Moorestown’s affinity for the arts is well-documented. So it’s only natural that MoorArts would hold its own fundraising gala this weekend, featuring dozens of artists and performers from around town.
The only thing that’s strange is that it took this long for it to happen.
“We do a lot of events throughout the year,” said Candace Coleman, MoorArts communications trustee. “But we wanted this to be different from the other fundraisers. We wanted to have arts be the centerpiece of it.”
The gala, scheduled for Saturday night at the Community House, will be a showcase of fine arts and cabaret-style performances.
, will be one of the headliners. Newcomer got his start on the Moorestown High School (MHS) stage, earning a MoorArts scholarship in his senior year. Since then he has performed continuously and has extensive musical theatre experience as well as a professional opera background.
Also appearing on stage are two very talented performers who also guide and support student talent at Moorestown High School: MHS theater director Greg Harr and MHS director of choral activities Kristen Conrad. They will be joined by Jeanne Haynes, former MHS theater director, and Erica Scanlon Harr, former Miss New Jersey, who performs for Disney Cruise Lines, along with several other performers.
In addition to the cabaret, the gala will feature approximately 40 paintings from MHS students and teachers, as well as professional artists.
Toni Paparone, visual arts educator at the high school, was put in charge of organizing the display, which includes a variety of styles ranging from oil to acrylic to watercolor.
“It’s a really wonderful opportunity (for the students) to show their work and get their name out in the community at no cost whatsoever,” she said. “It’s not even like it’s a sidewalk situation … It’s a nicer venue, and that’s a really good opportunity for them.”
Tickets are $100 per person (and include food and wine). All proceeds from the event benefit the student scholarships in the arts and grants for programs.
Coleman said MoorArts is hoping to “fill the house” and, if all goes well, turn the gala into an annual, or bi-annual, event.
“I believe it will prove that people think this is a truly exceptional evening,” she said. “It isn’t something where you go and get something to eat, talk to people and leave. This is a show.”
The event will run from 7-11 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, visit the MoorArts website.
The following students will have their work showcased in the fine arts display:
Steven Serpico - MHS Student and MoorArts Scholarship winner
Erin McCarthy - MHS Student and MoorArts Scholarship winner