunteered at the event along with several other students, parents and community members.