ART OF NATURE

ART OF NATURE

The Contemporary Art Dinner Hosts Gala With Dinner Al Fresco

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Ben Porter

THE SETTING: A gorgeous evening at Laguna Gloria was the recent setting for one of the Capital City’s most anticipated fall social events. Three hundred philanthropists, art collectors, and sociables descended upon the magical space for the 9th Annual Contemporary Art Dinner…and in the process, were treated to a stunning evening of fun and fundraising.

 

THE STYLE: Partygoers brought their fashion A game with a dazzling mix of bright colors and metallics, creating a happy, welcoming atmosphere that could be felt the second guests entered the upper grounds of Laguna Gloria. Here, the guests could be sipping their favorite spirits and socializing. At the same time, patrons mingled inside the villa on the grounds to view one of the seven lots available during the auction portion of the evening.

 

As the clock struck eight o’clock, revelers were treated to a performance from a live band, signaling the start of the next part of the night. Dinner and the main program were held on the lower grounds of Laguna Gloria for the first time in the event’s history. More than a few jaws dropped with awe as partygoers entered the open-aired tent, which featured an enchanted nature theme. As everyone dined on the delectable cuisine courtesy of MML Hospitality, they were treated to words from the organization’s leaders, a paddles up fundraiser, and a spirited live auction helmed by Sotheby’s, which featured works from top Contemporary artists, including Carlos Amorales, Gisela Colón, The Haas Brothers, Rachel Wolfson Smith, and others. The evening was capped off with an after party where the fun continued well into the night, courtesy of tunes spun by the Chulita Vinyl Club.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Danielle Nieciag and Teresa Windham, raised funds for The Contemporary Austin’s educational and programming opportunities.

TEN FOR TEN

TEN FOR TEN

Mack, Jack & McConaughey 10th Anniversary Gala Raises Over $10 Million

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Tyler Schmitt of Mill Photography Studio

THE SETTING: The Moody Theatre at the Austin City Limits Live venue was the recent setting for the 10th annual Mack, Jack & McConaughey gala. The star-studded evening featured close to five hundred of Austin’s most notable philanthropists, VIPs, and music lovers who turned out for a night for the ages, which included tributes, showstopping performances, and an eye-popping fundraising amount.

 

THE STYLE: The gala’s supporters, who scored an orchestra-level seat at the Moody Theatre, began the evening with an exclusive VIP cocktail party on the terrace. After posing for photos on the red carpet, guests sipped spirits while perusing a beautifully curated array of silent auction items that showcased the ever-popular sports collectibles and art categories.

 

The festivities then moved to the orchestra level where guests dined on a delicious multi-course meal, while they were treated to the main program, which featured touching tributes and words from the event’s leaders. The action turned into a highly spirited live auction where the top-grossing items included a golf trip throughout Ireland with legendary golfer Sergio Garcia (raising $350,000) and a private stay at a ranch in Cibolo Creek near Marfa (raising $3 million).

 

An additional 2,000 guests poured into the mezzanine level of the performance space for the evening’s entertainment…a concert by country music superstar Kenny Chesney. Music lovers rejoiced as they danced to his top hits, capping off an unforgettable evening those fortunate to be a part of will not soon forget.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, hosted by Mack and Sally Brown, Jack and Amy Ingram, and Matthew and Camilla McConaughey, raised an astounding $10 million for a series of non-profits serving children in Texas that included Dell Children’s Medical Center, HeartGift, Just Keep Livin’ Foundation, and The Rise School Austin. To date, the Mack, Jack & McConaughey event has raised over $20 million and provided over 250,000 children with education, health, and wellness services.

TOAST WITH THE MOST

TOAST WITH THE MOST

St. David’s Foundation Toast Of The Town Party Series Dazzles With Twenty Events

 

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Matthew Fuller Photography

THE SETTING: A score of Austin’s stunning venues were the recent settings of the Capitol City’s most beloved and popular spring social benefits. This year’s St. David’s Toast Of The Town featured twenty intimate gatherings at a delightfully eclectic mix of popular dining and entertainment locations…as well as in beautiful homes and estates. The happenings attracted over 600 of Austin’s most notable philanthropists and VIPs and featured delightful company, engaging conversation, and unforgettable moments.

 

[PG 2]: THE STYLE: Guests donned their favorite Austin-chic attire for a diverse series of events that would satisfy even the most discerning sociable. Sports fanatics could attend different athletic-themed events with The University of Texas head football coach Steve Sarkisian and his wife Loreal, the UT Baseball Coach David Pierce, or a private experience at the new Q2 Stadium. Music lovers could spend the evening with either Austin Symphony Orchestra Conductor Peter Bay, legendary Austin musician Roy Benson, or Texas-based GRAMMYÒ Award-winning musician SaulPaul.

 

Additionally, foodies had the chance to enjoy a champagne dinner featuring Jeffrey’s Sommelier Anthony Schlotzhauer at a home on Lake Austin or a fabulous dinner at Canje in East Austin. Fashionistas could discuss couture fashion with Project Runway alum Sergio Guadarrama. History enthusiasts had the opportunity to spend a one-of-a-kind evening with LBJ Foundation President Mark Updegrove or The University of Texas Chancellor James Milliken. And the legendary journalist Neal Spelce held court while hosting a conversation al fresco, sharing stories of his time in the press pool during the presidency of Central Texas native Lyndon Baines Johnson.

 

[PLACE ON PG 3:]Each individual party featured two common threads. The first was to hear from a Neal Kocurek Scholarship Alumni, who shared how the scholarship has positively impacted their life. Many of the scholarship recipients have been the first in their families to attend college. All the parties were capped off with a moderated chat with the guest of honor. The guests were able to ask questions after the talk, which kept the interesting conversations flowing well into the evening.

 

THE PURPOSE: The Toast of the Town party series, chaired by Chandra Hosek with Mary Katherine Stout serving as vice chair, raised over $577,000 for the St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholarship Program, which, thanks to a matching grant by St. David’s Foundation, raised the total to over $1.7 million. Each year the Neal Kocurek Scholarship Program, Texas’ largest healthcare scholarship program, awards $7,500 scholarships per year for up to eight years to Central Texas high school seniors looking to pursue careers in the medical field.

DINNER AL FRESCO

DINNER AL FRESCO

The Contemporary Austin Hosts Dinner Al Fresco At Waterfront Residence
By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Ben Porter

THE SETTING: The stunning mid-century style Lake Austin home of philanthropist Charles Attal was the recent setting of an al fresco dinner that raised funds for a very worthy cause. Over 120 of the city’s most notable art patrons and VIPs attended the event and were treated to great conversation, food, and musical performances.

 

THE STYLE: The Austin-chic crowd, wearing their best summery cocktail attire, were wowed the second they arrived at the Attal residence. Guests entered the garden overlooking Lake Austin and descended the staircase that perfectly complemented the beautiful grounds where cocktails and conversations awaited them. As attendees sipped on their libations, they toured the beautiful grounds while getting reacquainted with old friends and making new ones in the process.

 

Patrons then enjoyed a delectable buffet dinner where guests had their choice of dozens of al fresco bistro-style tables to savor the food and take in the fabulous water views. The festivities then moved to another area of the grounds where several colorful, artistic seating areas awaited them for the entertainment portion of the evening, all designed by Panacea Collective. Austin-born musician Calder Allen captivated the audience with a showstopping performance, capping off a phenomenal evening those fortunate enough to be a part of will not soon forget.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event raised funds for The Contemporary Austin museum. Proceeds from the event will go towards providing cutting-edge programs and art experiences serving tens of thousands of people in Austin, and beyond, each year.