Thursday, November 10, 2016

Elegant Salute XV: "A Night of Tropical Splendor"

When they begin the Beguine
It brings back a sound of music so tender
It brings back a night of tropical splendor
It brings back a memory evergreen
— Cole Porter, “Begin the Beguine”

From Elegant Salute XIV of 2015: "An Elegant Salute to Georgia."

The 15th edition of Elegant Salute will soon be upon us, on Saturday, January 28, 2017. Elegant Salute is our black-tie gala held every other year and is the museum’s most important fundraiser. Funds from this event go directly to educational programming and exhibitions. This year’s chair is Maggie Hancock, who crafted the beautiful and inspiring décor for the last Elegant Salute and has made herself an indispensible member of the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art. Hancock will work with her co-chair, Sarah Peterson, and her network of committee chairs to create an unforgettable evening, inspired by Cole Porter’s song “Begin the Beguine.”

Written in 1935 while Porter was on a cruise in the South Pacific, the song evokes the elegance of the time period. As Hancock puts it, “Porter transports one to a place where the Beguine (a Latin dance) is happening, and the tropical setting heightens the sensorial moment. Expect to be transported into an evening of lush paradise filled with elements from shore to sea.” Flower arrangements are always a highlight of the event, and this year’s theme provides an abundance of inspiration for flower committee chair Beverly Sligh.

Dancing at Elegant Salute XIV, 2015
The evening will begin with a reception in the Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be followed by dinner catered by Epting Events in the M. Smith Griffith Grand Hall. Following dinner, guests will return to the sculpture garden for dessert and dancing at the Copacabana-themed after-party.

The museum relies on private donations to fund programming and exhibitions, making this event vital to our success in the coming year. The Friends hope to raise $180,000 in support, and we have no doubt that David Matheny, fundraising chair, can achieve that goal. There’s no one better at nicely twisting arms. 

The rest of the committee chairs bring talent, experience, energy and creativity to their jobs, and we look forward to seeing what they come up with. Ligia Alexander is spearheading décor, Devereux Burch and Amburn Power are in charge of social, Evelyn Dukes is handling logistics, Airee Hong Edwards will manage publicity for the after-party, Mike Landers is planning the entertainment, and Mike Montesani will work with Epting Events on the evening’s menu.

Advance reservations are required by January 13. $300 per person for members and $350 per person for nonmembers. Tickets for the after-party only are $50 for members and $65 for nonmembers and allow entry for the dessert and dancing in the sculpture garden at 9:30 p.m. Tropical attire encouraged. Call 706.542.0830 or visit for more information, to sponsor or to purchase tickets.

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