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Inside The Brooklyn Artists Ball

The annual event raised $1.9 million for Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum’s Artists Ball kicked off last night with a bright crowd in multi-color ensembles celebrating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, honoring contemporary artist Nick Cave and Bank of America, and raising cash for the museum. In its eighth run, this year’s annual spring fete raised $1.9 million for the Brooklyn Museum and its educational programs, including sending local children to camp this summer, thanks to the lively auction hosted over Mexican-inspired fare served in the museum’s Beaux-Arts Court.

“The Brooklyn Museum sets the precedent and is the paradigm of a community-based art museum that’s needed, desired, and necessary,” said art advisor Gabby Palmieri, who served as the evening’s auctioneer. “We had many generous people bid on sending a child to camp for $1,000… a deserving child gets to go to camp where it otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. Brooklyn serves Brooklyn as a community.”

This was the museum’s first time offering pledges to its Artists Ball guests, as typically funds are raised by selling tables. The museum also sold tables for the Artists Ball in advance.

Hank Willis Thomas, Nick Cave, Swizz Beatz (photo credit: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA)

“Nick Cave’s message tonight was about effort, support, and compassion… there are 600 people here tonight that don’t need to be here. We want to be here,” continued Palmieri. “A child seated at Swizz Beatz’s table bid tonight… Swizz himself was exceedingly generous. The efforts and contributions make a difference.”

After the seated dinner and auction, more guests poured into the Beaux-Arts Court for the after party where Swizz Beatz DJ’d and artists, such as Brooklyn-based artist Olek, created installations around the museum court celebrating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, currently on exhibit at the museum.

Frida Kahlo Exhibit at Brooklyn Museum (photo credit: Eva Fedderly)

Guests, some teetering in high heels, wandered through the museum’s galleries which stayed open late last night, with the “Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving” exhibit on display through May 12.

The Brooklyn Museum’s large and wide-ranging collection of art spans 5,000 from regions across the globe. Its collections include Egyptian works, Native American art and artifacts, Spanish colonial painting, and nineteenth and twentieth-century American painting, sculpture, and decorative objects.

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