If a little can go a long way, the tenet behind crowdsource campaigns, then the enterprising influencers who are revving up Houston's Arts Alliance's Power2give.org online fundraising platform should be able to command an army to propel local nonprofit arts.
It appeared so at Thursday evening's party at the House of Deréon Media Center, where the coterie of movers and shakers in fashionable power suits celebrated the public launch of the website alongside arts organizations that hinge on the contributions of many to execute performances, education programs and visual installations.
As a testament to the city's varied creative community, supporters were greeted by a large, bright art-on-tarp by No One — yes, that's the name of the street artist — of Houston's skyline affixed to PVC plumbing pipes. The backdrop was the photography hotspot of the venue, where guests Instagrammed their mementos with a designated hashtag to print it wirelessly via Foto FRDG.
Chaired by Nic Phillips and Shavonnah Roberts Schreiber, who lauded host committee member Gena Avery's successful fundraising efforts, the affair reached beyond just a meet-and-greet, drink and nosh rally. Instead, it was a high-decibel showcase that offered a sampling of some of the more than 60 proposals that turned to Power2give.org for underwriting solutions since the site went live in August.
It was a high-decibel showcase that offered a sampling of some of the more than 60 proposals that turned to Power2give.org for underwriting solutions since the site went live in August.
Among them was Young Audiences of Houston's "Helping the SOUL to FLY Through Dance," which in collaboration with Soul Street Dance Co. and FLY Dance Company is eager to raise $10,000 to present arts-in-education programs in 10 economically disadvantaged schools. Hip hopping, breaking, popping and locking to beatboxing and tunes spun by Kracker Nuttz Baby Jae and Elroy Boogie and DJ Sun, these b-boys stunned guests with their command of every muscle of their bodies.
A trio of signature cocktails by Hennessy and vino from 13 Celsius washed down passed gourmet bites from the kitchen of Sorrel Urban Bistro's chef Soren Pedersen, including duck confit, stuffed squash blossoms and maple chocolate brownies.
While the VIPs were engaged in coversation in House of Deréon's newly renovated swanky second floor — think silk walls, sequined zebra pattern pillows and steel furniture — the rowdy fete continued downstairs as HAA sold raffle tickets and gift cards to fuel their cash engine.
In the quorum were Houston Arts Alliance executive director Jonathon Glus, Mary Curry Mettenbrink, Monica Danna, Tammy Dowe, Fresh Arts executive director Jenni Rebecca Stephenson, James Phelan, Amy and Tom Patterson, Kim and Derreck Johnson, Lou Gregory, Linda Lorelle, Ashley and Ryan Small, Monie Henderson, Marc Newsome and Megan and Justin Shelton.