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Houston's glitterati gather to raise record amount at Fresh Arts Crystal Ball


Houston, Fresh Arts Crystal Ball, February 2018, Y.E. Torres Ms. YET)
Photo by Morris Malakoff
Houston, Fresh Arts Crystal Ball, February 2018, Marita Fairbanks
Photo by Morris Malakoff
Houston, Fresh Arts Crystal Ball, February 2018, Fady Armanious, Bill Baldwin
Photo by Morris Malakoff
Houston, Fresh Arts Crystal Ball, February 2018, Gonzo 247, Carolyn Casey-Figueroa
Photo by Morris Malakoff
Houston, Fresh Arts Crystal Ball, February 2018, crowd
Photo by Morris Malakoff
Houston, Fresh Arts Crystal Ball, February 2018, Michael Galbreth, Rainey Knudson
Photo by Morris Malakoff
Houston, Fresh Arts Crystal Ball, February 2018, Ernie Cockrell, Stephanie Cockrell
Photo by Morris Malakoff
Houston, Fresh Arts Crystal Ball, February 2018, Kasi Kubiak, Marci Dallas
Photo by Morris Malakoff
Houston, Fresh Arts Crystal Ball, February 2018, Raquel Segal, Andrew Segal
Photo by Morris Malakoff
Houston, Fresh Arts Crystal Ball, February 2018, A.J. Brass, Katie Brass
Photo by Morris Malakoff

There’s never a dull moment at the annual Fresh Arts gala. This year’s event, themed “The Crystal Ball,” was no exception. The thrilling evening boasted outrageous costumes, fortune tellers, live paintings created by local artists including John Whaley, Angela Fabbri, John Whaley Jr., and Daniel Elliott, a motion sensitive light installation by Input Output, and a performance by fusion belly dancer, Y.E. Torres (pictured above).

Chaired by Katie and AJ Brass, Stephanie and Ernie Cockrell, and Raquel and Andrew Segal, the gala raised a record $200,000 for Fresh Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the sustainability and vibrancy of Houston's arts sector by bolstering the capacity and professional practice of artists and arts organizations and enhancing the public's engagement with the arts.

The 2018 Fresh Arts Ball honored founder, Marita Fairbanks (pictured at center, alongside several models dressed in Fairbank's outfits from galas past).

“We are 15 years old now, which is a big deal. That’s why they decided to honor me this year, which was really sweet. It’s our biggest year ever in terms of the theme, costumes, number of people we have coming, and underwriting. We’re just super excited,” Fairbanks told CultureMap.
 

From 1920s glitz to futuristic-inspired design, guests created their costumes based on their own unique interpretation of the theme. 

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Fady Armanious, Bill Baldwin.

Attendees enjoyed cocktails by Deep Eddy Vodka and Texas Whiskey, as well as beer from Buffalo Bayou Brewing and wine.

Bites were provided by Carrabba’s, Eloise Nichols Grill and Liquors, Graces, Candylicious, and Popston Popcicles. 

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Gonzo 247, Carolyn Casey-Figueroa.

Spins by DJ Yung Hiram kept the dance floor packed as more than 700 advocates of Houston’s arts community packed Silver Street Studios. 

Michael Galbreth, Rainey Knudson.

 Ernie Cockrell, Stephanie Cockrell.

Next up for Fresh Arts? “We have a new professional development program for artists that we’re about to start called Artists, Inc. It’s an eight-week curriculum on the business skills that artists need to make a living, making their work. That starts in March,” said Fresh Arts executive director Marci Dallas (picture above, right, with a masked Kasi Kubiak).

Raquel Segal, Andrew Segal.

A.J. Brass, Katie Brass.