Always around this time year, Anita Durst gathers more than 450 movers and shakers in the city’s real estate and artistic worlds for a gala fund-raiser for chashama, her non-profit that has been transforming vacant real estate into creative spaces for artists and their work since 1995.
But this year, the June 9 gala also kicks off the start of chashama’s Summer Performance Series, where it will fill seven under-used spaces in Manhattan, Queens and Harlem, with performances and art installations.
Selected artists will receive spaces for one-to-three weeks, cash grants of $100-to-$300 and a forum to present their work.
“This gala offers an extraordinary experience for our guests,” Durst says. “Guests will be invited to create their own art and interact with the performers throughout the evening as they flow through the party space.”
The gala kicks off with Durst ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ and will feature daring and contemporary works, an aerial performance, belly dancing – of sorts – a dance-oke photo booth where guests can receive snapshots of themselves dancing and an online charity auction.
The event will honor Patricia Lopinski and Chicago Title Insurance Company, leaders in supporting artists and the arts in communities that need it most.
It will be held at Anita’s Way, a public plaza connecting the Condé Nast building at 4 Times Square and the Bank of America Tower at 1 Bryant Park.
The event officially starts at 6:30 p.m. and features cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dinner. The after-party will begin at 9:30 p.m., with fun, dancing and performances by See.Me and Jay-Z’s DJ’ Young Guru.
Gala tickets can be purchased at www.chashama.org for $500 to $1,000. All proceeds will provide space grants to artists worth $2 million, support 300 artists every day and help present 180 public events annually.